Welcome to Historic Indian Cave Lodge
Indian Cave Lodge offers a stunning, private residence in a lush mountain setting with sweeping 25 mile panoramic vistas revealing twinkling city lights, long range mountain and sweeping valley views. Arrive via a gently curving drive that passes through a stone columned gate opening with walls of 30 foot majestic arborvitae, through the gate, and an awe-inspiring view of Indian Cave Lodge is revealed.
Originally constructed in 1917, a modern version of the lodge was reimagined by Charleston architect David Parrot in the mid 1990s. Parrot’s stunning Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design blends seamlessly with a massive turn of the century stone façade and roof columns to produce a true mountain masterpiece. In keeping with the unique design, the whimsical and rough-hewn cave-like entryway pays homage to Hendersonville’s historic Indian Cave.
Walking in you are greeted with an impressive natural stone staircase covered by a towering custom designed pergola. The main entry door is accessed through a unique cave-like opening at the top of the stone staircase. A stone clad reception area includes a unique water feature plus a primitive wood and ceramic tile floor design. A second door then leads to the original stone staircase that ascends to the main living area. In true Frank Lloyd Wright fashion, a major juxtaposition of light, color and scale is dramatically revealed.
The magnificence continues as the stone stairs ascend to the great room to reveal a towering 20-foot high knotty pine covered ceiling complete with a large diamond shaped skylight, oversized period look ceiling fan lights and a custom designed antler chandelier. A 45-foot-long catwalk flanks the entire length of the great room, suspended by vertical metal rods finished with a locally forged, rough-hewn, custom arrow head design. The large open designed main living area includes the living room, bar area, dining, kitchen and half bath. Custom storage and bookshelves flank a gas fireplace covered with earth tone, primitive etched tiles. Stunning reclaimed stained-glass windows allows the light to dance and large double doors lead out to the covered veranda.
The kitchen is superbly created with custom oak and walnut cabinetry while a collection of antique decorative tiles border the perimeter of the wood trimmed granite counter tops. Jenn-Air appliances including disposal and trash compactor make food prep a dream. Located directly across from the kitchen, the dining area includes large picture windows that reveal unparalleled long range mountain views. A beautiful Tiffany inspired chandelier graces a seating area for eight.
Located just off the great room, the master suite offers convenient main level living. The oversized master includes two large closets plus a generous sitting area complete with a panoramic picture window. A side door opens up to the covered veranda where you can stargaze before settling down for the night. The master bath includes a large glass enclosed frame less shower, plus a jetted Jacuzzi tub. Just off the master bath is a generous walk-in closet complete with laundry facility, custom shelving and makeup area. Strategically placed lighting illuminates a reclaimed stained-glass window that separates the master bedroom from the walk-in closet cresting a luminous dramatic effect.
A staircase leading to a glass enclosed, yet private loft, is adorned with a stunning, custom designed, hand carved railing. The guest master en suite includes a 3 piece bath, generous closets, sitting area and large picture window, while the second guest bedroom offers long range views plus direct access to the observation deck. Situated off the east catwalk, an office space with three sided gable bump-out offers incredible long range mountain views, and is perfectly suited as a bedroom.
The lodge offers two spacious outdoor living spaces. The covered stone veranda is accessed from multiple points on the main level and offers ample room for lounging as well as casual or formal dining. Located at the top-level of the home, a sprawling observation deck offers unparalleled city light and long range mountain views with the best stargazing in the Carolinas. Don’t forget the marshmallows as this very private, awe-inspiring setting is ideal for entertaining family and friends around a flickering campfire.
The property offers a level, circular main drive with two gated entrances. The home’s beautiful façade remains undisturbed as covered and uncovered parking for 5 vehicles including an attached garage is located under and behind the home. Hosting large gatherings is never a problem as ample driveway space and overflow lawn parking can easily accommodate up to 10 additional vehicles.
Historical Provenance and Design –
Jack Dempsey, World’s Heavyweight Champion trains at Indian Cave Lodge
Construction on Indian Cave Lodge began in the spring of 1917. By the early 1920s, the lodge had become a popular vacation destination due to its tranquil mountain setting and breathtaking, long range mountain views. It also sits in proximity to well-known historical sights: Indian Cave and the popular Jump off Rock. Situated high atop Hebron Mountain, the lodge offers sweeping 25 mile vistas that include the town of Hendersonville, Laurel Park and majestic Mount Tryon.
In 1925, Harvey Hester, southern sales representative for Laurel Park Estates met heavyweight boxing champ Jack Dempsey at an event in Florida. In an effort to attract buyers, Hester and the Mayor of Laurel Park offered Dempsey $35,000 plus expenses to train in Hendersonville for his upcoming title defense against Gene Tunney. Given the incredible promotional fee and exceptional environment, Jack accepted the offer. On April 24th, 1926, Dempsey, his movie star wife Estelle Taylor, plus trainers, handlers and sparring partners were greeted with a raucous parade down Main Street. Hendersonville had instantly become the sporting Mecca of the world.
Indian Cave Lodge was selected as the perfect training facility due to its ample accommodations, fresh mountain air, pure spring water and proximity to town. A boxing ring plus viewing area for spectators and news organizations was set up on the sprawling front lawn. Thousands of locals and travelers from across the country happily handed over 50 cents to watch the champ train and spar. On the evening of May 25th, Jack and Estelle were guests of honor at a large dance party hosted at the lodge. Hester’s marketing strategy was, without question, a major success as all his properties sold out at record-breaking prices.
Numerous photographs and newspaper articles covering Dempsey’s visit are available through the Hendersonville historical society. Several history books covering Hendersonville and western North Carolina also document the event.
Over the years, Indian Cave Lodge continued on through various incarnations, including a boarding home and dude ranch. After the great depression, the Lodge remained vacant until the mid 1990s. It was then purchased by Charleston architect David Parrott. A devotee of Frank Lloyd Wright, Parrott decided the top portion of the lodge would be re-imagined and a modern, yet rustic design would be blended with the original turn of the century stone façade, interior walls, staircase and roof supports.
Kevin and Karilea Rhea founders of Olympia Moto Sports purchased the property in the spring of 2004 and further enhanced Mr. Parrot’s awe-inspiring design. Extensive renovations combined with the Rhea’s eclectic collection of western art, furniture and antiques combine to deliver a true mountain masterpiece. Indian Cave Lodge is without question, one of the most stunning and unusual properties in all of Western North Carolina.