Orton Pool Room
Orton Pool Room Page
Orton Pool Room
America's Oldest Pool Hall

Posted January 2022

Orton's Pool Room

On any pool players bucket list, Orton Billiard and Pool Rooms in Wilmington, North Carolina. This is the nation's oldest pool hall, established in 1888. The building was the Orton Hotel, it burned down in 1949, but the basement with the laundry, pool hall, and the barber shop were the only areas untouched. Don't be fooled by it's age, they have a lot of regulars and young professionals who play here.

Fun Fact: In 1953, Mosconi set a world record here for pocketing 365 balls!


Orton Pool Room on Google Maps
Orton's Pool Room is in Wilmington, North Carolina

Forum Post by Doodysquat:
Recently returned from a trip to Wilmington, NC where I visited Ortons Pool Room. They claim to be "America's Oldest Pool Room". It is located on Front Street in downtown Wilmington right on the boardwalk. You would hardly know it is there except for the sign above a single door leading to the basement where the Orton Hotel stood...built in 1888. The Hotel burned to the ground back in the '40's, but the basement pool room is there still. Tons of local stories about it being haunted including people who have taken pictures with shadowy pictures in the background. I took several pics, but no apparitions!

Neat place, but time changes everything and it has become a bit of a dive, with tons of college kids and live music several nights played on a stage built back at the end of the room. Its a piece if pool history that is worth a visit!


Orton Billiard and Pool Room 1888
Orton Billiard and Pool Room
Architect, J. A. Wood of New York
Basement is the only surviving section of the Orton Hotel which was built in 1886 for Col. Kenneth Murchison (1831-1906). Billiard and pool rooms, steam laundry, bakery, and bar room installed during the 1888 enlargement by W. A Bryan, proprietor. After hotel burned in 1949, pool room continued to operate. On November 13, 1953, pocket billiards champion Willie Mosconi set a new world's record by pocketing 365 balls.

Historic Wilmington Foundation, Inc.

Americas Oldest Pool Hall
America's Oldest Pool Hall

Orton Pool Room Established 1888
Established 1888

Orton Pool Room Diamond Tables
Diamond Tables

Orton Cigar Store Pocket Billiards
Orton Cigar Store Pocket Billiards
Look at that old phone number! RO was the two letters that identified the telephone exchange nearest to Wilmington and then the five digits were for Orton's

1924 Poster of 11 year old boy wonder Willie Mosconi
1924 Poster about 11 year old Willie Mosconi

Mosconi High Run of 365
Mosconi's 365 Ball Run
World's pocket billiard record run of 365 Balls Established on this table by Willie Mosconi - November 13, 1953

Orton Pool Room Mosconi 365

Mosconi High Run Pockets
The High Run Table
Mosconi High Run Brunswick Table

Mosconi High Run Rack Balls Beads
High Run Rack, Balls, Beads

Straight Pool
Highest Runs
Only the 356 run was at Orton's
November 13, 1953Willie Mosconi365
March 19, 1954Willie Mosconi526
May 27, 2019John Schmidt626
January 18, 2022Jayson Shaw714

Orton Pool Room Poster of Lifted Skirt
Poster of a ghost lifting a player's skirt?


Orton Pool Room Haunting:
The Orton Pool Room is the only remaining structure from the Orton Hotel, which was Wilmington's first five-star hotel. The Orton was built in 1886 and burned to the ground in 1949 leaving only the basement. Making it the oldest continually operated billiards parlor in America. The only victim of the tragic fire is still there, playing pool and having a good time with patrons. Make sure you say Hi to Willie when you get there.


133 North Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Orton Pool Room