September 13, 2010
Designer Showhouse at Daniel Boone VI Cottage opens for tours September 26

A host of local designers, craftsmen and artists has transformed the 75-year-old Daniel Boone VI Cottage on the campus of Lees-McRae into a designer showhouse just in time for fall colors in the mountains. The cottage will be open for tours beginning September 26.

The 2010 designer showhouse at Lees-McRae, co-chaired by Dianne Davant of Dianne Davant and Associates and Pam McKay of The Art Cellar, will raise funds for building restoration and historic preservation on the Lees-McRae College campus.

Private tours for church or civic groups will be available September 26-30. The 1.5 hour private tours cost $20 per person. The showhouse will be open for public tours October 4-16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The cost for the tours is $20 per person.

The Daniel Boone Showhouse is located at 184 Chestnut Way on the campus of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk.

"True to the motto of Lees-McRae College - in the mountains, of the mountains, for the mountains - this charming home will return to its original purpose and character," said Deborah Buxton, wife of President Barry Buxton and community liaison for the showcase house project. "It will be a showcase for Blue Ridge Mountain talent including artists, craftsmen and designers."

After many years of neglect, this charming structure filled with wormy chestnut paneling and hand-hewn beans, four stone fireplaces, Tennessee marble floors, and handwrought iron by Daniel Boone VI, the cottage has become a perfect reflection of the ideal "Appalachian Retreat" filled to the rafters with gorgeous fabrics and woven items, antiques and reproductions, and exquisite artwork and master crafts.

Lees-McRae's signature sweet, "Sticky Toffee Pudding", will be available for purchase, along with an assortment of beverages.

The cottage has an interesting history at Lees-McRae. Constructed in 1935 by the wood-work and building department students, it was first used as a practice home for the home economics department of Lees-McRae College, and includes the now-legendary craftsmanship of Daniel Boone VI, the hand-forged wrought iron icon who came to teach this skill to Lees-McRae students in 1934.

During the summers, Miss Anne Jenks and Miss Carrie Jenks, of Southern Pines, NC, would stay in the home through an arrangement with the College that helped finance the construction. The Misses Jenks had been frequent visitors to the Pinnacle Inn, a summer resort run by the College in the 1920s and 30s.

In a newspaper article dated November 13, 1935, the home was described as a "modernly equipped, part-stone structure finished inside with chestnut paneling with wrought iron fixtures made in the Daniel Boone shop." The article continued, "It will serve as both a laboratory for the classes in cooking and home management and as a guest house for the college, the students acting as hostesses."

For more information contact Meghan Wright at (828) 898-8729 or, or visit To schedule a group tour, contact Polly Caps at (828) 963-6270 or Margaret Lehmann at (828) 898-5643.

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Blaine Hansen  |  Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness
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