Todd House History

The History of The Todd House
The first home cooked meal to send its aroma through The Todd House doors occurred in 1923. The owner and originator, Mrs. Mary Todd, prepared the meals. She had left the turpentine producing community of Pireway to cook and rent rooms in her house to visiting tobacco buyers. She prepared home cooked meals, leaving her cooking pots on the eating tables. As her business increased, she has to close in her back porch to provide rooms for her visitors. She provided rooms for quail hunters in the three-story building and provided pens under her house for their dogs. Salesmen could eat supper, spend the night, and have breakfast the next morning for a total cost of $2.00.
Mrs. Todd died in 1963 and many remember her as a great cook and generous woman who never hesitated to help those in need. Mrs. Todd’s daughter Virginia Smith took over the business and continued the same traditions that her mother had started. A fire destroyed the old building in 1971. The Todd House was rebuilt with the existing large dinning rooms, and fourteen boarding rooms.
Hector and Rachel Lee bought The Todd House on July 1, 1976. Virginia Smith passed away in 1977. The Lee’s continued the established traditions, and added many of their own. Mrs. Lee brought 26 years of great cooking experience as a cafeteria manager of Tabor City High School to The Todd House. She was known for her sweet seasoning of foods, her specialty of homemade Red Velvet Cake, and Sour Cream Pound Cake. She also prepared homemade jellies and relishes, which we continue to make today.
Nelson Lee, the youngest son of Rachel and Hector Lee, returned home to help manage the family business after graduation and working in his field of study from North Carolina State University. He has since Taken over the full operation of the business since the death of Hector Lee in 1988, and the death of Rachel Lee in 2007. Nelson has continued to provide a home cooked buffet daily and added several steam tables to better serve the growing number of customers. He also added the catering service, and has since continued to grow vastly in that area, over the last 30 plus years that he has owned and ran The Todd House.
Through the years The Todd House has served all types of people, from local farmers, townspeople, vacationers and celebrities. Coach Frank McGuire, the former UNC Basketball coach who preceded Dean Smith visited, as well as Drew Barrymore, boxing celebrity Sugar Ray Leonard, Alabama, and other famous politicians, athletes, and several other college coaches. We have also remodeled and expanded things since 2007 when we closed the boarding house and opened up the area for more dining space. The Lee’s are proud to provide a service that is second to none. We will continue to focus on the quality of the meals that we prepare as it has always been since 1923. We would like to thank you for letting us serve, and we hope to keep pleasing our customers in the future.

Today's Menu

Daily Buffet Menu

Sept. 24, 2017


Baked Chicken

Fried Chicken

Baked Ham

Chicken and Pastry


Green Beans

Black Eye Peas

Green Lima Beans


Macaroni and Cheese


Layered Salad

Potato Salad

Seafood Salad

Chicken Salad


Sliced Tomatoes


Lemon Pie

Strawberry Shortcake









































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