“Most people that were born in this county were either born here or at home, or maybe down behind the courthouse at the other hospital that my dad had, the other Holley Hospital. So it’s seen a lot of action,” said George.
Built in the early 1900s, the home was once a hospital, the first in Escambia County. Later, it became an apartment building where George and her parents live, and where her father, Dr. A. F. Holley, treated patients.
The room where he used to deliver babies is now the Camellia Suite. Across the hall was his office, which is now a chapel, the first room to be renovated for the Bed and Breakfast. George says the almost five-year renovation was a grueling process.
“I sat down on the floor and I just fell apart and I cried and I said, Lord, if you don’t help me, I’m going to die right here, right now,” George said. “I just can’t go another day, and you know, a peace came over me. I don’t wanna cry, but God just picked me up.”
Her faith prompted her to complete the chapel renovation first. Now, the bed and breakfast is a way to carry on her family’s legacy of serving others, much like her mother did when she ran a boarding house for seniors here.
“It was wonderful being here because it was like having a big house full of grandmothers. So it’s been a great place.”
It still is as the intricately decorated guest rooms, suites and grand spaces of the Holley House invite newcomers to create their own memories and celebrate special occasions.
“We want to be a light that shines any way we can,” said George. “And I think when you take care of people, that shows through.”