Frank Caperton, Rutherford County Historical Society, September 4, 2018
“Mink Slide to Main Street”, C.B. Arnette, Page 181, printed 1991
Ed. note: The Haynes Hotel was constructed in the early 1890s, razed 1958 to make way for the new Penney Plaza.
The last property in the block was the Haynes Hotel. It fronted on West College Street which was the old Dixie Highway, later highway 41, which ran from Chicago to Florida. For the first quarter of this century, it was Murfreesboro’s finest hotel and one of the finest small town hotels in Tennessee. Its most distinguishing features were the three white railing porches that extended around two sides of the three story building. There were white rocking chairs on all three levels.
The hotel was built just before the turn of the century by James Monroe Haynes. He was the grandfather of James Brevard Haynes, who lives on the old homeplace on the Lebanon Road. Mr. Haynes lived in what is now the Woman’s Club building in 1900. He later lived in what is known as the Beasley-Keathley house beyond Middle Tennessee Christian School. His farm was on both sides of the road and extended northward to Haynes Drive. He died in 1910.
Ferdinand Washington Miles bought the hotel and operated it until the early nineteen thirties. As a boy, I (ed. C.B. Arnette) can recall visiting Mr. Miles’ grandson Bob at the hotel. The elderly Mr. “Ferd” and his wife would be sitting in rocking chairs on the east side porch in the afternoon. He was smoking a cigar. His wife had her hair pinned on top of her head.
They both passed away in the early thirties. They had been intimately associated with the hotel business in Murfreesboro, having owned both the Jordan and Haynes Hotels.
Mr. “Ferd’s” son, Harry Miles, became the next manager of the hotel. He had just returned with his family from Cleveland, Tennessee where he had operated the Cherokee Hotel. In the latter forties, his sister, Mrs. Eugene Guffi, became involved in the operation of the hotel.
During the early fifties highway 41 was rerouted to what is now Broad Street. That, of course, had a negative effect on the amount of business that the hostelry could expect from tourists. That situation was also devastating to the James K. Polk Hotel on East Main Street.
The property was sold in the latter nineteen fifties to James Cason of California who was the son of James Cason, the former bus line and station owner. The J.C. Penney building was erected on the site. Also, a row of offices was erected behind the Penney building. That was called Penney Plaza. Its address was 207 North Maple Street. That rectangular property was still a part of the James Cason and son’s property which included the old bus station already mentioned. The registered owner is Anthony J. Leimas ‘trustee, et ux, Effie J. of Palm Springs, California.)
J.C. Penney closed its doors in Murfreesboro in the early eighties. The large building was vacant for quite some while. Hope-Vere Anderson bought the Penney building property in 1988. The upper floor has been rented to a company which is named Wholesale Furniture. Hope Vere has a large antique shop in the basement.
This has been the history of the James Monroe Haynes to Ferdinand Washington Miles to Harry Miles and Bessie Miles Guill to James Cason to Hope-Vere Anderson property.