Dr. Russell Grace Sr. purchased a 500 acre property in Albany for his family in 1935. The site would eventually become Merry Acrews Hotel and subdivision.
In 1953, Merry Acres Inn became one of the very first motels here in Albany and it's still open for business more than 50 years later.
"This house was originally a 500 acre farm, and it had cows and horses on it and they still have the original bell that was the original dinner bell to call everyone so it's really fun history here about the house and the family," said Liz Gray, director of sales and marketing at Merry Acres.
The Inn was originally just 12 rooms and was given its name by the Dr. Grace's wife. She landscaped with pine trees, azaleas and camellias creating acres of very merry flowers.
Merry Acres is now 110 rooms but has stayed a family owned and operated since it was opened. Today it's owned by Bo Henry and Stewart Campbell's families, both Albany natives dedicated to keeping the history and the Albany area connected.
"It's a vital part of the community; you need the heartbeat of the community to have locally owned and operated places," said Gray.
The Inn is currently under a million dollar renovation, keeping with history and the southern charm the original house but adding a modern twist.
"We are putting down hardwood floors, granite countertops, tiles around the mirrors, we've done new light fixtures, new bedding, special custom made bedding for our hotel here from Jameson, it's just been one great experience," said Gray.
Merry Acres Inn is also now an event center and all renovations are expected to be done in January.