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Tate Springs Hotel Registers

Identifier: MS-0198

  • Staff Only

The Tate Springs Hotel registers and guest cards are dated between 1923 and 1940. During this time, the Thomas Tomlinson Estate owned the hotel. Guests signed into the hotel using the dated registers, writing down their name, city of residence, time checking in, and room number. The guest cards maintained a record of guests' visits during the entire year. Notes and correspondence included in the collection indicate that some of the information gathered through the registers and guest cards may have been used to invite guests back to the resort for subsequent visits.


  • 1923-1940

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


2.75 Linear Feet (9 boxes)


The Tate Springs Hotel Registers reflects the operations of the Tate Springs Resort near Bean Station, Grainger County, Tennessee under the ownership of the Thomas Tomlinson Estate. The collection primarily includes hotel registers and guest cards dated between 1923 and 1940, prior to when the hotel and resort closed in 1941.

Biographical/Historical Note

Samuel Baker Tate bought 2,500 acres of land, including a mineral spring, near Bean Station, Grainger County, Tennessee, in 1865. Tate built the first hotel, Tate Springs Hotel, on the property to hold 500 people. Captain Thomas Tomlinson, a Civil War veteran, purchased the spring and the hotel property from Tate in 1876.

Tomlinson developed the property into a luxury hotel known as Tate Springs Resort. He added a middle section to the hotel in 1898, a west wing in 1900, and an east wing in 1905. The expansions allowed up to 600 guests to stay at the hotel. Later additions to the property included 35-40 outbuildings that offered resort guests access to a ballroom, riding stables, a bathhouse and swimming pool (built in 1924), a billiards room, tennis courts, a 100-acre park, and an 18-hole golf course (built in 1925). Resort guests were also encouraged to purchase and live in cottages on the resort's property. Tomlinson also built a springhouse and gazebo over the mineral springs, and sold its water as Tate Epson Water, a mail order tonic for stomach, kidney and liver ailments. The resort's popularity peaked in the late 1800s and early 1900s because of its connection to the Peavine Railroad, which ran between Knoxville and Bristol, Tennessee. Noteworthy visitors to the resort included the Fords, Rockefellers, Firestones, Studebakers, and Mellons. When Tomlinson died in 1909, his estate ran the resort and hotel under the management of Tomlinson's son, Clem.

The Great Depression and the rise in automobile travel eventually ended the Peavine Railroad and the Tate Springs Resort. Samuel Tate's original hotel was demolished in 1936, and the rest of the resort ran until it shut down in 1941. The Kingswood School purchased the property in 1943, using the hotel as a school and dormitory until it burned down in 1963. The rest of the resort property is now under Cherokee Lake or Route 11W. The Tate Springs Springhouse is the only resort building still standing, and the National Register of Historic Places added the building to its roster in 1973.


The collection consists of nine boxes (two half boxes and seven flat boxes) and is arranged in chronological order.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA