Having chosen Asheville, N.C. as our new home we set about looking at bed and breakfasts in our area. We made appointments with some of the inns we knew to be available. One in Weaverville and a few in Asheville that our real estate contact had mentioned being for sale. He was not with us as we made our sojourn through the city we would later call home.
I have always had a love of all things old. I can hear my husband laughing when I say that. Not really sure what is behind that for me. Suffice to say that my Mom, always a lover of home, hearth, furnishings and all the elements that go in to the art of homemaking gloried in that pursuit and had real interest in it. She would carefully explain the wood a piece of furniture was comprised of and proceed to dissect each and every element of the piece down to its construction, ease of use, finish, period, style and the like. Often in these discussions, my thoughts lent themselves to the more personal aspects of the piece in question. Who had owned this piece of furniture? For what purpose had they purchased it and for whom? Was it a family piece? What treasures had this dresser held for its owner and the like. I transferred these same queries to homes I’ve explored over the years, ripe with curiosity about the lives, triumphs, disappointments, joys and challenges faced by all its occupants over the years.
On a lovely Autumn day in 1999 we found ourselves driving through the Montford Historic District of the city of Asheville. No one seems to have an answer for the chosen name of Montford but rarely will one find the rich, varied architectural history expressed here; Queen Anne, Victorian, Neoclassical and castle like structures abound. Most of this lovely collection of homes were constructed between 1890-1920 by the middle class and many decades later quickly selected as prime retirement homes for lawyers, doctors and business men dedicated to the loving rehabilitation of their former glory. All this in an effort to preserve the history of these grand old dames the likes of which will never be built again.
Back to the story folks, because heaven knows, you can’t make this stuff up. We are on Cumberland Avenue, clearly lost when we note this young man pulling his garbage cans down to the road. As we cruise by, I roll down the window and say,
“Excuse me, we’ve been told there are a few bed and breakfasts in the area for sale. You wouldn’t know which ones they are would you?” He said, “Well, I can show you one right now. Pull up the driveway and park in the back. Walk up to the house and I’ll show you this one.” Eight months later, we owned At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn and our bright new journey began.