One of Augusta's classic hotels held its 100th birthday party this year.
The Partridge Inn, at 2110 Walton Way, began as a two-story house. Built in 1816, it was the home of Daniel and Elizabeth Meigs, who came to Augusta from Connecticut. The property originally belonged to George Walton, the governor of Georgia and one of the state's three signers of the Declaration of Independence.
In 1908, after Augusta had become one of the South's top resort cities, New York hotelier Morris Partridge bought the Meigs' home, then called Three Oaks, as his personal home and a small hotel. The business venture proved successful, and he opened The Partridge Inn as a 60-room upscale hotel Jan. 8, 1910.
In the years since, it has played host to presidents, celebrities, athletes, rich Northerners escaping the cold and Augusta's youth partying the night away.
At the start of World War II, The Partridge Inn changed from a seasonal to year-round commercial hotel. The building now has five stories with 144 rooms and a quarter-mile of porches and balconies.
In its early days, the hotel housed several businesses, including a post office, drugstore, flower shop, barbershop and hair salon. The ballroom was the gathering area for many of Augusta's high-society events.
With Partridge's death in 1947, the inn entered a period of decline. Augusta businessman Sam Waller purchased the hotel, vowing to preserve the historic landmark. In the 1980s, the building was scheduled for demolition, but community leaders, residents, politicians and investors saved it.
In 1983, the property underwent a certified restoration. It was gutted and rebuilt from bottom to top, reopening in 1987.
In 2005, it was sold to Atlanta investment company Walton Way LLC, and a multimillion-dollar renovation was completed a year later.