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ASHEVILLE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 732 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ASHEVILLE, a city and the county-seat of Buncombe county, North Carolina, U.S.A., in the mountainous Blue Ridge region in the west part of the state, about 210 M. W. of Raleigh. Pop. (1890) 10,235; (1900) 14,694, of whom 4724 were negroes; (1910, census) 18,762. Asheville is situated at the junction of three branches of the Southern railway, on a high terrace on the east bank of the French Broad river, at the mouth of the Swannanoa, about 2300 ft. above the sea. The city is best known as one of the most popular health and pleasure resorts in the south, being a summer resort for southerners and a winter resort for northerners. It has a dry and equable climate and beautiful scenery. Among its social clubs are the Albemarle, the Asheville, the Elks, the Tahkeeostee and the Swannanoa Country clubs. An extensive system of city and suburban parks, connected by a series of beautiful drives, adds to the city's attractiveness. There are great forests in the vicinity. Among the public buildings are the city hall, the court house, the Federal building, the public library and an auditorium. In or near Asheville are a normal and collegiate institute for young women (1892), and, occupying the same campus, a home industrial school (1887) for girls, both under the control of the Woman's Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church; the Asheville farm school for boys, an industrial school for negroes; the Asheville school for boys (5 M. west of Asheville); and the Bingham school (1793), founded at Pittsboro, N.C., by William Bingham (d. 1826), and removed to its present site (3 M. north-west of Asheville) in 1891. About 2 M. south-east of the city is Biltmore, the estate of George W. Vanderbilt, its 125,000 acres constituting what is probably the finest country place in the United States. The central feature of the estate is a chateau (375X150 ft.) of French Renaissance design, after the famous chateau at Blois, France. In the neighbourhood is a model village, with an elementary school, an industrial school for whites, a hospital and a church, maintained by Mr Vanderbilt. Both the chateau and the village were designed by Richard M. Hunt; the landscape gardening was done by Frederick Law Olmsted. A collection of woody plants, one of the largest and finest in the world, and a broad forest and hunting preserve, known as Pisgah Forest (1oo,000 acres), are also maintained by the owner. Asheville is a market for live-stock, dairy products, lumber and fruits, and has various manufactories (in which a good water-power is utilized), including tanneries, cotton mills, brick and tile factories, and a wood-working and veneer plant. The value of the city's factory products increased from $1,300,698 in 1900 to $1,918,362 in 1905, or 47.5%. The city was named in honour of Samuel Ashe (1725-1813), chief-justice of North Carolina from 1777 to 1796, and John Ashe (1720-1781), a North Carolina soldier who distinguished himself in the War of Independence, was settled about 1790, and was incorporated in 1835. The city's boundaries were enlarged in 1905.
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