History Checks In

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Jul. 11, 2013 | Modified: Jul. 11, 2013
History Checks In

Scott and Anne Peecook have owned and operated the historic Lovill House as a bed-and-breakfast for 20 years.

Photo by Jesse Campbell

Not many Watauga County natives know the groundwork for what is now Appalachian State University was outlined in front of a fireplace at the Lovill House one brisk January evening.

In fact, not many people at all know of the house or its rich history.

Built shortly after the Civil War, the Lovill House, located at the edge of town limits on Old Bristol Road in Boone, has a history as rich and rediscovered as the hallway arches that were constructed from the wormy chestnut found in the inner walls during an ambitious restoration.

Throughout the years, the home has changed ownership several times and served many purposes.
Today, the house, a mom-and-pop-style operation owned by Scott and Anne Peecook, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary as a bed-and-breakfast.

Edward Francis Lovill was the original owner, according to Scott Peecook.

By corroborating the stories of several descendants, Peecook is convinced that Edward and his son, W.R., assisted B.B. and D.D. Dougherty in drafting legislation that, once passed, would provide state funding for a fledgling teachers’ college.

Peecook still gets goose bumps thinking about that legacy, as he stands in front of that same fireplace.

The circumstances surrounding the Peecooks’ acquisition of the property can be described as an unmistakable attraction.

“Something drew us to this area, and we are so glad we are and hope to be here for many, many more years,” Peecook said.

After purchasing the house in 2001, the Peecooks continued the house’s tenure as an old-fashioned inn, which had been its purpose since 1993.

While 30 percent of the inn’s guests are returning visitors, the house has enjoyed patrons from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, China, France, Germany and Estonia.

Scott said the inn’s charm resides in its proximity to town, while still providing a country setting, as well as a high degree of personal care.

He prides his establishment to being the only true bed-and-breakfast in town limits.

Situated on 11 acres of pristine mountain real estate, the inn is a quick stroll from bustling downtown Boone. Many of his guests relish the contrast of the rural mountain backdrop and modern conveniences of a downtown area, Peecook said.

“It’s the level of service that you wouldn’t get at a hotel,” he said, when asked to elaborate on the inn’s charm. “We specialize as being as handy and as available as people want us. We take cues from our guests.”
Where else in Boone can you be this closely connected to nature, he asked, referencing the towering waterfall on the backside of the property.

“People enjoy being able to sit out on the porch and taking a deep breath, while still being close to town,” Peecook said. “We are also on the right side of Boone for being close to the outdoor activities that people come here to do.”

Over the years, the Peecooks have enjoyed an equally rewarding experience at the house, as do first-time guests.

“One of the things we’ve been touched by is the different kinds of human stories that come through the house,” Peecook said. “Some here come to mourn, some to reconnect, some to celebrate and others to heal. Everyone is welcome at the Lovill House. We make no assumptions.”

The Lovill House is located at 404 Old Bristol Road in Boone. For more information on the inn or to make reservations, call (828) 264-4204 or visit http://www.lovillhouseinn.com.

Additional Images

Scott and Anne Peecook have owned and operated the historic Lovill House as a bed-and-breakfast for 20 years.
Photo by Jesse Campbell

A cascading waterfall, located behind the Lovill House, provides a tranquil retreat to the inn’s guests.
Photo by Jesse Campbell

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