Fifteen minutes from Cashiers, and 55 minutes southeast of Asheville, N.C. is Sapphire Heaven; a cozy, new cabin of rustic elegance, which offers your soul over 200 acres of privately gated nature, peace, and solitude, but yet provides the convenience of being so close to everything. Fine dining, boutique/convenience shopping, golf, tennis, stream/lake fishing, hiking, and incredible waterfalls are all within fifteen minutes. There is even a post office, gas station, and a convenience store three minutes from the cabin, on the main east-west artery, State Road 64.


Built in 2007, Sapphire Heaven is a one bedroom / loft (sleeps four), one bath  cabin that ranks high on the luxury scale and boasts a spectacular, long distance, panoramic, sunrise view. Enjoy the indoor or outdoor shower, the patio hot tub, a premium sound system, the high end kitchen appliances, a wide screen LCD television, the audiophile DVD/CD player, the outdoor gas grill/rotisserie, the wireless high speed internet, and much more.
 

 Naturally, there is a fax, copier, printer, and scanner in case business calls. If someone arrives at the gate they will be able to push a button on the gate keypad to ring the cabin. You will then be able to see their image and speak with them on the audio/video phone. Exterior, state of the art, day and night vision, closed circuit cameras allow guests the fun of being able to monitor outside the cabin by tuning to the corresponding channel on the flat screen television.
 Constructed of 150 year old historic timbers, and boasting over 1000 square feet of outdoor covered area alone. Guests can gaze at the spectacular views even in inclement weather. Located on a rolling five acre gated estate, in the exclusive gated community of the Preserve at Rock Creek, peace and quite abound. Well maintained hiking trails wind past waterfalls and ancient rock formations throughout the 200 acre private preserve.

 
 
 

Historic Timbers

There is no mistaking the handsome, distinguished look that age bestows on 150-year-old hand hewn timbers. Understandably, it has become trendy for builders to honor these wooden elders by using them as prominent, rustic accents in stylish mountain homes. The patchy, uneven patterns that were chopped into them by broadaxes so many years ago still remain and provide proof that our early American ancestors labored intensely for those necessities. Such history on display quickens one's curiosity about long-ago daily events that would have been observed by these silent witnesses. This rustic cabin stands as a tribute to these enduring natural resources and the past efforts of early settlers.

It was built using timbers and siding salvaged from two historic barns. Inquisitiveness is rewarded when you learn that one of the barns stood on the Battlefield at Gettysburg prior to and during the Civil War. The other was built by skilled Amish craftsmen.

In the mid-1840s, beech, oak, black walnut, maple, fir, and hemlock trees were all used by Amish barn raisers to complete a large structure in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Well over 150 years later, that farm fixture was sold and carefully dismantled by a team assembled by Rex Bass, a "barn aficionado" from Houston, Texas. The still usable timbers were pressure washed with a borax solution to eliminate the pungent livestock odor and then stacked onto a flat bed semi-truck. From that point, Rex made one additional stop just down the road in Gettysburg. A partially collapsed barn built in the mid-1800s had been taken down and removed from the famous battleground to make way for a new Visitors Center. Select serviceable timbers, which Rex purchased from the demolition contractor, were carefully arranged on top of the Amish barn salvage. Once the load was secure, Rex headed for Sapphire, NC.

After the timbers were offloaded in Sapphire, Derrell Brushaber, local resident and craftsman extraordinaire, began to reconfigure the diverse assortment of antique materials into what he so aptly describes as “a work of art”. “My Dad was a craftsman who only used hand tools. He hewed his own timbers. His dream was to build a rustic cabin, but he never found the time” explained Derrell. “I’ve really enjoyed this project and although I did use power tools, there were times when only one of Dad’s vintage hand tools could produce the right look”.

An undisturbed iron ring on a corner post (photo to the right).

The “right look” can be seen everywhere. A tour of the cabin reveals hand forged nails, iron rings, and even a rusty horseshoe, all still attached to their original supports. Plainly visible are wooden pegs once used to join structural members. The name “John B.”, carved into a hemlock beam in the garage, personalizes the allure inherent with such pedigreed timbers. Was John B. Amish? Was he a young soldier? Where in the barn was this beam located when John carved his name there? Did he go there to relax and dream away the hours, or was he hiding with fear during a less peaceful time? Like John B.’s name, other details contribute to the character of this cozy retreat.

 
 

High end kitchen appliances set in antique wood bring together the old and the new (photo to the left).

However, it’s ultimately the blend of the old and the new that endows this cabin with such refreshing charm. The use of vintage design appliances, built-in state of the art electronics and veiled security system all confirm that modern day comforts can coexist with the past.

The perfect setting for an outdoor gas grill and rotisserie (photos to the right and below).

On an outside deck, above a stone encased gas barbeque grill, hangs a rusted hay trolley once relied upon to move heavy bales through the Amish barn. It is on a beam canopied by an extension of the home’s rusted, tin covered roof, which boldly belies its age.

Upon further inspection of the cabin exterior, however, you realize it isn’t the trolley, the timbers, the rusted roof, or even the stonework that commands your visual attention. It’s something with much more of a WOW! impact. The panoramic view from the back deck has been described by many as one of the best views in the entire area. At an elevation of 3800 ft., the home's position on the Toxaway Mountain ridgeline affords a pristine view of the majestic 4700 ft. summit directly to the left.

From that vantage point, your eyes are slowly drawn across and down to the right, sweeping 180 degrees to the shimmering waters of Sapphire Lake in the valley below.
 

 Bonus!!! 

There is a spectacular waterfall about 150 yards from the cabin. The trail to it is steep, which makes it a difficult hike that is not for everyone, but well worth the effort if you're so inclined. The waterfall area is totally private and exclusively accessible from our cabin property. What is even more amazing is the fact that you can easily walk behind the falling water and stay totally dry. Naturally, I've named it Sapphire Heaven Falls. As you stand behind it, the top of the fall starts about 40 feet above your head from a bowl shaped rock outcropping, then falls twenty feet out from you, and ten feet below you to cascade steeply down the mountain for a couple hundred feet. There is so much room under/behind the falls that you can have a picnic for the whole family. The falls are made private by the sheer walls above and below this plateau shelf. Beautiful!

 

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir


 Guest Comments:

Thank you for allowing us to stay in your awesome Sapphire Heaven!
We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect, and totally appreciate your marvously aesthetic attention to detail. Really amazing!!
I can honestly say we have been spoiled and hope our next (2) cabin rentals this week do not pale too much in comparison.
Extremely grateful,
Colleen, Bruce, Jack, and Ella Gross
Buck County, PA
 
Thanks you for an amazing week end. The hike to your waterfall was terrific, and the hot tub even better!!! I can’t remember sleeping so well!!! The love for this cabin shows!!! Thank you again for sharing it with us!!
Love,
Jeanie Coleman…and Peter
New Orleans
 
Thank you John and Stacy! We thoroughly enjoyed Salsa’s in Asheville – the best food we have had in a long time.
Your cabin is amazing and very comfortable. We could see the love and attention to detail.
Even though it was chilly we enjoyed a slide down Little Sliding Rock and the kids took a dip in the swimming hole at Silver Run Falls.
We had a fabulous week. We’re hoping the kids remember sleeping in the loft during a thunderstorm on Spring Break 2008!
Thanks again,
John, Jennine, Bon, Zack, and Nicole
Gainesville, FL
 
Thank you John and Stacy for sharing your home. It is fantastic! A beautiful home and an awesome view! We had a great weekend of hiking and relaxing with a fire! You all have thought of everything and made our stay so relaxing. Wonderful memories – we can’t wait to return and next time bring our children!
Fondly,
Michael and Kara Bestler
Concord, NC
 
We had an amazing time. It was exactly what we needed! You have made this place what a true mountain getaway should be. Thanks for sharing it with us and we look forward to coming back.
Thanks again,
Scott and Kathy Houston
Taylors, SC
 
OMG, what a beautiful home! It's much nicer than I anticipated. (Kaylee said not to worry). The website didn't do it justice. Looking forward to coming back (for 2 weeks). Went mining in Franklin and found over 25 KTs in rubies. Didn't pay for the trip, but it was our 15th anniversary and rubies are for the 15th year. We hope you all have as much fun and relaxment as we did. We consider you our friends - Thank you.
Bob and Kaylee Krogulski
Mt. Laurel, NJ
P.S.- The hike to the waterfall should be designated Difficult! Especially for out of shape yankees!

 

 (OK, I changed the hike designation...John)

 

John,
We got back from Cashiers last night. We LOVED your cabin!!!! We couldn't beleive what you've done up there. You've totally captured the feel of an old rustic cabin, but with the modern conveniences. We couldn't get over the attention to detail. The whole place is a work of art. Thank you for sharing this place. We would love to stay there again sometime!!
Karen and Bill Foran
Miami, Florida
 
Links of interest:

The Preserve at Rock Creek “area attractions and facilities” page: http://www.preserveatrockcreeknc.com/community.htm

The Preserve at Rock Creek “activities” page: http://www.preserveatrockcreeknc.com/activities.htm

See details about Sappphire Heaven on Vacation Rentals By Owner, at http://www.vrbo.com/265137.

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