The Woodfield Inn
By: Dan Gibbs
There are many historic landmarks in Flat Rock, Hendersonville, and Henderson County that had their beginnings before the county was even formed in the early to mid-19th century. The Woodfield Inn now the Mansouri Mansion in Flat Rock is one of landmarks.
The Farmer’s Hotel, as it was originally called, was built in 1852 when ten men, mostly summer residents of Flat Rock, all contributed $1,000 each to build the hotel. Henry Tudor Farmer bought the hotel in 1853 and it became a popular destination for summer travelers from Charleston, SC.
The Farmer’s Hotel became a safe haven during the Civil War as the residents of Charleston came to the mountains to escape the ravages of war. Governor Zebulon Vance sent Company E of the 64th North Carolina Regiment in June of 1864 to help protect the residents of the Woodfield Inn and of Flat Rock and they stayed for about six months. They camped out on the front lawn of the Inn. There are two historical markers in the front yard of the Inn commemorating their stay.
Amy P. and I paid a visit to the Woodfield Inn recently and I had never been there before. She is a resident of Morganton, NC and had never been there either so it was a first impression for both of us. We pulled up to the parking lot behind the Inn and the Inn looked deserted. The back of the building looked dilapidated but you could see some of the period furnishings through the windows.
We walked around to the front and there was a big front porch and balcony complete with chairs and it looked very inviting. The landscaping had not been kept up as the grass had not been mowed but I could picture the grandeur of the place over the course of the past 150 years.
The Inn had served many purposes over the years. It has been a wedding venue, high school proms were held here, and back in the late 1980’s-early 1990’s, Civil War reenactments were conducted at the Inn. It is a real shame to see such a grand historical landmark not be maintained. I hope to get inside one day soon and be able to look around and examine the history and grandeur of the inside of the Inn.