Flat Top Manor (Milepost 294) was the summer home of Moses and Bertha Lindau Cone.
Born in 1857 in Jonesboro, Tennessee, Moses Cone began his career in his father's wholesale grocery business. Moses and his brother, Ceasar, eventually moved into the textile industry. Their mills produced the high quality denim fabric, which earned Moses Cone the title "the Denim King."
Moses acquired 3,500 acres of land near Blowing Rock, North Carolina and began building his summer estate in the late 1890s. The materials for his 20-room Flat Top Manor were hauled up the mountain from Lenoir, NC by oxen. Upon completion, the estate featured a carbide gas plant for lighting, a telephone, forced air heat, and a bowling alley.
Cone designed and supervised the construction of 25 miles of carriage roads on the estate. He also established apple orchards and built three lakes, stocking them with bass and trout.
Moses and his wife Bertha spent several summers at the estate enjoying the mountains and entertaining guests. In 1908, a few years after completing the Manor house, Moses Cone died. Bertha outlived her husband by 39 years. When she died in 1947 the estate was turned over to the Cone Memorial Hospital as a "public pleasuring ground." Shortly thereafter, the hospital donated the estate to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Last updated: July 10, 2018