Sam Dean photo
Nu Wray Inn
The Nu Wray Inn in downtown Burnsville, N.C., is a Yancey County tradition.
The Nu Wray Inn, western North Carolina’s oldest operating inn, has hosted the likes of Mark Twain, Elvis Presley and Jimmy Carter—and welcomes 2015 under new ownership.
Two couples from the Asheville area, Joey and Jill Farmer and Eric and Christy Wilson, purchased the inn this fall. A mainstay in the Blue Ridge mountains since 1833, the 24-room inn is on The Square in downtown Burnsville.
“The Nu Wray Inn is not only an institution in Burnsville and Yancey County, it is the anchor institution,” said county official Jamie McMahan. “It was in operation before the town of Burnsville was even incorporated.”
The new proprietors are lodging industry veterans, having owned the Cabins of Asheville since 2006. They found out about the Nu Wray, oddly enough, via Craigslist, and are dedicated to preserving the ambience and historical significance of the three-story clapboard landmark.
“We just fell in love with the town, fell in love with the inn, and fell in love with the people of Burnsville,” Joey Farmer said. “It was a great fit. We feel honored to be part of the history of the inn.”
Farmer says the previous owners left the Nu Wray in good condition after rescuing it in 2010. Updated guest rooms are available and there are plans to renovate and open the remaining nine.
“It’s a special place. Time kind of stops at the Nu Wray, and you’re in a simpler time when talking to each other is more important than looking at your phone the whole time.”
As throwback to those times comes this recipe from the Nu Wray Inn’s cookbook.
Leroy’s Holiday Salad
- 1 cup ground raw cranberries, measured after putting through food chopper
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 package lemon-flavored Jello
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
- 9-ounce can crushed pineapple
- ½ cup broken pecan meats
- 1 cup chopped celery
Mix sugar and cranberries together, and let stand several hours. Add the gelatin to the boiling water, and stir until dissolved. Add orange juice and stir, then add other ingredients and pour into mold. Serve on crisp lettuce and garnish with mayonnaise.
- The Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair celebrates tradition by hosting more than 200 juried crafters who show and sell their own beautifully handcrafted work on the first Friday and Saturday in August.
- Carolina Mountains Literary Festival offers readings, writing workshops, seminars and other types of sessions devoted to writers, writing, and the writing life in September.
- “Dedicated to the preservation of mountain music and culture,” September’s Music in the Mountains festival includes music from all across the region including bluegrass and traditional music, ballad singing, storytelling and dancing.