City Directories and History: A large Colonial Revival hotel was built at the northeast corner of Railroad Ave. and
Main Street by John H. Cope of Orangeburg, South Carolina. The Cope House (Bamberg Hotel), opened for business on January 15, 1898 with fifteen rooms and two bathrooms.
Mr. Cope sold the building to George A. Jennings, who served as the Bamberg County treasurer for many years and who continued its use as a boarding house. Later, when the house was sold to Mr. and Mrs. C.J.S. Brooker, the establishment was rechristened as the Mayflower Inn. Following the death of Mr. Brooker, his widow remarried to Rhodes Watson. When Mrs. Watson herself died, Mr. Watson sold the hotel to Governor (then still a judge) Thurmond. By that time, the house had been expanded to about 25 rooms.
The hotel changed hands several times in quick succession. Gov. Strom Thurmond owned the business, then known as the Bamberg Hotel, but he sold it in January 1947 to B.C. Pendarvis, a banker from Allendale, South Carolina. Mr. Pendarvis sold it to Johnny J. Jones, an Augusta, Georgia lawyer and hotel operator in December 1949. Mr. Jones sold it to the Anderson Hotel Company in December 1950.
In the 1950s about ten motor courts were built in Bamberg, and the popularity of the old hotel faded. Indeed, the old Mayflower Inn had a tourist court built around it known as the Hampton Motel. The plan had been to demolish the old building, but it was retained and used as the main office for the motor court. Eventually, the hotel was demolished in November 1958.
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