in 1910 by James H. and Pearl Howell, our beautiful, Colonial
Revival style home has been a family residence providing guests
with Waynesville and Maggie Valley lodging in
one way or another since 1911, when Mrs. J.H. Howell (Pearl)
established it as a Tourist Home and gave it the name “Windover”.
Entire families came from warmer climates like the Piedmont and
Coastal areas of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia from
Memorial Day to Labor Day to stay cool in the Howell’s home. As one of Waynesville's featured boarding houses in a 1911 publication titled Cool Places in Summertime: Resorts along the Southern Railway, Premier Carrier of the South, it's noted that reservations were made "on application" at Windover. The
original Windover sign, a reminder of the era when Waynesville, not Asheville, was the Western North Carolina town to visit, now hangs on the
veranda side of our front porch.
The Howell’s good taste and appreciation of quality workmanship
is evident in the design of the home, and also in the
details of the home’s exquisite woodwork and tile fireplaces.
James H. Howell, or the Colonel, as Pearl called him, grew up on
a nearby Jonathan Creek farm and was an attorney in Haywood County. He fought in World War I, and later served
his community as the Post Master and Mayor of Waynesville, and eventually became a Legislative Representative for the area.
Pearl, who grew up on a Virginia plantation, married James in
1908. She managed the Windover, which originally offered four
guest rooms and had a staff of at least three or four people to cook and clean. Some
of the staff was local, but some came from other areas and
resided in a small stone house built behind the main house.
Guests were served three meals a day and joined by Pearl and the
Colonel, who sat at the heads of a long, trestle dining table
with staff serving meals in crisp aprons and lacy caps.
James and Pearl passed away, their only child, James H. Howell
II, who lived with his wife and two children in the stone house
built next door, sold the Howell house in 1980 to Reimar and
Judy Steffen, who worked hard to restore the beauty of this
As manager of the Waynesville Country Club, Reimar had resources
in craftsmen and suppliers available to assist him and Judy in
the renovation. After raising their four children and
hosting many guests, (including international guests attending
the annual Folkmoot Festivals, and annual gingerbread
gatherings), Judy and Reimar decided to reopen Windover, as The
Windover Inn Bed & Breakfast in 2003. An artist, Judy used her creativity and resourcefulness to design a sign from a discarded lavatory door from the country club.
In March of 2004, the Steffens sold The Windover Inn to Jeff
and Pam Ferree, who closed it for 7 months to add air
conditioning, whirlpool tubs, and an additional third floor
guest room. The combination of Jeff’s contracting skills and
Pam’s decorating skills brought The Windover Inn comforts into
the 21st century, while creating an early 20th century
atmosphere and décor. The Windover was reopened in
October of 2004 and put on the market for sale as a bed and
breakfast with its first official logo, designed by Jeff, which is still used today with some added personal touches of our own.
a cool day in March 2006, we visited The Windover Inn with our
inn broker. It was one of several properties we saw that week.
Three years earlier, we had started our research to follow our dream of owning and operating a bed and breakfast. One research trip brought us to a bed and breakfast in Asheville. While
investigating the bed and breakfast business in that area we
stumbled upon Waynesville when exiting the Blue Ridge Parkway
for lunch one day. We fell in love with the beauty of the
surrounding mountains and the welcoming, quaint feeling of this
small town. Waynesville, NC was definitely the location for us,
now we just needed to find the right bed and breakfast.
Deciding on the perfect bed and breakfast turned out to be a challenge, but our diligence was rewarded. Months went by and we revisited The Windover and stayed overnight. We
awoke to the comforting feeling of being home and realized at
that moment this was the right place for us.
In August 2006, we purchased our home, The Windover Inn Bed &
Breakfast. Since our ownership, we have created outdoor living
spaces for our guests with landscaping, fencing, and lighting.
We have painted the outside of the house, restored the
roof and added our own sign. We’ve embraced our new town and are involved in our
community. Having our own business allows us to live a lifestyle important to us - a lifestyle of giving back. We make sure we are mindful of our impact on the environment and recycle, use a rain barrel, energy saving light bulbs, we composte and have an organic garden. We incorporate our giving directly from our room rentals, and have designated specific organizations to receive $1 per room rented in specific months with the hope that as our business grows, so too will our giving!
In June of 2010 we were honored by having "The James Harden and Pearl Howell House-Windover" designated as a Local Historic Landmark by the Town of Waynesville. In January of 2011 we celebrated this distinction by having a 100th birthday party complete with a ribbon cutting by the Mayor and over 60 guests including the granddaughter of James and Pearl Howell, Reimar and Judy Steffen, and Fay, one of the former employees of the inn in the 1950's who still lives in a nearby town. The Spring of 2011 also marked the 100th year since Pearl opened these doors to guests, so this was a double birthday and one that makes us feel grateful that we have been able to maintain a tradition of hospitality at Windover that reaches back, now over 100 years! In October of 2014 we were able to reconnect the original Howell property, adding the house next door for our living quarters and family space, a home that was built for James Harden and Pearl's son and his wife and their two grandchildren, and now is a wonderful space for our own grandchildren when they visit!
Now in our 9th year here, we are still in awe of our beautiful surrounding
mountains; still wake up to that feeling of comfort and warmth:
and are proud to be the stewards of this beautiful home first
created and maintained by the Howells and cared for thereafter
by those who truly respected its history.
Come explore the beauty of the Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway . . . come enjoy the comfort and warmth of our lovely historic home . . . we'd love to share them all with you! Glenn and Jen
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The Windover Inn, Waynesville, North Carolina Bed & Breakfast
40 Old Hickory Street, Waynesville, North Carolina (NC) 28786
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Windover Inn - Waynesville, NC