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A history of

ASHEVILLE in pictures

ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES ● CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

May 2008

MAY 2008

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ASHEVILLE IN PICTURES

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Classified: Employment: Retail Display:

Randy Hammer, Publisher Jackie S. Stenseth, Controller Susan K. Ihne, Executive Editor Gayle J. Smith, Advertising Director Tim A. Alexander, Circulation Director James P. Burns, Production Director Luann M. Labedz, Market Devel. Dir. Stacey Z. Wasielewski, IT Director John C. Yenne, Digital Director Cynthia A. Spencer, HR Director

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On the cover ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES ARCHIVE/ PACK MEMORIAL LIBRARY ARCHIVE

This is a shot of the fountain on Pack Square in the 1920s. “There have been at least 10 different fountains at Pack Square over time,” said Pack Square Conservancy Executive Director Marilyn Geiselman.

In 1939, the Asheville Citizen-Times moved from its location on Haywood Street, pictured above, to its current location on O.Henry Avenue.

See the past through photos

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he history of Asheville goes back centuries to 1797, when the Buncombe County seat of Morristown was renamed Asheville in honor of Gov. Samuel Ashe. At one time, today’s Pack Square was where two Cherokee Indian trails crossed. Photographs help make history come alive. We’ve put together this section of historic photos with extended captions to help capture part of our city’s history. Earlier this year, we started putting up a historic photo each day on our Web site, CITIZEN-TIMES.com, and

each day thousands of people click on the photo gallery to view it. Many of the photos in this section are from those galleries; so if you want to see more, go to the galleries. If you like this section, please send us copies of your historic photos for possible future sections or for our historic photo galleries online. Scan your photo, add as much information as you have and send it to pix@CITIZEN-TIMES.com. We’ll do our best to include them all. It can be photos of your family, home, business — whatever you have in the scrapbook, shoebox or safety vault. They all add to a better understanding of our past.

60 North Market Street Condominiums Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity Ashley Furniture Aston Park Care Center Biltmore Marble & Granite Carolina Furniture Concepts Chelsea’s Café & Tea Room Erwin Hills Wayside Furniture Fred’s Handyman Ghost Town in the Sky Groce Funeral Home & Cremation Service Grove Arcade Harry’s Cadillac Haywood Furniture & Mr. Fred’s Beds Hops & Vines Insurance Service of Asheville JoS. A. Banks Clothiers Ken Sanders Heating & Cooling Kim’s Wig Center Luke Atkinson Furniture Company Monteath’s Auto Service Montford Arts Center Mountain First Bank & Trust Penland Furniture Rebath of WNC S&D Plumbing & Remodeling Skyland Automotive Smart-Way Sobol House of Furnishings Tastee Diner Thad Woods Auction The Biltmore Village Company The Haen Gallery The Jewish Carpenter Inc. Thomas Wolfe Memorial Tops for Shoes Tuten & Penland Auction Tyson’s Furniture Video Masters Webb Insurance Wick & Greene Jewelers Window World of Asheville Zakya Boutique

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ears before the shopping centers in Asheville, the downtown section of the city was always crowded with shoppers. This scene is a look at Patton Avenue near Church Street during the 1950s.

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JUNE GLENN JR./ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES ARCHIVE

■ 1866 First baseball game was played near the current Aston Park. ■ 1879 The first tobacco warehouse opened at Lexington and Aston avenues. ■ 1880 The railroad arrived in Asheville. ■ 1883 The first telephone exchange was established in Asheville. ■ 1885 The ladies of the Flower Mission formed Mission Hospital. ■ 1886 Battery Park Hotel opened with Edison lights and Otis elevators. ■ 1887 Asheville Cotton Mill began. ■ 1895 What is now known as the Biltmore House and Gardens was completed. ■ 1907 Asheville voted for Prohibition. ■ 1927 WWNC, the first radio station, began broadcasting from the Flat Iron Building. ■ 1927 Buncombe County Junior College, now known as University of North Carolina Asheville, was founded. ■ 1929 Thomas Wolfe published “Look Homeward Angel.” ■ 1929 The Grove Arcade opened for business. ■ 1947 Prohibition was repealed. ■ 1954 WLOS-TV signed onto the airwaves the first time. ■ 1959 Interstate 40 opened. ■ 1961 Asheville-Henderson Airport opened. ■ 1963 Asheville-Buncombe Technical Institute opened. ■ 1974 Asheville Civic Center opened. ■ 1979 Bele Chere festival started. ■ 1995 Tourism became the county’s leading business.

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iltmore House, one of the showplaces of the nation, is the architectural masterpiece erected as the home of George W. Vanderbilt in 1895. The mansion, following in detail the lines of French Renaissance chateaux, was designed by Richard M. Hunt, of New York. The landscape setting of the edifice and the layout of the estate was planned by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park, New York. Originally opened to the public in 1930, the house was closed with the start of gasoline rationing on Jan. 9, 1943, and reopened March 15, 1946.

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he Kenilworth Inn was reopened for business as a major tourist hotel in the early 1920s. The original hotel was destroyed by fire in 1909. Later, the site was the location for Appalachian Hall.

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group of young people gathered on a vacant lot in 1932 near the present site of the Asheville Civic Center to begin “Skippy’s Parade” in downtown Asheville. The parade, sponsored by the Asheville Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was held in conjuction with the movie “Skippy” at the Strand Theater on Patton Avenue.

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n 1925, David Brown set up a small pottery shop in a building once used by a blacksmith shop in Arden. A few years later, the workmanship of the Brown Pottery Co., which specialized in baking pottery, was known across the nation.

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hildren participate in the Rhododendron Festival Parade in 1938. In the background is the Grove Arcade.

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n the early 1900s, Pack Square was the hub for activities in Asheville, including the city’s first auto show in 1909. These 1909 automobiles, parked outside the Asheville Hardware Co. on Pack Square, attracted a large crowd from across Western North Carolina.

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owboy movie star Tim Holt thrilled hundreds of youngsters in 1954, when he made a special appearance to kick off the March of Dimes campaign at Asheville’s Grove Park Inn.

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he Knickerbocker House, which was on the site of the present Buncombe County Courthouse, was one of the most prominent houses in the city in the early 1900s. The 23room facility was sold to the county in 1924 and razed in 1927 to make room for the present courthouse. In the background is the steel framework of the new City Hall building.

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ntil the War Between the States, a hotel at Sulphur Springs, about five miles from Pack Square in what is now the Malvern Hills section of West Asheville, was the tourist center of Western North Carolina. The springs were discovered in 1827 by Robert Henry, and in 1830, Col. Reuben Deaver erected a wooden hotel there. Fire destroyed the hotel in 1862. About 1885, Edwin G. Carrier came from Michigan and became interested in the property and two years later erected a brick hotel on the site (pictured at right). The hotel was developed in connection with the Carrier Race Tracks and fairgrounds on the banks of the French Broad River and Amboy Road. The brick hotel burned in 1891.

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FRANK CLODFELTER/ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES ARCHIVE

eligious assembly grounds in Western North Carolina annually drew tens of thousands of people to this area for conferences and vacations. The above photo was taken at Ridgecrest, the assembly ground of Southern Baptists. The Baptist center is two miles east of Black Mountain. The assembly was established in 1908, and in 1909, the first assembly was held.

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he Carpenter String Band was one of several mountain string bands featured at the 21st annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in 1948 at Asheville City Auditorium. The festival also included Carl Sandburg, noted poet and Abraham Lincoln biographer; Dr. George Pullen Jackson, an authority on spirituals and early religious music; and festival founder and director Bascom Lamar Lunsford.

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ampgrounds in Western North Carolina have been a longtime source of recreation for tourists and a strong arm of the WNC economy. Here, a group of tourists is shown horseback riding at Camp Alice in Chunns Cove in 1914.

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H.W. PELTON/ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES ARCHIVE

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his pioneer sold apples from a Conestoga wagon drawn by a mule and an ox and parked in front of old City Hall on east Pack Square.

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r. Mary Frances Shuford greeted neighborhood youngsters of Stump Town as they gathered in front of a house the physician was converting into a community center. In the 1940s, Shuford launched a campaign to establish the Asheville Colored Hospital. The hospital later merged with with three other medical institutions into Memorial Mission Hospital.

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ictured is the operating room at Asheville Colored Hospital in 1945.

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dwin Carrier was one of Asheville’s most active and respected builders during the 1880s and 1890s. He was one of the first Northern industrialists to settle in Asheville, moving his family here in 1885. He founded the West Asheville Improvement Co. and started the modern development of West Ashevillle. Carrier started building one- and two-story structures along Haywood Road, seen here in 1937. These buildings remain an important part of West Asheville.

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stablished in 1938, for nearly 40 years, the Lexington Avenue open-air market provided fresh fruit and vegetables to thousands of households in the Asheville and Buncombe County area. Trucks, some large, some small and loaded with fresh vegetables, would arrive each day at first light and remain until sundown.

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wo women pose at Craggy Road before it was paved in about 1907. At the turn of the century, most roads in the county were still muddy and slow to travel on.

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harlton Heston directs a production of “The Male Animal” at Asheville Community Theatre in 1947. He took over as the community theater’s director, succeeding Keinert Wolff in January 1947. Heston was accompanied by his wife, the former Lydia Clarke, who was to take part in the new production. She is on the right of Heston in the photo above. Heston and his wife spent one year in Asheville as he tried to decide whether he wanted to direct or act. Charlton Heston died on April 5, 2008, at the age of 84.

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race Kelly looks at photos in the Citizen-Times wire room during the filming of “The Swan,” in September and October 1955.

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he Asheville Tourists minor league baseball team practices at McCormick Field in the late 1940s. The Tourists first began in 1897, when they were known as the Moonshiners. Except for a four-year stretch in the 1970s — when they were the Orioles — the team has been called the Tourists since 1925. McCormick Field was built in 1924. The Tourists have won six championships during their history, including 1915, 1928, 1939, 1961, 1968 and 1984.

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his 1895 photograph shows an Asheville when trolley cars, horses and buggies held sway over the city streets instead of automobiles.

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sheville residents gather at Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville to board the trolley car for the last ride. The city’s trolley car service was discontinued on Sept. 6, 1934, in favor of automobiles.

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EWART BALL/ ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES ARCHIVE

he student lounge at Asheville Normal and Teachers College was a popular place for students to hang out between classes. This photograph, taken in 1940, shows students enjoying themselves during a break from class.

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A History of Asheville In Pictures