The Cone Manor, NC

The Cone Manor also known as Flat Top manor is located on 3600 acres on milepost 294 of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Blowing Rock, NC. Construction of the manor and the 25 miles of carriage roads around it began in 1899 by Moses H. Cone. The son of a German immigrant, Moses Cone was a successful textile entrepreneur. The 14,000 square foot manor contains 23 rooms including 7 bathrooms, 7 fireplaces, 11 bedrooms, a music room, a library and a billiard room. Mr. Cone and his wife Bertha Lindau built the manor as a summer home, they spent their winters in Baltimore, Maryland. Their first summer there was in 1901.

The Cones made their money on various enterprises including wholesale grocery, denim manufacturing, four apple orchids, and dairy farms. Their most lucrative business was their denim manufacturing. They were a major supplier to the Levi Strauss company. Mr. Cone died at age 51 of heart issues. His heirs agreed to give a share of his company’s income to his widow and allow her to manage the Flat Top estate after his death.

The Cones supported many philanthropic causes including the Moses Cone Health System, the conversion Watauga Academy to Appalachian State University, a new public school at Sandy Flat on their property. Bertha died in 1947. Her estate was donated to the National Park Service shortly thereafter to be maintained as The Moses H. Cone Memorial Park.

We visited the manor on August 13th, 2022. It was open for visitors, so we wandered through its empty rooms imagining them in their past glory before hiking the picturesque Fire Tower Trail located on the grounds and visiting the cemetery where Mr. and Mrs. Cone are buried.

Reference: National Park Service Page

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