York House

Also known as: York House, Gibson-York House
416 York House Rd., Rabun Gap, Georgia


Photo taken by pam phillips in September 2015




The York House is Georgia's oldest continuously operating Inn, and the oldest continuing business in Rabun County, Georgia. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRIS item is 82002459 and the property was published 09/09/1982). In the Rabun County area after the Civil War, farming was the industry of the county with only a grist mill and some scattered sawmills. Hiram Gibson deeded 40 of his 1,077 (175 improved as of 1880) acres near the Little Tennessee River to his grand- daughter, Mollie, “Little Mama” (Mollie Gibson York-13 Feb 1859-03 Sep 1946) in 1873. She and her Civil War veteran husband William T. York, “Papa Bill” (1850- 05 April 1929) eventually grew the farm to approximately 400 acres. The Inn began operating in 1896 in the two-story farmhouse, and the addition to the original structure was completed in 1907. As late as 1981 original wiring from a Delco system of 1907 were still in use. It appears that the Inn maintained as many as twenty six rooms and several indoor bathrooms by the end of the original owners' management.

The farmhouse itself dates to 1846 and was constructed from Chestnut logs, then covered with pine plank siding. The logs are unique as American Chestnut trees were killed off in a blight in the 1920s. Chestnut beams and the original dove-tailed log construction can be viewed in the gifts area and in the former slaves quarters, now refurbished, on the lower level. In this area of Georgia, farming was the primary goal, with the York farm producing barley, corn and rye. The York House continued passing from mother to daughter until 1979.


National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 9, 1982
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Victorian
Areas of significance
Landscape Architecture; Commerce; Transportation; Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Hotel; Single dwelling
Current functions
Single dwelling; Hotel; Business
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874
Significant years
1851; 1896; 1907
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 1


19th Century (37,171)
Built 1851 (242)
Built during 1850s (4,629)
Georgia (3,063)
Granite (5,090)
Hotel (2,521)
Mountain City, Georgia (1)
Private owner (54,396)
Rabun County, Georgia (27)