Standing in the monumental two-story portico of the historic Lookaway Hall in North Augusta, it’s easy to see why Walter Jackson, who co-founded the city with brother James, chose this spot to build his home. Set atop a hill in the center of town, the imposing mansion offers a stunning view across the Savannah River to Augusta, Georgia.
As the story goes, the two brothers cut a deck of cards to determine who would get the premier site. Walter drew the high card and built a magnificent home in the Beaux Arts style of architecture with a frieze festooned with garlands and six stately Ionic columns across its facade.
Not to be outdone, James one-upped his brother, constructing a bigger Beaux Arts-style mansion with a sweeping veranda and eight fluted Corinthian columns stretching across the front of the two-story home. Rosemary Hall, now a historic bed and breakfast, sits on an adjacent property across the street from Lookaway Hall.
Built by the town in the 1890s, Lookaway Hall took two and a half years to complete. Today, it, too, serves as a historic inn with 15 spacious bedrooms, 10 of them in an addition that was built on the back of the house in 1992. The bedrooms in the annex feature beautiful furnishings and private bathrooms. Several of them also have a private, screened-in porch or veranda. The five original bedrooms in the main house feature distinctive fireplaces as well as modern private baths added in later years.
Whether you stay in the main house or annex, you’ll enjoy wireless internet, a 32-inch flat-screen TV equipped with cable service and a light breakfast served each morning in the dining room.
But it’s the property’s historic pedigree that draws most guests to the charming inn. After Walter passed away in 1922, his son, George, inherited the home. Inspired by the song “Dixie,” he named the house “Lookaway” because of its commanding view into Georgia.
It was eventually sold to Henry Mealing, the town doctor. It remained in the Mealing family until 1992 when it was renovated and reopened as an inn. That same year, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
While buildings now block the view of the river, the landmark property still offers an impressive vista of the North Augusta skyline and John C. Calhoun Park, a passive green space directly in front of the inn.
Visitors will also enjoy its convenient location within walking distance of restaurants and shops. And the riverfront district, including SRP Park and Riverside Village, is just a three-minute drive away.