When you drive through the tree-lined streets of historic Montford and walk up the steps to our bed and breakfast, you’re stepping into a piece of Asheville’s centuries-long heritage.
1900 Inn on Montford is a special place — one where bits of history live on. In the rooms and on the walls, there are treasures from times past. And getting to talk about the little gems of our inn is one of our favorite things to do!
But instead of us just sharing stories, we want you to see and experience them for yourself, so we’ve put together what we like to call “a little historic scavenger hunt.” Below, you’ll find a list of treasures to look for during your next visit.
Carriage House Doorbells
Behind our inn is another building you’ll see just across the gravel circle, known as the Carriage House. Today, this private building is home to two of our luxurious rooms, the Rossetti and William Morris, and our lavish 1,300 square foot suite, the Cloisters. But in its infancy, the Carriage House was quite literally — a house for horses and carriages.
Shawnie, being the inquisitive historian that she is, looked up the design plans for the Inn on Montford and found a little insight into the life and inner workings of the Carriage House.
According to Richard Sharp Smith’s architectural plans, the Carriage House, in its early days, held four horses and two carriages to transport the owner, Dr. Charles Jordan, guests, and other members of the house.
When you visit our inn, you can still find two carriage house doorbells in the main house. One is located in the foyer and the other is in the sun room — the original waiting room for Dr. Jordan’s patients. The bells were used by the house staff to signal the carriage boy to come pick up individuals and take them to their desired destinations.
So, the next time you walk through the foyer or enjoy a hot cup of coffee and nibble on one of Shawnie’s yummy cookies in the sun room, be sure to look for the Carriage House bells.
On this part of our adventure, we have to take a moment to give some background on one of the pivotal figures behind the creation of the Inn on Montford — Mr. Richard Sharp Smith.
English-born Smith, a mustachioed man with a penchant for bowler hats, served as the supervising architect for the construction of the Biltmore estate and, interestingly enough, also was the key architect for the Inn on Montford. How’s that for a fun history lesson?
Because of his link to the Biltmore, the inn is outfitted with sconces hailing from the grand estate. There are eight in the dining room and two in the foyer.
We’re not exactly sure what the true story is behind how the sconces came to reside at the inn, but we have our theories. If you’re curious, ask Willy to tell his version of the story.
There’s something so charming and cozy about a fireplace, and that is certainly the case here. We have many throughout our inn, but the one in the corner of the house on the main floor happens to be an original too! Take a minute to marvel at it when you walk through the main level of the house on your way to breakfast or during cocktail hour.
You’ll also find that the original fireplace, along with a few others, have double mantels on them. In the 1900’s, double-mantel fireplaces were seen as being more high end and a staple of wealth.
Rich Hardwood Flooring
Now this historic treasure isn’t hard to spot, but we feel it’s important to mention nonetheless.
We’re very proud to still have the original hardwood flooring on the main level of the house. We think it adds a special touch to our inn, and we love knowing we’ve preserved a piece of its history.
Since we’ve covered a few interesting finds on the main floor of the house, let’s move to the upstairs.
You’ll see radiators present in each of the bedrooms. At first glance, you may think these are just decorative pieces used to enhance the overall bed and breakfast experience, but what you might not know is that these radiators are actually authentic to the inn.
They have been painted and dressed up a bit since their early days, but they are completely operable, and offer warmth for our guests when Old Man Winter comes to town.
Antique Medicine Cabinet
Throughout the house there are subtle reminders of the inn’s beginning.
The library for example, used to be Dr. Charles’ office with bookcases that were filled top to bottom with all of his medical books.
But perhaps our favorite historic token of them all is upstairs in the O’Henry room. In the bathroom, you’ll find an old medicine cabinet that was used by Dr. Charles himself. If you peek behind the shower curtain, you’ll see it. And we’ll let you in on a little secret… shh! This bathroom is undergoing some renovations in the near future, and the medicine cabinet will be in use for guests. But you’ll have to come back to see it in action!
Your Next Visit
We hope you enjoyed this walk back in time with us and look forward to seeing some of our historic treasures during your next visit.
Ready to plan your next trip to Asheville? Book your reservation here.