This historic estate has three completely updated homes totaling seven bedrooms plus an office that is used as a bedroom. This family compound on over 7 acres is only two short miles to Highlands, North Carolina. A picnic pavilion and a Creekside cottage with a heated great room with fireplace add additional living space for family and friends.
All of us have an inimitable connection to our homes. The smell of fresh rain and cinnamon from childhood, fresh cut grass in the summer, the rush of water in a stream, a crackling fire in the fall - all these moments of life have a place in our personal spaces. The estate at 81 South Old Walhalla Road has memories of such happy moments for only two families in its sixty-nine year history: the Abney family from South Carolina and the Messer family from Chicago. Homes glean personalities from their owners. Thus, a brief background of these two families must be told.
Mrs. Sally Abney Rose was heiress to the Abney Mills Textile estate. She summered in Highlands and built this estate to accommodate her staff and her family. She had a driver and maid/cook who accompanied her to Highlands for the summer. A guest cottage housed the help and a historic log cabin was moved to the property to house guests along with the extra bedrooms in the main home. Sally Abney Rose is described as one of the most charming, loving and giving women of her time. Her mother took over the textile mills when her father died and survived him for more than 26 years and grew the company from five to fifteen ultra-successful mills. She instilled her keen business acumen in Sally. A giving family, they established The Abney Foundation which is still active today and has awarded over 54 million dollars to various charitable organizations.
Sally Abney Rose died in 2005 at the age of 88. I was honored to list the estate which was full of beautiful antiques and collectibles. Wendy and Barry Messer came to Highlands from Chicago by way of Longboat Key in Florida. They were looking for an estate to house their large family and fell in love with 81 South Walhalla Road. As a real estate family, they appreciated and respected the environment of this estate and lovingly updated it to fulfill the needs of their close family. The guest cottage was turned into a complete guest house for Wendy's mother who named it "The Wee Cottage." Wendy, a gourmet chef, needed a comparable kitchen for her talents. The new kitchen addition is outfitted like a commercial kitchen with the warmth of an English Lodge.
The Master Wing was added with his and her bathrooms and a large game room with a pool table for Barry's passion. The historic Lob Cabin was reinforced and an antique stove from Wendy's grandmother now graces the kitchen. The picnic pavilion was redone as well as the playhouse near the babbling brook. Froggy Lake is kept in pristine condition for fishing and boating. A dog kennel was added for the golden retriever family that Barry prides himself breeding and showing. The Messer's created their living spaces according to the wordless patterns of their inner natures. They produced a home as a reflection of their personal life reminiscent of the natural world creating an unforgettable and welcoming environment to be enjoyed by visitors as well as family.
Only two short miles to Main Street, this large estate is truly a unique habitat illuminating the sensual, spiritual and practical needs of two past families now searching for a third. This historic estate sets the stage for your family to come together and share quality time for many years to come.