The Partridge Inn Exterior at Night
The Patridge Inn
The Partridge Inn, a gracious Summerville landmark, dates from the early 1800s, when it was a two-story residence for the Meigs family from Connecticut. Around 1900, Morris W. Partridge, a seasonal hotel employee in Augusta who managed the Bon Air Hotel across the street, acquired the property. Mr. Partridge began offering guest accommodations in the old Meigs house during Augusta’s winter season. Over the years between 1907 and 1929, he expanded the inn several times. After the Great Depression, the inn became a year-round commercial hotel and subsequently an apartment house. The building fell into disrepair after World War II barely escaping demolition in the 1980s. Local citizens saved the landmark, thus preserving one of the rich historic legacies of Augusta’s “Hill” section. It continues as a popular hotel and restaurant.
The architecture of The Partridge Inn, or the “P. I.” as locals refer to it, is eclectic. With one wing built of brick, the mostly wooden building has a façade punctuated with verandahs, balconies, and porches that create an appealing setting perched on the side of the gradual slope beside Walton Way known as “The Hill.” In the days when the hotel was at its peek, the inn reigned as the second of Augusta’s preferred winter hotels joining the Bon Air, which is still across the street but is now apartments. Many of those who patronized The Partridge Inn were Northerners who came every winter and stayed for most of "the season.” The presence of these well-to-do visitors in the city prompted the creation of recreational opportunities such as golf and polo and a need for distinguished local citizens to entertain prominent guests. As a result, for a number of years in the early 20th century, Augusta had a section in the Social Register listing local socialites. Complete with cross references for “married maidens” and “dilatory domiciles,” the Social Register even provided its subscribers the maiden names of wives before marriage and where they could find families at certain times of the year.
As it developed in the early decades of the 20th century, The Partridge Inn began to have the general feel and many of the elements of the Craftsman style. The building is too unusual, however, to place easily in that architectural category alone. Due to its piecemeal construction over parts of three decades, the inn has multiple levels on some of the floors, although the basic floor plan is close to being identical for guest rooms on the third, fourth, and fifth floors. A penthouse suite on the top or sixth floor has decks that provide a panoramic view of Augusta and the Savannah River Valley. The first floor contains the lobby, meeting rooms, and offices as well as a few guest rooms. The second floor houses the dining rooms and kitchen with additional guest rooms in the wings. An appealing verandah on this level provides outdoor space for dining and entertaining.
In 2006 the inn underwent a certified rehabilitation using the federal historic preservation tax credits. The rehabilitated hotel retains its historic character and charm and is up to date to meet the expectations of its current guests. Today, the hotel welcomes business and leisure travelers, local club meetings, wedding parties, and community events. Augustans and visitors alike embrace and appreciate this historic inn, often using it as a place for special events.