The Beginning 1895


Manor House

The original Victorian house located at 5901 Sardis Road was built in 1895 by Dr. R. G. Miller, the pastor of Sardis Presbyterian Church. The property was deeded to his 8 grandchildren and remained in the Miller family for over 71 years.

Purchased By Rufus Dalton 1966

Purchased By

Rufus Dalton

Rufus Dalton purchased the property from the Miller Grandchildren. Rufus Dalton began a top to bottom overhaul of the existing home, sold off subdivision tracts to builders Allen Tate and All Waddel, who developed Downing Place with all Victorian designed homes. Mr. Dalton retained 3 acres with the existing homestead.

A Labor of Love 1980

A Beautiful

Bed & Breakfast

In the early 1980s, the house was bought and restored by Frank and Peggy Dearien. The Dearien’s offered the extra bedrooms to guests and named the home, the Homeplace Bed & Breakfast. The Inn was extremely popular, known for its hallmark rockers, wraparound porch and a country Victorian interior.

A New Beginning 2004



In 2004, Mike Whitehead, an avid jogger, lived nearby and routinely cut through the property to look at the house during his runs. As the Deariens were ready to retire, Mike, his wife Beth and his children Austin and Leah spent two years remodeling the home. Since 2004, this history-rich building has also served as the home of The Center for Intentional Leadership, a leadership and culture development firm.

A Few Fun Facts About

The Manor

  • Celebrities such as Mia Hamm were frequent guests when the Manor House (then referred to as The Homeplace) was a bed and breakfast.
  • The floor in the back room of the Manor House is made of 10” heart of pine planks that came from the old Charlotte Bagging Mill.
  • The wood on the inside and the outside of the Manor is from the original build in 1902.
  • Rev. Miller, who built the home in 1902, was the Pastor of Sardis Presbyterian church across the street. He often used the crooked tree in the Manor Garden as his prayer tree for his congregation every Sunday after church.
  • The picket fence in front of the existing Manor House came from service station outside of Southpark and was installed by hand by Frank and Peggy Dearien (owners of the Bed and Breakfast).
  • A barn built in 1930 was on the site of the now existing Conference Center. The barn sold for a $1.00 to a gentleman who moved it to the mountains.
  • There were two weddings that took place the weekend that Hurricane Hugo hit Charlotte in spite of the devastation.