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Clay Faulkner -- owner of Faulkner Springs Hotel

As General Manager of Falcon Rest Victorian mansion, I'm pleased to see this photo of the Faulkner Springs Hotel. The hotel was across the road from Falcon Rest outside of McMinnville, Tenn. Called "Tennessee's Biltmore" by PBS, the mansion is open to the public for historical tours.

The hotel building was originally Clay Faulkner's Mountain City Woolen Mill, where he manufactured Gorilla Pants -- "so strong even a gorilla couldn't tear them apart." He built the mansion across the road from the mill in 1896. Around that time, he discovered mineral water on the mill property which he credited with curing his kidney ailment. By 1906, he decided to change careers. He remodeled the mill building and reopened it as the Faulkner Springs Hotel, "an ideal health and pleasure resort."

There was a skating rink on the first floor of the wing to the right in the picture, a dining room in the wing to the left, and 20-odd guest rooms upstairs. The adjoing lake was lit by electricity to accommodate recreational rowboats and fishing after dark.

For more information, see Falcon Rest's National Register application at

We have not seen this particular view before and would love to have a high-resolution copy of the picture for our museum. If "Not a Relative" would be willing to share, I can be contacted through the Falcon Rest web site.


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