A History


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About the Book

Asheville, North Carolina, grew from humble beginnings as a hamlet for local livestock handlers to become one of the most culturally and artistically diverse cities in the South. The city experienced a quick rise to prosperity in the late 19th century under the influence of wealthy benefactors including George W. Vanderbilt and E.W. Grove. A devastating downturn during the Great Depression was followed by slow economic revitalization up until the late 1970s. In the 1990s, however Asheville entered boom time, a period that reestablished the city as a popular retreat for tourists, artists, and retirees.

Here in this book is all the fascinating history of Asheville, complete with a rich array of photographs. Multiple appendices reveal details concerning many lesser-known aspects of Asheville’s unique history, including city buildings designed by architects Richard Sharp Smith and Douglas D. Ellington, and city projects funded by philanthropist Julian Price.

About the Author(s)

Freelance writer Nan K. Chase lives in Asheville, North Carolina. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian, Our State and Southern Living among others.

Bibliographic Details

Nan K. Chase

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 291
Bibliographic Info: 113 photos, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3176-2
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

1. “The glowing summer-heart of the woods”            5
2. The Livestock Years      16
3. The Asheville Style      31
4. The Vanderbilt Years: Asheville’s Gold Standard      63
5. Fever      82

6. “Lion in a cage”: Asheville’s Great Depression      111
7. Sticks and Stones: Race and Architecture in Asheville      136
8. The Spreading Malaise      161

9. Lumbering Phoenix      181
10. Hoppin’ ’n’ Poppin’      207
11. The Day After Tomorrow      223

Appendix A: Early Asheville Newspaper Sources      239
Appendix B: Cherokee Recipes      240
Appendix C: All Souls Episcopal Church      241
Appendix D: Buildings Designed by Richard Sharp Smith      242
Appendix E: Riverside Cemetery      244
Appendix F: Biltmore Industries      245
Appendix G: Grovemont-on-Swannanoa      247
Appendix H: Land and Forest Reclamation      249
Appendix I: Buildings Designed by Douglas D. Ellington      250
Appendix J: Tuberculosis and Sanitation Concerns      251
Appendix K: Official Schedule of Events of the Seventh Annual
Rhododendron Festival, June 11–15, 1934      256
Appendix L: Rayon Production at Enka      259
Appendix M: Impressions of the Program, Negro Music Festival, July 1934      260
Appendix N: From the Julian Price Papers      261

Chapter Notes      263
Bibliography      269
Index      273

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “addictive, fascinating, solidly researched, comprehensible organized, and very, very difficult to leave behind before you’ve finished it”—Carolina Mountain Life
  • “Essential…impressive…remarkably comprehensive text”—WNC Magazine
  • “Comprehensive…insightful”—Western North Carolina Heritage
  • “The first comprehensive, illustrated history of the city in a generation”—ASJA Member News
  • “Fascinating”—Greensboro Libraries
  • “Chase punctuates her history with detail, anecdote, quotes, contemporary newspaper accounts…loads of photos…make this book the best kind of history”—High Country Press