About our Inn midway between Asheville, NC and The Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Oak Hill on Love Lane Bed and Breakfast is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can read more about the history of the home under the “History” tab. The inn is nestled in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina overlooking the charming historic town of Waynesville.

The comfort of our guests is our highest priority at Oak Hill. Experience Southern Hospitality at it’s best in the mountains of Western North Carolina, just minutes away from Asheville, The Biltmore House, The Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Built in 1898, the house and grounds have been lovingly maintained. Renovations were designed to modernize, with a concerted effort to keep as much original as possible. Each of our beautifully appointed rooms feature: fireplaces, plantation shutters & ceiling fans, luxuriously comfortable latex beds, en-suite baths, spa robes, plush Turkish towels, soft spa sheets, 23″ flat screen TVs, wireless internet, and locally hand-made goat’s milk and lavender soaps and lotions. Along with our daily maid service, water and chocolates will be left in your room.

 

History

Oak Hill on Love Lane Bed and Breakfast, occupies the Clyde H. Ray Sr. House listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Clyde Ray Sr. was a prominent Waynesville merchant and banker, and fourteen year Mayor of Waynesville. He purchased approximately 5 acres on Love Lane in 1897. This marked the beginning of the legacy of the Clyde H. Ray Sr. Waynesville homestead. In 1898, he began construction of this beautiful home with a southern exposure, taking full advantage of the beautiful view of Waynesville and the Smoky Mountains. At that time, the finest hardwood lumber was available here in the Great Smoky Mountains.  The home took two years to build and was finally completed in 1900. Only the finest of everything went into this stately home. Mr. and Mrs. Ray had thirteen children who all grew up in this home, making 224 Love Lane the Ray Family Estate. Many of their descendants still reside in Waynesville today.

Stone steps, which are still in their original location, led guests from the drive to the immaculate oak front door. The steps now lead to a beautiful fire pit terrace overlooking the mountains. The original cement sidewalks, beckoning guests to enjoy the grand porch, still remain. A brick springhouse was constructed about 20 feet from the house that is still standing. The springhouse served as a “refrigerator,” keeping cool all the family’s perishable goods.

The estate has been a showpiece since completion in 1900 and has been kept in pristine condition. The home remained in the Ray family until 1979, which explains its adherence to the original design; original weighted windows and doors, intricate doorknobs and hinges. The sliders that operate the beautiful period transom windows are still functional. The original hardwood floors are in pristine condition, as are the three grand staircases and banisters. The original picture and dental moldings and window and doorframe moldings remain. The Bess Ray Howell Room bathroom features the original claw foot tub and an original pedestal sink is still in use in the first floor powder room.  The old coal burning heat system and steam registers, although non-functional, still reside in the same locations. The 8 fireplaces and mantles that helped to heat the house in the early years are utilized today, but have been retrofitted with more efficient propane logs.

The home was purchased in December 2007 by Shell and Deb Isenberg, who took great pride in converting it back to a bed and breakfast. Tremendous credit also goes to Jack and Eleanor Suddath, who performed the original restoration in 1993 and opened the house as Ten Oaks Bed and Breakfast. Without their efforts, there is no question that this lovely home would not be in its current condition.

In March of 2016, Oak Hill was acquired by Tony and Darlene Blankenship. The Blankenship’s have added their own special touches to the Inn. A landscaping project of great proportions was completed in the fall of 2016 which restored the views of downtown Waynesville and the expansive Smoky Mountain views. The project made use of the historic staircase that now leads to a beautiful flagstone terrace with an award winning fire-pit and stone waterfall feature. An old fashioned water wheel was specially made for the water feature which perfectly ties in with the era of the home and completes the ambiance of the new terrace. Tony and Darlene continue to care for the home and the property and to offer a warm, inviting atmosphere and 5-star experience. that guests of the inn expect and enjoy!

Meet the Innkeepers

Tony and Darlene Blankenship bring their many years of entrepreneurial experience to Oak Hill on Love Lane Bed and Breakfast. Having owned their own businesses for the last 27 years, they now devote their passion for excellent customer service and their attention to detail to the Inn. They are committed to to providing great service and a comfortable welcoming atmosphere that the guests of Oak Hill on Love Lane Bed and Breakfast have come to expect and enjoy.

Both Tony and Darlene love to meet new people. Darlene loves to cook and entertain and has an outgoing personality that brings a friendly hospitable atmosphere to the Inn. Tony is an avid gardener and professional photographer. He also exudes a warm and friendly persona that immediately makes guests feel comfortable and at home.

The couple has traveled extensively and enjoyed staying in bed and breakfast inns all over the country. They apply the knowledge gained from those experiences to provide a warm and relaxing environment for their guests. They look forward to welcoming you to Oak Hill on Love Lane Bed and Breakfast!