Construction on Indian Cave Lodge began in the spring of 1917. By the early 1920’s, the lodge had become a popular vacation destination due to its tranquil mountain setting and breathtaking, long range mountain views. It also sits in close 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.
Indian Cave Lodge was selected as the perfect training facility due to its ample accommodations, fresh mountain air, pure spring water and close 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 1990’s. 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.