When the Inn opened in 1903, lavish amenities attracted the wealthy to visit this area and according to local historians, the Toxaway Inn never had a quiet season during its years of operation. Famous guests included Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and Thomas Edison.
One of the guests at the Toxaway Inn who had fallen in love with the area while on vacation with her husband was Lucy Camp Armstrong from Savannah. In 1912, when landbecame available for sale, she purchased 40 acres. In 1915 her estate, including riding stables and beautiful landscaped gardens, was completed.
Lake Toxaway History: Lucy Armstrong Moltz' Legacy
As fate would have it, Lucy Armstrong had only one year of enjoyment of the view of the lake from her magnificent mansion. During the summer of 1916, heavy rains contributed to flooding throughout the region. On August 13, 1916 the entire Lake Toxaway emptied out overnight when the earthen dam gave way as a result of torrential rains. The Toxaway Inn survived, but the loss of the lake contributed to its demise. The Inn stood empty for over 30 years and eventually was torn down in 1948.
Lucy's home also survived, and she continued to frequent her mountain retreat. After the death of her first husband in 1924, she and her daughter established permanent residence at Lake Toxaway. In 1930 she married Carl Jerome Moltz who was in the lumber business in the area. She was able to witness the restoration of the lake in the 1960s and continued to live here until her death in 1970.
Many visitors to this area follow in the footsteps of Lucy Armstrong Moltz-almost literally! Moltz's home has been transformed into The Greystone Inn so visitors may choose to experience the charm of her historic mansion while immersing themselves in the beauty of the area.
After a vacation here, many find their sentiments echo with what Lucy was once quoted as saying, "I've been around the world twice and I've found there's no place more beautiful or special than Lake Toxaway." Such people often choose to purchase property here for second homes, year-round homes, for retirement, for their mountain retreat.
While the Toxaway Inn may no longer exist, what captivated and continually drew people to this area at the turn of the century still remains-the natural beauty of this mountain area which changes with each season, and a community of like-minded people who appreciate its preservation as a wilderness retreat.