Moses H. Cone Memorial Park Blue Ridge Parkway NC

Moses Cone Manor a popular attraction at milepost 294 on the Blue Ridge Parkway is open to the public from Spring until Fall and receives almost a quarter-million people every year. Moses Cone Manor is located in Blowing Rock North Carolina and offers horseback trails, hiking trails, lakes, and the Parkway Craft Center. Admission is free and open to the public.

Parkway Craft Center

The Parkway Craft Center located at the Moses Cone Memorial park sells handmade crafts by members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. The craft center store sells unique items such as pottery, wood works, quilts, textiles, jewelry, glass, toys, photos, paintings, and books. During the season from May to October there are craft demonstrations on the front porch as well as the Flat Top Manor upstairs tours.

The Estate

Mose Cone Manor is also known as Flat Top Manor, Moses Cone Estate, or Moses Cone Mansion. The Mansion was built by Moses H Cone and his wife Bertha in 1899 and was completed in 1901. The manor has 23 rooms and 13,000 square feet of living space. The materials used on the mansion were hauled up the mountain from Lenoir, NC by oxen. The mansion featured gas lighting, a telephone, forced air heat, and a bowling alley. Moses also designed the 25 miles of carriage roads on the estate. He also created prize winning apple orchards with over 75 varieties, built three lakes and stocked them with bass and trout. Moses and his wife started buying land in Blowing Rock an upcoming resort area. The estate included Flat Top Manor, Rich Mountain, and 500 acres of farmland.

Moses Cone

Moses Cone was a farmer and a businessman. He began working in his father’s grocery store when he was a boy.  They were sons of a German Jewish immigrant who built a family owned wholesale grocery business in Baltimore Maryland. The two brothers traveled the South to supply stores with inventory. They then started acting as sales agents for Southern textile mills establishing the Cone Export and Commission company in 1890. Five years later they built their own cotton mill in Greensboro NC naming it Proximity. The plant was located near warehouses, railways, and a great amount of labor. The plant became known for its deep blue blue denim. The company grew to 30 manufacturing plants and became the world’s leading producer of denim. Some of the other fabrics they produced were corduroy and flannel.

Seven years after the estate was finished Moses Cone died. Bertha went to live another 39 years and she turned the estate over to the Cone Memorial Hospital. In 1950 the hospital donated the estate to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Trails at Moses Cone Manor