The historic James A. Blakeney farmhouse, and the nearby barn, have been transformed into the “Blakeney Healing House” by owners Betty and Jerry Orr. Betty Ostrow Orr
The historic James A. Blakeney farmhouse, and the nearby barn, have been transformed into the “Blakeney Healing House” by owners Betty and Jerry Orr. Betty Ostrow Orr

Karen Garloch

Historic Charlotte farmhouse becomes ‘Blakeney Healing House’

September 07, 2016 04:38 PM

The historic farmhouse, a yellow two-story Victorian, was built in the early 1900s by the James A. Blakeney family, for whom the south Charlotte neighborhood is named. Today, it’s being transformed into a place of “spiritual healing and rejuvenation” by owners Betty and Jerry Orr.

They’re holding an open house at the “Blakeney Healing House” Sunday, Sept. 11, from 1 to 6 p.m. at 9214 Blakeney Heath Road.

Some may know “Dr. Betty” as Betty Ostrow from Solace Dentistry in Pineville, where she practiced “soothing dentistry” for 20 years before selling the office in 2015. She and her second husband, Jerry Orr, also closed their Matthews art space, Orr and Orr Art Studio & Gallery, and have brought their passion for art and holistic healing to the Blakeney house.

“Really what we are is a gathering place,” Betty Orr said. “I’m more targeted on the emotions and the mind than I used to be on the body.”

Never miss a local story.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.

The Orrs are offering classes in yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, nutrition, art, dance and music taught by an array of teachers in The Barn, a building on the couple’s two-acre lot. Betty Orr also holds workshops on nutrition and healthy living. Drop-in rates for classes are $10-$12. Membership fees are being discussed.

Betty Orr said she became interested in becoming a “health mentor” as a dentist when, around 2008, she reviewed her patients’ medical histories and learned that about 40 percent were taking medicines for anxiety and depression.

“I wondered, ‘How do I help my patients emotionally as well as physically?’ ” She began to research more about nutrition, recognizing the link between health and “what we put into our body.”

The Blakeney house is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Orrs have converted the upstairs to a bed-and-breakfast. To learn more: www.facebook.com/theblakeneyhouse; www.theblakeneyhealinghouse.com.