Local News

Developer who bought Colonial Inn decides to sell it

Posted March 25, 2004
Updated November 5, 2008

— An historic landmark is back on the market.

The Colonial Inn opened in 1796. It has been a stop for generals in both the Revolutionary and Civil wars.

Lately, it has been home to controversy, though that chapter may be over.

People pay attention to detail in Hillsborough. They believe in preserving the past. School kids read about their town's history in textbooks.

They know all about the Colonial Inn -- that it was built before the Revolutionary War, that Gen. Sherman stayed at the inn at the end of the Civil War.

Time finally has caught up with the inn. It seems as if the longer it sits, the more rundown it gets.

Chapel Hill businessman Francis Henry bought the place at auction. He told the town he planned to restore and reopen it.

That was two years ago.

Last month, the town sent Henry a letter listing 18 items he needed to repair. He was given 30 days to respond.

Thursday marked 30 days. As the deadline expired at 5 p.m., Henry called the town planning director and told her the inn is for sale.

He is asking for $1.7 million. Whoever buys the property will need a lot more money than that; restoring the inn could take millions of dollars.

When Henry bought the place, he paid $410,000 for it. Hillsborough's planning director said the town will decide on Friday what to do next.

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