History of Grace Ridge Retirement Community

Grace Ridge Retirement Community has been making retirement dreams come true for more than 30 years. The timeline below highlights a few of the stories, triumphs and milestones of life at Grace Ridge. We’re also honored for the recognition we’ve received over the years for our caring staff, top-notch facilities, unique programming and vibrant and active residents. Visit our Awards and Accolades page to learn more. And, if you’re looking for some current insight into the active and vibrant way of life at Grace Ridge, take a look at our blog.

Watch the videos below for a glimpse into active retirement life at Grace Ridge.

November 1978

Dr. Jean Ervin recommended to the Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Morganton that a committee begin to look into establishing and operating a retirement home in Morganton.


Future home of Mountain House Retirement Residences

1980 – Residential Retirement Center becomes incorporated under NC state laws.

1981 – Granted tax-exempt status by IRS.

1985 – Purchased 26 acres on corner of Lenoir Road and Kirksey Drive; Summer Fest reception held to honor future residents.

1986 – $10.8 million loan secured to cover the project’s total cost. Ground breaking and open house held July 14 for Mountain House Retirement Residence.

1987 – Mountain House opens on Oct. 26 and first residents move in; Ribbon cutting ceremony; Community open house/showcase of homes.

1988 – First Resident’s Council Newsletter published. Publication named Mountain Views in June.


1990 – New health care center for Mountain House residents opens with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

1991 – Grace Healthcare System acquires Mountain House Retirement Residence. Name is changed to Grace Ridge Retirement Community.

1992 – Tree planting ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on the retirement cottages.

1994 – Scholarship Committee established under the leadership of resident Harriet Inscoe to contribute to the continuing education of Grace Ridge employees.

1997 – 10th anniversary of Grace Ridge; Dr. Ervin speaks about how it took 13 years for her dreams to become a reality.

1999 – Grace Ridge becomes integrated with Blue Ridge HealthCare. Groundbreaking for Grace Ridge expansion (30 additional apartment units and 34 new beds in the health care center).

Ground Breaking Set for Grace Ridge Expansion.


Grace Ridge Receives CARF Accreditation.

2001 – Open house is held to showcase $10.5 million renovation and expansion project, which included 30 new independent living apartments, 37 additional health care rooms, a special care unit for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia-related illnesses, and an auditorium.

2002 – Grace Ridge celebrates its 15th anniversary.

2006 – Grace Ridge receives its first of three consecutive five-year accreditations (2006, 2011, 2016) from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities/Continuing Care Accreditation Commission.

June 2006 – The auditorium and community room is officially renamed the Ervin Community Room in honor of Dr. Jean Ervin.

2007 – Grace Ridge celebrates its 20th anniversary.

2009 – Brenda Yost joins Grace Ridge as Executive Director.

October 2012 – Grace Ridge celebrates its 25th anniversary.

2013 & 2014

September 2013 – Ground breaking ceremony for construction/renovation project. Read more.

December 2013 – Phase 1 of renovations complete: updated library and creation of new administration offices. Read more.

June 2014 – Phase 2 of renovations complete: main lobby, main and private dining rooms and sales office; created space for a new resident mailroom; motorized assistive devices parking area; and new reading room that features a stone fireplace. Read more.

December 2014 – Phase 3a of renovations complete: additional offices on the 2nd floor for life enrichment administrators and new 1st floor fitness and game rooms. Read more.


2015 & 2016

Fall 2015 – Phase 3b of renovations complete: 2nd floor corridor makeover, new chapel and new theatre. Read more.

October 2015 – Phase 4 renovations complete. See photos and read more.

December 2015 – Benches made from recycled bottle caps through the Community Bottle Cap Project are presented to the NC School for the Deaf at Morganton Foundation. 

July 2016 – Grace Ridge partners with Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and ADAPT to form the Memory Café. Read more.

July 26, 2016 – Ruby Clodfelter, the then-oldest woman living in NC, turns 111. Read more about Ruby here and here.

August 2016 – Supporters gather to celebrate the Friendship Garden Dedication – a three-year labor of love and friendship. Watch the video highlights.

Oct. 26, 2017 – Grace Ridge will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Good Moods. Good Times. Good Life. Since 1987.




Fall 2017 – Grace Ridge celebrates its 30th anniversary in the Ervin Community Room with a party for residents, staff and friends. Good Moods. Good Times. Good Life. Since 1987.

Learn what makes our lifestyle unique including our gourmet dining, wellness programs and resident-led clubs and committees.

Learn what makes our lifestyle unique including our gourmet dining, wellness programs and resident-led clubs and committees.

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