When John Snook bought the historic Hotel Magnolia in 1967, all of the original furniture and other items came with it. Most of those items have spent almost 50 years in storage or were displayed at the hotel, but now, anyone can own a piece of …
When John Snook bought the historic Hotel Magnolia in 1967, all of the original furniture and other items came with it. Most of those items have spent almost 50 years in storage or were displayed at the hotel, but now, anyone can own a piece of Baldwin County's historic hotel.
John's wife Marjorie, who renovated and reopened the hotel in 2005, closed the hotel in December 2012 and is now auctioning off most of its contents. The building is also for sale.
“I hate to part with it, but I want to take care of a lot of things before something happens to me,” says Marjorie, who is 78. “I don't have to sell anything, but I want to do that so someone else won't have the problems of getting rid of all my things.”
There will be several auctions, the first being in Pensacola at Garth's Auction Gallery July 12. This auction will feature the items that were in the hotel when it was bought by John Snook — two 25-foot truckloads of items, says Winston Garth of Garth's Auction Gallery.
“It's such a rare piece of Baldwin County history,” Winston says. “We've been in business almost 50 years, and this is only the second time in those 50 years we have had a significant sale like this.”
Robert Garth, Winston's son, says many of the items in the sale will be remembered by anyone who stayed at the original hotel.
“We have the hall tree — that's where you would take your boots off at the front door,” Robert says. “A lot of the older people who remember the old hotel will remember that.”
The Garths also have military pieces that John Snook owned.
“We have a lot of the training rifles that were used to train civilians in case Baldwin County was invaded during WWII,” Robert says. The sale will also include wardrobes, clocks and china cabinets.
Snook says unless she finds a buyer who wants the building with its current furniture included, she wants to have another auction at her farm on County Road 55 in Foley in September to sell personal items, like her husband's grandparents' bedroom suit, which is currently in the hotel.
She hopes whoever buys the building and each of the antiques will understand how passionate she has been about Hotel Magnolia and its contents.
When Marjorie was a little girl, she says she dreamed of owning the hotel one day so she could rock on its porch. Of course, owning the hotel turned out to be a lot more work than just rocking — but she enjoyed renovating it and is proud of its landmark status in Foley.
“I just really care for it,” she says. “I just hope someone takes good care of it. I hope they put the love in it that I have.”
Hotel Magnolia's beginnings
John Burton Foley built the hotel in 1908 for potential land buyers who came to look at the area. It was bought and renovated by John Snook in 1967. However, it sat empty from 1975 until 2005, when Marjorie Snook finished a complete renovation and reopened the hotel to the public. It operated as a modern inn until December 2012, when Marjorie made the decision to close the hotel and put it up for sale. She is now auctioning off the original furniture and will have another auction to sell the current contents of the hotel.
About the Auction
WHAT: Selling original contents of Hotel Magnolia
WHEN: July 12, 5 p.m.
WHERE: Garth's Auction Gallery, 3930 Navy Blvd., Pensacola
ITEMS: Wardrobes, hall trees, clocks, bookcases, desks, tables, mirrors, china cabinets, military items, nautical items. Photos of items available at GarthsAuction.com.