The McDowell News, March 28, 2002
(Read more Accolades)
By Mike Conley
An ecological retreat in southern McDowell County has been named as the first U.S. member of an international ecotourism organization based in Athens, Greece.
The Cottages at Spring House Farm recently became the first ecological retreat in the United States to obtain registration with EcoClub, an international ecotourism organization. EcoClub provides travelers information on retreats around the world that are not harmful to the environment.
The Cottages at Spring House Farm is also a new member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), the world’s oldest and largest non-profit ecotourism organization.
Already recognized as the first ecological retreat in North Carolina, Spring House Farm is also home to the Albertus Ledbetter House, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.
Built in 1826 and greatly expanded in 1836, this two-story frame house stands as one of McDowell County’s few intact homes from the early 19th century. A number of old farm buildings are located next to the house.
Owners Arthur and Zee Campbell have built four luxury cottages on mountain land near the Ledbetter House and these cottages are open as retreats. The Campbells are now building a fifth cottage.
They have built four resort cottages along an old logging road beyond the Ledbetter House. These four cottages have been available for couples as mountain retreats since the summer and fall of 2000. They are located within the natural forest lands but provide comfort and privacy for the guests.
“With 92 acres of rolling forests, pastures, trout ponds and streams, the eco-retreat offers guests the opportunity to relax in one of four secluded cabins, all built from local timber by local craftsman,” said Arthur Campbell. “In accordance with the conservation-minded tenets of eco-tourism, the property remains a virtually undisturbed wildlife sanctuary.”
One well provides all the water and the power lines run underground.
The hardwood forest canopy around the cabins remains intact.
These four cottages are located in the woodlands out of sight from the Ledbetter House and each other. Each one of the cottages has its own theme. All of these cottages are equipped with hot tubs, fireplaces, outdoor grills and full kitchens. These kitchens are stocked with breakfast items such as eggs, honey, homemade jellies and jams. Visitors to the Spring House Farm have also been able to enjoy hot-air balloon rides.
“It’s all about conservation and making sure the hardwoods are not destroyed,” Arthur Campbell said. “It’s a very natural experience.”