Tourism has been an important part of this area’s economy since boats started to set anchor in Charleston Harbor. This did not go unnoticed to the entrepreneurs in St. Andrew’s Parish; especially after the bridge connection was reestablished with the peninsula of Charleston post Civil War. Roadside Inns, guest homes, small motor courts and cabins were popular along Savannah Highway.

Accommodating travelers and tourists had developed into yet another business opportunity for the Parish. In addition to these early tourists, there were traveling salesmen, or men who were here on business for long periods of time. Sometimes their families might accompany them on the business trips and the guest homes were inviting and affordable.

One early guest home was Stocker Manor built in 1923 by Jack W. Simmons, the son of James S. Simmons, according to a 1947 article that ran in The News and Courier. However this date must be incorrect because a 1934 article from The News and Courier about the sale of Stocker Manor states that the house was built “a year and a half ago.”

This June 15, 1934 article states that Stocker Manor, a two-story, 14 room brick building designed and built by the subdivision development company “has been used to accommodate tourists”, sold for $10,000 to John W. and Dorothy E. Richardson. The subdivision was Windermere. It was Simmons’ first and very successful real estate development venture. He passed away in 1933 after a brief illness and his three sons: Ralph B. Simmons, James S Simmons and Jack W. Simmons handled the affairs of his estate.

The names of some other early lodging establishments in St. Andrew’s Parish include:

Clementia Cabins located around the Red Top area, Blitch’s Cabins also in the Red Top Area, and Old Towne Motor Court located where Pep Boys is located today on Savannah Highway.

By 1951 the West Ashley section of the Charleston City Directory listed the following guest homes or other lodging establishments along Savannah Highway:

#55 Bootle’s Guest Home, Philip L. Bootle

#59 Wilmar Guest House, W. Austin Muckenfuss

#69 Sires Home Place Guests, LeRoy A. Sires

#71 The Vagabond Guest Home, John C. Beckman

#75 McCay’s Guest Home, Mrs. Lora F. McCay

#79 Boyd’s Tourist Home, Nathl B. Boyd

#83 Oak Villa Guest Home, Russell C. McNaughton

#122 Kennedy’s Tourist, Robt R. Kennedy

#126 The Ashley Guest Home, Henry A. Kugley, Jr.

#134 Moreland Tourist Home, Mrs. Estella P. Salvo

#198 Jack’s Mtr Court

#200 Azalea Guest Home

#250 Godley’s Tourist Home, Ruben K. Godley

The Lynwood Tourist Home

Green Acres Tourist Home

Oak Forest Mtr Court

Old Town Mtr Court and Coffee Shop, Dan Groves

Wayne Mtr Court and Coffee Shop

Lord Ashley Mtr Court

Pine Villa Guests

(Stocker Manor Tourist Home is listed at 44 Stocker Drive in the 1951 Charleston City Directory)

Fast forward to the 1961 Charleston City Directory and only the following lodging establishments were listed along Savannah Highway:

#55 Bootle’s Guest Home, Miss Lota L Bootle

#69 LeRoy A Sires (no longer listed as a guest house)

#75 McCay’s Guest Home, Mrs. Lora F. McCay

#79 Boyd’s Tourist Home, Nathl B. Boyd

#83 Oak Villa Guest Home, Mrs. Mary G. McNaughton

#544 Reeves Tourist Home, Hoap C. Reeves

#562 Kennedy’s Tourist, Robert R Kennedy

#604 Moreland Tourist Home, Mrs. Estella P. Salvo

In addition the following hotels, motor courts, and motels were listed along Savannah Highway in the 1961 directory: Howard Johnson Mtr Lodges, Old Town Motel, Mount Vernon Motel, Pinecastle Motel, Lord Ashley Mtr Court, Evergreen Motel, Chasn Mtr Court, and The Capri Motel. 

Today many of the Savannah Highway guest homes have shuttered or are occupied by law firms, schools, or other small businesses. The modern day community is struggling with the concept of short-term rentals while continuing a long tradition of accommodating tourists and other visitors to the area.

West Ashley stories? Contact local author and historian Donna Jacobs at

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