For a few years early in the 20th century Pelham had its very own resort hotel. The structure with 60 rooms was built in the summer of 1912 as a place for the annual encampment of Alabama Baptists. The grounds also featured a dining hall, auditorium, swimming pool and tennis courts. The religious affiliation did not last, however; and the complex soon became a resort for the general public.
The buildings were located off what is now County Road 52 on the mountain dividing Pelham and Helena. According to one source, Helena, Alabama, by Ken Penhale and Martin Everse, the structures were dismantled in the 1920s and moved to Cook’s Springs in St. Clair county. In his book Historic Alabama Hotels & Resorts James Sulzby includes a chapter on Cook’s Springs, but that hotel and resort were already operating very early in the 20th century. He makes no mention of the hotel in Pelham.
Today the site of Pelham’s short-lived resort is marked by a Pelham water tower.
Pelham Heights Hotel
[Photo courtesy of the Shelby County Historical Society/President Bobby Joe Seales]
This item originally appeared in the Pelham City News September 2014.