As the turn-of-the-century brought the next generation of restless, progressive entrepreneurs leaving their homes in the Midwest to carve out a new home, the population centered on Laurel where the sawmills saw blacks and whites working side-by-side, a growing middle class of merchants arise, Mississippi’s first museum built and the first public school for African-American children established.
Constructed in 1914, the Hotel Pinehurst was owned and operated by T.B. Horton until 1939. The hotel included over 100 rooms, a grand lobby and entranceway, and a number of dining rooms, offices, and stores. The Arabian Theater was added in 1924. This hotel was among the first in Mississippi to offer air conditioned rooms. The Hotel Pinehurst was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 and demolished in 1988. Pinehurst Park was built where the hotel once stood.