Historic homes back in business

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Two North Augusta landmarks finally have found a home.

After five months of work, Virginia natives Rhonda and Larry Conner officially purchased Rosemary and Lookaway halls last week, bringing the historic homes back to life as bed and breakfast inns.

The Conners, former rental real estate investors in Roanoke, Va., have been leasing and operating the buildings since October after they fell in love with them, Mrs. Conner said.

She said they were looking for a change when they came across the property and were drawn in by the architecture of the antebellum estates.

"We love older houses," she said, adding that running an inn gives them a chance to meet new people.

The Conners, who live in Rosemary Hall, bought the property for an undisclosed sum from Natalie Smock, said Tamara Endicott, a spokeswoman. Ms. Smock's mother, Sandra, bought the property in 2001 and ran the bed and breakfasts before she died last year.

Two Evans investors were scheduled to buy the homes last year, but the deal fell through, Ms. Endicott said.

Both halls also have group packages for weddings and other corporate events.

The homes date back more than a century. Rosemary Hall was built in 1902 by North Augusta's founder, James U. Jackson. Lookaway was built by his brother, Walter, in the late 1800s.

Reach Laura Youngs at (706) 823-3227 or laura.youngs@augustachronicle.com.

For more information, go to www.lookawayrosemaryhalls.com.

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