No Image

Balsam Mountain Inn | NC Weekend | UNC-TV


>>Deborah: WELCOME TO “NORTH
CAROLINA WEEKEND.” I’M DEBORAH HOLT NOEL. TUCKED AWAY IN THE BALSAM
MOUNTAINS NEAR WAYNESVILLE, THE FORMER BALSAM MOUNTAIN SPRINGS
HOTEL PROVIDED ROOMS FOR PEOPLE TAKING THE POPULAR TOURIST
TRAINS OF THE ERA. WELL, THE TRAINS ARE LONG GONE. BUT PRODUCER DEREK LONG FOUND
OUT THAT THE RENOVATED INN IS AS POPULAR AS EVER.>>Derek: THE HIGHEST TRAIN
DEPOT EAST OF THE ROCKIES WAS ONCE HERE IN THE JACKSON COUNTY
COMMUNITY OF BALSAM.>>THE DEPOT’S GONE, BUT PEOPLE
CAME ON AS MANY AS SIX TRAINS A DAY. SOUTHERN RAILWAY HAD IN THEIR
BROCHURE, WHEN YOU’RE COMING TO THE MOUNTAINS, COME
ALL THE WAY UP. COME TO BALSAM.>>AND THEY DID. AND THE INN BUILT TO ACCOMMODATE
THOSE TRAVELERS STILL REMAINS.>>IT WAS BUILT BETWEEN 1905 AND
1906 FROM LUMBER ON THE PROPERTY. THE STUD WALLS ARE CHESTNUT. THE INTERIOR WALLS ARE POPLAR. THE FLOORS ARE HEART PINE. THE SILLS ARE HEMLOCK. THE INN IS A NEOCLASSICAL
STRUCTURE. IT WAS BUILT WITH SOME
SOPHISTICATION. THE ARCHITECTS OBVIOUSLY KNEW
ABOUT RENAISSANCE ORDERS. THE COLUMNS IN FRONT, THEY LOOK
LIKE THEY’RE EVENLY SPACED, BUT, IN FACT, THEY’RE NOT. THEY GET CLOSER TOGETHER THE
FURTHER FROM THE CENTER. AGAIN, THOSE ARE CLASSICAL
ARCHITECTURAL RULES THAT MAKE — FOOL THE EYE INTO
THINKING IT’S WONDERFUL. AND IT IS PRETTY WONDERFUL. IT’S AN OLD WOODEN BUILDING
THAT’S BEEN PRESERVED FOR OVER A HUNDRED YEARS. AND STILL PRETTY MUCH IN THE
PROPORTIONS THAT IT HAD WHEN IT WAS BUILT.>>Derek: LIKE THE EXTRA WIDE
HALLWAYS BUILT TO ACCOMMODATE TRAVELERS’ STEAMER TRUNKS. NOW AFFORD SPACE TO DISPLAY
WORKS BY LOCAL ARTISTS. THERE HAVE BEEN SOME UPGRADES
OVER THE YEARS LIKE ELECTRICITY AND INDOOR PLUMBING.>>EVERY SINGLE ROOM IS
DIFFERENT FROM EVERY OTHER ROOM. EVERY ONE’S A DIFFERENT COLOR. EVERY ONE HAS DIFFERENT SHEET
PATTERNS. THEY’RE ALL TOTALLY DIFFERENT. SO GUESTS THAT COME HERE, SOONER
OR LATER, THEY GET A FAVORITE. AND THEY’LL CALL AND SAY, “IS MY
ROOM AVAILABLE THIS WEEKEND”? THEY GET VERY
POSSESSIVE ABOUT THEM. OUR RESTAURANT IS OPEN FOR
BREAKFAST AND DINNER EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. WE’RE OPEN ON SUNDAY FOR LUNCH. WE ALSO HAVE OUR MUSIC NIGHTS
ONCE OR TWICE A MONTH, AND THEY ARE SONGWRITERS GENERALLY,
SOMETIMES VIRTUOSO MUSICIANS AND SOMETIMES BOTH. [SINGING] WE DETERMINE THE NUMBER OF
PEOPLE THAT ARE COMING AND REARRANGE THE TABLES EVERY
SINGLE TIME DIFFERENTLY TO ACCOMMODATE EXACTLY THE SIZE
TABLE THAT PEOPLE WOULD LIKE AND TO ACCOMMODATE THE SONGWRITERS’
DESIRE TO BE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE.>>IT’S SO FUN PLAYING
IN THIS ROOM. IT SOUNDS GREAT IN THIS ROOM. IT’S JUST COZY AND INTIMATE. AND EVERYBODY IS IN A GOOD MOOD
BECAUSE THEY JUST ATE SOME REALLY GOOD FOOD, AND IT’S FUN.>>THE PEOPLE WHO COME HERE LIKE
TO GET AWAY FROM PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING. SO ALTHOUGH WE’RE NOT REMOTE
GEOGRAPHICALLY, IT SEEMS REMOTE, BECAUSE YOU’RE OFF OF THE MAIN
HIGHWAY, AND IT’S QUIET, AND IT’S SURROUNDED BY 24 ACRES OF
WOODS AND MOUNTAIN VIEWS. SO PEOPLE LOVE TO COME AND SIT
ON THE PORCH, ROCK, READ A BOOK, HAVE A GLASS OF WINE. THEY ALSO LOVE TO WORK PUZZLES
AND PLAY CHESS AND CHECKERS AND ALL SORTS OF OTHER
KINDS OF GAMES. BUT THERE ARE NO TV’S OR
TELEPHONES OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. MOSTLY INTERESTING PEOPLE WITH
INTERESTING IDEAS ARE WHO COME HERE.>>Derek: AND, OF COURSE, THERE
ARE THE GHOSTS.>>I’VE NOT EVER SEEN ONE, BUT
WE HAVE A LOT OF REPORTS OF ONE IN ONE PARTICULAR SUITE THAT
GIVES GOOD BACK RUBS, AND WE’VE HEARD SEVERAL REPORTS OF THIS
PARTICULAR GHOST. THERE HAVE BEEN MULTIPLE REPORTS
OF A LITTLE GIRL LAUGHING. ON THE THIRD FLOOR. SEVEN DIFFERENT ROOMS REPORTED
HEARING IT IN ONE NIGHT, AND THERE WAS NO LITTLE GIRL ON
PREMISE AT ALL. SO THAT’S KIND OF FUN. BUT SHE WAS LAUGHING. THEY’RE ALL BENEVOLENT. THERE’S A LADY IN BLUE
THAT WANDERS AROUND. SO WE JUST TAKE IT WITH A
GRAIN OF SALT. WE NEVER HAD ANYTHING EXCEPT
SMILES WHEN THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT IT, SO I THINK WE’VE GOT
SOME FRIENDLY GHOSTS.>>Derek: AND WHY NOT? THE INN JUST FEELS LIKE A
MAGICAL PLACE, SEEMINGLY FROZEN IN TIME.>>IT’S A BEAUTIFUL, VERY RUSTIC
PLACE, AND THE CHARM HASN’T BEEN TAKEN OUT OF IT. IT’S BEEN PRESERVED.>>BALSAM MOUNTAIN INN HAS A
ROCKING CHAIR, LIKE, AROUND EVERY CORNER. SO WHETHER IT’S THE HALLWAY OR
THE PORCH WITH THE VIEWS OR IN THE COMMON AREAS, THERE’S — IT
ENCOURAGES YOU TO JUST SIT DOWN AND RELAX AND SLOW DOWN. I THINK THAT’S WHAT
MAKES IT SPECIAL.>>Derek: AND THE NEXT TIME
YOU’RE COMING UP TO THE MOUNTAINS, DO SOMETHING SPECIAL. COME ALL THE WAY UP TO THE
BALSAM MOUNTAIN INN. THIS IS DEREK LONG FOR “NORTH
CAROLINA WEEKEND.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *