In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Rev. William Lawson Morgan bought a plot of land midway up a rugged "hollow" and built a two-story house where he and his wife Matilda raised their family. Rev. Morgan, an itinerant mountain evangelist, preached the Gospel through the mountains during the winter months, and in the summer farmed the land and provided for his family's needs. As adjacent acres became available, he purchased them until by the time of his death in 1924, he had accumulated 121 acres reaching all the way to the river at the foot of the mountain.
During World War II, several of the couple's children became concerned that their aging and widowed mother was isolated up a hollow with no road, no communication, no plumbing or electricity, and no way in or out except by foot over mountain trails. Because the nation's resources were being devoted to the war efforts, they hired a friend, Jim Arnett, a part-time preacher, to cut down a grove of trees on the front side of the property and build a log cabin.
Years later their son, John, and his wife Edith Morgan, who had purchased the property from the siblings, expanded the cabin and moved there themselves. After their deaths, their children Robert John Morgan and Ann Morgan Campbell, unable to part with property which had been in their family for three generations, opened it as Roan Mountain Bed and Breakfast with the surrounding property designated as a tree farm.
"Our mother always wanted to run a little hotel in the mountains," said Robert. "In the early years of their marriage, she tried to get my father to purchase the old Cloudland Hotel, but he was a school teacher and an apple grower- not an innkeeper."