R.B. Fitch, builder and developer of Fearrington Village, was born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, just a few miles north of Fearrington. At that time, the population of the town of Chapel Hill was around 4,000 people. R.B.’s father and grandfather were in the retail lumber and building material business, and his family has lived in this area since the 1700s.
After R.B. graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1955, he spent three years flying F-100′s in the Air Force. While stationed in England, R.B. came to love the look and feel of the English countryside. After his return to the States, R.B. founded Fitch Creations, Inc., which began with remodeling kitchens, building homes “on your lot for $12,500,” and developing small subdivisions.
In 1974, R.B. began Fearrington, a nearly 40 year adventure which would combine his small-town, know-your-neighbor upbringing with the style and charm of the English villages he had come to love. He and his late wife, Jenny, purchased the dairy farm that had been in the Fearrington family for generations and started the conversion of the farm area and its surrounding land into a country village. The original farm house and outbuildings now house the shops and restaurants of the Village Center, while over 1,200 families own homes nestled in the surrounding woodlands.
Over the years, R.B. and his team have created innovative neighborhoods and homes at Fearrington that tapped into homebuyers’ preferences – from energy conservation to walkability to the well appointed smaller home, often before their mainstream adaptation. Among his accomplishments:
R.B. has been a trustee of the North Carolina Nature Conservancy and is past chairman of the North Carolina Botanical Garden Foundation.
R.B.’s own home is in the Village, and Fearrington is the only development in which he is involved. “Fitch Creations gingerly develops the land, designs and builds the homes, owns and operates the inn, restaurant, the spa and most of the shops,” says R.B. “I hope you come and visit with us soon.”