It’s time to say good-bye to the Richmond Hill Inn, Asheville. After OM Sanctuary announced its plans in August to transform the historic grounds into a wellness-oriented retreat center, the nonprofit wants to give the public a chance to experience the grounds in a Community Closure event this Saturday.
“When something is ending, it’s nice to be able to have a way to have everything come full circle,” says Shelli Stanback, chair of the OM Sanctuary board. The Saturday event will take place from 1-5 p.m. and will hint at the future of Oshun Mountain Sanctuary as a health center with free well-being demonstrations ranging from Qi Gong to yoga in the Carriage House.
However, Stanback says the most moving part of the day will be the closure ceremony itself at 3:30 p.m. that will discuss the inn’s history, both the good times and the bad.
In March 2009, the Richmond Hill mansion burned to the ground in an arson that remains unsolved. Built in 1889, the mansion overlooked the French Broad River and had once been home of congressman Richmond Pearson. According to court documents, the loss was valued at $7 million.
“There’s a fascination that people have with seeing this place,” Stanback explains. “Sometimes if we forget to close the gate, we’ll see people wandering around and looking at what remains of the mansion.”
By next week, very little of the Pearson house will remain. Demolition of the house will begin Tuesday morning.
The Community Closure program will be as follows:
Community Closure Program
Doors open at 1 PM
Activities in the Garden Pavilion
Guest Room Tours
Vendors in the Dining Room
Water and tea provided by OM Sanctuary
Ulimana (chocolate truffles)
Roots and Branches (crackers) – 319-573-4772
Imladris Bridge Farms (raspberry jam)
Spinning Spider Creamery (goat cheese)
Guitarist – Mike Davis
Activities in the Carriage House
Healing Arts Demonstrations
Qi Gong for Health 1:15 to 1:35 – Larry Cammarata
Quieting the Mind through Meditation 1:40 to 2:00 – Larry Cammarata
How to Get and Stay Healthy 2:05 to 2:25 – Mark Hoch, MD
Yoga for Well-Being 2:30 to 2:50 – Lillah Schwartz
Introduction to Healing Touch 2:55 to 3:15 – Mary Sheldon, RN
Mary Sparks – Hammer dulcimer
Community Closure Ceremony
3:30 to 4:30 in the Garden Pavilion Jack Thomson, Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County Jim Samsel, Richmond Hill Inn Marge Michels, Richmond Hill Inn Karen Cragnolin, Wilma Dykeman Project Shelli Stanback, OM Sanctuary President
Guest cottages Walking trails
Doors close at 5 PM