James Rutherford Wyly constructed Traveler's Rest in 1815 as an inn for travelers on the historic Unicoi Turnpike. The inn was sold in 1833 to Rutherford's neighbor, Deveraux Jarrett, who expanded the building to its current size of nearly 6,000 square feet. In addition to operating the inn, Jarrett used Traveler's Rest as the headquarters of his 14,400-acre plantation. The property remained in the Jarrett family until 1955 when Elizabeth Jarrett White sold Traveler's Rest to the state.
Due to budget cutbacks, the Department of Natural Resources is only able to open the site once a month. The Friends of Traveler's Rest funds three additional days of operation per month. Limited use and decreased tourism has resulted in decreased revenue and deferred maintenance.
Encourage enhanced partnerships to open the site to the public more often. Advocate for adequate funding for historic sites. Seek grant funding for necessary maintenance and repairs.