More To The Story with Staley: Read House Anniversary

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – It is still the longest continuously operating hotel in the Southeast. It’s recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. It’s The Read House.

A slice of “Americana” filled with history. For example, all kinds of old mechanical devices. Pictures, etc, etc.

And it’s a really special place this year. A milestone year. For you see, it’s the sesquicentennial anniversary!! Yes kids, the Read House is 150 years old!!

“Yessir! 150 years ago. That’s a might long time. Back in 1872, Samuel Read built The Read House. Most businesses have a shelf life, if you will. Not The Read House. So one might ask…..why??”

JIM BAMBREY, GENERAL MANAGER;
“I think it was welcomed when it was built. The Read’s went out to the community, and the community simply bought into the hotel. It’s been through wars, pandemics and floods. It’s stood the test of time.”


READ MORE: News 12 Explores the history of the Read House


The Read House has essentially grown up with Chattanooga. It’s been open every single day, with the same name, since January of 1872.

It’s history is staggering. So many famous and infamous people have stayed here. Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, Bob Hope, Doris Day, Elvis…….even old Scarface. Yup, Al Capone stayed here, when he was on federal trial back in the 1930’s.

He stayed in Room 311. Aaah……..311. The mystery, the legend, the ghost haunting of 311.

No one’s really sure what the true story is. The most popular one is that Annaleise Netherly was murdered in 311. And that some guy took a sharp knife and gave her neck the ol’ 1-2…….zzzzzzzz……and the haunting began. Strange occurences going down ever since in 311. Men seemingly are the apparent target

TYLER LOGUE, READ HOUSE HISTORIAN;
“Especially to male guests. Sometime they don’t even finish their stay there. They’ll ask for another room. And we say ‘OK, we can move you.’ And they say ‘no,,,,,I want another room in another hotel.’ She’s not a big fan of men.”

JIM BAMBREY, GENERAL MANAGER;
“When we renovated, we removed the old doors and floors. We could not get the door off the hinges on 311. We had to saw it open to get in. So that was unique. I don’t want to be in it. I’m not sleeping in it.”

Haunted or not, a number of in-house events will be held this year, as the “grande dame” of Chattanooga celebrates birthday number 150.
Dave Staley, News 12 Now

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, More To The Story With Staley

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