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.