Old Sherrill Inn
Located in the Hickory Nut Gorge, the Old Sherrill’s Inn was built in the mid 1800’s for Commissioner Bedford Sherrill, and still stands today as one of Western North Carolina’s great historical treasures.
Away-station for travelers by stagecoach, the Inn officially opened to guests in the winter of 1850, providing a scenic mountain respite along the Hickory Nut Turnpike. Around 1800, early pioneers and settlers took advantage of the 10-mile long gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains as one of the only main throughways, often using the Turnpike, (then known as Dover’s Road) to drive cattle and poultry to markets in nearby communities….
Sherrill and his wife welcomed weary travelers of the “Flying Cloud” stagecoach with home-cooking, whisky and extra rooms to sleep. They soon earned a reputation among travelers for their much appreciated hospitality, later opening their home as an Inn.
According to the Inn’s historic register, prestigious names such as President Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, and Zebulon Baird Vance were among the Inn’s list of guests, which soared in numbers after the railroad was broadened into Asheville, welcoming visitors from across the nation, and eventually the globe.
Purchased in 1916 by a young couple, Jim and Elizabeth McClure, after it was no longer operated as an Inn, with intentions to farm and raise their children on the land, the pair succeeded in their ambitions, preserving the Sherrill’s home and property with commendable care along the way.
The home’s mountain location in combination with its original spring-house and out-buildings, compliment the historic murals and custom interior detail, providing a prime backdrop for nostalgic appreciation.
Now occupied by Annie and John Ager, patriarchs of the Hickory Nut Gap Farm family, the home no longer is open to the public but serves as a special place to host private gatherings.
Besides the traffic the Inn attracts with weddings and special events, the adjacent farm land of Hickory Nut Gap Farm, family operated by the next generation of Ager’s, is well supported by agritourism. Corn mazes, apple picking, cider pressing and locally produced meats, berries and vegetables lure visitors.
Lush history combined with its unique geographical location has kept travelers incited by the Old Sherrill’s Inn for over two hundred years, a local gem worthy of celebration.