Here we are in our 8th state- North Carolina. Having just one afternoon here, we decided to visit Montford. Few neighborhoods express the rich architectural heritage and vitality of Asheville better than the Montford Historic District.
We 'met' Carpenter Bees on this trip. So dang interesting. They bore just like a drill into wood. They are also pollinators so I have to like them but they are huge.
During an era of remarkable growth in Asheville, and in an environment of a few powerful individuals with enormous personal wealth, Montford grew as a residential neighborhood for middle-class people. Businessmen, lawyers, doctors, architects and the retired all came home to Montford.
Montford retains more than 600 buildings, most of which were built between 1890 and 1920, and includes a variety of architectural influences reflecting the cosmopolitan character of Asheville during the turn of the 20th century. Victorian, Queen Anne and Arts & Crafts styles combined with Neoclassical, Colonial Revival and castle-like motifs, result in an overall complex quality of designs and artistic talent throughout the neighborhood.
Even with the variety of designs throughout, consistent patterns and use of materials like shingles, stucco, pebbledash and half-timbering comprise a cohesive Montford impression. This 1898 home, a fine example, is currently for sale for $500,000.
I found this bit of history incredibly interesting. Highland Hospital was originally known as “Dr. Carroll’s Sanatorium" (a distinguished psychiatrist). His program of treatment for mental and nervous disorders and addictions was based on exercise, diet and occupational therapy, and attracted patients from all over the country. In 1939, Dr. Carroll entrusted the hospital to the Neuropsychiatric Department of Duke University. It was during this time that on the night of March 10, 1948, a deadly fire broke out in the main building and took the lives of nine women. Among the victims was author Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Strange history in such a beautiful place.
Also located here is the Riverside Cemetery which encompasses 87 acres of rolling hills and flower garden. To answer the growing need for burial grounds, the Asheville Cemetery Company bought land in 1885 to establish the Riverside Cemetery. Once inside the large iron gates, we took a self-guided walking tour through ancient oak, poplar, dogwood and ginkgo trees.
This cemetery is a final resting place for some fascinating people. Due to our limited time, we focused on only two.
Thomas Clayton Wolfe (October 3, 1900 – September 15, 1938) born in Asheville, was an American novelist of the early twentieth century who wrote four lengthy novels, plus many short stories, dramatic works and novellas. He is known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing. He is considered North Carolina's most famous and loved authors (Look Homeward, Angel).
William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910), known by his pen name O. Henry, was an American short story writer. His stories are known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization, and surprise endings. His own life story is a long and rather interesting one. The Gift of the Magi is the tale which I am most familiar.
Wandering about in history on a beautiful day is great no matter in which city you find yourself.