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The Read House Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Guests invited to submit personal mementos to be enclosed on New Year’s Eve CHATTANOOGA, TENN. – The Read House, owned and operated by Avocet Ho...

Guests invited to submit personal mementos to be enclosed on New Year’s Eve

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. – The Read House, owned and operated by Avocet Hospitality, honored its 150th Anniversary on Tuesday with a celebration in the hotel’s historic Green Room. A total of 100 attendees included the Honorable Mayor of Chattanooga Tim Kelly, the Honorable Mayor of Hamilton County Jim Coppinger, descendants of The Read House founder Sam Read and community members from local businesses and organizations. The event featured remarks on behalf of the City of Chattanooga, J.W. Kelly, the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and Avocet Hospitality alongside insight from local historian Tyler Logue. Special commemorative elements celebrating 150 years of history and success showcased how the hotel plans to continue honoring the milestone for the remainder of the year.

“This year has been an exciting one for The Read House so far, but we’re just getting started. This event provided the opportunity for us to celebrate with friends and family of the hotel who are just as excited as we are to see this piece of Chattanooga history reach such an incredible milestone,” says Jim Bambrey, General Manager of The Read House. “I know I can speak for my team and Avocet Hospitality when I say how honored I am to be a part of this, while also partnering with community members such as J.W. Kelly and UTC to make this celebration a memorable one.”

In honor of the milestone, The City of Chattanooga officially proclaimed June 14, 2022 – Sam Read’s birthday – The Read House Day. This recognition will be displayed in the hotel for years to come, as well as placed in the time capsule as one of the mementos to mark the occasion. That time capsule was thoughtfully chosen to be in the form of a mini whiskey barrel, which honors the historic relationship between the hotel and J.W. Kelly. As a previous owner of what is now the Bar & Billiards Room and the maker of the single-barrel whiskey created in honor of the anniversary, J.W. Kelly plays more than one role in the hotel’s storied past – and present. The time capsule will be filled with meaningful documents, photos and hotel assets from community members, past guests, hotel staff, and more. In collaboration with the history department at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, the hotel will work with history students to collect each of these items through the end of the calendar year to create a digital catalog that will live in this historical time capsule for The Read House to open 50 years from now.

Guests are encouraged to submit meaningful items from their own Read House history to be included in a digital catalog stored in the time capsule. Suggested items for inclusion include photographs, old room keys, dinner receipts or napkins, wedding invitations, or room reservations. The Read House and UTC welcome those guests to also share their stories along with the items that will be photographed, cataloged and returned to the owner.

“It’s great to have our students involved in a historical project like this time capsule. It allows them to hone in on their skills professionally, while also making a mark in their own community,” said Dr. Kelli Nelson, History Professor at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. “Hopefully the students will be able to visit in 50 years when the time capsule is opened and be a part of the history they helped to document.”

Digital submissions can be emailed to with the subject line “Read House Time Capsule” and the following information:

  • Owner’s contact information
  • Description of item
  • Time period of the item
  • How the item was obtained
  • Story of the item
  • Attached photograph of the item

Guests can also submit their items for the catalog in-person at The Read House, beginning on Wednesday, June 29 from 4 to 6 p.m. then on the third Wednesday of each month from July through November between 4 to 6 p.m. Once all items are collected and documented, the hotel will host a closing ceremony as part of its annual New Year’s Eve Party.

About The Read House

Originally built in 1872 and renovated in 2018, The Read House is a premier historic hotel located in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. Proudly operated by Avocet Hospitality, the 241-room hotel is the longest continuously operating hotel in the Southeast, celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2022. The 1920s-inspired gem features Jazz-era interiors with modern tastes and offers accommodation options of a tower room, manor room or penthouse. Dashing event and meeting spaces, plus upscale dining destinations, provide an elevated guest experience. The Read House is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places and has received accolades from Condé Nast Traveler, USA Today, TripAdvisor and ConventionSouth, among others. The hotel has also been featured in Forbes and Garden & Gun. To learn more about the hotel, visit and follow The Read House on Facebook and Instagram.

About Avocet Hospitality

Avocet Hospitality specializes in developing and operating independent hotels and restaurants. The Charleston-based company owns and operates a collection of Charleston, SC area hotels consisting of The Vendue and Tides Folly Beach, along with several Charleston area restaurants including Revival, The Rooftop, BLU Beach Bar & Grill, and Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar. Additionally, Avocet Hospitality owns and operates The Read House Hotel and Bridgeman’s Chophouse, both located in downtown Chattanooga, TN. The company most recently partnered with Shepherd Hotels to launch the first Shepherd Hotel in Clemson, SC. To learn more about Avocet Hospitality, visit

Avocet Hospitality is a member of BLLA – view their listing here!

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