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The Old New Perry Hotel

Story and photos by Kathleen Walls

Just south of Macon at Perry, The Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter beckon you off the interstate. The fairgrounds have played host to so many RV conventions they have earned Perry the nickname, RV Capital of the World.

The fairgrounds are only minutes away from downtown Perry where quiet streets are lined with trees and Victorian homes take you back to more peaceful times.

Dining room at New Perry Hotel

The heart of downtown is the New Perry Hotel. Even before the first New Perry Hotel was built in 1870, there was an inn on the site almost since the town began. The oldest public record are in a county deed book and mention a ?tavery? called ?the Perry Hotel? being transferred from Phemias Oliver to Benjamin Fudge on January 1,1833. The current building was erected in 1925 and has been remodeled to include a piano bar, called the Tavery, and outside patio. The food is traditional southern cuisine. The atmosphere is elegant but relaxing. Rooms are done to reflect the heyday of the hotel Visitors love the ambience but there is also a permanent resident who is neither elegant nor relaxed.

Gracious piano at the New Perry Hotel

Karen Felix, a former Director of Culinary Operations, was the first to tell me about Maybelle. She heard unexplained footsteps while she was staying at the hotel and asked about them. Other staff members told her it was ?just Maybelle? she had heard coming down the stairs. Sam Knaffl, who was The Food and Beverage Director when Karen was there, has even caught a glimpse of Maybelle out of the corner of his eye.

Maybell has been there long before the present generation and according to new owner, Kim Mullins and his family, they have all heard about Maybelle.

Maybelle worked in the kitchen for forty or fifty years. She was very loyal but somewhat cantankerous to work with. She is known to have once chased a co-worker with a knife because she didn't handle the food as Maybelle wanted. She died several decades ago and ever since, she has been looking after the hotel. Many people have heard strange clanging and footsteps.

John Thomas Paine performing Georgia on My Mind

The hotel restaurant specializes in blending the old southern recipes with a continental touch to produce gourmet dishes.

The Tavery has its own menu. The ambiance is more like a gathering in a family member's living room than a bar atmosphere. When I was there, I was befriended by a local group who invited me to join them and made me feel totally at home. In fact, one of the group, John Thomas Paine, was a musician and entertained the entire room with his piano styling of many of the old favorites. Of course, he sang ?Georgia on My Mind? for me.


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Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.

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