Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

Have you dreamt of having your own mansion exclusively situated amidst trees and despite wanting to have a huge shelter, still feel cozily at home? Cone Memorial Park is a perfect combination of it all. A 19th-century white mansion, upper-class façade, in a 3600-acre land is an estate worth looking at. The Cone Memorial Park is an icon of Gilded age fortunes that Moses H. Cone built. He was a prosperous textile entrepreneur, conservationist, and philanthropist. Also known as the Flat Top Manor, its construction was all due to Cone’s desire of having a venue for retreat and refuge. He was a nature lover and environmentalist who wanted to stay close to his family despite the demands of his business vocation.

The home he built is truly an all-in-one dwelling place where you could find 23 white rooms, a view of its neighboring Rich Mountain surrounded with virgin hardwoods and evergreens, and rocky rise of the nearby Grandfather Mountain from their front porch. They have an apple barn and the manor boasts elegance seen in the white enormous columns, leaded glass windows, and incredibly a central heating system. It was so famous that it had often been visited by local dignitaries and government leaders.

“The manor has been made a home to the Parkway Craft Center that the Southern Highland Craft Guild has built. It displays works of artisans from the nine Appalachian states, comprising exhibits ranging from baskets, woodcarvings to quilts and ironwork. You can find trail maps, brochures, nature books and guidebooks in the bookstore too.”

The “parkland” comprises a large part of the parkway offering a wide variety of recreational activities. And though we are now in the modern age, the place and experiences in the parkland exude an old 19th-century feeling. The activities to look forward to are the hiking and horse trails, boating and fishing, camping, handicraft making, guided walks, and campfire programs in the evening. Apart from the fun-filled activities and sights in the parkland and manor, what strikes most people is the apple barn which has grown 32,000 trees in four orchards. The Cones even built two lakes and stuffed them with trout and bass.
Even more, they set up carriage roads intended for an accessible route to their orchards and pastures. With this, they had provided the local resident’s opportunities for horseback and carriage riding. Moses H. Cone and his manor is a legend to many people. His ideas and passions were not only meant for his well-being but for everyone’s, including his family and fellow townspeople.

He may have always thought of his business and family but he was never short of finding joy in his home where he built most of his dreams. His place is truly a historic site summarizing his accomplishments, visions, and passions. What makes the Flat Top Manor worth visiting is the camaraderie that grew strong over the years. The main source of all is Cone’s goal to live a happy and fulfilling life. That, in fact, is the best reason why you should take your time to visit the manor. Get inspired and know in your heart that things you dream, when combined with hard work and personal touch, really do come true.