The Sandhills had become a popular vacation destination by the early 1900s. In response, the grandson of Pinehurst's original developer purchased 6,000 acres for a hotel and golf complex in Southern Pines. The Pine Needles Inn and Golf Course, a glorious Jacobean Tudor landmark and regional jewel, welcomed its first guests in 1928.
Forced to close in 1931 during the Great Depression, it reopened to the public in 1935, and in 1943 also housed the U.S. Army's Technical Training Command, hosting such notables as the late musical icon Glen Miller.
In 1948 it was sold to the Diocese of Raleigh, NC. On July 1, 1948, only a few months after the purchase, the former resort reopened as St. Joseph of the Pines Hospital, a 75-bed acute care facility. During the first 20 years of operation, St. Joseph of the Pines Hospital served one-third of all hospital admissions in the area. In November 1966, the Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, MA assumed the management of St. Joseph of the Pines and in 1968 extended the facility's work to include home care. As the concept of continuing care changed throughout the country, our organization evolved, converting the hospital to a nursing home under the guidance and support of the Sisters of Providence. The Inn finally became the focal point of classic retirement living at Pine Knoll, and a second community, Belle Meade, was created in the early 1990s in response to growing demand for luxury independent retirement living.
Today, St. Joseph of the Pines is comprised of two residential communities Pine Knoll and Belle Meade, an assisted living home The Coventry, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center The Health Center, affordable housing for seniors Providence Place, and a primary care physician’s office The Neese Clinic. St. Joseph of the Pines is a part of Catholic Health East, a multi-institutional, Catholic health system with facilities in 11 eastern states from Maine to Florida.