Purefoy Hotel’s Famous Pecan Pie, The Hotel Was An Alabama Landmark.


The Purefoy Hotel located in Talladega, AL was known for its true Southern food and hospitality.  Owner of the hotel Eva Brunson Purefoy.  I am fortunate enough to own a 1941 cookbook.

In the front cover of the book it list a menu of the Purefoy. It also shows a picture that was featured in Life Magazine of “Purefoy’s groaning board undergoes nightly attack of guest who will rise also groaning.” You could not see the tablecloth on the very long dining room table. It was covered with dishes of food. Miss Eva was going to make sure her guest were well fed. Word spread about the food and hospitality and people came for miles and even other states to eat at the Purefoy. The typical menu consisted of 40 entrees served buffet style.

The hotel originally began in 1916 in the little town of Monroeville, AL.  Almost everyone has heard of Truman Copote and Nell Harper Lee who wrote To Kill A Mockingbird. They were from Monroeville. The original hotel in Monroeville was so popular that they needed to expand but that was impossible so they began to look for a new location. Talladega, AL was chosen. May 17, 1920 was the beginning.

The dinners were so popular they even had to turn away guests. The cookbook I have says “No wonder, where could you dine on 30 different Southern dishes for $1.65 and $2.10 on the people who were not staying there.” It was said that one supper as we call it here in the South would put on at least 5 lbs on a guest.

The hotel in Talladega had 88 rooms. In order for them to serve three meals a day there had to be a staff of 27. One Easter alone 525 people sat down to eat probably the best meal of their life.

One of the foods that they were known for was the wonderful pecan pie.

Here is the recipe.

A Most Delicious Pecan Pie

4 large eggs

3/4 cup of sugar

1 1/4 cups white Karo Syrup

2 cups pecans

3/4 stck of creamery butter

Melt butter in an iron skillet until light brown, add sugar, add eggs, one at a time, beating seperately, add Karo, and pecans and pour on a unbaked crust and bake in moderate oven about 375 degrees about 30 to 35 minutes until brown and firm.

The hotel was torn down years ago. It is sad we now are missing these pieces of history.

This entry was posted in Cooking With Sadie, Main, Recipes, Travel Pictures. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Purefoy Hotel’s Famous Pecan Pie, The Hotel Was An Alabama Landmark.

  1. Mary says:

    YUM!!!! That sounds delicious!
    Mary´s last blog post ..One Week Down ALREADY

  2. Cathy T. says:

    Wow, I am a big fan of “To kill a Mockingbird” & Harper Lee. My G’pa was a southener & liked his Pecan Pie, not sure if G’ma made an authentic “Southern Pecan Pie”. I’ll have to give this a whirl. Thanks for sharing this history, as well as the photo. Brings back sweet memories. CT

  3. Sandra Houston says:

    I am looking for the Purefoy hotel cook books. please help me…

  4. Sandra Houston says:

    I am looking for Purefoy Hotel cook books please help me…

  5. julie love says:

    My family law firm is located in the Purefoy Annex that still stands across the street. You can purchase recent re-prints of the cookbook at most gift shops in Talladega. I would try Griffin’s Jewelers or Townsend’s Antiques. Good luck and enjoy!

  6. Sandra Houston says:

    Oh Thank you so very much. That is so sweet of you to reply. I will do it the first thing in the morning.

  7. Saul Wollman says:

    When I was in the Army, I was stationed in Southeast Alabama. We would go often to Talladega, for dinner. What a dinner it was. Salesmen would flock there from everywhere. I still have the cookbook, minus the front cover. It is the 1953 edition of the 1941 cook book. We still use the cleaning hints. It was and still is the best food ever. My favorite was the Escalloped Oysters.

  8. Rhonda Purefoy says:

    I love this, my Aunt Irene was doing some research on the family tree and found this information on the Hotel. Aunt Irene purchased cookbooks for all the brother and sisters, I was forunate to end up with one. I can’t imagine putting a spread out like Eva did daily with so many different food items for the guest to enjoy.
    I am sure it took hours to prepare and it looked beautiful on the table which gave it a family gathering feeling, everyone enjoying the food and each other. I am so happy that my Aunt found this information and to have a cookbook. What I find interesting is that being in the restaurant business must run in the family, my father and both his brothers either owned a restaurant or worked as a chef. My Dad was known for his chile. Neighbors would ask my Dad to make a pot, which he would. He would share the chile with the neighbors and enjoyed the company of them, just like back in the day as when Eva ran her Hotel. I am proud to be a Purefoy even though I am not known for any delicious dishes.

  9. Ken Foote says:

    This is so cool!! Wonderful part of Alabama history!