HAPPY BIRTHDAY OAK HILL ON LOVE LANE BED AND BREAKFAST!
It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating 5 years as innkeepers! On 5/18/2008, we opened Oak Hill on Love Lane Bed and Breakfast. We purchased 224 Love Lane in December of 2007, and with stars in our eyes, we began the process of redecorating this grand old house and making the adjustments we felt necessary to run a B&B in the current market. With thanks to the Suddaths, the house (built in 1898) was structurally sound, but we opted to create 2 new bathrooms, paint from top to bottom, make drapes and bedspreads, purchase furniture, etc. Although it was a tremendous amount of work, it was also great fun to watch our dream come to fruition right before our eyes. We were able to set up all the business related stuff and open with three rooms in a mere 4 months!
We are very proud of what we have created here at Oak Hill, but certainly could not have accomplished our success without the support from friends, family and certainly our amazing neighbors here on Love Lane. We are not able to socialize nearly as much as we would like, but they understand the demands of innkeeping based on the number of cars in our driveway! And by family, we would also include the Breese family. Bob “Bobby” Breese is one of Clyde and Ella Ray’s original grandchildren and still lives here in Waynesville. He has regaled us with many a story of the old days on Love Lane and given us much of our treasured photos of the Ray family. Bob’s son Ron was the realtor who assisted us in the purchase of this house and has become not only a great friend, but our “go to” guy for anything here in Haywood County. We place high value on those family ties, as we do our biological ones.
Over the past 5 years, we have settled in to our lives as innkeepers, and have a collection of amusing stories (we’ll save them for another post). But throughout, by far the most rewarding part of our business is OUR GUESTS! We have welcomed folks to our breakfast table from across the country but from as far off as Canada, India, South Africa, Columbia, England, Australia and France. As we prepare and serve breakfast each morning, we are often amused at the cacophony emitting from the dining room. Even though the collection of guests at the table has never met, they almost always find common ground. It is not uncommon for the conversation to uncover an unknown connection between them. One morning, two couples realized that they once lived within 2 miles of each other. Another couple discovered that their children attended Sunday school taught by the mother of someone else at the table. We have come to consider these situations common place.
There is a very long list of guests that we have come to know as friends, and we cannot go without recognizing their continued support. There are far too many to mention here but one very special relationship was formed before we were even open. We received a call from Jimmie looking for a place to stay while they attended a conference at Lake Junaluska. We still cannot determine how she actually found us as I don’t think our web site was even up yet. Divine intervention perhaps as “Mamma Jimmie” will soon be a Methodist minister! The first time she stayed with us, she came with her sister Ann and best friend Marion who blessed this house with laughter…the first of many such occasions. Since then we have shared many of life’s challenges and her spiritual support has gotten me personally through a very rough time last year. I have come to refer to her as my “sister from another mother”! Our heartfelt thanks go out to each and every guest that we now refer to as friend.
Five years ago we fell in love with this house the moment we laid eyes on it. As with any long marriage, the initial infatuation has settled into a deep and comfortable love of this house and the business we have created. We cannot express strongly enough how much we appreciate all those that have supported us throughout this journey.
Happy birthday to Oak Hill!