Originally designed as a stagecoach stop, the inn was built circa. 1830,and for more than 100 years it underwent several transformations. At the turn of the 20th century it operated for several years as the Franklin Humanitarian Home
(a TB sanatorium).
Notably, in 1940, as the famed Black Mountain College approached its zenith, the property was purchased by Mary Aleshire and Daisey Erb. Mrs. Aleshire was the manager of the Norton Art Gallery in Palm Beach, Florida. She artfully restored and updated the historic property. In 1942, the house was opened as the Oak Knoll Art Studio, which served primarily as a summer artist's retreat for Mrs. Aleshire and her many famous guest; Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Norman Rockwell, Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan and Joan Sutherland among them.
In 1965, wishing to preserve the house, and prevent commercial development the Aleshires sold the house to their caretaker Jim Reid.
The house was purchased again in 1989 and lovingly restored by its current owners, who transformed it into the Black Mountain Inn. Since then, we have been privileged to return this wonderful inn to the tradition of welcoming guests to the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains.