Open for special occasions and events. Please check Facebook and this web site for opening announcements.
To make arrangements for group tours call 706 695-4313
For rentals call 706 695-4416.
Chair: Dale Lowman
Seats are still available for the popular Tea with Mom, sponsored by the Wright Hotel Committee of the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society. Set for Saturday, May 13 with seatings at noon and at 2 p.m. the event includes food, photographs, hats, hair, and make-up as well as lessons in etiquette. Tickets are $20 for mom and a guest with additional guests $5 each. Reservations can be made at Pat's Antiques on Market Street in downtown Chatsworth and at the Clerk's office at the Murray County Courthouse. For more information contact Peg Adams at 678-488-6847 or Donna Flood at 706-695-2932
Tours, Trains and More
in Downtown Chatsworth
Second Saturdays This Summer
The Chatsworth Depot and The Wright Hotel
The Chatsworth Depot and The Wright Hotel, located on First Avenue and Market Street in downtown Chatsworth, have been important local gathering places since the City was founded early in the 20th Century. The Whitfield-Murray Historical Society continues that tradition with its annual “Second Saturday” events at these historic venues.
The 2023 “Second Saturday” season gets underway on June 10 with the return of the popular “Singing at the Depot”. Highlights include group singing favorite selections from the well-known “redback” Church Hymnal used in area churches for decades with special songs by Murray County’s own Winkler Sisters (Linda, Charlotte, Rita, and Vicki). There is no admission charged for the event. The Depot will be open from 1-4 p.m. with the singing getting underway at 2:30.
For many years travelers on the original Louisville and Nashville Railroad through Chatsworth could spend the night at The Wright Hotel. This National Register Historic Site was constructed in 1909 and operated into the 1960’s. This three-story structure will be open for tours as well. The building features period furnishings along with exhibits about early Murray County history.
On display for the first time will be a collection of artifacts and photographs from the Colvard Community in northwest Murray County. Among the items on display will be books from the Colvard School, items used in country stores like the one which operated at the corner of Hall’s Chapel Road and GA 225 for most of the 20th Century, Dr. T.W. Colvard’s business ledger, letters and record books of Mrs. Julia Colvard—perhaps the only woman who served as a church or school trustee in early Murray County. The collection has been donated to the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society by area residents and Colvard descendants Julia Clary and Sarah Badger. Visitors can also see a “new” selection of hand tufted and chenille bedspreads from the Wells-Bradley family recently donated by Murray County native Kay Moreland Hargrett. Hotel tours are also free and begin at 1 p.m.
Second Saturdays are sponsored by area businesses including Bradley Ace Hardware, Peeples Funeral Home, Krystal/Bojangles/Captain D’s, and First National Community Bank along with Dr. John Robison and Murray County’s elected officials. Donations are always encouraged to assist with the preservation of these historic buildings.
For more information check both the Wright Hotel and Chatsworth Depot Facebook pages as well as the historical society website at www.whitfield-murrayhistoricalsociety.org. Second Saturdays on July 8 and August 10 will feature local authors and their newest works as well as a popular blue train!
Thomas Wright, the creator of the Wright Hotel, opened his once flourishing business in 1909. An influx of Northerners and Southerners alike flocked to the rural town of Chatsworth to drink the refreshing mineral waters, enjoy cool mountain breezes, and to dine on Southern-style cooking. Mr. Wright, a farmer, builder and architect, along with his cousin supervised the construction of the three-story hotel. Not only was it a hotel, but also the home of the Wright family, which included his wife and six children. Mr. Wright rented a brick plant for a year to make the rose colored bricks to build his hotel. The heart pine lumber need for construction was cut from his farm and aged for a year. The hotel has served many including jurors, school teachers, judges, politicians, and honeymooners.
Many historic displays and memorabilia can be viewed here such as the rock that is present at the bottom of the stairs—mail for the guests was placed under this rock, the 7-foot tub in which Mr. Wright was baptized, original furniture and Indian pottery and baskets. The hotel also houses a collection of nursing paraphernalia belonging to Kate Raine, daughter of Mr. Wright, who served as a nurse on the Indian reservations of the southwest. Hotel registers dating to the 1920s give a glimpse of those who stayed there while it was thriving business.
Mrs. Raine left the Wright Hotel to the historical society upon her death in 1986. The society promised to preserve and maintain the site as close as possible to its original condition. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Share Your Stories of the Wright Hotel
"While I was working at an open house at the Wright Hotel a lady came in with her daughter and granddaughters. She told them she had spent her honeymoon night at the hotel. I offered to look in the register book to see if we could find her name and there it was. We were all excited and I think the children looked at the hotel a little different." ~ Melissa Burchfield
Do you have a story passed down in your family about the time they might have spent at the Hotel? Or maybe you met and spent time with Mrs. Kate Wright Raines, the last family member to own the Hotel. The Wright Hotel Committee is looking for stories about the Wright Family and Hotel for a new book. Please send to Whitfield-Murray Historical Society, P.O. Box 6180, Dalton, GA 30722-6180.