THE BUCK HOTEL. This ancient hostelry was built by the late James M. Smith and stood where the new Langren hotel now stands. It was the first hotel west of the Blue Ridge, but when it was built is not stated in Asheville's Centenary (1898), the best authority we have on local ancient history. He was the son of Col. Daniel Smith of New Jersey, who died May 17, 1824, aged 67. James M. was born January 7, 1794, near the present Asheville passenger depot. His mother was Mary, a daughter of William Davidson, a cousin of Gen. William Davidson, who was killed at Cowan's Ford.<a href="#1" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 1
Asheville's Centenary">1 It was Gen. Davidson's brother Samuel who was killed by the Indians at the head of Swannanoa in 1781-82. James M. Smith married Polly Patton, a daughter of Col. John Patton, who was a merchant, hotel keeper, manufacturer, farmer, tanner, large landowner, and very wealthy. The Buck hotel stood, till about 1907, when it was removed.
THE EAGLE HOTEL.<a href="#2" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 2
Ibid">2 This was built by the late James Patton, father of the late James W. Patton, and grandfather of the late Thomas W. Patton. He was born in Ireland February 13, 1756, and came to America in 1783. He was a weaver, but soon became a merchant. In 1791 he met Andrew Erwin, who married his sister and became his partner in business. In 1807 they moved to the Swannanoa at what is known as the Murphy place, where they remained till 1814, when they moved to Asheville, Mr. Patton opening a store and the Eagle Hotel-the central or wooden part. In 1831 he bought and improved the Warm Springs, and died at Asheville September 9, 1846.<a href="#3" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 3
Ibid">3 James W. Patton was born February 13, 1803, and died in December, 1861. His life was full of good deeds. His son, Thomas W. Patton, was foremost in all good works, and in 1894 came to the rescue of Asheville in a crisis of her affairs as mayor on an independent ticket.
THE HOT SPRINGS. "The Warm Springs on the French Broad had been discovered in 1778 by Henry Reynolds and Thomas Morgan, two men kept out in advance of the settlement to watch the movements of the Indians. They followed some stolen horses to the point opposite, and leaving their own horses on the north bank, waded across the river. On the southern shore, in passing through a little branch, they were surprised to find the water warm. 'The next year, says Ramsey, "the Warm Springs were resorted to by invalids. " Soon after his graduation at Washington College, Tenn., young Z. B. Vance was a clerk at this hotel.<a href="#4" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 4
J. H. Wheeler's "Reminiscences."">4
Grant No.668, dated July 11, 1788, and signed at Fairfield, by Samuel Johnston, governor, conveyed to Gaser Dagg or Dagy, or Dager, 200 acres of land on the south side of the French Broad river in Green county, including the Warm Springs.<a href="#5" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 5
Buncombe County Deed Book A, p. 491">5 This land was then supposed to be in Green county, in what is now Tennessee. William Neilson then acquired an interest in the Springs for on April 27, 1829, Philip Hale Neilson, who appears to have inherited an undivided one-half interest to this property, conveyed it to Green K. Cessna,<a href="#6" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 6
Ibid, Deed nook No. 16, p. 74">6 who with Joseph L. Chunn and wife conveyed the entire property to James W. and John E. Patton, by deed dated December 6, 1831, for $20,662.<a href="#7" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 7
Ibid, p. 413">7 William Mathias appears to have kept the Hot Springs before John E. Patton took charge in 1832. He owned it till 1862, when J. H. Rumbough bought it. He has owned it since.
OLD WARM SPRINGS.<a href="#8" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 8
Statements of Captain B. F. Patton, March 25, 1913. He spent his boyhood at Old Warm Springs. Mrs. M. A. Chambers of Columbia, S. C., now in her ninetieth year, remembers visiting this hotel, Hickory Nut Falls, and Flat Rock, when a girl, about 1833.">8 The old Patton hotel at Warm Springs faced the river and was on the left bank, a bridge crossing the French Broad at that point.<a href="#9" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 9
Charles Dudley Warner ("On Horsehack," p. 135), in 1884, called this hotel "a palatial hovel."">9 The thirteen large white pillars in front were very imposing looking, and represented the original States. The Lover's Leap rock was on the right bank of the river, and little less than half a mile above the hotel. It was a sheer precipice thirty or forty feet in height. What is now called Lover's Leap, on the left bank and a mile below, is much higher, but was not so precipitous in former days, the passage of the railroad necessitating the blasting away of the lower portion of the cliff. Old Man Peters is said to have fallen from it years before the Civil War while coon-hunting, but recovered. The Hale Neilson property was at Paint Rock, and what is still called the Old Love road leaves the river about six miles below Hot Springs and joins the present road up Paint creek twelve miles east of Greenville, Tenn. It appears to be very little traveled these days, and is probably the one Bishop Asbury first used, crossing the French Broad at what is still put down on the United States contour maps as Love's Ferry: Thaddeus Weaver lived at the mouth of Paint creek, and the old Allen House, at the mouth of Wolfe creek, is still standing. The old Neilson hotel at Warm Springs was burned between 1821 and 1840. The present hotel faces the railroad, and has its back to the river.
FLAT ROCK. From that storehouse of information, "Asheville's Centenary" (1898), we learn that in 1828 the turnpike from Saluda gap via Asheville was completed to Warm Springs, and that "brought a stream of travel through western North Carolina." Among these were visitors from Charleston, S. C., some of whom were attracted by the charming scenery and surroundings of Flat Rock. Charles B. Baring bought land and built there, his deed bearing date September 13, 1830.<a href="#10" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 10
Buncombe County Deed Book No.16, p. 375">10 Judge Mitchell King also bought land, his deed being dated October 28, 1829.<a href="#11" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 11
Ibid, p. 193">11 There was a small hotel there kept by Williams Brittain, in which they probably stayed till they could build homes of their own. What is now the Major Barker place was the Molllneaux home. Following is from the history of Henderson (town and county) by Mrs. Mattie S. Chandler, written expressly for this work:
The home of Judge Mitchell King (who afterward donated the land upon which Hendersonville stands) was one of the very first built at Flat Rock, and numbers of his descendants continue to come there, maintaining handsome homes of their own. This place later passed into the ownership of Col. C. G. Memminger, and is now owned by the Smythes.
Count de Choiseul, one of the most famous of these old residents, modeled his dwelling there after the magnificent old French country homes. He lived there many years, until after the death of one of his sons in the War between the States. He then returned to France that his remaining son might inherit his titles as well as his immense property there.
The old Urqhardt home, one time residence of Cora Urqhardt, now Mrs. James Potter Brown, is practically unchanged. It belongs to the Misses Norton of Louisville, Ky., who spend the summers there.
Charles Baring came to Flat Rock from Charleston in 1820, and built in 1828 what is now the summer home of George J. Baldwin (prominent business man of Savannah). There are a number of the descendants of the Barings who have, lived for many years in this county, and they tell many interesting stories of this family. Charles Baring, member of the Banking firm of Baring Bros., London, came first to Charleston to negotiate a match between Lord Ashburton and a beautiful English widow then in Charleston, a Mrs. Heyward, sister of Lady Barclay. It proved to be a case of John Alden and Priscilla, he "asked her himself." They were married and early in their married life came to Flat Rock.
Mrs. Baring was brilliant, clever, well known in these early days in Charleston as a dramatic writer, and amateur actress. She entertained extensively and brilliantly at Flat Rock, her birthday balls having been quite famous. On this occasion she is said to have invariably worn a remarkable costume of purple velvet, with headpiece of purple plumes, and many diamonds. Judging from a very handsome portrait of her, now in the possession of a Hendersonville lady of her kin, she must have been very beautiful. Miss Sue Farmer of Hendersonville, daughter of Henry Tudor Farmer, and grand-niece of this lady, has in her possession many of Mrs. Baring's belongings, among which are a quaint old jewel casket with glass handles, with many compartments and little secret drawers and pockets. In the Baldwin home, in what was Mrs. Baring's bedroom, there still remains the curious old wall paper with its designs of the Crusaders.
She it was who built the far-famed St. John-in-the-Wilderness, the Episcopal church at Flat Rock, said to be the oldest of its denomination in the State. Both she and he husband are buried under the floor of this church, and the tablets erected to their memory are in the church.
At the age of seventy, Charles Baring was married a second time to a young lady, Miss Constance Dent, daughter of Commodore Dent of Charleston. He then built another home which was known for many years as the Rhett place, and on which spot now stands the beautiful new Highland Lake Club, with its numerous cottages and buildings and which on summer evenings presents such a brilliant scene, where hundreds of wealthy visitors come to spend the summer.
The well-known old Farmer Hotel was built by Charles Baring, and kept by his nephew and ward, Henry Farmer for many years. It was perhaps better known as the Flat Rock Inn and gained quite a reputation for the old Southern hospitality dispensed there. It was built in 1850, and stands practically unchanged; through having fallen into disuse in late years, it has grown rather dilapidated. After Mr. Farmer's death it was sold to a company of the Charlestonian residents and used as a country club.
Henry Tudor Farmer, father of the one named above, was born in England, and though he never lived in Flat Rock for any time he is said to have written some of his later verse there. In "The Nineteenth Century," by Wm. Gilmore Simms, state historian of Southern History, under date of 1869, a very detailed account of his works is given, extracts as follows: "He lived in New York for some time before coming to Charleston. There he made the acquaintance of all the wits about town. He was intimate with Francis, the most famous of reminiscents. He has jested at the Cafe with Hal- leek and Drake of the firm of the 'Croakers. He knew Bryant and Sands Hillhouse and Percival at their beginnings and himself published a volume of poems both in New York and London. His work is highly complimented for its skill and dainty imagery, as well as the easy-flowing rhythm."
AS SEEN THROUGH NORTHERN EYES. In the "Carolina Mountains," we read (p. 112): "Long before the train had surmounted the barrier of Blue Ridge, the beauty and salubrity of the high mountains had called up from the eastern lowlands people of wealth and refinement to make here and there their summer homes. The first and most important of these patrician settlements was at Flat Rock, the people coming from Charleston, the center of civilization in the far South, and choosing Flat Rock because of its accessibility, and because the level nature of the country offered opportunity for the development of beautiful estates and the pleasure roads through the primeval forests that in days had not been disturbed. Into this great, sweet wilderness, now quite safe from Indians, these children of fortune brought their servants and their laborers, and selecting the finest sites whence were extensive views of the not too distant mountains, surrounded by the charming growths of region, in a land emblazoned and carpeted with flowers, built their homes of refuge from the burning heat and equally burning mosquitoes of the coastland…. These people drove in their own carriages, accompanied by a retinue of and provision wagons…. This procession up the mountains had fewer trappings on the horses and less gayly attired escort than did those of the olden time; but we may be sure that the carriages of the gentlefolk of the eighteenth century were pleasanter conveyances than the mule-litters of the Middle Ages, and we may also be sure that no lovelier faces out from the gorgeous retinue on its way across the hills of the past than could be seen in the carriages where sat ladies of the New World, with their patrician beauty at their gracious manners. And, although the escort of the New World travelers did not number one thousand gayly dressed cavaliers, it consisted of a retinue of those ebony children of the sun, who loved the pleasant journey, and loved their gentle lords and ladies-for all this happened in those halcyon days 'before the War' when . . the real 'quality' cherished their slaves and were greatly loved by them."
DISTINGISHED PIONEERS. This writer continues "The Lodge" was built by one of the English Barings, Charles, of banking fame, on which place was a 'tumble - down stile,' like the one near Stratford-on-Avon." "Coming somewhat later as friends of Mr. Baring," were Mr. Molyneux, British consul at Savannah, and Count de Choisenil, French consul at the same place. "Perhaps the most cherished name of this mountain settlement was that of the Rev. John G. Drayton for many years rector of St. John-in-the-Wilderness, and to whom the dignified and noble estate of Ravenswood at Flat Rock owes its Origin, as well as the wonderful Magnolia Gardens on the Ashley river, near Charleston-gardens where one wanders away into a dreamland of flowers unlike any other dreamland in the world…. And always when talking to anyone of the old residents of Flat Rock, forth the name of Dr. Mitchell C. King, who, for more than half a century, was the greatly beloved physician of the community, and who, while a student at the University of Gottingen, formed so warm a friendship with a fellow student known as Otto von Bismarek, that, for many years after a regular correspondence was carried on 'between them' these letters being carefully preserved by the descendants of the doctor." She also mentions the Memmingers, the Rutledges, the Lowndeses, the Elliotts, the Pinekneys, the Middletons and many others.
THE MAN WHO BROUGHT US TO THE SPRINGS.<a href="#12" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 12
From Mrs. Mattie Smathers Chandler's history of Henderson county">12 Colonel V. Ripley, father of Mrs. Lila Ripley Barnwell, was one of the early settlers in Hendersonville. He was of English descent, his immediate branch of the family having come to New England in 1636. Colonel Ripley was a native of Virginia, from which state he came to North Carolina when quite a young man. He was a man of wide experience and fine business ability. In 1835 the business of mail contracts, extending from Florida when the state was a territory to the upper part of South Carolina, was almost entirely in his hands. This business was continued until June, 1855.
HIS WIFE AN AUTHORESS.<a href="#12" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 12
From Mrs. Mattie Smathers Chandler's history of Henderson county">12 Mr. Ripley's first wife was the daughter of James M. Smith of Buncombe, who was the first white child to be born west of the Blue Ridge in Buncombe county, he having been born on Swannanoa.<a href="#13" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 13
As Ashe county was settled in 1755, according to Wheeler's History (p.27), many white children were born in that county years before James M. Smith was born in Buncombe county.">13 During the War between the States, Col. Ripley was married to Mrs. Mary A. Ewart of Columbia, S. C., a lady of great culture, refinement and strong intellectuality. In her early years, Mrs. Ripley was an author of considerable distinction, and was a regular contributor to many of the leading magazines and periodicals of her day. Perhaps her most valuable production was "Ellen Campbell of Kings Mountain," a prize story which was contested for by many of the well known writers of the South. The description of the battle of Kings Mountain in this story is one of the most graphic ever given of that famous engagement. It increased enormously the circulation of the paper in which it was published. She was the author of "Edith Egerton," "Avalona" and several other novelettes, as also of many beautiful poems.<a href="#14" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 14
Mrs. Ripley was the mother, by a former marriage, of Hon. Hamilton Glover Ewart, member of Congress from 1887 to 1889, and appointed U.S. District Judge in 1898.">14 Mrs. Lila Ripley Barnwell, her daughter, has been inseparably identified with the later development of Hendersonville; she is well known in western North Carolina as a writer, and a broadly public-spirited woman, as well as a friend to all who need a friend-and this much.
CASHIERS VALLEY.<a href="#15" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 15
Information furnished by T. Baxter White, J. Pierson and others">15 About 1818 a man named Millsaps settled in the upper end of Cashiers Valley. Soon after that date James McKinney came to the valley and bought the lands then owned by Millsaps. A short time after, John Zachary and sons, Jefferson, Mordecai, Alfred, Jonathan, Alexander, came to the valley and settled in the lower thereof. All the Zacharys seem to have been artizans. Alexander was a brick mason and also a brickmaker. He evidently burned the first bricks in the south end of Jackson county. Alfred was a hatter and made both fur and wool hats. It was customary in those days to take coon - skins or lambs-wool to his "shop" to be made up on shares. A good home-made wool or fur hat cost seventy-five cents. Mordecai Zachary was a carpenter and built a fine house for those days. The Zacharys built the first saw-mill in valley.
Cashiers Valley is a mountain plateau of the Blue Ridge 3,400 feet in altitude, from four to five miles long, and a mile and a half wide. Attracted by its climate, freedom from dampness, its utter isolation from the populated haunts of man, the rugged character of its scenery and deer and bear infested wildwoods, years since, wealthy planters of South Carolina drifted in there with each recurring summer. Now a few homes of these people are scattered along the highland roads. One residence, the pleasant summer home of Gen. Wade Hampton, governor of South Carolina in 1876, the earliest settler from the Palmetto State, is situated, as it appears from the road, in the gap between Chimney Top and Brown mountain, through which, twenty miles away can be seen a range of purple mountains. A grove of pines surrounds the house. Governor Hampton formerly spent the summers here, engaged, among other pastimes, in fishing for trout along the head streams of the Chatooga, which have been stocked with this fish by the Hampton family, and in hunting deer. Chief Justice A. J. Willard of Columbia, S. C., afterwards had a residence nearby.
WHITESIDE COVE.<a href="#15" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 15
Information furnished by T. Baxter White, J. Pierson and others">15 The first settler in Whiteside Cove was Barak Norton. He came from South Carolina and settled in the Cove about 1820. Barak Norton and others took up State grant No. 307 on the 24th day of December, 1838. Barak Norton in his own name took up State grant No. 322 on the 27th of December of the same year. His oldest daughter, Mira Norton, took up grant No.320 on same date of same year. He lived to the advanced age of 99 or 100 and died at James Wright's, about three miles north of Highlands, near Short Off, in 1868 or 1870. His wife, Mary Norton, nee Nicholson, also lived to an advanced age of nearly 100 years. Barak Norton and his wife Mary were strong adherents to the Universalist belief and died strong in the faith.
HORSE COVE.<a href="#15" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 15
Information furnished by T. Baxter White, J. Pierson and others">15 Soon after the settlement of Whiteside Cove and Cashiers Valley, Horse Cove was settled by George and William Barnes, Mark Burrill and Evan Talley. The Barnes families seem to have been the first to settle there. Gold was discovered about 1840.
DULA SPRINGS. These springs were opened to the public about 1900, and are the property of the Chambers family. There are several houses which afford accommodations for from thirty to fifty people on most reasonable terms. They are about two miles north of Weaverville, which is reached by an electric line from Asheville.
HIGHLANDS, MACON COUNTY.<a href="#15" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 15
Information furnished by T. Baxter White, J. Pierson and others">15 Early in 1875 S. T. Kelsey and C. C. Hutchinson, of Kansas, bought 800 acres of J. W. Dobson, to which land Kelsey moved his family in 1875. T. Baxter White of Marblehead, Mass., followed in April. In May Hutchinson and family came, and White became postmaster, and for two years carried the mail in his coat pocket to Horse Cove and back. About 1877 Dr. George Kibbee came from Oregon, and, having been successful in treating yellow fever in Knoxville by using rubber beds and cold water baths, he went to New Orleans in 1879 when yellow fever was epidemic there. He contracted the disease there and died. Joseph Halleck of Minnesota, a brother of Gen. W. H. Halleck of the Civil War, kept the first hotel. In 1888-89 the Davis house was opened and was popular till 1909, when Miss Davis, who had kept it admirably, died. John Norton built a store in 1879, and Charles O. Smith of Indiana bought the Folly Norton farm and lived there till his death. Captain S. P. Ravenel of Charleston, S. C., came in 1879 and built a beautiful residence on the crest of the Blue Ridge, commanding a fine view, hauling all the lumber except that for the frame, from Walhalla, S. C. By the aid of his family a Presbyterian church was built and dedicated by the Rev. Dr. Miller of Charlotte, N. C., in September, 1885. It need not be said that this little community has had excellent schools from the first. A debating society every Friday night used to keep things lively and brought the community together. Mr. Kelsey was a practical disciple of good roads, going out and building them himself. Highlands is a fine town.
LINVILLE CITY. This beautiful little town was built and is owned largely by the Linville Improvement Company, which in 1890 was composed principally of S. T. Kelsey, S. P. Ravenel and Donald MacRae. They built the Yonahlossee turnpike from this town to Blowing Rock, about twenty miles distant, at a cost of about $18,000, less than $1,000 per mile. It is the most beautiful and best constructed mountain road in the State. But, at the time it was completed and the Linville River Railroad had reached Pinola and Montezuma, less than two miles distant, there were such serious dissensions among the directors of the company that a lawsuit resulted. Until it had been settled it was impossible to give clear title to any of the lots which had been largely advertised for sale. When the trouble was finally adjusted the golden moment had passed.<a href="#16" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 16
Information furnished by S. P. Ravenel, Esq., of Asheville">16 But Blowing Rock had benefited by the construction of the turnpike. There is a nice little inn and a fine lake filled with trout at Linville City. It is within the shadow of the Grandfather mountain and about 4,000 feet above sea level.
BLOWING ROCK. In 1875 William Morris lived at Blowing Rock and took a few summer boarders. The fame of his culinary art, or that of his wife, spread and brought his place to the attention of the late Senator M. W. Ransom. He bought and built a summer home there. Others followed. The Green Park Hotel, the Watauga Hotel and other fine hostelries were built, and when the Yonahlossee turnpike was completed Blowing Rock was quite popular. There is no finer scenery anywhere, the water is pure and hotels and private boarding houses numerous. The following have fine homes at this charming place: Col. W. W. Stringfellow; Miss Esther Rans6m, of Weldon; Mr. E. H. Hughes of Charleston, S. C.; Prof. W. J. Martin, of Davidson College; Rev. C. G. Vardell, of Red Springs; Mr. Moses H. Cone, Mr. A. W. Washburn, of Charlotte; Mr. Elliott Dangerfield, of New York; Rev. J. S. Vance, of Nashville, Tenn.; Mr. D. A. Tompkins, of Charlotte; Mr. E. H. Williamson, of Fayetteville; Judge G. W. Gage, of Chester, S.C.; Mrs. W. G. Randall, of Greensboro, N. C.; Rev. D. E. Snapp, of Baltimore, Md.; Mr. J. Lamb Perry, of Charleston, S. C.; Mrs. W. G. Randall, and many others.
ROARING GAP HOTEL. Within the last few years Roaring Gap, on the crest of the Blue Ridge and at the head of Roaring river, has become a popular summer resort, with a large and well-arranged hotel, commanding fine views. There are also a number of nice cottages. It is nearly 3,500 feet above sea level.
THOMPSON'S BROMINE ARSENIC SPRINGS. Nine miles from Jefferson is a mineral spring, hotel and outbuildings, situated 3,000 feet above sea level, that is almost a specific for eczema, all forms of skin troubles and all kidney and bladder affections. It can be reached from Troutdale, Va., (leaving Norfolk & Western train at Marion, Va., for Troutdale) or from Wilkesboro, N. C., on Southern Railway, from which it is distant forty miles. It opens May 15. H. M. Wiley is the proprietor and the postoffice is Crumpler, Ashe county, N.C.
MOSES H. CONE. He was born at Jonesborough, Tenn., June 27, 1857, and died at Baltimore, Md., December 8, 1908. In September, 1897, he began the acquisition of the 3,500 acres of land which make up what is now Flat Top Manor.<a href="#17" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 17
Watauga County Deed Book R, p. 131">17 He died childless and intestate; but his widow, Mrs. Bertha Lindau Cone, and his brothers, and sisters, Ceasar Cone and wife, Jeannette Cone, L. N. Cone, Julius W. Cone, Bernard M. Cone and wife of Guilford county; Frederick W. Cone, Moses D. Long and his wife, Carrie Cone Long, of Buncombe; Sydney M. Cone and wife, and C. and E. Cone of Baltimore, Md., in May, 1911, in recognition of "the deep love and lasting affection" for the people of Watauga of Moses H. Cone, conveyed to the Cone Memorial Hospital, a corporation of Guilford county, the whole of the Flat Top Manor and three smaller tracts which had been acquired by Mrs. Cone since her husband's death-the entire propety, aggregating 3,517 acres-to be called the "Moses H. Cone Memorial Park," to be used as "a park and pleasure ground for the pubic in perpetuity," in order "to make an everlasting memorial" to the said Moses H. Cone. A life estate in this property is, however, reserved to Mrs. Cone, and a plat of ground 400 feet square in which Moses H. Cone is buried.<a href="#18" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 18
Ibid, No.11, p. 517.">18 There are scores of poor people in Watauga county who will" never forget the goodness of Moses H. Cone.
THE LINDSAY PATTERSON FARMS. This gentleman, with his Revolutionary War ancestry, and his estimable wife, not content with trying to preserve the history of this section has purchased two fine farms in Watauga, one on Meat Camp creek, five miles north of Boone, containing 350 acres, and the other, eight miles further north, containing 2,000 acres, and lying in Watauga and Ashe counties. This latter is called the Bald Mountain farm, because the mountain on which it lies is largely bare of forests. Grain, hay, potatoes, and vegetables are produced in abundance on the Meat Camp farm; while horses, mules, cattle, ponies, sheep, hogs, turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens, flourish and grow fat on the other.
ASHEVILLE SULPHUR SPRINGS. On the last day of February 1827, Robert Henry and his slave Sam discovered this spring five miles west of Asheville, and about the year 1830 his son-in-law, Col. Reuben Deaver, built a wooden hotel on the hill above and began taking summer boarders. Such was the patronage that an addition had to be made to the hotel every year. As many as five hundred are said to have been there at one time, and the neighborhood was ransacked for beds, bedding, chairs, and provisions. Most of the visitors came from South Carolina, among whom were the Pinckneys, Elmores, Butlers, Pickenses, Prestons, Alstons, Kerrisons, and others. Mr. John Keitt was the first person buried on Sulphur Springs hill, August 27, 1836.<a href="#19" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 19
Robert Henry's diary, now in possession of his daughter-in-law, Mrs. C. C. Henry of Acton, N.C.">19 The fact that the Pinckneys were almost constant visitors accounts for the prevalence of the given name Pink in the neighborhood of Asheville. The Aistons reserved the corner rooms on the second floor from May till frost every season. Besides the hotel, an L-shaped building, there were cabins on the grounds. There were bowling alleys, billiard tables, shuffle-boards and other games. A large ball-room and a string band, composed of free negroes from Charleston and Columbia, provided the music for dancing. One of these negroes was named Randall, who had been presented with a purse of $5,000 by the white peop1e of South Carolina for having given information about a contemplated negro insurrection at Charleston;<a href="#20" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 20
"South Carolina Women in the Confederacy," p. 249">20 and another of these musicians was named Lapitude, who owned a station near Charleston and forty slaves. He was a man of some education, and the manner of a Chesterfield.<a href="#21" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 21
Statements of Mrs. Eugenia E. Hopson, daughter of Col. Reuben Deaver, and of Mrs. Martha A. Arthur, daughter of Robert Henry.">21 From its opening till 1860 there were more summer visitors at Deaver's Springs than in Asheville. Col. James M. Ray gives us this picture of Asheville sixty years ago: "Well, what of Asheville in these long past years? It was about like Leicester or Marshall-a very small village on the 'turnpike,' midway between the two Greenvilles. The two 'hotels', Eagle and Buck, even many years later, not doing near the business of many of the country inns or stock stands on the Warm Springs road. For anyone to stop at either of these two hotels longer than for dinner or for the night was not thought of; though a few summer visitors would sometimes make a short stop in passing through to Deaver's Springs or to Warm Springs, Wade Hampton and others with fast teams driving from Asheville to Warm Springs for dinner."<a href="#22" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 22
Col. James M. Ray in The Lyceum, p.19, December, 1890.">22 The old hotel was burned in December, 1862, was rebuilt by E. G. Carrier-of brick this time-in 1887, and known, first as Carrier's Springs and then as The Belmont. It was again burned in September, 1891, while under the management of Dr. Carl Von Ruck. From 1889 till 1894 an electric railway ran from Asheville to the spring, but it was abandoned.
CLOUDLAND HOTEL. In 1878 Gen. J. H. Wilder of Knoxville built a hotel on the top of the Roan mountain and opened it for guests, having previously constructed a wagon road from Roan Mountain Station on what is now the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad. Later he built a much larger hotel, which met a public want admirably, as it afforded sufferers from hay-fever immediate relief. It is built across the State line between Tennessee and North Carolina, and guests frequently sleep with one part of their bodies in one state and the rest in the other. It was very popular till a few years ago, when it was closed, but will soon be reopened.
EAGLE'S NEST, near Waynesville, has divided this patronage with the Cloudland since 1900. In the year 1900 Mr. S. C. Satterthwait of Waynesville built a hotel on top of the highest of the Balsams, calling the range the Junaluskas. It is five miles from Waynesville and is reached by a good wagon road. It is 5,050 feet above sea-level, and is one of the hay-fever resorts in this section, Cloudland hotel on the Roan, 6,000 feet, being the only other. Tents supplement the rooming accommodations when desired. Accommodations for about 100 guests. The magnificent Plott Balsam mountain is in full view.
BALSAM INN. Soon after the completion of the railroad to Balsam gap, seven miles west of Waynesville, Christie Brothers of Athens, Ga., opened a railroad eating house at that point, and furnished venison, wild turkey and mountain trout and the best cuisine in the State. They had only rough and small houses, and did not seek any patronage except from railroad passengers. But about 1905 a large and commodious hotel was erected there, with accommodations for many guests. Baths, acetylene lights, music and other attractions keep the hotel filled during the summer season.
OUR FIRST LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT. Our first settlers sought house sites near springs, caring little for views or being viewed. Knolls and commanding eminences were too far from water, as a rule, and required a climb up-hill to reach. In 1821 the late Dr. J. F. E. Hardy came to Asheville from Newberry District, S. C., where he had been born in 1802. His first residence was on the southwest corner of Eagle and South Main streets, at one time the finest residence in Asheville, where he resided for fifteen years after his marriage to Miss Jane Patton in 1824. In 1840 he married Miss Erwin of Morganton, and soon afterwards moved to Swannanoa Hill at the corner of Biltmore road or South Main street and the Swannanoa river. This is on a hill, and the roads and approaches, lined with white pines, cedars and other trees and shrubbery, still make this one of the prettiest places in this section. But when he first improved it, it was far in advance of anything theretofore seen in these parts. It commands a fine view. Here he lived till 1860, when he bought Belleview on the eastern side of South Main street, another commanding hill with a splendid view. The winding roadway, bordered by pines and cedars, which led from the road to the house, is still intact except at the lower end, where the former road, now street, has been dug down far below its former level, leaving the entrance to the approach road high in the air. Mrs. Bucannon now owns this property. Soon after the Civil War Dr. Hardy built the brick house on the west side of the Hendersonville road beyond Biltmore, which commanded another fine view. Here he died at the age of eighty. He was one of the most eminent physicians of his day. He was of commanding presence, with the manner of a lord. At his home was dispensed much of the hospitality for which this section was noted, distinguished strangers finding there entertainment and intelligence at least equal to that of larger places. His son, Dr. J. Geddings Hardy, succeeded to his practice, and no call ever went unanswered by him.
BILTMORE. Soon after the opening of the Battery Park Hotel Mr. George W. Vanderbilt of New York visited Asheville and was at once struck with its possibilities. He tried at first to secure Fernihurst, owned by Mrs. J. K. Connally, but failing, turned his attention to the land south of the Swannanoa and east of the French Broad. Charles McNamee, Esq., a lawyer of New York, and a kinsman, first took options and deeds in his own name; but it soon became noised about that he was buying for Mr. Vanderbilt and prices began to soar. The first deed recorded is from J. G. Martin, trustee and commissioner, to the Williams property, and is dated September, 1889, followed by many others till the 16th of June, 1890, when Henry Allen White conveyed 134 acres directly to Mr. Vanderbilt, after which there was no attempt to disguise the fact that this gentleman "having all the world before him where to choose," had chosen Buncombe as the site of his future home. The influence of this choice on the outside world was immense. These purchases of small tracts have resulted in the accumulation of about 12,500 acres in what is called Biltmore House tract, and about 100,000 acres in Buncombe, Transylvania and Henderson counties in what is known as Pisgah Forest. The services of Frederick Law Olmstead, the distinguished landscape architect of New York, were secured, and he planned the roads, bridges, forests, lakes, waterfalls, etc., on the Biltmore House tract. Those roads are unsurpassed by even the drives in Central Park, New being kept in perfect condition at all times. Biltmore was begun in 1891 and completed in 1896. This house modeled after Chateau Blois, France; and the Rampe Douce or gentle slope, immediately in front of the house but beyond the lawn known as the Esplanade, is a close imitation of a like construction at Vaux le Vicomte, France. The garden to the right of the front of the house and on a lower level than the esplanade is called the "walled garden," and the stone images or sphinxes on the four gate posts at the entrances were brought from Egypt, and are the busts of women on the bodies of lions couchant. They are said to be of great age. Fine tapestries, paintings, statuary and other objects of art, with a large library of rare books, have been gathered into the house. Fountains, conservatories, dairies, vegetable gardens, model farms, and other attractions add to the beauty and charm of the place, probably the finest private residence in America. Birds and wild animals are protected on this estate, and on the lakes wild ducks are seen in winter when they cannot be found on the rivers nearby. Pisgah Forest was bought for its forests, and Hon. Gifford Pinchot was placed in charge as forester.
PISGAH FOREST. Mr. Vanderbilt was the first to see paramount necessity for forest conservation. Pisgah Forest prospered under the expert guidance of Mr. Pinchot he was succeeded by Mr, Schenck, who for years conducted a school of forestry. Biltmore village, at the end of South Main street of Asheville, is planned after English villages, with the ivied church, the hedges and the village green." But it is not probable that any English village is as spick and span as Biltmore is every day, where streets, lawns, hedges, sidewalks, drains and shrubbery are constantly on dress parade-an object lesson in municipal government without politics.
The National Park Commission and Mr. Vanderbilt could not agree on a price for Pisgah Forest in June, 1913, but after Mr. Vanderbilt's death, March 5, 1914, his widow sold the entire tract.
"THE BEAUTIFUL SAPPHIRE COUNTRY." The completion of the railroad to Lake Toxaway in 1900 led to the following developments, and were due largely to the energy and enterprise of Mr. J. F. Hays: The Toxaway property as a whole was made up of property purchased from the receivers of the Sapphire Valley Company, and other smaller properties. The Fairfield Inn, on Lake Fairfield, was built, together with the dam for the lake, in 1896. The Franklin Hotel at Brevard, which was a part of this same operation, was built in the year of 1900. Later the Franklin was sold to a Mr. Robinson and associates, of Charlotte, N. C., and they are at present owners of that property. The Toxaway property was sold in 1911 under foreclosure, and is now held as the property of Mr. E. H. Jennings of Pittsburgh, Pa. Toxaway Inn, as well as Fairfield Inn, and The Franklin, had their greatest success in the years 1904-1907.
WAYNESVILLE WHITE SULPHUR SPRING. This spring was discovered by "Uncle" Jerry, a slave of the late James R. Love, in 1845 or 1846. Col. Love soon after built a large residence there, which he occupied till his death in 1864. It was burned in August, 1885. Col. W. W. Stringfield, who had married his daughter Maria, built a brick hotel on the site of this residence after it had been burned, about 1886.<a href="#23" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 23
Letter of Col. W. W. Stringfield to J. P. A., January 27, 1912.">23 It is now owned by Ben Johnston Sloan. It is less than one mile from Waynesville.
EPP'S SPRING. This was the property of the late Epp Everett of Bryson City, and is about five miles from that town on the right bank of the Tuckaseegee river, at the mouth of Cane Brake branch. It is a chalybeate spring, and there are one or two cabins there.
OLD VALLEY TOWN TAVERN. This famous hostelry was kept by the late Mrs. Margaret Walker for a number of years after the Civil War, and was popular with lawyers and their clients. Although there was no court house there, the lawyers would hurry through Graham, Cherokee and Clay county courts in order to get to spend as much time at this hotel as possible.
THE LANGREN HOTEL. This fine structure of reinforced concrete was finished and thrown open July 4, 1912. It is near the Pack Square, Asheville, and stands on the much litigated Smith property on the corner of North Main and College streets, where formerly stood the old Buck hotel. It is a commercial and tourist hotel, and popular.
KENILWORTH INN. This handsome hotel was opened about 1890. It stood on the eminence above the junction of South Main street and the Swannanoa river road, and from it Craggy and the Blacks were visible. It was popular until its destruction by fire at 3 a. m., April 14th, 1909, J. M. Gazzam of Philadelphia, chief owner, escaping at the risk of his life and the expense of great injuries from which he afterwards recovered. It was insured for $70,000.
OAKLAND HEIGHTS. This hotel was built by the late Alexander Garrett and his son, Robert U. Garrett, in 1889. It afterwards became a girls' school, an4 then a hotel, having passed into the hands of the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions. It then became Victoria Inn, and during 1911 was purchased by the Catholic Church and is now St. Genevieve's College, a most excellent school for girls.
THE GRAND CENTRAL HOTEL. This was built by the late S. H. Chedester. It was afterwards operated as the Hotel Berkeley, but in 1911 was converted into a department store by Solomon Lipiusky.
MARGO TERRACE. This home-like hotel was built by Miss Gano in 1889. In 1904 it became the property of Pat Branch who in 1912 doubled its capacity and greatly improved its outward appearance.
VANCE'S MONUMENT. This handsome granite column was erected on the Public Square at Asheville in 1897, George W. Pack, after whom the Square was soon named, having contributed $2,000-and the public, $1,300-for its erection to the memory of Zebulon Baird Vance, Buncombe's most distinguished and honored citizen and great "War Governor."
GEORGE W. PACK MEMORIAL LIBRARY. This was established in 1879, and had many homes before the late George W. Pack donated the fine building on Pack Square in 1899.
BATTERY PARK HOTEL. Having a railroad did not by any means Complete Asheville's happiness; for it had no hotel accommodations at all commensurate with the tide of travel which immediately set in. At this juncture came the late Col. Frank Coxe, who built the present Battery Park Hotel. It was opened July 12, 1886, with Col. C. H. Southwick manager. It has remained the principal hotel of Asheville ever since. It has been twice enlarged and frequently improved. For several years it was managed by the late E. P. McKissick. It is a credit to this community, and has become an indispensable asset.
THE TELEGRAPH LINE. The first telegraph line reached Asheville July 28, 1877, with Samuel C. Weldon as operator. Through the efforts of the late Capt. C. M. McLoud, the line was soon afterwards extended to Hendersonville. Then Mr. Weldon became the owner and operator thereof till the railroad company took it off his hands.
OTHER ENTERPRISES. The Asheville Cemetery Company was incorporated August 4, 1885; the Telephone Company October 1, 1885; the Western North Carolina Fair, January30, 1884; the Gas and Light Company, May 25, 1886. In 1887 Alex. and R. U. Garrett built the Oakland Heights Hotel. The Swannannoa Hotel was completed in 1879 and opened for business in summer of 1880.
ASHEVILLE STREET RAILWAY. This most necessary common carrier was built by Dr. S. Westray Battle, James G. Martin, W. T. Penniman, and E. D. Davidson, the latter of New York, and began to run in January, 1889. It failed in 1893 and was sold out in 1894, and bid in by White Brothers of New York. It finally went into the Asheville Electric Company's properties, and is now part of the Asheville Power and Light Company.
"THE DRUMMEE'S HOME." This hotel at Murphy, presided over by Mrs. Dickey for years, has made a name for itself that will endure. It was for years the most popular house west of Asheville.
WEST ASHEVILLE. In 1885 Mr. Edwin G. Carrier and family moved to Asheville from Michigan. He soon afterwards bought several hundred acres of land west of the French Broad river, including the Sulphur Springs and the J. P. Gaston tracts of land. In 1887 he built a large brick hotel on the site of the wooden structure that was burned during the Civil War, and soon thereafter, 1891, constructed an electric railway from Asheville to Sulphur Springs, crossing the French Broad river near the mouth of the Swannanoa on a fine steel bridge. This railway first ran only to the passenger station; but, on October 13, 1891, it was granted a franchise by the city to extend its line through Depot street, Bartlett street and French Broad avenue to the corner of West College and North Main streets. It stopped, however, at what is now the corner of Haywood street and Battery Park Place, then called Government street. It was called the West Asheville and Sulphur Springs Railway Company.
A race track was established just south of Strawberry Hill and between the Sulphur Springs railway and French Broad river. A grand-stand was erected and a high fence built around the race track. There were several exciting races all of which were well attended.
SUNSET MOUNTAIN. During the summer of 1889 Capt. R. P. Foster and the late Walter B. Gwyn, Esq., completed a railway from Charlotte street to a point on Sunset mountain, known as the "Old Quarry," near which is a fine spring, and from which can be had one of the finest views in this section. This road was operated by a small steam engine, called a "dummy," and was chartered as the "Asheville & Craggy Mountain Railway Company," its objective being the top of Craggy mountain. On November 28, 1890, the city granted this company a charter to build its track and operate its cars along Charlotte street northward to the city limits in that direction. This line was quite popular.
RICHARD S. HOWLAND. In 1904 Lewis Maddux, as receiver of the Asheville Street Railway Company, strung a trolley wire from Chestnut street along Charlotte street to what used to be known as the "Golf Club" and operated cars to that point by an arrangement with Mr. Gwyn. In 1901 Richard S. Howland, Esq., came from Providence, R. I., and bought property near the foot of Sunset mountain and erected a fine residence there. He acquired control of the Craggy Mountain Railway and completed it to the top of the mountain, where he erected a music and dance hall. He also obtained the right to operate his cars to the public square. The terminus of the railroad was called Overlook Park.
COGGINS SPRINGS. These springs are near Bull creek, and are chalybeate and sulphur water. There are no hotels or boarding places, except farm houses, near. They are about eight miles east of Asheville.
THE GROVE PARK HOTEL. This unique and costly series of grottoes, built of rough mountain rock, was completed in 1913 (July), in the E. W. Grove park, near Asheville. It is said to have cost one million dollars.
ASHEVILLE'S GRAVITY LINE. During Mayor Miller's administration Charles T. Rawls was chairman of the finance committee, and was most active and energetic. He visited Atlanta and studied the system of municipal government of that city and succeeded in getting its best features adopted by Asheville, especially the manner of keeping the books and accounts. At his instance, and largely through his influence, the city voted $200,000 of four per cent bonds for the adoption of a gravity water works system, by which the water of the North Fork of the Swannanoa river is conveyed through a sixteen-inch pipe to the city. The contract for constructing this line was awarded to M. H. Kelly in August, 1903. The city acquired about 9,500 acres of land above the intake on there is no human habitation. Certain patriots did what they could to force the city to pay them an exorbitant price for land claimed or controlled by them, and litigation followed. The city finally got this land at a reasonable price. The returns from this water system, after all expenses have been paid, are sufficient to pay the interest on the city's entire bonded debt of about one million dollars. Mr. Rawls was elected mayor, but his health temporarily broke down before his time expired. He got the legislature to authorize the aldermen to tax the cost of building sewers on the abutting property instead of paying for them out of the general fund.<a href="#24" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 24
In Justice v. Asheville, decided at the December Term (1912) of the Supreme Court, this act was sustained.">24 The result has been the most complete and satisfactory sewer system in the South.
COL. JAMES G. MARTIN. He was a son of Gen. James G.Martin, and from 1885 to 1893, when he removed to New York City, was the leader in most of the public enterprises in Asheville and Western North Carolina. He died in 1912, aged about 59 years. He was a most useful citizen.
GEORGE WILLIS PACK, of Cleveland, Ohio, was a most generous friend to Asheville, having donated 11 acres of land for Aston Park, about four acres for a court house, a kindergarten school, a library building, and most of the money for the Vance Monument.