The Lion and the Rose


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History of the Inn, The Lion and the Rose

History of the Inn

In 1896, Elmer and Charity Rush Craig* moved from Wisconsin to what is now Asheville’s Montford Historic District. Hoping to help Mr. Craig’s deteriorating health, the couple built this beautiful Queen Anne neo-Classical home as their permanent North Carolina residence.

*Charity Rush Craig was once the National President of the Woman’s Relief Corps, a charitable organization dedicated to honor the Grand Army of the Republic, assist U.S. Veterans, and demonstrate patriotism to the U.S.A.

In 1913, the house was purchased by the Toms family. In honor of these first two families owning the property, the Craig-Toms Suite was named to preserve their memory.

The Toms’ son, Charles French Toms, was the basis of character Tommy French in the book Look Homeward Angel, a fictional story of Asheville by Thomas Wolfe. We have been privileged to welcome Charles’ daughter and granddaughter as guests and have enjoyed their stories and photos of the home and their family.

The Lion and the Rose Bed and Breakfast has been fastidiously restored to her original splendor. Some of the more notable architectural details include the ornate golden oak columns in the entrance, and the Inglenook (a fireplace area), which is flanked by antique church benches to let you enjoy the warm fire during cool months. The sitting parlor appointed with comfortable sofas within is a popular destination for book-lovers, and the formal parlor’s bay window offers sweeping views of the veranda and our gardens.

Throughout its existence, this stately residence has been the home to single families and is one of very few homes in the Historic Montford District to boast this fact.

The Lion and the Rose has been operating since 1985 and is one of the longest running B&Bs in the area. Through the years, the inn has been honored with awards including Best Asheville Bed and Breakfast, Most Beautiful Gardens and has received recognitions in publications such as Fodors, USA Today, and Country Living to name just a few. 

We welcome you to our home and we look forward to offering you a comfortable and enjoyable stay.