Afternoon Tea Service Honors Legacy of Susan Wiley Walker, March 13th, 2022

 Maryville, TN (February 23, 2022) — As a salute to National Women’s History Month, RT Lodge will honor its late founder, Mrs. Susan Wiley Walker at a March 13th afternoon tea service.   An inspiring woman who made significant contributions to the community, Walker’s former home is the “heart and soul” of the 57-room Lodge, located in Maryville, Tennessee.

In 1932, at the age of 80, Walker lovingly designed the 8,000 sq. ft. home, called Morningside. The estate was built within the beautiful natural setting of the lush Maryville College Woods. Ninety years later, the landmarked historic home is now owned by another woman – Beth McCabe Holman of Knoxville, Tennessee, who serves as the president of RT Lodge.

“Mrs. Walker was a beloved member of the community, and a highly revered local legend, who welcomed guests from all walks of life into her home along with investing into the college and surrounding neighborhood,” said McCabe Holman. “We look forward to celebrating her legacy during National Women’s History month.”

Known for hosting guests at her home for afternoon tea, and even constructing a Tea House on the property for the community to enjoy, Mrs. Walker set a standard of gracious hospitality at the Lodge from the time she opened its doors, welcoming in the community around her. A life size doll house was built at Morningside to provide a place for local mothers and their children to come together and play. At every opportunity, Mrs. Walker explored ways to get involved with and unite the Maryville community.

Mrs. Walker assisted Maryville College financially; her Beautification Project funded the expansion of the College Woods trails, constructing an amphitheater for student use, and planting expansive gardens across campus. She was also involved in designing, building, and funding the construction of several homes in the College Hill neighborhood. Notably, Mrs. Walker was rumored to be the first woman in the area to purchase a car.

The afternoon tea service will feature a menu designed by RT Lodge Pastry Chef Caitlyn Cox, another dynamic female contributing to the present image of the Lodge as the food and hospitality destination it is known as today. Her menu will consist of an assortment of sweet and savory bites. After tea mingling with guests of honor including Maryville College Archivist, Amy Lundell to follow.

The March 13th afternoon tea service will run from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The cost of the tea is $70 per person plus tax and service.  Price Includes Prosecco and Mimosas, and tea service. For reservations, call 865-981-9800.

About RT Lodge

RT Lodge, consisting of a landmarked historic home and two guest houses accommodating 57 rooms, is set on the woodsy college campus of Maryville College in Eastern Tennessee. Donated to the college by Mrs. Susan Wiley Cooper Walker in 1952, guests can enjoy seven acres of meandering wooded walking paths, extensive gardens with a Koi Pond, evening s’mores at the fire pit, a destination restaurant open for dinner, private fly-fishing excursions, and distinctive meeting spaces for weddings and corporate retreats.  RT Lodge is 20 minutes from Knoxville, 30 minutes from Great Smoky Mountains National Park and 10 minutes from McGhee Tyson Airport.  For further information, please visit or call 865-981-9800.

Media Contact:  Rebecca Werner,, 917-370-5005

Katie Stinnett, 865-981-9800


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Photo of Mrs. Walker on the grounds of RT Lodge (formerly known as Morningside).

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