The History of Sacred Grove

A house with a spiral labyrinth in the yard.

I thought I’d give a brief history of the Grove for newcomers.

The Dedication

The prior owners, Marilyn and Karl Wienand, bought the land in 1988. They planted four crystals on the corners of the land and dedicated it to doing spiritual work.

Creation of the Retreat Center

In the mid to late 1990s, they gathered a group of people together to work towards creating a retreat center.

Workshops were originally held in the Log Home, but then moved to the Grandmother Yurt after it was erected in the mid 1990’s.

The hiking trails through the woods were created in 1993. The labyrinth was created at a workshop in the late 1990’s. The vortex was discovered by Dr. Marc Dworkin (Dr. D.), and the sacred grove of pin oak trees were planted around it to signify its location.

In 1998, Marilyn’s son, Mark, erected the Thoreau Cabin.

Karl passed away in 1999; and in 2003, Marilyn and Dr. D married.

The Grove House was added to the property in 2005. This was to be the location for Dr. D’s naturopathic clinic, which he moved to Sacred Grove from Charlotte. After opening in March of 2005, he passed away in May of 2005.


Tim and I were supposed to come and work for Dr. D as massage therapists/energy workers. After his passing, we helped Marilyn with the maintenance of Sacred Grove and tried to find someone to take over Dr. D’s practice. A year later, Marilyn decided to move to Cary, NC to be with her daughter and grandchildren, and I purchased Sacred Grove.

After the purchase in May of 2006, I opened it as The Bed and Bike Inn with my partner Tim Beebe.

Being an avid cyclist when I lived in Oregon, I thought we could cater to cyclists who would enjoy cycling the beautiful countryside of Stanly, Rowan, and Cabarrus Counties and stay the night.  Although cyclists came, stayed, and enjoyed the countryside, it seemed our guests were more interested in a place to come for a spiritual retreat.

A Spiritual Retreat Center

So in 2009, we went back to the original name of Sacred Grove Retreat and became a Spiritual Retreat Center.

In 2012, while two friends of mine and I were enjoying an afternoon at the Grove, each shared the same story, about the three of us being sisters in a past life when we lived here as part of the Saura Indian tribe.  Our mother, whose name was White Dove, told us that I would come back one day and make the land sacred again.

The land has a palpable energy that is peaceful and restorative. The vortex is a favorite spot for guests to hang out and relax. Tim created individual sand boxes for people to put their feet in and connect to the energies of the Earth.

Improvements and Additions

Over the years, we have made many improvements and new additions to the land: the awesome bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub and the queen bed downstairs in the Thoreau Cabin; the Baby Yurt; the completion of the upstairs in the Grove House; the Ceremonial Dance Arbor; two outdoor showers, and an outdoor kitchen. Our newest additions have been the High Ropes Course and the new Empowerment yurt


In 2012, Tim and I parted ways, and I managed Sacred Grove alone for several years. 2013 brought Kerry O’Bric into my life as an amazing roommate and friend, and Robbie and Trai as tenants on the land.

In 2014, I made a declaration that I was seeking someone as a business/management partner. It became manifest in the form of Jade Reese. My thankfulness for her leadership abilities and friendship is over the top.

Sacred Grove is thriving now, and we are going to take it to the next level. The sky is the limit!!!!!!!

Written by Ellen Whiteside



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  • April 12, 2017