The Lion & The Rose circa 1900
The house, a Queen Anne neo-Classical, was built in 1896 by Elmer and Charity Rusk Craig who moved to Asheville from Wisconsin in an effort to revive Mr. Craig’s failing health. At one time, Mrs. Craig was the National President of the Women’s Relief Corps, a charitable organization. In 1913, the Toms family purchased the house, thus the name Craig Toms Suite. This is one of the few larger homes in the Montford Historic District that has always been owned by single families.
The house has golden oak ornate columns as you enter which lead you to the Inglenook set with antique church benches and a warm, glowing fire in the cooler months. The sitting parlor to the right offers a relaxing place to read some old books or some new magazines or catch up on the latest news of the day. The formal parlor on the left has a beautiful bay window which overlooks the verandah and gardens.
In Look Homeward Angel
, a fictional account of Asheville
written by Thomas Wolfe, the character named Tommy French was based on a contemporary of Wolfe named Charles French Toms, who lived in the house and was the son of the second owners. Charles’ daughter and granddaughter have stayed at the inn and have shared interesting anecdotes and photographs of the family and the house.