Lance and Tina Holland built their farm from scratch in the Stecoah Community of Graham County, North Carolina in the early 1980s. It began as a commercial tree nursery. They nicknamed it Firefly Farm because of the thousands of lightning bugs Photinus carolinus that congregate in the big tulip poplar trees Liriodendron tulipifera each June.
After careers as a back country guide, film maker (The Last of the Mohicans,The Fugitive and many more) and now store keeper (Appalachian Mercantile), Lance decided to get his hands dirty again in 2018. He likes to say, “I’m building a garden you can spend the night in.” The new enterprise now needed a name. Movie making is a team sport. So is campgrounding, and the team decided on The Homeplace.
Arvil Cable and his family grew corn on the gently sloping upland that reverted to forest after they passed. Lance and Tina cleared it again for pasture. It is now a traditional campground. The Cable family homestead chimney still overlooks the place. Sit on the bench in what was once their dooryard and contemplate life in Appalachia 100 years ago.
Corn to Cows to Camping
Stecoah Creek, a celebrated trout stream, runs through the farm. This field once held thousands of Frazier Fir, Canadian Hemlock, and Dogwood seedlings and young trees. The area beneath the big trees by the creek is available for group camping including horseback riders.
Our store, Appalachian Mercantile, in Bryson City has become the “go to” spot for books, maps, and visitor information from pros. Located in the center of inviting Bryson City, NC, just one mile from both Great Smoky Mountains National Park and 10,600 acre Fontana Lake and one block from the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad’s depot, it gives campground visitors a base to explore what travel writers across the country repeatedly rank as their #1 mountain getaway. Learn more about the area at greatsmokies.com.
THE SPARE TIME, SPARE CHANGE NATURE PRESERVE
Established in 2018, the Homeplace Campground and Gardens’ mission is to help protect the region's biodiversity and natural evolution by promoting open space preservation, conserving natural communities, and fostering awareness and stewardship through environmental education and outdoor recreation.
In addition, to promote the region's cultural heritage, we are preserving the remains of a 1910’s homestead. Agricultural, timbering, and construction skills from the time of early Appalachian settlement through cutting-edge modern techniques can be observed and learned here.
We a group of folks interested in the protection, conservation, and management of biological and cultural resources. As an overnight guest at the campground or a day visitor, you can participate in these activities as much as you wish or ignore them completely.
Located between Bryson City and Robbinsville, in close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Fontana Lake, Nantahala River whitewater, Tsali bike trails and surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest, the farm will make a perfect base camp for outdoor adventurers. The Dragon, the Skyway, the Parkway, and many other famous roads are nearby for those whose adventures involve engines.
FACILITIES and RATES
All campsites have a gravel parking area and are large enough for RVs. A couple will accommodate big rigs. Each site has a fireplace, picnic table and will hold a tent or two. The campground has a deep well for drinking water and the fanciest pit toilet in the Smokies we call the Arthouse.
$30 per site per night
Call 828-488-2531 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details and reservations
The Homeplace Campground and Gardens
Lower Stecoah Road
Robbinsville, NC 28771