GLEN ALPINE — Built in 1913 as a home for J.D. Pitts, the house at 105 Davis St. in Glen Alpine found new life in the next century as something different.
Since 2003, the structure has served as a bed-and-breakfast under the name Inn at Glen Alpine. Once condemned in the 1980s, it was brought back to life. The building opened as an inn in 2003 under Jane Hogg, who ran it for more than a decade.
Craig and Teresa Sellman purchased the bed-and-breakfast from Hogg in November 2014, doing a few renovations before reopening in the summer of 2015.
Now, however, it looks like the house will be a home yet again.
In mid-January, Teresa Sellman sent a letter to the Burke County Tourism Development Authority, resigning her position on the TDA board and declaring the couple’s intent to close the inn on Jan. 25 and move to Asheville, where the Sellmans will manage future real estate and design interests.
Later in January, Sellman told The News Herald the house was going up for sale for residential use. It is listed with Lake James Real Estate with an asking price of $795,000. It has five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms across 4,600 square feet on 5.15 acres of land.
“My husband and I, when we bought the inn in 2014, actually incorporated (our business) with the plan of focusing on hospitality, real estate and design throughout western North Carolina. Our first property was here at the inn,” Sellman said, noting the inn had its last weekend for guests Jan. 24-26. “We’ve been doing some social media newsletter communications that as of (Jan. 26), we’re going to repoint the Inn at Glen Alpine website and all of our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter social media to our new website, which is cratersincorporated.com.”
For Pitts, a proprietor of a lumber yard, grist mill and general store in Glen Alpine, the American Foursquare-style house was a country home. It will be so again after serving as a scenic base of business for the previous two owners.
“The people who we’ve met not just to help us renovate and run the inn, but also the guests and friends that we’ve made along the way, are part of our journey going forward,” Sellman said. “That’s why we’re actually selling the house as a private residence. That allows us to keep all the rights to our business and our reputation and not have to give up all of the hard work we’ve done for people to be invested in what we do here.
“So, we’re looking forward to taking everybody on the journey with us as we evolve.”
What’s next for the Sellmans? More of the same, just in a little bit different a place and in a little bit of a different way.
“Once we sell the inn, we’re going to be focusing on real estate projects for the traveling couple, long-term corporate real estate and other interesting real estate projects, really focusing on renovation and design,” Sellman said. “We’ve got a lot of really positive feedback from the work we did here at the inn. In the interim, we will also offer design services.”
Sellman credited the Inn at Glen Alpine as a great launching point for the couple’s business. She believes the things they learned running the bed-and-breakfast will translate well to their future endeavors, focused more on the management of vacation rentals than on innkeeping.
“I think that because Craig and I were always the couple who hosted people, entertained and cooked for them, and we loved renovation, design and hosting events — we actually got married on a property very similar to this back in 2005 — the five years here have been such a wonderful experience with not only the people we’ve met, but really giving us an opportunity to do all the things we love in a personal business sense,” Sellman said.
“We could look at the market for western North Carolina, see where the trends in hospitality are going and then it really gave us an opportunity to take what we’ve learned here and shift it toward what we think great hospitality opportunities are, particularly focusing on that traveling couple — folks like ourselves. You rent a vacation rental and, sometimes, you can only get a two- or three-bedroom. We want to make sure there are lots of great options out there with the style and accommodations of the inn, but across the vacation rental market, as well.”
While the Sellmans are moving on, Teresa said they’ll never forget their time in Glen Alpine and all they learned about small-town life while living and working there.
“It was an amazing opportunity and an amazing experience,” Sellman said. “I think the first time I went to the Glen Alpine Christmas parade, at the end it was Santa Claus, Darth Vader and Spider-Man. We realized we were in a special place. We love seeing the little boy with the chicken every year in the Fourth of July parade who makes the front of The News Herald.
“That small-town experience, having come from a larger city — I think everybody should live in a small town if they have the opportunity. The town of Glen Alpine, Burke County, the tourism board, the chamber of commerce, the mayors of Glen Alpine — everybody, from the start, couldn’t have been more welcoming to us. We’re just sad to say goodbye to folks, but we know we’re staying in the area, we’re staying and living in western North Carolina, so we’re not going far. If anything, we’ll be a little bit more invested and see people more because we’ll have more free time not being here at the inn every day.”