Renovation of Hotel Ware, Waycross

waycross ga renovation of hotel ware photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2011

Opened on 21 February 1929, the Hotel Ware contained 110 rooms, all with private baths, which was a luxury at the time. When I was a boy, my father, who worked for CSX (Seaboard Coast Line in those days, and Atlantic Coast Line before that), stayed at this hotel, along with the many other railroad men who worked out of Waycross. I well remember the poor condition of the rooms and the dangerous old elevator, but I also fondly recall the coffee shop with its heavy china and short order cooks. There was a true sense of community in the place, and when I photographed the Ware a little over a year ago, I was so worried that it was bound for the wrecking ball. I am glad that Waycross has chosen to save this iconic structure, which will soon become a residential apartment building.

Downtown Waycross Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


Filed under --WARE COUNTY GA--, Waycross GA

13 responses to “Renovation of Hotel Ware, Waycross

  1. Julia Wingate

    Father in law, Waldo Frederick Wingate Sr retired from CSX also.. Met my mother in law, Betty Oxford in Waycross.. Many family stories…

  2. Carl

    I first saw the Ware Hotel in 1989 When it was still open and was a assisted care Facility. The Cafe was open and had great Breakfast. That building left an impession on me that lasted till today. I would drive by it every time i came through waycross just to see it. I worried for years that it would be forgotten and not be able to be returned to anything. I been to alot of places in my life and can tell you that Waycross downtown is really something special. That place has a Soul all it’s own. The Theaters with their Marquis still intact etc/etc/etc. I drove by the Ware 2/3/2011 and saw the building with it’s new life and it made me Weepy with Emotion. BRAVO WAYCROSS you MADE IT HAPPEN

  3. Frances "Falling Waters" Kay

    I remember so much about our famous “City of the South”. The cross roads to all points on the compass because of the railroads. That’s how we got our name “Waycross”. My neighbor was a waitress in the coffee shop at “The Ware” and I was a curb-hop at the famous “Tuffy”s Drive-In” in the late 50’s. The place to go on a Sunday afternoon for Ice cream cones, Banana Splits and etc…I’ve been alot of places in my 69 years, but there is “No Place Like Home”. And I plan to live in the Hotel when its finished–on the top floor. Wonder if I can see the Okefenokee Swamp Entrance from that Height? Can’t wait to see the finished Ware Hotel from inside my new apartment.!!HaHa, I’m serious.. Frances “Falling Waters” Tillman Kay

  4. Tom Warnock

    My English garanmother lived in the Ware Hotel for about a year in the middle fifties. We lived on a farm in Bacon County that she found too rustic for her likeing. We loved visiting her there & going up & down the elevator & stairs. While she was there she was introduced to the Duke & Duchess of Windsor who always stayed at the Ware overnight on their way to and from Thomasville. It’s certainly good to see the building being renovated. As long as it has been neglected and has not fallen down, it’s pretty obvious that it has strength left in it.

  5. Rose Griffin Page

    My father was also a railroad man. He went to work with CSX/Seaboard Coastline when he was about 19 years old. He retired from the same company. We lived in Hoboken. I currently live in New Mexico. One of the things I have learned after living in New Mexico and Arizona is that the South has a charm and warmth that you do not find anywhere else. I so enjoy the pictures. It makes me homesick and brings back a lot of memories.

  6. Hazel Jackson Montgomery

    I lived t 504 Holly Street in 1942-1943. I entered the first grade there and remember walking down the dirt road to school. Keep up the good work I love it

  7. Erbie James

    Another railroad son, huh? My father retired from Southern Railway, and we rode the rails to South Georgia a couple of times when I was a kid in the early ’60s. I remember changing trains at the Atlanta terminal, and getting off at the station in Jesup. I recognized the old station in Jesup when I saw it again a couple of years ago, although it looks a lot different now. Uncle Willie met us at Jesup and we rode to Glennville in his ’53 Chevrolet with the hole in the back floorboard that I loved to drop pebbles through. He had me read the highway signs for him but I didn’t realize it was for my reading practice, I thought he didn’t know how to read. I recall places in Charlotte, where I grew up, frequented by railway men. They were similar to the description you gave of this hotel. Great food, nothing fancy. The railroad men did indeed have community. They were a brotherhood that cared for each other. I miss them, and those days.

    • Very cool story, especially regarding the hole in the floorboard! I know the Jesup Depot is slated for renovation (it needs it desperately) but don’t know if they’ve begun the process just yet…

  8. Jeeruel HEWITT

    They had a nice Coffee Shop that I spent lots of time with prospective NAVY Recruits when I was the NAVY RECRUITER in Waycross in the early 1960’s.
    My office was in the basement of the U S POST OFFICE which was just across the street from the WARE HOTEL.
    Being a local boy from ALMA, GA. I knew lots of people who could assist me in my duties as a NAVY Recruiter.

    Tucson, AZ.

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