Manufacturer: Shenango China
User: The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, NC
Date of service plate: 1951
Notes: The Carolina Inn, 211 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, opened in 1924. It was built by John Sprunt Hill, a UNC alumnus. He gave the Inn to the University to serve as "a cheerful inn for visitors, a town hall for the state and a home for returning sons and daughters of the alma mater." The Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is still owned by UNC and under new management in 2008 by Destination Hotels & Resorts Inc. of Denver, Colo.
The Inn comes in at #9 on a list of Top Haunted Hotels in the United States. Its resident ghost is believed to be that of prankster Dr. William Jacocks, a physician with the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation, who retired to Chapel Hill and lived at the inn from 1948 until his death – not at the inn – in 1965.
Guests who stay in the elegant suite 252 that was once the home of Jacocks often find themselves locked out. At one time, the room's door had to be removed from its hinges because it wouldn't budge. Paranormal researchers have collected video and audio of ghostly happenings in this hotel, including piano notes, softly spoken words, and an orb-like object floating in the air.
As part of a remodeling of the Inn, new china patterns were ordered from Shenango in 1951 for the Hill Room and the Pine Room. This, the service plate, depicts the Inn "within a landscape vignette adapted from a view of the mythical "Tara" in the 1939 motion picture "Gone With the Wind," according to Kenneth Joel Zogry in his definitive book, "The University's Living Room." Zogry adds (with perhaps an unspoken acknowledgement that the liberal university located within a conservative state is always eager to present its traditional roots) that the "romanticized image" might suggest that "traditional" values were cherished at the Carolina Inn and at the University of North Carolina."
More information can be found at the Inn's Web site.
Pastoral green monotone of the Inn set among trees and landscaping on white coupe plate with metallic gold line at edge.
Carolina Inn 2 by Shenango