Clio Logo

The Mary Phifer McKenzie House, now the Sweetwater Branch Inn, was built in 1895 by lawyer John Lamberth. Designed in the Queen Anne style, which was very popular in the country at the time, the house is one of the better examples of this style in the city. The inn also includes the historic Cushman-Colson House, guest cottages, gardens, and a restaurant called The Sweet Tea Restaurant. The Mckenzie House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.


  • The Sweetwater Branch Inn consists of two historic homes, the  Mary Phifer McKenzie House and the Cushman-Colson House, and a number of cottages.
Several prominent Gainesville families lived in the house. One of the last people to reside here was Mary Phifer McKenzie (for whom the house is named), who died in 1975. A few years later it was sold to Juan and Giovanna Holbrook, who restored the house with the intent to rent it out. They were not able to consistently find tenants, so in 1982 they decided to move in. In 1992, Giovanna's daughter Cornelia (and Sweetwater Branch Inn owner) renovated the adjacent Cushman-Colson House and opened the inn. After Giovanna moved out of the McKenzie House in 1998, Cornelia converted it into additional inn space. 
Deibler, Dan. "McKenzie, Mary Phifer House," National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places. April 26, 1982. http://focus.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/NRHP/Text/82002370.pdf.

"Our Story." Sweetwater Inn. Accessed August 26, 2018. https://sweetwaterinn.com/our-story.
0