Inn History

The architectural style and storied history of the Claddagh add greatly to the romantic nature you will feel when you step on the porch.

Although the exact date that the inn was built is uncertain, it can be traced back to a construction date sometime in the late 1880s. It was built by W.A. Smith, an attorney, mayor and major landowner in Henderson County, who also built the inn next door few years later. The inn’s original name was “The Smith-Green House.” In 1906, Mr. Smith sold the inn to Elsie Sindorf, who changed the name to “The Charleston Boarding House,” reflecting the large influx of Charlestonians coming to Hendersonville to escape the low country summer heat and humidity.

In 1916, the inn was sold to L.R. and Mattie Chewning who made major renovations resulting in the basic building as it stands today. L.R. Chewning has a history of his own as he rode briefly with the Jesse James gang. Testament to this fact, a framed photograph in the parlor shows L.R. posing with the famous gang. The original two story Queen Anne architecture was obscured by a third floor addition and classic revival details. At this point, the inn served as a boarding house with thirty-two rooms and nine baths.

In 1929 the tariff for a week’s stay at the Chewning House was $15.00. The inn passed through several different owners and names including the Harrell House, the Bonner House and McCurry Hotel. In 1985, it was purchased by Fred and Marie Carberry. The Carberrys closed the inn temporarily for internal renovations and re-opened as Hendersonville’s first Bed & Breakfast, renaming the inn “The Claddagh.”

Today the name Claddagh often refers to a ring with a raised design of two hands clasping a crowned heart, usually given as a token of love or friendship. The word is a reference to a fishing village, a suburb of Galway in Ireland.

In 2004, the inn was sold to its present owners who continue to operate the inn with the traditional hospitality offered to travelers since the 19th century.