Woodlands was built in 1906 by Pennsylvania Railroad baron, Robert W. Parsons. Parsons bought 100 acres of land just outside Summerville and constructed his family’s winter home. The Parsons family sold the property in 1939 to Alan White, a respected botanist and internationally known chess expert.
During World War II, Mr. White felt it was his patriotic duty to entertain servicemen with extremely lavish parties on his estate. Debutantes were invited to these well chaperoned events to engage in tennis, dancing and singing, and even roller-skating through the halls and rooms of the mansion.
Upon Mr. White’s death, the property was bequeathed to Mrs. Ruth Gadsden. She lived in the house until her death. In 1993, the property was sold to Joe Whitmore of Martha’s Vineyard. The house underwent 18 months of restoration and reconstruction. In May 1995, Woodlands Resort and Inn opened to the public as a luxury Inn and Restaurant.
In June 2005 Sheila C. Johnson, CEO of Salamander Hospitality purchased the resort and related recreational facilities for Salamander Resort’s. The Inn and Restaurant had achieved six successive years of AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star ratings for both its accommodations and dining, delivering the finest luxury experience in the region.
But in 2010 Salamander Resort’s sold Woodlands to Johnny Linton a Charleston attorney. He and his family had great hopes for the Inn and Restaurant but it was not to be. On December 22, 2011 Summerville Inns of Grandeur, LLC, the owner of Woodlands Inn, turned over the resort to its lender via a Deed in lieu of foreclosure. Salamander Resorts once again owned the property.