Home of the bunkum stone
(Celebrated, remarkable, legendary, honored and famous!)
The Gray Rock Inn has the honored distinction of being home to one of downtown Asheville’s distinctive landmarks.
The Bunkum Stone
This landmark is a sister to the Blarney Stone in Ireland. It is said that kissing the Bunkum Stone confers the gift of loquacity! So, whether you are staying with us or just passing by, be sure to give it a smooch.
A word with it’s roots in Asheville & Buncombe County.
Bunkum is the root of more common terms like ‘debunked’ and ‘a bunch of bunk’ that originated with a local politician known for overreaching when representing his Buncombe constituents in the United States Congress. In 1820, Congressman Felix Walker stood his ground with a very long speech about the Missouri Compromise. Although the issue at hand didn’t directly affect his Buncombe constituents, he delivered a speech on their behalf that many found to be unnecessary, insincere, and irrelevant. Congressmen began using ‘buncombe’ to refer to other similar political rhetoric, and the term caught on with the general public with the alternate spelling ‘bunkum.’ And the rest is history. Or, as Henry Ford might put it, bunk.
A local tradition with roots from across the pond.
Much like its sister stone in Ireland, folks have taken to kissing the Bunkum Stone for good luck, which is said to impart the gift of the silver tongue on our visitors.