Historic Windover Inn Joins the Haywood County Quilt Trails
|The Windover Inn|
|40 Old Hickory St., Waynesville, NC|
|Kay S. Miller|
|Jul 25, 2012|
|4:30 PM - 5:30 PM|
Waynesville, NC – The Haywood County Arts Council announces the dedication of the “Four Little Birds” quilt block at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at The Windover Inn, 40 Old Hickory St Waynesville, NC 28786. The historic inn is the newest addition to the Haywood County Quilt Trails project and the first Bed & Breakfast to purchase a block.
The Windover Inn Bed & Breakfast was built in 1910 by James H. and Pearl Howell. The beautiful, Colonial Revival style home has been a family residence since 1910, and hosted its first guest in 1911 when Mrs. J.H. Howell (Pearl) established it as a Tourist Home and gave it the name “Windover”.
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 Postmaster 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 Windover, which originally offered four guest rooms and had a staff of at least three or four people to cook and clean. Guests were served three meals a day and were joined by Pearl and the Colonel who sat at the head of a long, trestle dining table with staff serving meals in crisp aprons and lacy caps.
After James and Pearl passed away in the 1970’s, their only child, James H. Howell II, who lived with his wife and two children in the stone house next door, sold Windover to Reimar and Judy Steffen in early 1981 - just weeks before he had planned to demolish it because it had fallen into a state of disrepair. After working to restore the beauty of the stately home, the Steffens used the home as a private residence until they reopened Windover, as The Windover Inn Bed & Breakfast in 2003.
In March 2004, the Steffens sold Windover to Jeff and Pam Ferree, who closed it for seven months to add air conditioning, whirlpool tubs, and an additional third floor guest room. The Windover was reopened in October of 2004 and put on the market as a bed and breakfast. On a cool March day in 2006, Glenn and Jen Duerr visited The Windover Inn for the first time. After three years of research to follow their dream of owning and operating a bed and breakfast, they fell in love with the beauty of the surrounding mountains and the welcoming, quaint feeling of Waynesville. After a return trip to stay overnight at The Windover, they awoke to the comforting feeling of being home and realized The Windover was the right place for them.
In August 2006, the Duerrs purchased The Windover Inn Bed & Breakfast. Since then, they have painted the outside of the house, restored the roof, and created outdoor living spaces for their guests with landscaping, fencing, and lighting.
In June of 2010 the Duerrs were honored by having "The James Harden and Pearl Howell House-Windover" designated as a Local Historic Landmark by the Town of Waynesville. Spring 2011 marked the 100th year since Pearl opened the doors of Windover to guests.
The Windover Inn’s outdoor living spaces provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy the many birds that make Western North Carolina their home. Glenn and Jen selected “The Four Little Birds” quilt block pattern as a symbol of Windover’s four owners’ connection to its history, and to pay homage to the varieties of birds that feed nearby adding beauty and song to their property. In particular, the Duerr’s believe a bird known historically as the “Windhover”, now more commonly referred to as the Kestrel, the smallest bird of prey in America, inhabits the area. The bird was called a Windhover due to its habit of hovering mid-air while hunting for food.
Although there is no way to verify that the Howells called their home Windover because of a Kestrel hovering over the property, after finding the following poem written on May 30, 1877, by a Jesuit priest named Gerard Manley Hopkins entitled, The Windhover, the Duerr’s decided if they had been making the decision it would have been the perfect reason. Dedicated by Hopkins “to Christ our Lord”, he called “The Windhover” “the best thing [he] ever wrote”.
by Gerard Manley Hopkins (6/11/1844-6/8/1889). (Written in 1877, published in 1918.)
I caught this morning morning’s minion, kingdom of daylight’s dauphin,
dapple-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstacy! Then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend; the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wing. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird—the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valor and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! And the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it; sheer plod makes plow down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.
The Windover Inn joins 24 other locations in Clyde, Maggie Valley, and Waynesville that are part of the Haywood County Quilt Trails project. The concept is based on similar projects in western North Carolina where quilt squares are painted on wood en frames and installed on barns, public structures, shops, and other appropriate buildings around the community. The heritage-based project aims to help communities in Haywood County find and tell their stories. The website www.haywoodquilttrails.org provides block names, locations, photos and short stories about each block. Maps and brochures are available at area Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Centers, and at Haywood County Arts Council at 86 N. Main Street, Waynesville. The Haywood County Quilt Trails project is sponsored by Grace Cathey Sculpture Garden and HomeTrust Bank, and funded in part by the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority (800-334-9036, www.VisitNCSmokies.com).
If you are a property owner, business owner or individual outside the Downtown district and would like a quilt block installed on your barn or building, or if you need more information about the Haywood County Quilt Trails project, call Kay S. Miller, executive director at the Haywood County Arts Council at 828-452-0593 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on other Haywood County Arts Council programming and events visit the Arts Council’s web site at www.haywoodarts.org.