The core of a remote ward of Henderson County once hosted summer vacationers at turn-of-the-20th-century inns. Innkeepers eked a summertime living when they opened their lodging facilities to Low Country tourists seeking a cooler climate. Such accommodations included the Peacock, Inn Wood, Bonnie Bell and Bason Falls Inn — none of them extant today.
Along loopy Bearwallow Road, Hoopers Creek native Jimmy Garren pointed out level plats where summer hotels once attracted tourists. He pulled over near a collapsed rock pillar, which marked the former entrance to the Bonnie Bell Hotel on Bearwallow Mountain. Garren spoke of the hotel’s noteworthy owner.
George Washington Connor (1857–1932) built the hotel in the late 1800s and named it for one of his daughters. Connor, a machinist and inventor, applied for patents for a washing machine. A prolific inventor, his patents included one for a street sweeper.