"Here I got an excellent breakfast of Coffee, ham, chicken, good bread, butter, honey, and plenty of good new milk, for a quarter of a dollar...What a charming country this would be to travel in, if one was sure of meeting with such nice clean quarters once a day!"
— George Featherstonhaugh, 1837
Traveler's Rest was built around 1815 to serve as a wayside inn for travelers on the Unicoi Turnpike, a busy thoroughfare that connected the Tugaloo and Tennessee rivers. James Rutherford Wyly operated the inn until Devereaux Jarrett bought the place in 1833. Jarrett more than doubled the size of the structure and used it not only as an inn but also as a residence and the headquarters of his vast plantation along the Tugaloo River. The home place stayed in the Jarrett family until 1955 when the state of Georgia bought it for $8,000.