Ann McKee Austin is a Co-owner / Broker with McKee Properties.
At a Glance
- Third generation of notable Cashiers family
- Community leader in historic preservation and environmental conservation
- Assists clients and friends in matching with an ideal Broker
With lifelong ties to Cashiers, Ann is the granddaughter of E. Lyndon and Gertrude Dills McKee, Sr. who purchased the estate of the legendary Wade Hampton III in 1923 and developed the venerable High Hampton Inn. Ann’s grandmother, the daughter of the founder of near-by Dillsboro, was the first woman to serve in the North Carolina Senate.
When family land was divided in 1985, Ann partnered with her brother, the late A. William McKee, in creating the renowned Wade Hampton Golf Club on a portion of the property that had been bridle trails and hunting land. (The club’s Tom Fazio course currently ranks no. 32 among the Golf Digest list of “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.”) Later, Ann joined her brother as vice president of McKee Properties. Over the years, her areas of specialization have included high-end private clubs and estate properties.
Ann continues an active role in management of the company as one of four partners.
She assists former clients and her wide network of friends in referrals to the McKee Properties Broker best positioned to meet their needs and goals.
Ann is a community leader in the areas of historic preservation, environmental conservation, and civic planning. A founder of the Cashiers Historical Society, she works to preserve the village character of Cashiers. She spearheaded the restoration of its historic 1850s Zachary-Tolbert House, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and serves on the organization’s Board of Directors.
Additionally, Ann led the drive to acquire the McKinney Meadow at the entrance to the 107 South historic corridor, now owned by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, for management in perpetuity as a natural wildflower meadow and environmental education site. Her most recent undertaking is the High Hampton History Center, where she serves as founder.
An alumna of Hollins University, Ann’s other interests include hiking, foreign adventure travel, geocaching, classical piano, art history and Western North Carolina history. She especially enjoys leading mountain adventures with her young grandchildren.
Get to Know Ann
Of what moment in your real restate career are you most proud?
June 1987, when bagpipes heralded opening day of Wade Hampton Golf Club, developed by my brother, A. William McKee and me on family land. The Tom Fazio design consistently ranks among the top courses in the country
What is your favorite thing about the Cashiers area?
The connection to the past. Memories of an idyllic summer childhood running loose, all summer long, all over High Hampton.
What is one of your favorite Cashiers-area memories or traditions?
Family hike to the 6,500 ft. peak of Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, with overnight stay on top in their rustic lodge. This year marks our 38th annual trip!
What is something folks might not know about you?
I’m an avid globetrotter, with unforgettable trips from Kathmandu to Timbuktu.