Wilmington, North Carolina, nestled in the far southeast corner of the state, is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. (The mile-long Riverwalk is a top tourist attraction.) It is a temperate location, with the average high ranging from 56 degrees Fahrenheit (13.3 Celsius) in January to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 Celsius) in July.
Margi and Doug Erickson, owners of the C.W. Worth House Bed and Breakfast -- just three blocks from the Riverwalk, dreamed of becoming innkeepers since they visited several bed and breakfasts as guests. Today, they operate the seven-room inn along with their cat Simon.
The Ericksons answered a few questions for us about their Queen Anne bed and breakfast.
Please tell us a little about the C.W. Worth House's history.
The history of C.W. Worth House began with Charles W. Worth who was a wholesale grocery merchant, as well as a commission merchant in cotton and naval stores at the turn of the 20th century.
These areas of commerce were the mainstays of the Wilmington economy before and shortly after the War Between the States. He diversified the family business after Reconstruction by acquiring the Cape Fear Machine Works. His father, David Gaston Worth, was the only son of North Carolina Governor Jonathan Worth of Asheboro.
Among notable Worth ancestors, the family tree includes Daniel Webster and Benjamin Franklin. Charles built the house in 1893 for his wife and family of 5 daughters. The house remained in the Worth family until 1940.
What are some of your inn's unique features?
Built in 1893, C.W. Worth House is a unique example of nineteenth-century English Queen Anne style and sixteenth-century French chateaux, according to one local historian.
There is a lot of architectural interest when looking at the house with two turrets and a Palladian window. The entry and stairway have the original oak paneling, original decorative fireplaces and massive pocket doors in the two parlors.
The C.W. Worth House became a bed and breakfast in 1985 and remains the longest operating inn in historic Wilmington.
What are some of the attractions in your area that you would rate as must-see?
The Battleship North Carolina is a fabulous museum with a very well done self-guided tour.
The Atlantic Ocean is only 15 minutes away. The best gardens / plantations are Airlie Gardens, Orton Plantation and Poplar Grove Plantation.
The Cape Fear River is three blocks away and features a Riverwalk with fine dining and unique shops along it. There are several historic tours downtown with horse and carriage, house tours, walking tours, boat tours and a ghost tour.
What might a guest at your B&B expect to have for breakfast?Guests sit down to a first course of fresh fruit, juice, muffin and organic coffee or tea. Some of our specialties include Artichoke Mushroom Quiche, Banana Upside Down Pecan Pancake, Eggs Florentine, Stuffed French Toast and Croissant a la Orange.
Which is your personal favorite room at your bed and breakfast?
The Hibiscus Room is my personal favorite because it has lots of architectural interest. This room has the little turret within its space with a table and chairs, and the Palladian window in front. The bed sits in a cozy alcove and this room has a two-person jetted tub.
Why did you decide to become innkeepers?
It was a lifelong dream after traveling to several B&Bs around the country. We enjoy sharing our home with others and the interaction of guests with each other.