lonesome valley

Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust Celebrates 100 Years of Saving Special Places

An exciting series of centennial events will take place in 2009 to pay homage to Highlands-Cashiers Land Trusts (HCLT) rich history and illuminate the community to its very bright future. HCLT is the oldest land trust in all of North Carolina and among the first 20 in the United States. Like most things, HCLT began very simply the concept of a handful of concerned citizens who didnt wish to see the face of a mountain transformed by another hilltop hotel. The group, created in 1883 under the name of The Highlands Improvement Society, set out to protect, preserve and promote the natural beauty of Highlands. They slowly realized their vision by building trails and planting trees, and in 1909 had raised $500 to purchase 56 acres at the summit of Satulah Mountain. From these humble beginnings, Highlands Improvement Society has grown into the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, a 501(c)3 organization that currently protects 1,160 acres along the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau.

The June schedule of events includes a presentation from the 2009 Village Series titled 100 Years of Conservation at Jennings Barn at Lonesome Valley on June 24 at 6:30 p.m. Ran Shaffner, Dr. Gary Wein and Rosemary Stiefel will be on hand to discuss the past and the future of HCLT, and the new logo for the organization will be unveiled. Other centennial events in June include:

June 6 Celebrate Land Trust Day! Show your support for the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust by shopping and dining at some of your favorite local merchants. A portion of the proceeds benefits HCLT.

June 6 Highlands Improvement Society Social hosted by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust Take a step back in time to learn what life was like on the Plateau in 1909 during this very special Centennial Event. Enjoy a picnic dinner, take part in a cakewalk, toss some horseshoes and dance to live music set against the backdrop of scenic Whiteside Cove Road. Terrific opportunity to learn more about the history of the land trust, its founding members and its first purchase of land the summit of Satulah Mountain. Period costumes are optional, but encouraged. Festivities begin at 6 p.m.

June 7 Where It All Began hosted by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust Enjoy high tea on the summit of Satulah Mountain the site of the Highlands Improvement Societys first land purchase one hundred years ago. Afternoon includes a skit by Highlands Historical Society president, Elaine Whitehurst and the music of bag piper, David Landis. Period costumes and kilts are optional, but encouraged. Event begins at 4:00 p.m.

June 26-28 Walk in the Park with the Highlands Historical Society Features portrayals of past Highlands leaders, the formation of the Highlands Improvement Society and the founding of the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust. Tickets are $15 students admitted free. June 26 and 27 6-7:30 p.m. Highlands Memorial Cemetery (shuttle from Recreation Park); June 28 4 p.m. Performing Arts Center on Chestnut Street.

The Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust has always relied upon the generosity of its community to thrive. We hope you will consider showing your support by attending these events with your friends and family, or by donating your time, land or monetary gifts to this wonderful cause. Together, we can help preserve the natural beauty of our home on the Plateau!

For more information about HCLT and ways you can help, visit www.hicashlt.org or call 828.526.1111.

Lonesome Valley: Where Life is Simplified, and Living is Embraced

The rock face at Lonesome Valley

The rock face at Lonesome Valley

With a history dating back to 1895, Lonesome Valley has served as a bastion to the great outdoors ever since Pittsburg entrepreneur and visionary E.H. Jennings first acquired 35,000 acres near the sleepy village of Cashiers. While Mr. Jennings is responsible for developing one of Western North Carolinas most popular resort destinations, he chose to preserve Lonesome Valley as a special place to share with his friends and family. Gracefully spanning the valley floor of the largest box canyon east of the Rockies, Lonesome Valley is said by many to be the place where Heaven and Earth meet. For more than a century, the Jennings family has continued to take great care to maintain the history and natural beauty of this unique mountain treasure.

Carefully developed in accordance with the Jennings familys wishes, amenities and homes within this stunning community complement the natural beauty of the area. Lonesome Valley has quickly become one of Cashiers most sought after developments. Cottage and home designs pay homage to the Southern Appalachian farmhouses of a bygone era. Dining within the community highlights Southern cuisine made with fresh produce grown in the Valley. The Canyon Kitchen is currently open for the season on Thursdays through Sundays, and features the culinary talents of Chef John Fleer (formerly of the renowned Blackberry Farm in Tennessee). The Canyon Kitchen is located inside Jennings Barn at the heart of the Lonesome Valley community, and reservations are recommended.

Silver Creek Real Estate Group is proud to announce that we are now highlighting several incredible homes and amazing lots available for purchase in Lonesome Valley on our website. A handful of new-construction cabins, cottages and homes are available for immediate move-in, or select your own view from a series of incredible home sites currently being offered. For photo tours and more information on Lonesome Valley in Cashiers, North Carolina, click on the following two links: Lonesome Valley land or homes for sale. When youre ready to buy or build the home of your dreams, contact one of the talented brokers at Silver Creek by calling us at (828) 742-1999, dropping by our offices located just west of the Cashiers Crossroads in The Shoppes at CreekSide, or by filling out our online contact form . We look forward to meeting you and introducing you to one of Cashiers most visually stunning communities.

Luxury Living on Trout Pond in Lonesome Valley

 

No detail was spared in creating this like-new home in the coveted Lonesome Valley community. Situated in a serene setting that overlooks Trout Pond, the property is bordered by creeks on three sides. Nearly flat, the almost two-and-a-half acres are walkable and beckon you to explore every inch.

Every room of the home is on one level with a guest apartment over the two-car garage. The light, bright, and open floor plan features a gourmet kitchen that is open to both the living and dining areas with stunning views in both directions. Outside, you'll enjoy sitting on the covered screen porch with wood burning fireplace overlooking Trout Pond. You can cast your line only a few steps away from the porch.

This home could be enjoyed seasonally or year-round as the current owners do. The property is the perfect combination of beautiful, tranquil solitude with a convenient location only three miles from the center of Cashiers. Lonesome Valley is the largest boxed-faced canyon east of the Mississippi, comprised of 750 acres—300 of which are common green space. The amenity package includes extensive hiking trails, fly fishing in the streams and ponds, lake activities, a fitness facility, an outdoor heated pool, tennis courts, rock climbing, fine dining, and a day spa. This is a home and location for the discerning buyer.

A New Chapter for the Library

Johannes Klapdohr exudes enthusiasm about his work, and luckily for us, the fruits of that work are accessible. The chef and co-founder of Sapphire Valley’s Library Kitchen & Bar, Klapdohr has hit his stride in the creative reinvention of the local landmark.
The “new” Library opened over the New Year’s holiday in 2016-2017, and in the past year has become the epitomic place for fine dining, brilliantly positioned against the historical backdrop of the 1864 farmhouse that it once was.
On any given night one can see a comfortable blend of regulars and out-of-towners enjoying food and drink at the sleek kitchen bar, a small room with a fireplace, or the happening main dining room. “I like to think it has a ‘clubby’ feel,” he explains, and he’s right. There is a familiarity about the place, but don’t be fooled. This new Library is sophisticated, state-of-the-art, and delicious.
The menu, which changes seasonally to augment the use of fresh local ingredients, ranges from trout with Jerusalem artichokes to seafood risotto and chocolate bread pudding.
Johannes, as most everyone calls him, grew up in a family that respected the process of food preparation.  He is the third generation of family chefs and has warm childhood memories of his grandfather’s hotel restaurant in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, a quaint area founded by the Romans. Everything was made from scratch, he recalls, and everything was fresh.
His culinary ambition fueled fourteen years of study and work under various European chefs at several Michelin-starred restaurants.  It was while he was serving as the executive chef in a Berlin restaurant that his sister, who was in Atlanta, suggested he take a temporary assignment working at the Olympic Games, to be held in Atlanta in 1996. In preparation for the Games, the city was actively looking for international chefs.
What was to have been a brief stint in the United States proved eye-opening and challenging and, at the end of the job, he knew he was hooked.  His post as executive chef at the famed Nikolai’s Roof introduced him to the vibrant chef community in Atlanta and provided the contacts that propelled his life of gastronomic adventure.  It was in Atlanta that he met his eventual wife Liz, well known to the Library clientele for her uncanny ability to make first-time guests feel as if they are coming to her home for dinner.
Next stop after Atlanta was Sea Island, Georgia, where for three years Johannes served as executive chef at The Lodge. It was an exciting time to be there, as considerable development and re-building were underway, but the passion to cull the source of gourmet food proved strong.  And so, he accepted the position of executive chef of the famed Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan.  Milan, Ohio that is.
The Culinary Vegetable Institute celebrates the collaboration of chefs and farmers working together. Located at the tip of Lake Erie, it is renowned for having the most fertile soil in the United States and is a leading supplier of sustainable foods. It was here that he saw first-hand, for example, the importance of soil regeneration for the maximum nutritional value of crops.
“You can’t cheat nature,” he explains, detailing how the proper rotation of crops yields the best output.  
Beans, for example, release nitrogen while tomatoes need nitrogen.  Thus, it makes perfect sense that tomatoes would be planted in soil that most recently grew beans.  He rues the fact that peaches are slowly losing their nutritional value because of improper soil regeneration, and that is merely one example.
The stint at the Culinary Vegetable Institute has informed his attitude about food ever since.  Johannes bemoans the common health problems that are increasingly being experienced by younger people and blames a chemically-enhanced, unnatural diet.  He cites the well-known book by Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food, and would wholeheartedly embrace its doctrine of “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.”
The father of three children, ages 8, 7 and 2, Johannes makes it a practice to take them on walks to discover the smell and feel of “real” food and advocates water and milk over soda. Not surprisingly, the big planters located in the Library’s front yard are actually fresh herb gardens and the iconic red tractor on the lawn gives a nod to his guiding philosophy.
After Milan, Ohio came The Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, where opportunities abounded to put into play the healthy yet delicious principles that were celebrated at the Culinary Vegetable Institute.  As executive chef of the entire resort, Johannes had responsibility for all food services which, in addition to the hotel’s famed restaurants, included infinite special events and all activities at The Farm. The farm-to-table movement was in high gear and there seemed no better place to run with it.
But a chance encounter with Marvin Gralnick at the Lonesome Valley Food Show in 2014 set the stage for a brand-new venture.  
Gralnick and his wife Helene may be best known for the successful retail emporium Chico’s.  Beginning in the 1980’s with one small store on Sanibel Island that sold Mexican folk art and sweaters, by the time they retired in 2006, the chain boasted over nine hundred stores, including the Black Market/White House brand.
But Marvin’s true passion is art, and his visionary works that call to mind Pollock and Miro have found their way to extensive public and private exhibitions here and abroad. At the time of this chance meeting, Gralnick owned the building that had been The Library and was contemplating its future.  
As the two men talked over a period of months they discovered a common wavelength for excellence and creativity and a dream of a cutting-edge restaurant, highlighting Johannes’ food and Marvin’s art. The Library began to take shape.
The building itself was basically a shell, and the two strategized to somehow create a contemporary environment that would also honor its considerable history.  Thus, the name “The Library” was set in stone.
“Our guests chose the name,” he says, recalling that the name was originally selected by the previous owner Scott Rooth, who wanted the restaurant to be reminiscent of a popular bar of the same name that had been in the old Fairfield Inn during Prohibition days.
While the core farmhouse, said to be the oldest building in Sapphire Valley, remains nearly intact, much of the property has undergone extensive renovation. For Johannes’ part, he wanted a “transparent” kitchen, so the design is purposefully open, and guests may even sit at a heavy wood bar and watch their food being prepared.  A prominent chandelier in the center of the kitchen/bar room looks as if it could have hung in the original house, but was rescued from a Chico’s store in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Other lamps were culled from Marvin’s considerable collections. Tables were handcrafted to complement the original Library chairs which are currently used, and copper accents were utilized extensively at the bar for a funky “industrial” look.  The interior is painted a clean white, providing the perfect backdrop for Marvin’s bold and often edgy art.
A rendition of the flag with the words “America, A Work in Progress” hangs high above the kitchen and bar room and another work proclaiming “LOVE” in lights sparkles in the main dining rooms.
For his part, Johannes creates his art in the kitchen where a staff of eight works its magic five nights a week, year round.  The menu changes frequently, to reflect the best of what’s fresh. Temperatures are dropping as this is written, and the Library’s menu offers savory stews and cassoulets and side dishes celebrating brussel sprouts, acorn and butternut squash, pears and apples.
If the always crowded parking area is any indication, the two artists have delivered on their collaboration and are providing what Johannes calls “making the exception the rule.”
At the end of an evening at The Library, guests are presented their checks inside an antique bound journal.  Almost all are compelled to write a brief message, a fitting preamble to the next wonderful chapter at the Library.
“Your food is amazing.  I like it, and I am only a kid,” writes one recent patron, while another calls the dining experience “a slice of gastronomic heaven.”
 Like the proper rotation of crops, everything old is new again, and, in the case of the Library Kitchen & Bar, better than ever.