Cleghorn Plantation House is Reborn
Over the past two years, I have chronicled the decay of the historic 1835 Cleghorn Plantation house, and the outcry from my readers has been universal. “How can this kind of thing happen to a piece of Western North Carolina history?” Although the bankrupt development containing the house was sold to The Challenge Golf Group, Ltd., a Texas based corporation, in 2010, legal roadblocks and lawsuits prevented any work to be done on the site, and the golf course closed in October, 2012. The future of the house looked bleak. Last winter, the legal cases were finally settled, and the development was reacquired by its former owner, Ken Bortner, who immediatly began rehabilitating the course, the swimming pool, and all public areas. The course opened for business on March 1, and, best of all, Ken Bortner began to repair and restore the long suffering plantation house.
At sunset, the newly repaired exterior glows in a way not seen in years. The land where the house and golf course sits was given to William Cleghorn by King George II in 1752.
The house has been made water tight, and rotting wood has been replaced. A new coat of paint gives the dowager a new lease on life. These double deck porches are relatively recent to the house, but the added square footage will contribute to the financial viability of the house when it once again opens to the public.
The floor of the front porch is weather resistant teak. Very beautiful!
The western view toward the Blue Ridge Mountains is as breathtaking as ever.
The interior has been cleaned and decluttered in preparation for remodeling. Although it would be nice to think that it will be restored to its antebellum glory with antiques and artwork from the period, most likely it will be reoutfitted for receptions and meetings. These rooms were originally bed chambers because they were cooler in the summer than the second floor. The main entrance was at the top of a sweeping outdoor staircase on the upper floor. At least it is being preserved, and those 18″ thick brick walls aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The golf course has been brought back to its original 1972 glory, when it was voted as one of the top 100 golf courses in America. The stone work around the tees, above, was done by local stone mason Mike Connor. The course was designed by George Cobb, who also designed the Par 3 course at Augusta National, and Quail Hollow in Charlotte.
The view from the top of the sixth hole rivals any mountain course anywhere in North Carolina. Ken Bortner, working with his new General manger and Director of Golf, Dave Long, has made a major financial commitment into the property, and Cleghorn Plantation has risen from the ashes. Make sure you look at past postings about this iconic piece of history.
The video below was made at the top of hole 6. It really shows the elevation change from tee to fairway. That’s me on the tee, by the way. It’s a minute long.