While driving to her job in Denver, Patti Fea would always pass a stately three-story house off N.C. 150.
At the time, she was owner of Cornucopia Caterers in Denver, but she would always take a moment to daydream about a different sort of life.
With the opening of White Oak Inn, that dream has become a reality.
â€œIt was up for sale for a long time,â€ Fea said. â€œOne day I called the Realtor and started the process to buy the house.â€
Turning the house, which had an unfinished third floor, into a home and business was not an easy task.
For the mother of two girls and a boy, however, the work was worth it.
â€œI thought the inn would be a way for me to stay at home and be with the kids,â€ Fea said.
Her children and boyfriend, Larry Winters, transformed the two top floors of the house into a home. The bottom floor became White Oak Inn. The name was inspired by the houseâ€™s last owner.
â€œI remember at the closing, he said â€˜White Oak,â€™â€ Fea said. â€œIt was simple and to the point. With all the white oaks on the property, the name stuck.â€
The inn recently held an open house, in which over 60 people attended.
â€œI think itâ€™s gorgeous,â€ said Darcie Rooney, a Lincoln County resident who attended. â€œWhen family comes down, Iâ€™m going to recommend the inn to them.â€
The inn, which has three bedrooms available, sits on 8.5 acres of land and contains a pond and walking trail.
Bed and breakfast total $95 for a couple. Each additional person is $10.
The breakfast is not something to be missed. Fea, a former professional chef, makes everything from scratch. Breakfasts vary, but frittatas and omelets have been the favorites of previous guests.
Guests can eat either in the dining area or outside.
â€œWe often have guests take their meal out to the porch where they watch the sunrise,â€ Fea said.
As for the rooms, one has a special place in Feaâ€™s heart.
The Rego Room was named after friends Jay and Joyce Rego. Jay passed away just a few days before Fea bought the inn. They had been friends for 14 years.
Jayâ€™s wife attended the open house.
â€œWhen I walked in, I had tears in my eyes,â€ Joyce said. â€œI think the whole place is just charming. She put a lot of thought into the bed and breakfast. It reminds you of â€˜Gone with the Wind.â€™â€
Another room at the inn has been named â€œThe Acorn Room.â€ It boasts a cast-iron bed frame.
The inn also has an apartment called â€œThe Winter Suite.â€ It was named after Feaâ€™s boyfriendâ€™s parents.
The suite includes a private bathroom, two queen-sized beds, a kitchenette, microwave, toaster and coffee pot.
Fea didnâ€™t include mini-kitchens in all of the rooms because she assumed most guests would be happy leaving the cooking up to her.
Want to go? The White Oak Inn is located at 2641 Ivey Church Road off of N.C. 150 east. For more information call (704) 736-1944.
by Jon Mayhew