Monday, December 1, 2008

Fairy Tale Lodge in North Carolina wins the National Gingerbread House Contest Teen Category and will be on "Good Morning America" Christmas Eve

Dear friends of ours, Bill and Kenna Anspach, built a gorgeous fairy tale lodge in Burnsville, NC near Mt. Mitchell in a perfect 400 acre woodsy setting over Hurricane Creek. They nicknamed it Mudville during its four year construction and it was featured in the Asheville Citizens-Times as Tour House of the Week this past September.

Now their gorgeous home has received another prestigious honor. Twins from nearby Weaversville chose Mudville as their gingerbread house entry in the 16th Annual Gingerbread House Contest held at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville and it won the Teen Category. The fifteen year old twins, Patterson and Peyton Young, took the honors for the second year in a row. Grove Park Inn pastry chef Aaron Morgan, one of the seven judges, will be taking their gingerbread house, along with six others, to ABC’s "Good Morning America," where they will be featured on Christmas Eve.

Entries were judged on overall appearance, originality, creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme. The twins used unusual items such as pumpkin seeds for leaves on a tree and herbs for the grass. The girls were even able to include a gingerbread dog of Miss Maggie Jones sitting on the stairs by the door.

Hansel and Gretel, a story of two children who walked through a dangerous forest and found gingerbread house, made gingerbread houses popular with Americans and Europeans. Information on constructing your own gingerbread house can be found on the web: A gingerbread tradition and How to build a gingerbread house step-by-step.

It took the twins 8 ½ weeks to complete their entry and it’s easy to understand why. Mudville isn’t an ordinary house. With its tall turrets pointing to the sky, it looks like it is straight out of a fairly tale. It is imposing with 7,000 square feet, including a guest house, wine cellar and pool with Hurricane Creek actually running underneath the main house.

Ninety-five per cent of the rock used came from their 400 acres, which they have deeded as a permanent wildlife refuge prohibiting development. The rock walls were designed to resemble the Grove Park Inn and lodges that Bill was familiar with in Iowa, where his parents were from. Many talented master woodworkers and masons contributed to the four year construction project.

As you enter the foyer through heavy front doors that came from a church in the Caribbean, you feel as if you have entered into a castle. The lightening is spectacular. The living room has torchiers from the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach and a gothic chandelier from a Methodist Church in Kentucky, making it seem like a cathedral. In the huge kitchen are yardarm lights salvaged from a freighter. Of course as a cook I went gaga over the gourmet kitchen, the wood burning pizza oven and the gorgeous red stove that Bill built with components to make it look like a French antique. Kenna’s gardening expertise has transformed the grounds into a magical and beautiful Carolina mountain forest.

Their wish was to make the house look like it grew out of the mountain and their wish has definitely come true. It is a special place created by special friends. Congratulations and job well done. We’ll be watching on Christmas Eve.


  1. I enjoyed hearing about this beautiful house and the teen twins' gingerbread house win. I was at Grove Park Inn once when the gingerbread houses were on view. They were fantastic.

  2. Glenda, I would have loved to have been there. I've never attempted to make a gingerbread house.

    The Grove Park Inn is such a gorgeous place. I can't wait to see the gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve on Good Morning America.

  3. Sam, Your Blog is more and more inviting. I like this article about the Fairy Tale Lodge and the pictures are great. I love gingerbread houses and gingerbread men.

  4. Nancy, thank you for the kind words.

    Your blog, Living above the frost line, is one of the best blogs around. No wonder it's listed in the top 10 Appalachian blogs. I recommended it all of the time.

    It snowed here yesterday; stay warm up there on Cherry Mountain.



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