Lucy Camp Armstrong of Savannah, Ga., had visited the Toxaway Inn on vacation with her husband in 1910. When land became available for sale in 1912, she purchased 40 acres and made plans for building a home. Lucy’s husband proposed she first spend some time in the location she selected for a summer home to be sure she liked it. Therefore, assisted by eleven servants, Lucy pitched a tent with a hardwood floor on the knoll of a peninsula and “camped” there for an entire summer.
When completed in 1915, the estate, known as Hillmont House, included riding stables, a swimming pool, and beautiful landscaped gardens. The six-level residence replicated the architectural details of a Swiss mountain cottage with casement windows, flower boxes, and balconies embellished with small triangular cutouts. Stepped brackets supported the balconies and gable roof, while the foundation and surrounding walkways were constructed of native stone. Unfortunately, Lucy was able to enjoy the lake for only one season before the dam collapsed in 1916.
Ms. Lucy’s home survived, and she continued to frequent her mountain retreat. After the death of her first husband, George Armstrong, in 1924, she and her daughter established permanent residence at Lake Toxaway.
In 1930, Lucy married Carl Jerome Moltz, who owned a local lumber business; the couple lived at Hillmont House until his death in 1963. Mrs. Moltz had lived in her Swiss-style home for 47 years when she sold the residence to R.D. Heinitsh Sr. and moved to smaller home on Lake Toxaway known as Robin Hill. Lucy was present for the restoration of the lake in the 1960s and continued to live at Lake Toxaway until her death in 1970.
Lucy was once quoted as saying: “I’ve been around the world twice and I’ve found there’s no place more beautiful or special than Lake Toxaway.”
Many visitors to this area follow in the footsteps of Lucy Armstrong Moltz… almost literally! Her home has been transformed into The Greystone Inn, so visitors may experience the charm of her historic mansion while immersing themselves in the beauty of the area.