The grand Victorian mansion known as Richmond Hill was built in 1889 as the private residence of ambassador and congressman Richmond Pearson and his wife, Gabrielle. Designed by James G. Hill, it was one of the most elegant and innovative structures of its time. The Preservation Society saved the house from demolition in 1984. Following substantial historical research and a $3 million restoration, the Preservation Society sold the property to Dr. Jake Michel and his wife, Marge Michel.
The Michels reopened the Mansion as an inn in 1989. The family oversaw several development projects on the Inn property. Architect Jim Samsel designed two additions to the Mansion that complemented the Victorian architecture. Nine Croquet Cottages were added in 1990. Each cottage has a front porch overlooking the croquet courtyard. The Garden Pavilion was completed in 1996 with 16 guest rooms, all overlooking the Parterre Garden. Chip Callaway of Greensboro, North Carolina, designed the beautiful English cottage-style gardens that include a mountain brook and waterfall, built in 1994.
In 2005, the inn was sold to the Gray, Sloggatt and Love Families. Four years later, the 120-year-old historic mansion was tragically destroyed by a fire and ownership of the Richmond Hill Inn was returned to Dr. Jake and Mrs. Marge Michel. In August of 2011, Oshun Mountain Sanctuary (OM Sanctuary) purchased the Richmond Hill Inn to transform the property into a holistic education retreat center. OM Sanctuary’s first year has been dedicated to completing the deferred maintenance and revitalizing the facilities and grounds. Moving forward, OM Sanctuary will expand their program offerings and open the rooms for hospitality in Fall 2012.