The Mast Farm Inn

The Mast Farm Inn

The Mast farm dates from the late 1700s, when Joseph Mast traveled to the mountains from Randolph County, North Carolina, where he was born in 1764. His father John had settled there after emigrating from Switzerland via Pennsylvania, where his brother remained. Joseph is said to have traded his rifle, his dog, and a pair of leggings for 1000 acres of fertile Watauga River Valley land. The first house, a two-room log cabin, was built around 1810 and remains today as the oldest inhabitable log cabin in Watauga County.


The farm and family prospered through the 19th Century, and Finley and Josephine Mast built the first part of the farmhouse in the 1880s. Around the turn of the century, the Masts began offering meals and rooms to tourists, enlarging the house to accommodate the growing number of guests. By 1915, the inn had 13 bedrooms and one bath. It was called "the Mast Farm" or simply "Aunt Josie's and Uncle Finley's."

Aunt Josie Mast, besides running the house and managing the vegetable garden and dairy, was a master weaver. She turned the original log cabin into a loom house and became celebrated for her coverlets, rugs, and handbags. Some of her coverlets are in the Smithsonian today.

Uncle Finley and Aunt Josie's two sons did not continue the inn after their parents' deaths in the 1930s. Joe, the younger, who was blind, lived in the house until 1964, when ill health forced him to move away.

After Joe Mast died, the house stood empty or was briefly rented until 1984, when Francis and Sibyl Pressly bought the property and did a masterful restoration. The Pressly's outstanding hospitality, cuisine and service became regionally renown in very short order. Along with the purchase, restoration and reestablishment of The Mast General Store by John and Faye Cooper, this greatly contributed to the rebirth of Valle Crucis as a hidden treasure of the Blue Ridge. Once again, The Mast Farm Inn became a favored destination for visitors to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Mast Farm Inn
P.O. Box 704
Valle Crucis, North Carolina 28691
2543 Broadstone Road
Banner Elk, North Carolina 28604
Telephone: 828-963-5857
Toll Free: 1-888-963-5857
Fax: 828-963-6404

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