About Us

About Our Retreat

Starr Mountain

Starr Mountain is named after Caleb Starr, whom along with his Cherokee wife, Nancy Harlan, owned and lived at the foot of the mountain on a substantial plantation from the 1790’s until their removal leading up to the “Trail of Tears”. Nancy was a prominent member of the Cherokee tribe, being the granddaughter of Nancy (Nanye’hi) Ward, the renowned Beloved Woman and leader of the Women’s Council of Clan Representatives for the tribe.

Sam Starr, a great grandson of Caleb, married Myra Maybelle Shirley. Shortening her name to Belle Starr, she is the notorious “Bandit Queen” from the late 1800’s. Starr Mountain is about 20 miles long with an elevation of 2,340 feet (710 m).

Our History

Our little piece of Heaven

Starr Mountain Retreat has had many names in the past. Most recently, it was the “Tennessee Country Cabins”, and prior to that its was known as “Whispering Ridge Cabins”. In the early 2000’s it was known as “Honbu Dojo”. Owned by Hanshi George Alexander, World Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee and black belt holder in Karate, JuJitsu, OHKAA, Kendo, Kobudo, and MMA, the Retreat was an important training center for students of the martial arts. It is rumored that martial artist and actor Chuck Norris trained with Hanshi Alexander at the dojo. Nola and Brian purchased the Retreat in 2020 and have been working on improvements ever since.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about staying with Starr Mountain Retreat

Is the water safe to drink?

Yes! Our water comes from two wells on the property. The aquifer that supplies our water also supplies the water to the Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water bottling plant in Benton, TN. So, if you’re buying their bottled water, you’re paying for the same water you can get here, for free.

Do I need four wheeled drive to access the cabins?
No! All our cabins are accessible to pretty much any street legal automobile. We are directly off the paved Highway 315, with hard packed gravel up to the cabins and parking areas.
Can we bring pets?
Generally, no. While service animals are always welcome, we discourage people from bringing their household pets because they can bring fleas and ticks into the cabins and affect guests well after the pet has gone.
Can we bring horses?
Yes! We have a small paddock area (about 20’ x 40’) with a watering trough for horses. The area is fully shaded by trees, but not covered. So, if it rains, they will get wet! There are about 20 miles of trails on nearby Starr Mountain which are horse friendly.
What do you provide in the bathrooms and kitchens of the cabins?

In the bathrooms we provide: towels, hand towels, wash cloths, liquid soaps, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, hair dryers, makeup removing wipes, and first aid kits. In the kitchens we provide dishes, pots, pans, cooking and serving utensils, drip coffee maker with common brand coffee, filters, an assortment of teas, tea pot, an assortment of sweeteners in packets, basic spices (salt, pepper, garlic), olive oil, paper towels, dish soap and scrub pads, lighter, matches, and emergency flashlights.