About Us

William ReynoldsWilliam Reynolds at the rear steps of the original Manor House

In 1757, just four years after the Moravian settlement of the Wachovia Tract in the nearby communities of Bethabara and Salem, William Johnson purchased the mile square central portion of the property which is now part of Tanglewood Park from the Ellis family to whom the land was deeded in 1753 by Lord William Linville.

In 1859, James Johnson, the grandson of William, had the 18-room Manor House built on a hill in the center of the estate. The house was a gift of love to his daughter, Emily, for a wedding present.

The Johnson heirs sold their property in 1921 to William Neal Reynolds, brother of tobacco entrepreneur R. J. Reynolds. At that time the Tanglewood tract was enlarged to over 1,100 acres and the Manor House expanded to 28 rooms. Mr. Will, as he was called, raised and raced thoroughbred harness horses and established Tanglewood Farm as a home to some of the country’s finest pacers. In the Manor House, Mr. Will had a special room dedicated to his trophies, called the "Trophy Room." A fire that started mysteriously in a trophy room display case in 1980 did considerable damage, but the room has been restored. The room is surrounded by plaques and horse photographs. It is obvious that Mr. Will was a horse lover, and this tradition is carried on with Tanglewood Farm. Trail rides, hayrides, and carriage rides are available by reservation.

Today, the Manor House is a Bed & Breakfast Inn with 10 guest rooms, sweeping staircases, the Trophy Room, 20’s Room, and Rock Fireplace Room. These facilities are used for weddings, meetings, and overnight accommodations. It is rumored that Mr. Will’s spirit makes friendly visits to the house from time to time.

Mr. Will’s wife, Kate, a horticultural enthusiast, began the extensive native and ornamental plantings at Tanglewood and employed German master gardener, Mr. Frank Lustig, who continued her plans and his life’s work. He contributed the 800 bush Rose Garden on the Manor House lawn, the Arboretum behind the house, and the nearby Fragrance Garden to the estate. For 60 years, even after the death of his employers, and their gift of the estate, Lustig poured his talents into Tanglewood. He is buried in the graveyard at Tanglewood next to the historic church.