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Young's Hotel

Young's Hotel, circa 1900.Young's Hotel was located in Bakersville, across from the current site of the Bakersville Community Medical Center. The hotel was first known as "The Penland House" owned and operated by Ruben J. Young and dated back to 1882.

The old ledger shows such guests as Cornelius H. Patton of Washington, DC, J.W. Norton of New York City, E.H. Harlton of Philadelphia, Pa, Columbus Griffing of Chicago, George H. Richards of Boston, John Jacob Astor of New York City, Annie Vanderbilt of New York, and George Vanderbilt of New York. Many of the people mentioned stayed here to travel twelve miles north to Cloudland Hotel located atop Roan Mountain.

Guests at Young's Hotel, circa 1900The hotel was a two story wood framed building consisting of fifteen rooms, several hallways, and five long porches. Two small outhouses were located nearby, one for ladies and one for gentlemen. The dining room was adjacent to the main structure connecting by an open breezeway. One large table was first used which seated twenty to twenty-five guests. Mutton, pork, beef, chicken, fish, and fresh vegetables were served daily when in season.

Walkways constructed of large flat stone led to the outside buildings, spring house, and garden. A small brick building called "The Little Brick" was the family living quarters. A cellar underneath was used for storage of fruits, barrels of food, roots, and vegetables. Butter, cheese, and milk were kept in the cool spring house water.

The stables housing cows for milk and butter, and horses for work and hire, were located only yards away. Hacks and horses made trips daily transporting guests and passengers to and from the railroad station at Toecane. Freight, drygoods and mail were also transported by hack, buggy, and wagon. Often guests would rent and ride horses to Roan Mountain for recreation, to see the beautiful rhododendron gardens and to saty at Cloudland Hotel.

A small one room wood building or sample house, was used for salesmen to display and show their merchandise for local store keepers to see and buy. In those days the salesmen were called "drummers" and would stay for several days displaying and "drumming up" sales for their merchandise.

The garden must have been an acre or so where apples, grapes, currants, gooseberries, and vegetables were grown in abundance and used for the table. A local lady, Miss Julie Blalock, prepared, cooked and helped serve the delicious food. She also worked as maid and housekeeper.

Roses, tulilps, daffodils, lilies, lilac bushes and other flowering shrubs and plants could be seen in early spring and summer growing and blooming beside the walks and garden edge. Two huge spreading red oak trees stood near the spring house and family living quarters. The old hotel and buildings were torn down in 1967 leaving little or no sign of that important and historical place once called "The Penland House" at Bakersville.

Sources: Article reprinted from "Old Ledger Paints Portrait of Bakersville's Hotel" written by Ben McKinney, Tony Honeycutt, and Michael Silver, The Mitchell Ledger, Bakersville, NC, May 22, 1980, p. 20.

Photographs courtesy of Mrs. Mary Lee Barron and Dr. Daniel Barron.

© 2008 B.I.G.