The Roanoke Island Inn
- 6,348 square feet
- Lot Size: 1.22 acres
North Carolina Estates
Ca. 1870 First addition 1910
Second addition 1982
Third addition 1990
The Roanoke Island Inn, overlooking the waterfront of historic Manteo on Roanoke Island, site of the earliest English colony in America, is both a family home and an established inn. The architecture of the house and inn are purely Island Vernacular featuring gabled roofs, twelve dormers, a cupola and a welcoming brick arch drive- through entrance to the reception area. The house and the Inn are attached but completely separated for total residential privacy. The building occupies slightly in excess of one landscaped acre between Fernando Street and Agona Street, with three additional structures. The Garrison House is a two-bedroom frame home dating from the early 1940s. The two-story three-bay garage with a two-bedroom apartment above was built in the 1980s. The third building, a small bungalow, dates from the 1940s. A folly, a net house and a pump house are arranged around the Koi pond, the focus of the well-landscaped grounds. A studio/workshop with fireplace and loft space is adjacent to the house connected by deck on the rear elevation.
Two rooms of the residential portion of the inn date from the 1860s when the current owner’s great-great-grandfather, Asa Warren Jones, came from Wake County to teach school in this coastal community. He married a local woman, Martha Ann Creef, whose brother George Washington Creef designed and built what is now North Carolina’s state boat, the Roanoke Island Shad Boat. (One of Creef’s original boats is displayed in downtown Manteo’s Maritime Museum near the Inn.) The property has remained in the Jones family for over 140 years. When the current owner acquired the house, he raised the original rooms a full story above the 100-year flood level constructing the current first floor on masonry and brick foundations beneath the original house.
Today the residence’s main level comprises a spacious living area, two dining areas, an expansive kitchen with small office nook, a butler’s pantry and bar, and a comfortable library with fireplace. The living area features floor length cottage light windows and a gas fireplace with a simple historic mantle and marble surround. Hyde County pine boxes the ceiling beams from the original structure. The second level offers two bedrooms, a large closet, a family laundry, and a bath with a Carrara marble shower. The third level holds two small apartments with kitchenettes and private baths. An unfinished full height attic space with dormers extends the remaining length of the residence and inn structure.
The inn’s eight guest rooms, three on the main level and five on the second, are linked on the second level by a breezeway overlooking the harbor. Two of the five second-level rooms are two-room suites. All rooms are furnished with a collection of eclectic older pieces. The lobby area on the inn‘s main level is distinguished by a painted ceiling depicting symbols of Roanoke Island’s landscape and culture before the arrival of the English colonists combined with symbols of Tudor England. (The mural was painted by a set designer from The Lost Colony, the famous outdoor drama that debuted in 1937 and is enacted each summer in the amphitheater that occupies a site of the original Roanoke Colony in Manteo.) Guest amenities include wi-fi, a well-stocked breakfast/refreshment room adjoining the lobby, bicycles, free parking and easy walking distance to the historic downtown restaurants, art galleries, book stores, theatre, and waterfront entertainment.
The Roanoke Island Inn is a rare combination of private residence and hospitality establishment. It is less than six miles from the Atlantic Ocean along North Carolina’s Outer Banks but offers the quiet and beauty of a small town on an incomparably lovely waterfront. Dockage, charter boats and water sports are all available. Just across a short bridge from downtown Manteo is Festival Park, a performing arts and history center. Docked there is the Elizabeth II, a representative 16th century English sailing ship, which is the centerpiece of one of North Carolina’s most visited State Historic Sites.
Three fireplaces; two wood burning, one gas
Two laundries; one with heavy duty machines for the Inn, one family laundry upstairs
2 over 2 Island Vernacular windows
Front and rear elevation two story porches
Hyde County hand-milled pine used throughout
Oversize side-by-side Frigidaire freezer/refrigerator
Five-Star dual fuel six burner stove with grill
Three dishwashers, including a Fisher and Paykel dishwasher in butler’s pantry/bar
A Tesla charging station
Modern “privy” for outdoor events/weddings