About this listing
This historic estate, originally "Faraway Farm", was built in 1939 by celebrated museum administrator Leslie Cheek, heir to the Maxwell House Coffee fortune. The remote farm was the Cheek family safe-haven during WWII. The home underwent renovation & remodeling in the 1970's. The 3,532 sq ft home has 5 bdrms, 3 baths & guest house with 2 bdrm, 1 bath. Situated on 320 acres of private mountain land 50 mins SE of Asheville. Rental includes use of boat house, privileges to Rumbling Bald Resort.
This one-of-a-kind historic home was built in 1939 by Leslie Cheek Jr., a wealthy museum administrator who was heir to the Maxwell House Coffee fortune. The remote farm-estate was built to be a mountain retreat and safe haven for the Cheek family during WW II. (Other notable Cheek family properties include Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville, TN.)
In the 1930's, Leslie Cheek viewed Lucius Morse's plans for a luxury resort development along the shores of Lake Lure. Cheek was inspired by Morse's visions for the area, by his development of Chimney Rock Park and construction of the world-class hydro-electric dam (used to create Lake Lure.) Thus, Leslie Cheek selected a site at the south shore of Lake Lure, to build his private estate.
Cheek designed the house himself, drawing inspiration from period architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright. He named the estate "Faraway Farm" and modeled the grounds & gardens on the landscape design of his parents estate; Cheekwood in Nashville, TN. (Cheekwood gardens were designed by NY Landscape Architect Bryant Flemming.) Leslie Cheek and his wife Mary Tyler Freeman-Cheek spent many happy years at Faraway Farm, and raised several children on the farm.
In 1957 the Cheek family sold the estate to Rolland King, a developer from south Florida. Rolland King had gained accolades for his Sarasota developments of Gulf Gate and Village Green, his Bradenton developments at Whiskey Creek and Village Gardens, as well as Governors Harbor Development in the Cayman Islands.
Rolland King changed the name of the farm from "Faraway Farm" to "Bald Mountain Farms". King utilized the farm as a summer retreat for his large family. In 1965, King began to develop the lake-front area of the property. He built a dinner club (now Lakeview Restaurant/Legends on the Lake) and a golf course (now Bald Mountain Golf Course.) He developed a swimming pool, beach and marina area and began promoting the destination as a mountain resort called "The Bald Mountain Club at Lake Lure."
In the 1970's, King partnered with Wyndham and other time-share corporations to construct condos and resort housing throughout the property. The resort became known at Rumbling Bald Resort.
Today, the Rumbling Bald Resort boasts premier dining and cocktail lounge, with a deck area for viewing the lake/outdoor dining. The golf pro shop and another casual restaurant and bar overlook a world-class 18 hole course. The course is open to the public.
Since 1957, Faraway Farm / Bald Mountain Farms has served as the private, family home of Rolland King; original developer of Rumbling Bald resort.
There are miles of unspoiled hiking trails just out the back door of the house. The estate boasts spectacular views of mountains and many streams run through the property. The boat house offers a private setting on the lake and affords swimming and fishing from the dock. (Boats can be rented from the resort cabana.)
The home itself is a unique combination of Leslie Cheek's original design from the 1930's, and Rolland King's renovations in the 1970's. Unlike other contemporary rental homes in the area, this is a historic property designed in the Art Deco era. Many of the furnishings are vintage and antique/period pieces.
The home boats spacious stone patios on the front and back, expanses of grassy lawns, rose bushes, massive camellia bushes, magnificent magnolia trees and heritage boxwood hedges. The house contains a steep back staircase & separate guest suite that were originally built as servants/caretaker's quarters.
Your rental of Bald Mountain Farms includes guest privileges to the Rumbling Bald Resort that Mr. King founded. The use of two world-class golf courses, two outdoor pools, a spa & fitness center, indoor pool, tennis courts, beach, marina, boat launch, and fine dining are included in this package.
The main house has five bedrooms. A master king suite with full bath. Another king suite with full bath, three small (child) bedrooms each with a twin bed, and a third upstairs full bath for the children.
There is a separate guest house (attached to the main house by a covered walkway) that includes two additional bedrooms, one room with 2 twin beds, one room with a king bed. The guest suite has a bathroom with shower stall (no tub.)
The property also features a separate lodge room, with fireplace, pool table, ping pong table and covered parking/garage for guests.
The property has spacious front and back stone patios. The back patio has a grill and dining/picnic table.
Interaction with guests
As this is a large estate, there is a small team of knowledgeable folks who are committed to managing this property as a rental space and working farm. Richard Ammons serves as the Farm Manager. Sara Shea serves as online booking and Guest Communications Coordinator. Carmen and Joaquin Millet assist with cleaning and guest services. Members of the King family manage the overall business. Other employees or maintenance/contractors may be on the property intermittently.
Other things to note
One of the biggest problems we have encountered at Bald Mountain Farms is insects. Asian lady beetles (that look like lady bugs) and stink bugs are two invasive species that have recently impacted our region of NC. Although the property has been treated by an exterminator, these critters do make their way inside. We ask guests to understand that these harmless insects are part of a larger invasive species issue which environmental agencies are tackling.
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I am a writer, photographer and marketing consultant based in the mountains of North Carolina. I earned my BA in English from Kenyon College, where I served as a Student Associate Editor for The Kenyon Review. I pursued an MFA at UNC Asheville and WCU. I recently obtained my NC Real Estate License. I am also a rep with Arbonne and love introducing my guests to the pure, safe, beneficial skin care and health products.
I am a lover of literature and an outdoor enthusiast. I work part-time in Asheville. The town of Lake Lure is my treasured mountain get-away... I adore hiking, cycling, kayaking, swimming and gardening here in Rumbling Bald Resort.
It is my my joy to share and promote lovely, unique, family-friendly properties in Asheville and Lake Lure, NC.
Please feel free to ask me for free samples of Arbonne products. I offer a significant discount on Arbonne products to all my airbnb guests.
About the home
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