The History of Sapphire Valley

Sapphire VAlley Historical Society


“Our focus is really on modern day Sapphire Valley which began 60 years ago this year when Mr. Gene Howerdd, Sr. purchased the old Inn and approximately 12,000 acres creating Sapphire Valley Inn and  County Club – predecessor to Sapphire Valley Resort. We have already found so many great images of the old resort - these just  must be saved [electronically] before we lose them forever.”


The Society is seeking old pictures and ‘stories’ for their new web site:  HistoryofSapphireValley.org  and encourage all those who worked or  vacationed on the Resort and have images to share to contact them. 

Stone Basin Clean up and  - Day 1 Exploration

2014 Project:

old inn site wishing well / Stone basin  renovation


Sapphire Valley, NC, March 21, 2014:  The Sapphire Valley

Historical Society announced today that its 2014

Restoration and Preservation efforts kicked off with the

Historical Fairfield Inn’s Wishing Well.


“Very few people know that this Wishing Well even exists”

stated Rick Stargel, President of the Sapphire Valley

Historical Society (SV-HS). “We have a post card

dated from 1900 taken from this Stone Basicn / Wishing Well and

believe it was used as a 'healing spring' along with the Fairfield Inn in 1896.” The Wishing Well / Stone Basin is located just to the right of the Old Inn Site and was covered by a thick layer of ivy and overgrown rhododendron.


Based on what we know at this time, parts of the structure, if not the entire artifact,  pre-date the Fairfield Inn by at least 100 years. 


“Our goal for this project is simply restore this Stone Basin Mystery t
o its original beauty and along with the help of Camp Merrie Woode, create a historic photographic venue for visitors to Fairfield Lake and those that use the old Inn site for weddings, concerts and parties.”


Shown here during the first day of restoration are SV-HS Board

Members Sharon Holt and Rick Stargel. Not shown but present for day 1: Lisa Stargel, Historical Society’s Social Media Manager and Jim Dunn, Co-Director of Camp Merrie Woode.


Rick stated that in addition to this project, a major effort is underway  
to find and digitize all images from and about the resort.