About Preston Woodall House
This grand home, one-of-five, large-scale homes in a similar stylistic mode built by Benson's prosperous merchants between 1900 and 1920, was constructed for Preston Woodall (1874-1945). Woodall operated a large department store in Benson, which he organized in 1899, as well as twenty farms and five saw mills in the Benson vicinity. In addition, he served as vice-president of the Farmers Commercial Bank for five years, as president of the Citizens Bank and Trust Company for six years, and as alderman of Benson for ten years. He was also secretary to the Board of Elders of the Presbyterian Church and was active in community affairs.
The Preston Woodall House also provides Wedding Coordination packages to assist in wedding planning, such as selection of clergy, photographers, florists, wedding coordinators and wedding cake bakers. These services again make the Preston Woodall House stand above the competition for weddings, corporate and social events in the Triangle region.
Joel Hurley, Owner and General Manager of Preston Woodall House, is a seasoned veteran in hospitality, weddings and event services. Opening the Preston Woodall House in 2000, Joel leads the team at Preston Woodall, including overseeing the day-to-day management and operations of the bed & breakfast. He has played an instrumental role in the venue earning prestigious accolades, such as inclusion in the Best of Weddings – TheKnot, as well as WeddingWire.com's Brides Choice Award. He has designed, directed and helped plan hundreds of events at Preston Woodall, as well as across North Carolina, and his passion for design and attention to details continue to make this venue a leading event facility and bed & breakfast in the Triangle and Raleigh area.
Joel, a North Carolina native, has spent over 15 years in Benson, NC after serving 7 years as a Durham police officer. He also has served as General Manager of the Mansions on Fifth Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA. Joel has consulted with numerous hotels and historic properties throughout the East Coast.
Joel has one daughter, Kaitlyn Upchurch, and resides in Raleigh, NC with his family.
Kaitlyn Upchurch - Office Manager
Kaitlyn Upchurch, the daughter of owner Joel Hurley, has grown up in the family business since the young age of seven. Having a keen eye for detail and a creative mind for events, the Preston Woodall House was a natural fit for Kaitlyn to use her talents. Over the past two years, Kaitlyn has transitioned from working the actual events, to managing the administrative side of Preston Woodall House. Her passion for sales and meeting face-to-face with clients enables Kaitlyn to continuously evolve in the hospitality and event industry.
Kaitlyn is married to Taylor Upchurch and the couple had their first child, Mia Grey, on June 26, 2014, weighing 7.6 lbs. Kaitlyn recently gave birth to Natalie Mae.