Circa 1938 Mountain Retreat! Overlooking Whiteside Mountain! $4.5 Million in North Carolina

Ashley Lee

Ashley Lee

Circa 1938 Mountain Retreat! Overlooking Whiteside Mountain! $4.5 Million in North Carolina

$4,500,000 | 1938 | 7 Beds | 4.5 Baths | 4.18 Acres
404 Whiteside Mountain Rd, Highlands, NC 28741

Overlooking Whiteside Mountain, the rolling hills of Cashiers Valley and the mesmerizing mountains beyond, stands a timeless treasure, steeped in history and familial love. Tucked away on 4.18 acres, behind old growth rhododendron and tall trees, lies a majestic 3 bedroom/2.5 bathroom old farmhouse, with its roots tracing back to 1938, held within its walls the echoes of generations past. Tom and Theresa Cook, from Palm Beach, FL, were drawn to Highlands’ mild summer temperatures and tranquil surroundings, thus becoming the stewards of this cherished summer residence in 1939, ushering in an era of warm memories and traditions for all of their family. Grandmother Cook found her greatest delight in hearing the laughter that filled the halls of the home and the little pitter patters of feet running around on the grounds each summer.

Ashley Lee

Memories were woven into the very fabric of “Ridgecrest”, creating a tapestry of love and laughter that has endured through five generations. In the early days, before progress paved its way through Whiteside Mountain Road, the ridge stood as a testament to nature’s untouched beauty. Only five houses stood sentinel, connected by winding pathways and trails that beckoned adventurous spirits to play and explore until their hearts were content. Tom and Theresa’s brood, along with the other neighborhood residents, roamed freely, their laughter mingling with the whispering winds that danced through the trees. The landscape was a playground of discovery, where garnets lay scattered like hidden treasures, waiting to be unearthed by eager hands and taken by jarfuls to Mr. Gellen at the Gem Shop to polish.

Ashley Lee

The excitement of the hum of the jeep-led tram, ferrying hikers to the mountain’s peak, added a touch of whimsy to the idyllic scene, as all would run out to watch the tram run by, as it was the only option for hikers to access Whiteside Mountain’s trails from a nearby toll gate on Highway 64. As time marched forward, the main house evolved, a testament to the vision and dedication of each generation. The dining room, kitchen and carport were added. The wormy chestnut paneling and detailing in the dining room were transported from Moultrie, Georgia, after a family friend found the wood for the Cooks. It wonderfully coordinated with the existing chestnut walls, paneling and detailing throughout the interior of the house. The two guest houses, 2 bedrooms each, were then built, with the larger of the two constructed to house the summer staff. The farmhouse, in its prime, was a local show piece and was featured in House & Garden and several additional magazines.

Ashley Lee

At one time local postcards of the home and it’s view were sold at Doc Mitchell’s pharmacy store, Pott’s Grocery store and other local spots. The postcard photographer who shot the idyllic view of Cashiers Valley shot the photo from the back porch of the farmhouse. Among the notable guests who crossed the threshold of the Cook family home, was one whose visit left an indelible mark on its history. In the waning days of World War II, a friend and her husband, tied to the tumultuous currents of the Manhattan Project, sought solace within the walls of the Whiteside Mountain retreat. The burden, the weight of impending history, hung heavy in the air, knowing what was to come with the atomic bomb.

Ashley Lee

The dining room sideboard, that remains in the home today, was gifted as a thank you for the engineer’s worrisome visit. And so, nestled along Wildcat Ridge and overlooking the emerald embrace of Cashiers Valley below, this wonderful family summer homestead served as more than just a house-it was a sanctuary of love, laughter, and timeless connection—a testament to the enduring power of family and the unwavering beauty of the human spirit.

Take the 3D Tour!


Julie Osbornjulie.osborn@allentate.com • (828) 200-6165
Pat Allenpat@patallenrealtygroup.com • (828) 200-9179
Allen Tate Realtors – Highlands/Cashiers
Photography Credit: Ashley Lee



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