Discover one of the finest antebellum industrial buildings in the South. For more than 150 years, the St. James Hotel has overlooked the scenic Alabama River in Selma, Alabama. Known as the Brantley Hotel, The St. James welcomed renowned guests for more than a century. During the Civil War, the Brantley was occupied by Union troops at the Battle of Selma. Due to its concentration of Confederate arsenals and factories, the occupying army burned much of the city. Fortunately, the St. James and other structures on Water Street were spared. Together they form the heart of the revitalized historic district and represent one of the finest collections of antebellum industrial buildings in the South. Following the war, Benjamin Sterling Turner operated the hotel; the first African American ever elected to the United States Congress and is reputed to have hosted the legendary outlaw brothers Frank and Jesse James in 1881. In 1892, the hotel fell upon hard times and ceased operations. The community of Selma galvanized to save the beloved landmark and the antebellum gem was restored in 1997 by a group of prominent investors and local citizens, many of whom have rooms and suites named in their honor.