This summer we were pleasantly surprised to learn that a 17 year old, from Cleveland, Tennessee, paid for a family trip to the Fryemont Inn. She saved money from her job at Burger King for a 17th birthday present to herself and her family. We were so amazed with her story that we asked her to tell us and the rest of the Fryemont family how it all came to pass. This is her story~~
The Fryemont Inn is one rich in its history. It was once known as the “Inn Unique”, a title I believe it still holds to this very day! I had the honor of staying at this beautiful rustic inn during its 95th year. It was the fact that the Inn was on the National Register of Historic Places that I was first drawn to it. I had been looking for an Inn that was both historic and family friendly to visit for my 17th birthday. We had already fallen in love with the small town of Bryson City during a previous visit to the area. We loved Soda Pops and the Chocolate Shop–where all the chocolate, fudge and caramels are made in house–and the Heritage Museum where we learned all kinds of history about the town. We loved walking the town’s beautiful streets and talking to some of the locals. So, when I came across the Fryemont Inn, I decided it might just be what I was looking for. I showed it to my mother and sister, and we all decided that it would be the perfect place to stay on our trip.
The next step was getting enough money so that we could make the trip. I wanted to make this a special time for everyone, during which we could just enjoy ourselves and my family would not have to worry about the cost, so I decided to pay for everything myself. Every month, starting in February, I would read an article on the history of the Inn or the area to keep myself motivated to save the money for our trip. By the time May rolled around, a month after my 17th birthday, I had the money I needed. I had not only saved enough for the entire trip, but also a little extra so that both my mother and sister had some spending cash as well. The experience was well worth my savings. From the moment we stepped through the Inn’s large wooden front door, we felt welcomed. Our stay was only for a week, but by the time my family and I left, we felt at home. It was as if the Fryemont’s staff had become part of our extended family. We had spent our afternoons just hanging out in the lobby, talking to other guests and playing board games. It was a time of family bonding with just my mom, my sister and myself. We left the guys at home for this trip and I soon decided that I wanted to make this a tradition for the years to come.
I had a fun time doing these simple things with my mother and sister. However, I must admit that some of my favorite moments at the Inn were when Mrs. Monica Brown and some of the other staff members helped feed our thirst for knowledge and curiosity about the Inn itself, as they sat with us at the lobby’s large table and shared stories and other exciting information that very few others had ever been gifted to hear. These were very special moments for us, as my entire family loves history, and it felt as if we were becoming part of the Inn’s history ourselves. As out trip ended, our hearts were sad–we knew it was time to leave and go back to our day to day life. Since we have returned home, friends have asked me if it was worth saving my money for and I have happily told them that it was well worth every bit of it! The Fryemont Inn is truly still the “Inn Unique”!