ELIZABETHTOWN — Until recently, guests to Elizabethtown had, within the city limits, only one place to stay — the Knights Inn on Broad Street. However, since the beginning of the year, three additional accommodations have sprung up in town, giving visitors a variety of options, from the outdoorsy cabins at Green’s Pond to the upscale cottages at Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery.
Visitors can now add cozy retreat to the list, as that’s just what Chris Adams has accomplished in renovating the Col. John McDowell home, built in 1834 and located at 105 Cromartie Road, and turning it into The Elizabethtown Inn.
“I bought the house because I fell in love with it, and it’s a historic house that I wanted to help save,” said Adams, “but it’s way bigger than anything I need for myself. It just made sense to turn it into an inn, because it fills a need here.
“When business people come in, they stay in Lumberton or Fayetteville,” he reasoned. “The same thing is true when people are in town for weddings or funerals, so I got a lot of positive responses when I floated the idea around to business people.”
After purchasing the house last year, Adams set about making changes. Inside walls, from top to bottom, received a fresh coat of paint, plumbing work was done, heating and air were updated, landscaping was improved, and bathrooms were added to or enlarged in every bedroom.
“Honestly, the house was in relatively good condition,” said Adams. “We didn’t change anything structurally or build any additions, because it had good bones.”
The inn has six bedrooms with baths, three of which are upstairs and three of which are downstairs, each with unique character.
Hunter’s Room, tucked into a corner of the house, has a cozy den-type feel, and is almost masculine in nature, but not overbearingly so, and guests may find that they want to sit on the leather sofa by the oversized fireplace all day.
The Garden Room is a light and airy space, and visitors are liable to feel like they are on a veranda rather than in an historic home.
The Thornton Room is a bold, majestic, traditional room with a king-size canopy bed and a bathroom with a whirlpool tub.
“It’s my favorite room,” said Adams. “The bed dates to the 1830s, and I just love the traditional look of the room.”
All of the decorating was done, Adams reported, by him, and he utilized pieces that he has collected over the years.
“That was the fun part,” he said. “Of course, I had to take care of the plumbing and things like that, but I really enjoyed making it look nice.”
The inn also has three bedrooms upstairs that share a common sitting room.
Prices range from $90 to $120 per night.
“I’m definitely not going to get rich off of this,” said Adams, “but it’s good for the town.”
The dining room will, when it is finished, be available for meetings or for small receptions of 18 people or fewer.
“Our goal is to make it as comfortable and convenient and as modern as we can, like a small boutique hotel instead of a frilly bed and breakfast,” explained Adams.
An open house is planned for Sunday, May 15, from 2 to 5 p.m.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.