The Call of the River

“Once I saw the view and heard the sound of the river I knew this was the place.”

That was Susan Hawthorne’s reaction to seeing the property at French Broad Crossing (FBC) for the first time. Overlooking the world’s third oldest river on a beautiful, densely forested mountainside in Western North Carolina, French Broad Crossing allows homeowners like Susan and her husband John to have a living experience that presents the best of both worlds. “We enjoy the solitude and beauty of this gorgeous piece of land that sits right above the river,” says Susan. “And we love the fact that we are just a short drive from the shopping and cultural attractions of Asheville, North Carolina.” 

The Hawthornes are from the Midwest. Susan and John are recently retired, both corporate executives in Chicago, with a mutual affinity for the mountains of North Carolina. “John and I knew we wanted to settle in the Carolina Mountains,” she said, “we just didn’t know where.” In fact, in the summer of 2014, Susan and a good friend spent five weeks combing the Blue Ridge Mountains, looking for the ideal community in which she and John could build their dream home. “The only thing we knew for sure was we didn’t want golf,” she said. “We wanted natural beauty. We wanted panoramic views. And we wanted water.” After an extensive search, they settled on French Broad Crossing. In truth, it was the runaway winner. 

“We arrived at the property and drove up to the Lodge that overlooks the French Broad,” says Susan. “At that moment, I knew this was the place. The view was breathtaking. John could fly-fish on the river. And Asheville was just down the road. It was clear to me, ‘this is the place to build.’” John, who was back in Chicago at the time, was equally impressed when he saw the property. “I love to fish,” he said. “And building a home on the water, especially an epic river like the French Broad, has always been a dream. To make that a reality is a true joy.”

“Being able to hear the sound and rush of the river in the background is like having a built-in water feature.”


— Susan Hawthorne

The Hawthornes just recently began construction (July 2015) and hope to move into their new home by the fall of 2016.   “The entire process has been a great experience,” says Susan. “We’ve enjoyed working with Debbie Fletcher and the team at French Broad Crossing. They have been very helpful, helping us select an architect and builder. We couldn’t be happier. We look forward to many good years here, by the water.” 

To learn more about the living experience at French Broad Crossing, please contact our sales office at or call us at 866-947-9629.


A New Legacy Can Begin Today

Come discover one of the best mountain communities in North Carolina near Asheville, offering homeowners access to an unprecedented living experience on the French Broad River. Look out across the river to gorgeous mountain views. Spend an afternoon with friends and family at our inviting River Lodge. This is where you belong. Your new legacy can begin now.