Tennessee Bed and Breakfasts Welcome Visitors for Peaceful Farm Getaways

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Lairdland Farms Bed and Breakfast in TN

For many travelers, the bed-and-breakfast concept conjures up mental images of city-based Victorian homes laced with antiques and fine china. But across Tennessee, a number of farm families have added bed-and-breakfast inns to their property, creating a new source of revenue on the farm and beckoning city-dwellers to savor the B&B experience in the quiet countryside.

Mountain Magic

Norman and Sarah Ball operate Blue Mountain Mist Country Inn & Cottages on their 60-acre Smoky Mountain farm. Sarah’s family ties to the area date back to the 1780s, when her ancestor Robert Shields moved from Virginia to Tennessee. A mountain overlooking the farm is named Shields Mountain in their honor.

 

Farm Bed and Breakfasts

“My parents bought this farm in the 1930s. He was a mail carrier and she was a schoolteacher, but they loved farming,” Sarah Ball says. “They raised cattle and grew tobacco and had a huge garden.”

By 1987, she had been a teacher for 16 years, and Norman, a former high school principal, was working as an architectural draftsman.
“I was ready to do something else, and we had stayed in a couple of B&Bs,” Ball says. “I couldn’t get the idea off my mind – I wanted to build an inn on our farm, with rolling hills and mountains all around us.”

Her husband drew the plans for a Victorian inn with 12 guest rooms, and it soon became a reality. They later added five cottages for couples and a Victorian-style guesthouse next to the inn.

Mountain View Mist in Sevierville, TN

“We have a walking trail, ponds, picnic areas, and hammocks here and there,” Ball says. Other relaxing spots include a plant-filled garden room with skylights.

Today, two of her three children have joined the family business. One son is the cook, another son is office manager, and a daughter-in-law is the inn’s massage therapist and wedding coordinator.

“We serve a hearty breakfast, starting with fresh fruit with Norman’s signature topping,” Ball says, listing off strawberry-stuffed French toast, biscuits and gravy, and breakfast casserole among their offerings. “And we serve drinks and homemade pies and cakes in the evenings.”

Ball says many guests have become lifelong friends.

“It’s like getting ready for company coming every day, and that gives me satisfaction,” she says. “I feel this was God’s plan for my life, and now our boys have come on board. It’s been a family love. It’s part of us.”

Mammy & Pappy's B&B in Springville, TN

Mammy & Pappy’s B&B in Springville, TN

Saving a Family Farm

Danny and Katie Williams of Springville operate Mammy & Pappy’s Bed & Breakfast on their 153-acre century farm. The Williamses met because of the farm – when the two were seniors in high school, Danny hauled hay for Katie’s father. Now, they’ve been married 43 years.

They opened the bed-and-breakfast in 2006 in an effort to save her childhood home.

Katie Williams of Mammy & Pappy's B&B in Springville, TN

“The house I grew up in was built in 1899, and this farm has been in my family since 1865,” Katie Williams says. “I didn’t want to see the house torn down, so we spent 26 months renovating it into a four-bedroom bed-and-breakfast. About 90 percent of the furnishings are what I grew up with. Our house was used for a lot of family reunions growing up, so it likes to have company.”

Mammy & Pappy’s quickly became a popular destination for weddings and reunions, so in 2009, they built a two-story reception hall with four additional guest rooms upstairs. Guests wake up to a full country breakfast, with homemade biscuits, their choice of meat, potatoes and fruit.

“Your stay also includes an evening snack, and I often make pecan pie with pecans from our property,” Williams says.

Farm Bed and Breakfasts

An Accidental B&B

Jim Blackburn of Cornersville never intended to open a bed-and-breakfast.

“I had always wanted a cabin, and I found one from the 1800s about 20 miles from here,” says Blackburn, who owns the 500-acre farm that has been in his family since the 1830s. “So we jacked it up and brought it here. After I restored it, friends started asking how much I’d charge to let them stay in it for a weekend.”

Homemade ham biscuits at Lairdland Farms B&B

The first guests stayed in the cabin in 1995, and Lairdland Farm Bed & Breakfast was born. Blackburn built a second cabin from antique lumber in 2000. Both cabins have central heat and air, full kitchens, TVs, wood-burning fireplaces and outdoor grills.

“We stock the kitchens with country ham biscuits, pastries, cereals, coffee and juice so guests can eat breakfast at their leisure,” Blackburn says.

 

 

People often ask Blackburn what there is to do at Lairdland Farm.

“I tell them, ‘You can hike or bring horses to ride on our 15 miles of trails. Or you can ride bicycles or go antique shopping,’ ” he says. “But most people just want to sit on the porch and swing. And they say, ‘That’s exactly what I’m going to do.’ ”

Farm Bed and Breakfasts

Stay in a Tennessee Farm B&B

Mammy & Pappy’s Bed and Breakfast
Springville, TN
(731) 642-8129

Lairdland Farm Bed & Breakfast
Cornersville, TN
(888) 231-8631

Blue Mountain Mist Country Inn & Cottages
Sevierville, TN
(800) 497-2335

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