Around the turn of the century, many North Carolinians vacationed at one of several hotels built near mineral springs in the sandhills. Constructed in 1850, Ellerbe Springs Hotel, now Ellerbe Springs Restaurant, is the only hotel still in operation. Built by a South Carolina plantation owner, the hotel was sold to T. C. Leak after the Civil War. During World War II, the building was leased to the U.S. Government to train women in communications, and was visited by Eleanor Roosevelt. Currently, Harris M. McRae and Robert A. Henderson own the hotel and run a successful restaurant out of it.