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Sherrill's Inn

Photo courtesy of City Development, City of Asheville, North Carolina
Sherrill's Inn was a way-station for stagecoach travelers and cattle drivers on the "Hickory Nut Turnpike," which connected Rutherfordton and Asheville, throughout most of the 19th century. The inn was built sometime between 1839 and 1850 for Bedford Sherrill, who was appointed a Commissioner by the 1841 General Assembly for the purpose of building and keeping up the Turnpike. State roads such as the Hickory Nut Turnpike offered the only effective commercial access between Western North Carolina and the outside world. Sherrill's Inn was opened to travelers at least as early as February of 1850.

Historic view of Sherrill's Inn

Photo courtesy of North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Public Library, Asheville, North Carolina

The inn was described in an 1895 travel guide called Mountain Scenery as having "a fine view" and being "a cool, pleasant place in summer." Although the majority of pre-Civil War guests were from the Carolinas, guests from 14 other states and Ireland appear in the inn's register in the 1850s. After the Western North Carolina Railroad extended its line into Asheville, the inn saw a large increase in visitors from other areas of the country. Between 1880 and 1909, Sherrill's Inn hosted guests from 31 states as well as nine foreign countries. The inn hosted several well-known guests, including U.S. Representative Zebulon Baird Vance in 1859 (later North Carolina Governor and U.S. Senator), former U.S. President Millard Fillmore in 1858 and Governor Andrew Johnson of Tennessee in 1859. Sherrill's Inn was operated by the Sherrill family until 1908.

[photo] Sherrill's Inn
Photo courtesy of City Development, City of Asheville, North Carolina
Sherrill's Inn is situated on a hillside, surrounded by extensive landscaping which evokes a lush pastoral ambiance. The present large frame building incorporates two early log structures and subsequent additions. The inn is an excellent example of a saddle-bag log house with an exterior stair. The building has been raised to two stories and clad in weatherboard. Several Federal Revival style exterior features are the result of 20th-century renovations. The east shed room contains large murals depicting the history of the inn, painted in the early 20th century by the present owner's mother, Mrs. J. G. K. McClure. A number of supporting buildings of various ages surround the inn. These include a still-functioning stone spring house, a log meat-house, two rows of cottages and a large barn with a high pitched roof.

Sherrill's Inn is located in Fairview on U.S. Hwy. 74, 1.1 miles southeast of the junction with State Rd. 2813 and 15 miles east of Asheville. The house is privately owned and is not open to the public. Sherrill's Inn has also been documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey

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