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    • The Lodge
          • The Lodge

            Welcome to the the Lodge at the Blue Ridge Inn- a stunning 900 sq ft suite with 17′ cathedral ceilings, a full kitchen, dining area and private screened porch. The lodge is perfect for family stays, girls/guys weekends, multi-generation trips or anyone who loves an epic space to enjoy steps from downtown.

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    • Appalachian
          • Appalachian

            Located on the main floor, The Appalachian is a modern addition to the Blue Ridge Inn. This suite is the largest room in the Inn with large four-poster bed, sitting area with sleeper sofa, large luxurious master bathroom with walk-in shower and relaxing soaking tub.  This room can accommodate up to four guests with the king bed and queen sofa bed.

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    • Hawthorn
          • Hawthorn

            This room is perfect for a weekend getaway in the mountains and is the only room in the house with a view of the Scenic Railway train and Main Street. Hawthorn is situated in the back of the house on the second floor. It has a king bed and a nice size sitting area.

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    • Larkspur
          • Larkspur

            This cozy room on the second floor has a queen bed, comfy wingback chair and bathroom with a shower. You’ll enjoy the soft textures of this room with Belgian linen curtains and velvet duvet and shams.

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    • Larkspur Suite
          • Larkspur Suite

            The two-room Larkspur Suite, located on the second floor, is perfect for quests looking for a little extra space or needing to accommodate an additional guest.  Bathroom has a  walk-in shower.  The room has a queen bed in the bedroom. The connecting sitting room is the Beauchamp Library which has a cozy fireplace, chesterfield sofa, wingback chairs, hidden flat screen TV, antique books and lots of filtered sunlight. It’s a charming room with maps, history, art and literature that you’ll enjoy exploring. The library can accommodate one extra guest on a roll-away bed.

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    • Rose
          • Rose

            The Rose Room is one of the most popular rooms at the inn. It is the most traditional of our rooms with antiques, original fireplace and mantel, and soft colors and textures to transport you back to a stylish Victorian era and romantic time. You’ll enjoy the modern comforts of a king bed, a wingback chair, a large bathroom with shower/tub and large walk-in closet. The Rose Room is located on the main floor and easily accessible.

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    • Springer
          • Springer

            This spacious room is on the second floor at the front of the house and has a cool, vintage hotel vibe. You’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in this room with a king bed, wingback chair, cozy fireplace, and a shower in the bathroom.

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    • Sycamore Suite
          • Sycamore Suite

            The Sycamore Suite is a spacious 2-room suite located on the first floor with an entrance tucked under the main staircase. This is a spacious, high-ceilinged suite perfect for guests looking for a refined space to relax, a romantic getaway, or needing to accommodate additional guests. The room has a king bed in the bedroom with a bathroom, including a shower. The sitting area has a sleeper sofa, two wingback chairs, and a cozy fireplace. This room can accommodate up to four guests with the king bed and queen sofa bed.

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    • Tallulah
          • Tallulah

            Tallulah offers warm filtered sunlight and a big, bright space. This corner room has lots of windows, a fireplace, king bed and private bathroom with shower. It’s a perfect room for a romantic stay or weekend getaway in style.

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    • Tallulah Suite
          • Tallulah Suite

            The Tallulah Suite, located on the second floor, is a spacious suite that includes the Tallulah room with king bed plus a connecting sitting room for extra space to enjoy your stay in style. The connecting sitting room is the Beauchamp Library which has a cozy fireplace, chesterfield sofa, wingback chairs, hidden flat screen TV, antique books and lots of filtered sunlight. It’s a charming room with maps, history, art and literature that you’ll enjoy exploring. The library can accommodate one extra guest on a roll-away bed.

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    • Toccoa
          • Toccoa

            The rustic Toccoa is perfect for those wanting a country feel in the heart of the city. It’s decorated with a cool cabin vibe and cozy fireplace, a double poster king bed and private bathroom with shower. Located on the second floor, you’ll feel like you’re in a woodsy mountain lodge in this room.

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Inn History

The Railroad Comes To Blue Ridge

The original “Kincaid House” was built in 1890 by a gentleman named Sylvester Long. Long worked for the L&N railroad company supervising rail construction crews. The railroad industry was booming in the South and Blue Ridge was a major connecting point. Long hired a local carpenter named York to build the house on a lot just a few hundred feet from the train depot. By 1891, the house was completed with all the latest conveniences of the day. The ornamental trim, finishing work and banisters were made by hand. This fine craftsmanship still exists throughout the house today.

Following the Panic of 1893, many rail companies went bust due to overbuilding and questionable financing. This set off a series of bank failures over the next decade and hard times hit the south. The Long family moved to Etowah, Tennessee when the shops closed in 1906. The Sanborn Fire Map of 1909 indicates that the home was “temporarily used as a hotel” and notes on the 1910 census refer to it as the “Spring Water Hotel”.

The Kincaid Era

James Kincaid bought the building in 1909 for the sum of $2,500. He chose this house because, unlike several other houses up for sale at that time, it had indoor plumbing; a rare amenity for the time. James Kincaid was the first Ordinary of Fannin County. This old fashioned term meant he was in charge of the Probate Court that dealt with wills and estates. When living in Morganton in 1854, he donated the land for the first county court house. The Kincaid family lived here after his death. Daughter Bana and her brother never married and resided in the house until their deaths.

The Dardens

In 1996 the home was purchased by Milton Darden who converted it into a bed and breakfast. The three-story, Victorian home features 8 guest rooms and suites, 8 fireplaces, 12-foot ceilings, original hand-carved woodwork, heart of pine floors, and claw foot tubs. The Darden’s ran the Inn until 2012.

Gene Holcombe

In 2016, new owners purchased the Inn from the Watts who had owned the Inn from 2012-2016 after purchasing it from the Dardens. Gene Holcombe, along with innkeepers John and Mark, spent five years turning the inn into the smartest Victorian home this side of the Mississippi River. He brought state of the art technology to this 130 year old residence and its grounds, improved infrastructure and set it on a path of becoming the mountain getaway that it is today.

The Inn Today

In 2021, the new owner and innkeeper, John Lavin, purchased the Inn from Gene Holcombe. Renewing the inn while staying true to the history and tradition of the venerable home, John brings a long history of hospitality and design with him to Blue Ridge. Having grown up in nearby Chattanooga, he spent several decades traveling hither and yon collecting the experiences that would eventually lead him back to the Southern Appalachians and this new chapter in the long history of this old house.

Atlanta Magazine's HOME Q&A with innkeeper, John Lavin

What are some of the original architectural features in the inn now that give it that Victorian ambiance?


The house was built in 1890 by Sylvester Long who brought the railroad to Blue Ridge. This was a logging town in the 19th century and the 135 year old original hardwood floors were pulled from local forests. The massive crystal chandelier in the staircase was originally powered by gas but is electric now. The original double column tigerwood mantles in several rooms evoke an earlier time, as does our breakfast service in the dining room on antique tables with Wexford glassware/serving ware and old jazz tunes wafting down the halls.


Tell me a little about your history in the design world, and  how you got from Chattanooga to California to Blue Ridge. What about your background made you a good fit for the inn?


I view my life as a big gumbo where the places I’ve lived, work I’ve done, people I’ve met all get tossed into the pot, stirred around and hopefully something wonderful and interesting is the result.  Owning an inn seems to be a (somewhat) logical result of 30 years in hospitality, design and marketing. I spent 20 years in NY and LA honing my video and photography skills working on other people’s projects, so it’s awesome to now be able to apply those skills to my own business. I was mentored by some incredibly talented builders and designers like Brett Waterman, with whom I created a renovation show called Restored (DIY and Magnolia Network). What I learned from guys like him is immeasurable, and the homes I’ve owned in Palm Springs and New Orleans were all sold fully furnished, books on shelves, art on walls, silverware in the drawer because I poured myself into their design, growing and learning more with each new home project. Then, after 6 years in New Orleans (where I owned a Victorian double shotgun house in the Marigny) and Miami (where I became obsessed with Art Deco), I was ready to get back to the mountains and closer to Chattanooga, where I grew up.


How did you want to decorate the inn… what are some of the highlights of the foyer, living room, Rose Room, and dining room from an interior design standpoint. Do you feel like it’s a mix of Victorian with some other eras mixed in?


I knew from the minute I saw the inn what she needed and how I would approach the changes I wanted to make. The goal was to strip away the accumulated layers of junk that she had taken on over the years and bring her back to her Victorian roots. I sourced authentic antique pieces from all over the area, wallpapered, painted and added art and decor that help our guests feel as if they are stepping back in time or into another world while they are here. Huge inspiration for me comes from some incredibly well renovated Victorian properties in New Orleans like Hotel Peter & Paul, Hotel St. Vincent and the Chloe, all beautifully converted spaces. So even though we have only 8 guest rooms, because we have a coffee shop on site, a vintage gift shop and outdoor event garden, the vibe is more boutique hotel than traditional b&b. Every space (foyer, parlor, dining room, guest rooms…) feels authentic to the period home without sacrificing interesting design. We covered the wall behind the bed in the Rose room with a bold rose fabric “wallpaper” and created a feature corner with a dozen vintage framed still lifes of flowers. The hallway into the foyer has green plaid walls above the dark wainscoting and serves as a dramatic, moody entry and gallery of maps and landscape paintings. I chose the fern wallpaper up the stairs because I have trouble keeping real ferns alive but Victorians were obsessed with them (along with palms). The two story wall up the stairway features framed portraits that would’ve come from any time over the past 135 years, including Elvis. I found lots of antique tea pots and tea cups stashed in cabinets and cupboards when I bought the inn, so I grouped them into collections on the dining room buffet and mantle. Groupings of a theme make more of an impact than random pieces scattered about. My mom gave me raw silk curtains, stashed in her attic, that now hang in the dining room and, to my surprise, I keep buying even more antique silver platters and tea pots when I’m out sourcing. Thankfully a Victorian inn can tolerate a heavy dose of antique and ornate furnishings.


Why do you think people like staying in a historic inn?


We all crave a break from the hyper speed of modern life. It’s a big reason I moved to Blue Ridge and it’s a major reason our guests stay at the inn. If it were up to me, there would be no tv’s in the house, but I’m not bold enough to remove them from the rooms entirely. However, we have a library stocked with hundreds of books, games and cozy nooks to spend hours reading or writing. The music playing gently throughout the day is all from bygone eras, whether it’s 40’s standards, classical, Elvis or 70’s country. That element really helps to transport anyone here to another time along with our somewhat fancy breakfast prepared fresh every morning at 9am. When guests linger at the table chatting with new friends long after the plates have been cleared, we know they are allowing themselves to settle into the slower rhythms of the historic house and an earlier time.


How did you come up with the idea of the parlor also being an antiques store, and where do the items come from?


When guests would come downstairs with a painting from their room (one time a chair) and try to buy it, it occurred to me that our gift shop should sell a well curated collection of vintage and antique items that speak to the interesting history of the inn. My feeling is that if it could have existed during the time that these walls have been standing, then it can be included. So Victorian, Edwardian, the Roaring 20’s, the years between the wars, World War II, Mid-century Modern, 60’s, 70’s even 80’s… all of these eras are represented in Porch & Parlor, our gift shop. I handpick everything in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Louisiana, finding pieces that evoke a nostalgia for an era I may not have actually lived through, but speak to me nevertheless. Also I was a history major and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and have a deep love for old, beautiful things. We’re currently expanding Porch & Parlor into the carriage house so that we can offer larger pieces, furniture, lighting and give guests another space to enter that feels unique, special and a little magical.


Also tell me about the coffee shop… was that part of the original house?


When the inn became a b&b in 1995, the owners built a new 2,000 sq ft wing to serve as an owner’s suite. When I took over in 2021, we used the 900 sq ft living room & kitchen as storage, office and laundry folding center. Not the best use of this great room with 17 foot ceilings in the middle of bustling downtown Blue Ridge. I really love the concept of lobby bars in hotels where folks can stop in for a drink or a meeting, even if they aren’t staying at the hotel. So I came up with the idea of a coffee bar during the day and cocktail bar at night with the name Mountain Mama. Thankfully right at this moment I met a wildly creative, hard working, whip smart young lady named Moe who wanted to open a coffee shop. We launched it in October 2022 and the cocktail bar idea was quickly jettisoned after a few trial runs and we realized how loud and rowdy folks become with the combination of espresso and alcohol. All for the best, as Mountain Mama’s Coffee Lounge has been a homerun from day one with locals, visitors and inn guests stopping in, often hundreds a day.

Anything else to note?


I try to remind myself (and the team here) that we’ve created a really special place; magical, even. That’s not just marketing talk; we’ve all witnessed beautiful or powerful moments with our guests. To view this small slice of humanity on a daily basis is a privilege and all of the team has been moved to tears at least once from the stories we hear. Folks come here from far and wide, often to mark an important moment in their lives. Celebrating a birthday or anniversary or just a weekend away from kids, it is a break from the real world for a few days for them. And we help them leave the day to day behind and possibly, hopefully leave here a better version of themselves- rested, recharged, seeing the world a little differently maybe. If we can bring that kind of hospitality to our guests, then we’ve succeeded.

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