Sunday, June 16, 2013

Boler's Inn, Union, Mississippi and eBook GIVEAWAY

Pam Hillman
This is Boler’s Inn located in Union, Mississippi. This picture is the earliest known picture of the inn which was a stagecoach relay station in Newton County in the 1840s through the turn of the century. The stagecoach route ran from Montgomery, Alabama to Jackson, Mississippi.

Boler's Inn, circa 1907
In 1834 Wesley Boler received the Land Patent for the land on which the inn is built.

The Choctaw Indians called the area Chanki. White settlers say Chunky. Many streams flow through the area into the Chunky Creek that flows into Chunky River about 40 miles from my home town.

Surveyed in 1832-1833, the old wagon road eventually became known and the Montgomery to Jackson Road, or simply the “Old Jackson Road”. It would become a Post Road and major road west during those early days of westward expansion.

Notable guests during Boler Inn’s heyday were Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson. As could be expected with a building (and an inn at that) over 150 years old, numerous stories, fact mixed with fiction, abound. One of the most interesting is that General William T. Sherman’s wounded payroll clerk buried the Union Army’s payroll there on February 21, 1864 when Sherman quartered his troops in Union overnight. In addition, local legend has it that Sherman didn’t burn Union on his march through the South because of its name.
General Sherman burned the Newton County courthouse on his march to Meridian, so few records of the
time period survive. There is no solid proof what year the existing building was constructed. Some historians point to 1845, while others lean toward 1856.

And as is also the case with such a grand old lady, Boler’s Inn has fulfilled many roles throughout her lifetime: inn, stagecoach and mail stop, newspaper office, private home to inventor F. C. Bradley, and the place where many young ladies took piano lessons from Mrs. Myrtle Stribling in the first half of last century.
This picture is what I remember of Boler’s Inn during most of my life growing up in and around Union. I have traveled past this building thousands (literally!) of times, and yes, I knew part of the history, but until one starts looking at what’s right before their eyes, it’s just another building, isn’t it?

Finally, I’m very happy to report that Boler’s Inn is looking much better these days! In 1995, several citizens in Union banded together and formed the Foundation for the Restoration and Preservation of Boler’s Inn. The State of Mississippi has come alongside the foundation, and the restoration is still underway.

~ ~ ~

Tell us about a historic location in your home town
for a chance to win an eCopy of Claiming Mariah (Kindle or Nook).
Please include email address and specify if you would like to be in the drawing. 
Winner will be posted in the comments on this blog post
no later than June 18th and in the sidebar.

Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of! Claiming Mariah is her second novel.


  1. There is a covered bridge in my town that is called the "Kissing Bridge"... :) I used to love going on drives with my grandparents in that area :)

  2. A house in my small town used to be a part of the underground slave railroad.

    Please include me in the giveaway - thanks!

  3. I love old buildings with a rich history. I'm glad to see the Boler Inn has been restored.

  4. What fun history! It would seem my great-great-great-great-great uncle stopped at Boler's Inn - Jefferson Davis!

    In our town there is a big old mansion that has its claim to fame as once being the largest home built in the town. There was a bit of a competition among the wealthy to see who had the largest, fanciest home, and the doctor won. The home eventually became a restaurant known as the Heritage House, but sadly, it closed and the home has sat crumbling for several years now. It's newest incarnation will be as a wedding chapel, but there will need to be a whole lot of repairs done before that can take place. Sad to see historic buildings crumbling, but hopefully, like Boler's Inn, this one will soon be restored to its former glory!

    1. I forgot to mention that I'd like to be included in the giveaway! :)
      jimmynmatthewsmom [at] netzero [dot] com

  5. Hello all! For some reason, blogger won't let me reply to each comment, so I'm putting comments at the bottom. Sorry about that. Maybe it'll right itself out soon.

    Lisa, covered bridges have always fascinated me, mostly because we don't have any of those in Mississippi. Sounds like you have a lot of fun memories with your grandparents! :)

  6. Oh, Bonnie, that is so cool. Do you know if the house is on the Register of Historical Places? Would definitely be something your town would want to preserve!

  7. Vickie, they are working on it. Last I heard, there were a few structural things that need to be done, but they have to be careful to stay within certain guidelines to keep the building authentic to the time period.

  8. Oh, Bethany, that is SO cool to know that you're kin to Jefferson Davis. Shucks, that almost makes us kinfolk! :)

    And so glad that old house is going to be restored. It's going to be a beauty. Can you imagine getting married in such a place? So romantic!

  9. I loved this post! I really love to see old historical buildings being restored. When there is no choice but to tear one down I get rather sad! I wish we could always have the ability to save our historical buildings. We don't have anything too fascinating where I live, just an old, small, blacksmith building. I wish we did have a huge history here!
    Would love to be in the drawing.
    Susan P
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com

  10. Nearby there is an old stagecoach is represented by just a sign now but nice that it is still seen today.
    would love to win! truckredford(at)gmail(dot)Com

  11. In Carthage, MO we live near the area where the north met the south with markers letting everyone know.

    Would live to win the ebook to read traveling thru Nicaragua doing missions!

  12. Susan, I have a soft spot for any old house or barn I see. Doesn't even have to be historical! Just recently, an old house in our community was destroyed because it was literally falling in. Just so sad to see them go. Even that old blacksmith building would have so much potential. Around here, folks would be using it for wedding receptions and nostalgic photo shoots. :)

  13. Eliza, I never even thought about the fact that Boler's Inn had been a stagecoach stop until I read up on the history. For some reason, Stagecoach stop makes me think of further west, Texas, Wyoming, Montana, not my neck of the woods, Mississippi. But, of course, we would have had stagecoach routes, too.

    Spend a day at your local historical society, or see if there is a book about your area. You will be amazed at what you don't know about your home town. We have a wonderful history of this area called, Newton County Mississippi, A Pictorial History. I enjoy looking through it, reading the captions and thinking about what it was like during the various time periods the book covers.

  14. Melody, do they have a Civil War reenactment in Carthage, MO??? Do tell!!!!

    And good luck on your trip to Nicaragua. Sounds like a fun, but busy trip. Will pray for you and your fellow missionaries to have a safe, productive trip.

  15. That's a fascinating history.56d seeing the changes through the years. We have Fort Halifax era 1756, but only one blockhouse remains, reconstructed after a flood. There is a full fort a few towns away, circa 1754. Love all the colonial history.

  16. The SAN LUIS REY MISSION is just up the road from me. I think it is the second of the Catholic Missions along the El Camino Real. It's beautiful and can be seen from Route 76 and Mission Rd. It is white and has a huge dome tower that can be seen around the area.
    I would like to be in the contest.
    sharon, CA

  17. Carla, having even the blockhouse to remain after all those years is amazing!

    Sharon, I peeked at the San Luis Rey Mission on google images. It's stunning! I'm no expert, but it seems like the adobe buildings built in the dry climates stand the test of time better than wooden structures built in the more humid climates like we have in MS.

  18. I thoroughly enjoyed your history on Boler's Inn! My own family history involves Wesley Boler and the inn at Union! Wesley Boler was married to Eliza Walton until her death and to Nancy Ann Miller. These ladies are both part of my maternal genealogy! Nancy Ann Miller was, in fact, an in-law of Eliza's...having been married previously to James Walton, Eliza's brother! Wesley and Eliza were married during the time of Sherman's trek through Union....

    Thank you for the article on Boler's Inn, it made me remember some great ancestors from long ago!

    Keep me in the loop for the drawing!

  19. Karen, thank you for stopping by and sharing a fe more snippets of Boler Inn's history with us.

    Goodness, I know so many Bolers, Wares, Waltons, and Millers that I'm bound to know half your kin! :)

  20. And the winner of an ebook copy of Claiming Mariah is....

    Sharon, CA

    Congratulations, Sharon!! I'll email you for more information. :)

  21. Pam,
    I grew up there and it is so nice to read this article. Thanks. Having been to a lot of places now and loving history it is great to see this online. I was afraid it would just rot to the ground after all this time. Thanks for the info.
    Have a great day!
    Nora A. Garner

  22. Thank you for this article. I am so glad they didn't let it rot to the ground. America has lost so many old homes/historical places. I am glad they saved Bolers Inn.
    I grew up there and having traveled quite a bit I always think it's sad when old buildings crumble.

    Nora Garner