The Terry Estate, also known as InTheOaks, is a 24,000 square foot private estate built in Black Mountain between 1919 to 1921 by Franklin Silas Terry, the first VP at General Electric, and his wife, Lillian Emerson Terry.
Modeled after a Tudor country manor and second only in size to the Biltmore House in the area, the home contains a recreation wing with a swimming pool, bowling alley, and gymnasium.
In 1957, after both Franklin and Lillian Emerson had passed away, Lillian’s daughter, Lillian Boscowitz, who lived in New York, donated the property to the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina.
Many of the original documents related to this donation found their way into the permanent collection at the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, located just up the road from the former estate, which is now owned by Montreat College.
While sorting through the collection, Museum staff and volunteers couldn’t help but laugh at some of the content.
For eight months, beginning in June 1959, two lawyers, Kingsland Van Winkle (from Asheville) and Max Chopnick (from New York City), tried to solve an issue regarding a greenhouse that seemed to have slipped through the cracks during the original property transfer.