Mort and Lainey White are the innkeepers at Hemlock Inn and have been so since 1988 when they moved to the inn. Lainey first moved to the inn when she was 12 years old when her parents John and Ella Jo Shell bought the inn in 1969. After marrying Mort and living in Hendersonville, NC for a few years, she and Mort felt the draw to come help the operations of the inn and they have been here ever since. They raised their three boys – Andrew, Steven, and John Thomas – at the inn and all are now married and living in other places, though they still help out in some of the operations of the inn from afar.
Mort is an avid hiker and is often found leading hikes with guests through the spring, summer and fall. He also loves getting to know all the guests and building friendships with those who begin coming year after year. He would love to give any guests his best recommendations on the best hikes and sites to see in the Smokies!
Lainey too loves getting to know the guests and spending time with them around the dinner tables. She does all the planning and shopping for Hemlock Inn gift shop on site and, most prominently, also just completed the third edition of the Recipes from Our Front Porch Hemlock Inn cookbook, which her mother Ella Jo first wrote back in 1982.
Mort and Lainey both joke that they first moved to the inn because of the delicious food – a major perk of the job! But in all truthfulness, they could not imagine being anywhere else or doing anything else.
Mort and Lainey hope to meet you at the Hemlock Inn soon.