A Brief History of Our Lodge

Welcome to Sugar Tree Inn, our family-run bed and breakfast situated in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah Valley area. Our mountain lodge accommodations will give you and your loved ones the rest and relaxation you seek. The Sugar Tree Inn was originally built by Dr. Richard Meeth and local craftsmen using pioneer techniques. It was built with hand-hewn oak, chestnut, and poplar beams and logs almost two centuries old, rescued from historic Shenandoah Valley buildings. These buildings include a church or school in Churchville, a store in Raphine where Cyrus McCormick traded, a house, a barn, and two cabins from the immediate area. More than twenty men and women worked on the project over a 5 year period laying stone, setting logs and applying chinking. Logs were notched and locked using no nails whatsoever. Stepping into the main lodge your attention is immediately drawn to the massive fireplace that rises two stories to the skylight ceiling. This is one of the three fireplaces built around a central chimney containing over 55 tons of quarried limestone and ten tons of mortar. The Lodge is 76 feet long and has a great room, loft, dining room, tavern, and three guests rooms each with a wood burning fireplace and private bath. A porch, terrace, and commercial kitchen complete the building. “The Guesthouse”, later the Caithness Cabin and now the Log House, was completed in May of 1984. It was reconstructed from a large double log barn found in Rockbridge County and a house near Brownsburg. It houses four rooms, each with a fireplace and a private bath. The Blue Ridge House, formally the The Grey House and the Chellowe House, was originally built by the Schroeder’s as their Innkeepers home. It was redesigned and renovated by the Davis’s in the early 90’s to house four newer accommodations. All have wood burning fireplaces and private baths and have extended decks overlooking the forest and mountains. After being vacant for almost 6 years, we (the Needham’s) renamed it The Blue Ridge House and began renovations after purchasing the Inn in May 2022. We converted the lower level into one single two bedroom/2 bathroom suite that is our pet friendly unit while maintaining the upper level configuration of 2 units. St. Mary’s Cabin was built by the Chanter’s during their tenure here. Construction began in 2005 and completed by May 2006. It was built from historic pegged timber frame that came out of PA. Both the inside (Poplar wood) and outside (Hemlock) wood siding came from local loggers and processed very nearby in Fairfield and Buena Vista. It is a large one-room cabin featuring a very spacious attached bathroom featuring a large jetted whirlpool tub. Very relaxing!

Now About Us: When we say “family-run”, we mean it. Brenda and Kevin Needham recently purchased the property and brought Brenda’s father and stepmom with them. Gerry and Donna ran 2 very successful restaurants and when asked if they would be willing to sell those and come to Virginia, they said yes! Brenda has been a Sign Language Interpreter for 28 years and Kevin a retired Firefighter from Minnesota. They are all excited to be bringing their “Minnesota Nice” hospitality and Gerry’s home-cooked meals to you in the most beautiful location in VA!