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Mathews' Mansion, a cabin by a mountain lake

Lake Santeetlah, NC, USA
  • Cabin800 sqft
  • Bedrooms2
  • Sleeps4
  • Bathrooms1
  • Half Baths0
  • Minimum Stay3 nights

2 bedrooms, 1 bath, sleeps 3. 1 couch. Dishes, cutlery. Steps to lake.

Long overdue for a lazy afternoon in a hammock? How about a rocking chair overlooking one of the most pristine lakes in the world? At Mathews' Mansion, a small cabin on a lake full of fish, you will find a bit of heaven. No clocks, phones, or TV's, only rest and the rustling of maples. Bring your camera for some great nature shots. Chipmunks, hummingbirds, and raccoons are common visitors. Smoking okay on screened-in porch.

Lake is great for bass, boating, swimming. Santeetlah Marina is only a quarter of a mile. Hike the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and other lush trails in the region. Take a drive on the breathtaking Cherula Skyway. Nearby streams & rivers are world-famous for fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and tubing. Ride the choo-choo from Bryson City to the Nantahala Gorge. Visit a pow wow at the nearby Cherokee Reservation or see the outdoor drama. Try your hand at ruby mining. Go antiquing for quilts & carvings. Cycle, or just relax!

Tail of the Dragon: Mathews' Mansion is close to the Tail of the Dragon, the famous curvy Highway 129, which attracts sports car enthusiasts and cyclists from all over the country. Along Cherola Highway one will view spectacular breathtaking mountain views. For more details visit our website.

Cherokee Artifacts: Did you know that Cherokee artifacts have been found in Lake Santeetlah? Stop at the Cherokee Museum in Robbinsville to see what local residents have found while walking the shores. While there, visit Chief Junaluska's grave site. Take a drive through the Snowbird reservation and picnic at one of the creekside tables. Always keep your eyes open, for you, too, might find a Native American relic!


Marsha Mathews

Member Since 2007
Response rate:
Response time:
within a few hours
english, spanish, Spanish call Aura 828-479-8737. MATHEWS MANSION
Calendar last updated:
Apr 21, 2018
About Marsha Mathews

I am a professor at a small college, an author of three poetry books, a mother, and a grandmother. I love my cottage on Lake Santeetlah and named it Mathews Mansion when I inherited it from my parents. I have enjoyed fixing it up, one project at a time, from the septic tank to the roof. When the economy fell, I started inviting guests to stay to offset the costs of property taxes, utilities, and maintenance. It's a lot of work, but when I'm there, I feel like I'm in a tree house overlooking the lake.

Why Marsha Mathews chose Yellow Creek

This property is exquisite, set in among some of the oldest mountains on the earth. The wildlife intrigues me because I grew up in Florida where birds have much longer legs. In addition, each season brings something new, especially autumn when the leaves turn red and gold and flutter in the breeze like butterflies. The screen porch is where I spend most of my time, rocking, reading, watching the lake, the chipmunks, and listening to songbirds.

What makes this Cabin unique

This is not a place to party. it is a place to relax and retreat from the hubbub of daily pressures. It is great for those who want to hike, kayak, or simply rock in the rocking chairs. Only an hour or two from river rafting, Cherokee, DollyWood, Gatlinberg, Asheville. Chief Junaluska's burial site is right there in Robbinsville (6 miles) and a small museum and Native American garden.


    • Air Conditioning
    • Heater
    • Kids Welcome
    • Parking
    • No Smoking


      • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
      • Snug-a-Bug
        1 twin/ single, Bring Linens
      • Patchwork
        1 queen, Bring linens with deep pockets that fit thick mattress.
      • Pillows and mattress pads provided. We have closets! The couch is comfortable for a child to sleep but is not a pull-out.


      • 1 Bathroom
      • Bathroom
        toilet, combination tub/shower
      • Floor tile, showerhead, sink, and faucets.

      Location Type

        • Lake
          Santeetlah Marina is within a quarter of a mile. Dayton Boat Rentals (828) 479-7422.
        • Lakefront
          This is a great spot for kayaking or canoeing.
        • Monument View
          Chief Junaluska's grave is in Robbinsville. There is a Native American museum worth visiting.
        • Mountain
        • Mountain View
          The cottage is on Thunderbird Mountain with lake access for swimming or boating.
        • Rural
          Red-headed woodpeckers, songbirds, hummingbirds, chipmunks, foxes, and other wildlife are plentiful here.
        • Village
          The town of Lake Santeetlah is a nature lover's paradise.
        • Waterfront


            • Adventure
            • Away From It All
            • Budget
            • Family
            • Historic
            • Romantic
            • Sports & Activities
            • Tourist Attractions


                • Guests provide their own meals


                    • Living Room
                      Fairly new couch and chair. Coffee table.
                    • Air Conditioning
                      The unit is fairly new. If it doesn't come on, or if the remote doesn't work, make sure it's plugged in, and press the button on the plug.
                    • Ceiling Fans
                    • Hair Dryer
                    • Heating
                      The heater on the baseboard next to the sliding glass doors doesn't work, but there are two electric heaters.
                    • Basic Soaps
                    • Local Maps
                    • Local Restaurant Guide
                    • Paper Towels
                    • Parking
                      Ample room for your car and a trailer. No garage for motorcycles.
                    • Toilet Paper


                        • Oven
                          An apartment-size oven and a small broiler over.
                        • Coffee Maker
                          Makes several cups.
                        • Dishes & Utensils
                          A mishmash of china, glassware, plastic-ware, and cutlery.
                        • Kitchen
                          Apartment refrigerator and stove, small microwave, small broiler oven, pantry, cookware, dishes. George Foreman. Some spices, tea bags, coffee, and other necessities. Table.
                        • Microwave
                        • Cooking Utensils
                          More than you'll need. Can opener, knives, cutting board, and so on.
                        • Pantry Items
                          We have a cute pantry for storing your groceries. The salt hardens quickly because of the humidity, so you may want to bring your own if you need it. You will find coffee and other hot drinks.
                        • Refrigerator
                          Clean. No ice-maker. Apartment sized. Adequate freezer. Make sure you close the door all the way! May need to adjust the settings. Fridge can get too cold, so check periodically and adjust temp.
                        • Stove
                          Very clean, good condition. Apartment-sized. Pans are in cabinet over the fridge or inside the oven. Please make sure the burners are turned off before you depart.
                        • Stove
                        • Toaster
                          A small broiler/toaster oven.


                            • Dining
                              Additional table on screen porch, plus two benches that can be adjusted and pulled together as a small picnic table, for children.
                            • Dining Area
                            • comfy seating for 3 people


                                • Books
                                  If you don't finish reading your book, please take it with you.
                                • Books for Adults
                                • Games
                                  Board games for various ages.
                                • Games for Kids
                                • Toys
                                  Puzzles. No electronic games.


                                    • Beach Chairs
                                    • Boat
                                      Santeetlah Marina is within walking distance and offers boat rentals, lessons in water sports, and more. There is a more economical boat-rental spot, turn at the Skyway gas station on the road to town
                                    • Deck / Patio
                                      Wonderful recently rebuilt deck with built-in benches. Lawn chairs for sitting back for some sun on your face.
                                    • Fish Cleaning Table
                                    • Kayak / Canoe
                                      This is a one-person kayak. We're hoping to purchase an additional one soon.
                                    • Outdoor Grill
                                      A new charcoal grill! Simply roll it onto the deck and cook up the fish you caught. Or enjoy a steak or hot dogs and s'mores. Long-handed utensils hang on the screen porch.
                                    • Screen Porch / Veranda
                                    • Walkway to Water
                                    • Water Sports Gear
                                      Kayak paddle, flares.
                                    • Wood Deck


                                        • wheelchair inaccessible
                                          There are old, cracked, original stone steps up to the cabin. Bring non-skid shoes for rainy weather.


                                            • library
                                            • autumn foliage
                                            • coin laundry
                                            • festivals
                                            • forests
                                            • churches
                                            • live theater
                                            • marina
                                            • museums
                                            • restaurants
                                            • waterfalls

                                              Leisure Activities

                                                • antiquing
                                                • bird watching
                                                • gambling casinos
                                                • horseback riding
                                                • paddle boating
                                                • photography
                                                • scenic drives
                                                • sight seeing
                                                • walking

                                                  Local Services & Businesses

                                                    • groceries
                                                    • laundromat

                                                      Sports & Adventure Activities

                                                        • mountain climbing
                                                        • cycling
                                                        • fishing
                                                        • fly fishing
                                                        • freshwater fishing
                                                        • hiking
                                                        • hunting
                                                        • jet skiing
                                                        • mountain biking
                                                        • equestrian events
                                                        • mountaineering
                                                        • rafting
                                                        • sailing
                                                        • spelunking
                                                        • swimming
                                                        • water skiing
                                                        • water tubing
                                                        • whitewater rafting


                                                            • You will love this place. It's the perfect retreat as long as you like being near hemlock and laurel, mountain air, and the flutter of hummingbird wings. Gatlinburg is not far away. Cherokee's close, too. Please bring lots of bath towels because you'll use them after your dip in the lake. There's a sandy beach around the bend of lake, roped off for safe swimming. Or take the steps down to the water in front of your cabin. Mathews' Mansion is on a cul-de-sac. Even non-walkers enjoy walking around the mountain, the next road up, scouting for rabbits, ground hogs, raccoons, and other critters. Community leash law. Come in autumn if you wish to see a spectacular display of foliage.

                                                              House Rules

                                                              Check-in: 3:00 PM

                                                              Check-out: 11:00 AM

                                                              Cancellation Policy

                                                              100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.

                                                              15 Reviews

                                                              Very Good4/5

                                                              Latest reviews

                                                              Very small

                                                              Terry K.

                                                              Beautiful scenery but very small and over priced. Tub doesn't drain properly, heaters cause the circuit breakers to flip off and smells musty.


                                                              Amy S.

                                                              The view was beautiful. The only thing would be to fix the oven. It gets to hot. the tub doesn't drain like it should.

                                                              Unplug and relax!

                                                              Sarel M.

                                                              Great place to get away from it all or to use as base to explore the area. The cabin was exactly as described, very clean and had all the basics we needed for our stay. Can't beat the view from the deck.

                                                              The only downside for us was that the lake access in front of the cabin was limited. There are steps down to the lake that end in a concrete slab (no dock). While it is Ok for launching a kayak, the last step is fairly high and could be a problem for young kids and the elderly to get in and out of the water and the overhanging branches make fishing difficult from the step. With that said there is a great swimming beach at Cheoah Point (about 2 miles away) and a fishing pier at Massey Branch (about 8 miles away).

                                                              We will definitely stay here again.

                                                              It serves its purpose, as a place to stay, but there are definite problems to be fixed.

                                                              Holly T.

                                                              So, I'll start off saying that it definitely serves the purpose it needs to, a place to eat, sleep, and clean, as well as coming with a gorgeous view, an amazing location, and a price that can't be beat, there are problems that need to be addressed. First, the smell. The first thing that greets you when you open the door is an incredible musty smell. It's borderline overpoverpowering but was bearable after airing out the House. Second, the sleeping situation. This house is listed as sleeping for 4, but there's only beds for three, so one person is going to get stuck with the couch, which isn't a pullout bed style couch, it's just a couch. And the smell is horribly musty. Third, just some miscellaneous problems, the beds being hard, the boat launch being so underwashed it's borderline dangerous, and a rodent that had taken residence in the cabinets looking for the chicken nuggets left by the previous rentors. I will say though, the deck area is amazing and this house would be perfect if we didn't have to go inside. And to be honest, this house would be perfect if all these problems were fixed.

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Thank you, Holly, for your fine comments. To be sure, this is a cabin in the woods and gets its share of mice and crickets. I have notified the cleaning crew but asked them not to set traps for fear a child will get a finger pinched.

                                                              I have asked that more Damp Rid be placed inside to absorb some of the moisture. When you have a place on the water, humidity is an ongoing problem.

                                                              The listing has always said, "Sleeps 3 comfortably" and explains the size of the beds and states that the couch is NOT a pull out. Mathews Mansion is a small lodging and not a party place, simply a back-to-nature experience.

                                                              Quiet lakefront cabin.

                                                              Allen A.Seminole

                                                              I always enjoy staying here to avoid crowded urban areas. The weather and proximity to good hiking trails is important to me. I look forward to returning again.

                                                              Great location, nice house, great times

                                                              Andrew S.

                                                              Our family had a great time staying at Mathews Mansion. The location is great-- convenient to the Cheoah Point swimming beach, not far from Joyce Kilmer and Slickrock Creek hiking trails, and convenient to Robbinsville restaurants and stores, also.

                                                              The house had everything we needed for cooking meals.

                                                              The lake view from the porch is beautiful.

                                                              There is a nice staircase leading down to the water which would be a perfect place to load into a canoe.

                                                              One piece of advice-- air out the master bedroom for a while (maybe use some Febreze, too) before putting your clothes and linens in there. The lakeside/musty smell is really strong in there, and it kind of permeated all my clothes before I realized it. You might consider buying some DampRid to help keep that problem under control.

                                                              Owner's Response:


                                                              I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed your trip to this majestic lake. Also, thanks for your suggestions on removing the musty odor

                                                              in the front bedroom. I have notified the cleaning crew, and they are getting the Damp Rid from storage to place in the bedroom closet. We use Damp Rid during the winter when the cabin is closed up, but I guess this is a particularly damp season and need it now, as well. It sounds like the positives outweighed the negatives for you, so I hope you will come back again soon.



                                                              Lake Santeetlah, NC, USA

                                                              Right at the Tail of the Dragon, this cottage on Thunderbird Mountain overlooks Lake Santeetlah, which is surrounded by pristine National Forest. Steps make it easy to hop in for a swim or to board your kayak. With the appeal of a cabin, complete with rocking chairs on its screened porch and a hammock ready to hang, this peaceful abode also sports a large deck with benches and two comfy yard recliners. The marina down the street offers boat rentals and water sports equipment. Ten miles in at Robbinsville, see the Native American Museum or a few miles further, you will find white water for fly fishing, rafting, and nature galore. In driving distance to Cherokee, Dollywood, Gatlinburg, and Cades Cove where you will see deer and maybe even a bear. Other Activities: Mining for rubies and garnets; nature photography, berry-picking, bird-watching, horseback riding are all close by. Gambling is now available in Murphy, about 45 minutes. Boat rental is available at the nearby Santeetlah Marina or Dayton Camp Boat Rentals (828) 479-7422.

                                                              Rates & Availability

                                                              Additional information about rental rates

                                                              A liability waiver will be provided by the proprietor. The waiver must be signed and sent along with payment.

                                                              15 Reviews
                                                              Very Good 4/5
                                                              Enter dates for accurate pricing
                                                              For booking assistance, call 888-640-7927

                                                              Property # 157154