Pinehurst Village Hall is located at 395 Magnolia Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374; phone: 910-295-1900.
Pinehurst is located in the "Sandhills" area of North Carolina. Due to the low fertility of the soil, this area was sparsely inhabited until the arrival of the Raleigh and Augusta Railroad in 1877. This opened up the area for logging and, for the next several decades, large-scale timbering operations were the major economic activity. Most land in this area was cleared of the indigenous pine trees.
In the early 1880s, a gentleman named John T. Patrick (head of the North Carolina Department of Immigration) began assembling property in this area to attract new residents. He was instrumental in the establishment of Southern Pines and Pinebluff and the marketing of the entire area. Then, in the spring of 1895, a Boston businessman named James Walker Tufts visited and decided that this area was appropriate for establishing a health-oriented resort he had been considering. Mr. Tufts met with a local timber operator and made arrangements to purchase about 600 acres of land.
Mr. Tufts wanted a "first rate" plan for his new resort and contacted a land planning firm in Brookline, Massachusetts to prepare it. The firm he selected was headed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park in New York and the landscape designer of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Olmsted is widely recognized as the forefather of landscape design in the United States and a pioneer in the concepts of city planning.
Construction of the resort began in the summer of 1895 and proceeded quickly. Buildings for the new resort were designed in a New England village style by Taylor, Kendall & Stevens, a respected Boston architectural firm. Seeking a name for his venture, Tufts remembered a contest for a new community in Martha's Vineyard where he had a summer home. After reviewing the non-winning entries, he noticed the name "Pinehurst" and obtained permission to use the name.
Marketing materials were sent out and, with the opening of The Holly Inn on December 31, 1895, the resort was on its way. Over the next 18 months, Mr. Tufts added another 6,000 acres or so to his holdings and established an electric trolley line from Southern Pines to Pinehurst. He invested heavily in plantings to overcome the barren surroundings.
This planting effort was overseen by Warren Manning, a former Olmsted employee, who directed the planting of over 200,000 trees and shrubs along both sides of streets, around buildings, and in open places to enhance the overall ambience of the community. Mr. Manning promoted an informal and naturalistic approach which was based on his theories of spatial structure and character. Based on his work in Pinehurst and elsewhere, Mr. Manning is recognized as an influential American landscape designer.
By the time Mr. Tufts died in 1902, the Carolina Hotel was the largest wood-frame hotel in the South, the now-famous Donald Ross had been hired as the golf professional for the resort, and the reputation of Pinehurst as a haven for golf was becoming well established. In following decades, the Tufts' heirs managed the privately-held resort and it became known as a very special place due to the close relationships between the Tufts family and guests.