D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

The Land of the Sky

The Land of the Sky Asheville NC, [Cover]
D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNC at Asheville 28804
Title The Land of the Sky
Identifier http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/books/booklets/land_of_sky/default.htm
Creator Frank Presbrey
Subject Keyword Asheville, NC ; city and architecture; Asheville, NC ;"Land of the Sky" ; Battery Park Hotel ; Holman T. Waldron ; hotels ; travel and tourism ; Asheville, NC ;  Asheville, NC ; Saluda Gateway ; Blue Ridge Mountains ; Hickory Nut Gap ; Round Knob ; Swannanoa River ; French Broad River ; Hot Springs ; Hickory Nut Gap; Linville Gorge; Mount Mitchell Clingman's Dome ; Whiteside Mountain ; Nantahala River; Catawba Falls ; Tuckaseegee Falls ; Spring Creek Falls ; Stroup's Trestle ; Alley's ; Chimney Rock ; Mitchell's Pool ; Lover's Leap ; Painted Rock ; Royal Gorge ; Albemarle Park ; The Manor ; Biltmore House ; Battery Park Hotel ; Kenilworth Inn ;  Patton Avenue  ; Mountain Park Hotel (Hot Springs); Waynesville ; laurel ; rhododendron ;
Subject LCSH Photography (Asheville, N.C.)
Battery Park Hotel (Asheville, N.C.)
Asheville (N.C.) -- History -- Pictorial works
Asheville (N.C.) -- Architecture
North Carolina -- Social life and customs -- Pictorial works
Asheville (N.C.) -- Description and travel
Asheville (N.C. -- Travel and tourism
Date digtial 2004-03-24

The Matthews-Northrup Co. Buffalo N.Y.


Southern Railway Department

Type Source type: Booklet, 28 pages - booklet : illustration, photographs, text
Format [digital] image/jpeg/text ; 
Source Special Collections virtual record. 
Language English
Relation E.M. Ball Photographic Collection, UNCA ; Documenting the American South, Chapel Hill: Asheville -- the Ideal Autumn and Winter Resort City: Electronic Edition. Washington: Southern Railway (U.S.) Passenger Traffic Dept., 1900?. Documenting the American South, UNC Chapel Hill: Autumn and Winter in the Land of the Sky: Electronic Edition. Washington: Southern Railway (U.S.) Passenger Traffic Dept., 1915? ; Western North Carolina Railroad Scenery "Land of the Sky" (1880's), UNCA Special Collections ; The Sunny South: drawings by E.H. Suydam (1924) ; Southern Summer Resorts and Camps in the Mountains - Southern Railway System (1922) New York: Rand McNally & Co. Special Collections F262.A16 S68 1922 A Motor Trip Veritably to Nature's Heart in "The Land of the Sky" (1920's?)  A Motor Trip Veritably to Nature's Heart in "The Land of the Sky" UNCA Special Collections  ; Land of the Sky (1913) : Southern Railway, Premier Carrier of the South  (1913?), UNCA Special Collections ;  The Land of the Sky (1920's)   ;  Special Collections F261 .G7x  ;   Community Life in Western North Carolina (early 1900's)   Special Collections  F217.A65 S68 1914 
Coverage temporal 1920's
Rights Any display, publication or public use must credit D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Copyright retained by the authors of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Donor HW donation of virtual copy only.
Description A 28 page booklet produced by the Passenger Department of Southern Railway as tourism promotional material. The booklet is available in digital format only. Original copy retained by owner.
Acquisition 2004-03-24 [digital only]
Citation  D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804
Processed by Special Collections staff,  2004
Last update 2004-03-24
Page Image No. Description


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"The Land of the Sky":

Western North Carolina, Asheville Plateau.

Compliments Pass Dep't Southern Railway. 


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"The Land of the Sky": Asheville Plateau by Frank Presbrey. 

Americans  celebrate the fourth day of July as one of their great national holidays. Few there are who recall that it was upon this identical date, 1584, that the expedition send out by Sir Walter Raleigh under authority of Queen Elizabeth first landed upon American soil. Thus the beginning and the ending of English Dominion in this country occurred on the same day and month.

This expedition landed on the coast of North Carolina and took possession ''in the right of the Queen's most excellent majesty, as rightful queen and princess of the same, to be delivered over to the use of Sir Walter Raleigh according to her majesty's grant and letters patent, under her highnesses great seal."

Thus North Carolina, or, as it is familiarly known among its sisters in the Southland, the "Old North State," is not only the oldest so far as white occupation is concerned, but is entitled to occupy, by right of her prowess in enterprise, thrift, and natural wealth, a most prominent place among the greatest States in the Union.

Upon her soil not only was the first American colony founded, but under her skies the first white child born in America saw the light of day. From the very beginning North Carolina stood for freedom and the rights of the people. She was first of all the colonies to elect a legislature by popular vote in opposition to a royal governor and administration, and the first to make a declaration of independence against the British crown, that of the Mecklenberg on the 20th of May, 1775. Her representatives were the first of all sent to Philadelphia, and they bore instructions to propose or concur in the movement to cast off the yoke of England. Her people were the first to demand in the framing of the Constitution the admission of the doctrine that '' all powers not granted are reserved to the people," and to declare for an equal representation in Congress of two Senators from each State. Upon her soil at Alamanca, May 12, 1771, the first pitched battle against British tyranny was fought. She was, too, the first colony to secure and establish entire religious freedom, and the last to pass the ordinance of secession.

Geographically North Carolina is an empire in itself. Its total length is 500 miles, and it has an area of 52,250 square miles, of which 59 per cent, is forest. It would hold ten States the size of Connecticut and six as large as Massachusetts. It has a greater diversity of climate than any State except California, and could approximate more closely the maintenance of its inhabitants, independent of outside markets or products, than any territory of equal size in the world.


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The middle portion, known as the Piedmont plateau, is a wide-stretching-, undulating region of fertile farm lands unsurpassed anywhere for agrarian purposes, while the eastern or coastal plain is rich in waterways and in a soil productive to the highest degree.

There are in North Carolina three great physiographic divisions or terraces: the Coastal, Piedmont, and Mountain. The White Mountains are dwarfed in comparison with the sublime heights in the western or mountain region of the State, where forty-three distinct peaks attain a higher altitude than Mount Washington, and over eighty approximate it in height, the mean altitude being greater than any section east of Colorado.

Reference to the mean parallels of latitude will show that North Carolina is situated nearly midway of the Union; and inasmuch as the Union lies entirely within the temperate zone, it follows that North Carolina is situated upon the central belt of that zone. This position gives to the State climatical conditions and productive capacities not excelled by any in the world. As a poetical writer has put it, ''the Old North State is the marriage altar of Summer and Winter." On the west the lofty mountain chains interpose their mighty-barrier between the bleak winds of the northwest and the general surface of the State. On the east the coast is swept by the Gulf Stream, the me1iorating effect of which is felt far inland. From this position and these causes the temperature,

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"The scenery along the Southern Railway between Salisbury and Asheville is of wonderful beauty."

4  lots005 which is more or less the life of all vegetation, ranges within moderate limits from season to season. Including all the sections heretofore named, the range of climate in North Carolina is the same as that from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. With an average mean temperature of 59°, there is perfect freedom from torrid heat or the terrors of winter's grasp. Her skies rival in their azurine tints those of Italy, and there is a vitality and tonic in the atmosphere which makes an instant impression on the visitor.

Europe may have her Switzerland, the West its The Mountain Roads in Colorado, the Pacific coast may glory in her Sierra Nevada, and British Columbia in her Cascade range, but nowhere on the face of the earth is there a region more picturesquely, more charmingly beautiful than the mountain country of western North Carolina, poetically known as "The Land of the Sky." It is true there are mountains of greater elevation in each of the localities named, but the greatest canvases in the gallery of art are not the choicest gems, or is the beauty of nature to be measured in geodetic lines. Where the mountain ranges of the West are rugged, barren, and forbidding, those in western North Carolina are robed in deep-hued forests to their highest summits. Where the greater peaks of the Sierra Nevada frown, those of 'The Land of the Sky" smile through banks of rhododendrons and azaleas. Where the valleys of the one are rocky and Impassable gorges, in the other they are fern-carpeted forest labyrinths, through which crystal streams tumble merrily along over moss-grown rocks in their race to the open. Picture in your mind a region where range after range of heavily forested mountains parallel each other like waves of the sea, where interlacing valleys are rich with verdure and flowers, and where silver streams murmur unceasingly.


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"The Mountain Roads in Western North Carolina offer splendid opportunity for driving."

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Imagine an air so light and pure that breathing itself seems a new-found joy, then throw over all a canopy of bluest of Italian blue, and you have "The Land of the Sky."


''Land of forest-clad mountains, of fairy-like streams,

Of low, pleasant valleys where the bright sunlight gleams

Athwart fleecy clouds gliding over the hills,

'Midst the fragrance of pines and the murmur of rills.


"A land of bright sunsets, whose glories extend

From horizon to zenith, there richly to blend

The hues of the rainbow with clouds passing by-

Right well art thou christened 'The Land of the Sky'


"A land of pure water, as pure as the air;

A home for the feeble, a home for the fair;

Where the wild roses bloom, while their fragrance combines

With health-giving odors from balsamic pines.


"As far from the frigid North as from the zone

Where the sun's torrid rays come sweltering down,

Upraised toward the heavens whose azure seems nigh—

Right fitly thou art christened 'The Land of the Sky.'


The mountains that shield from the rude northern blast—

Mute monitors, they, of the ages long past—

Like sentinels watch o'er the valley below;

Where the swift crystal streams unceasingly flow.


"The pure, healthful breezes, the life-giving air,

The beauteous landscapes, oft new, ever fair,

Are gifts that have come from the Father on high;

To Him be all praise for ' The Land of the Sky.' "


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The City of Asheville is in the centre of a magnificent natural plateau entirely surrounded by mountains.

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Springs, the traveler does not pass over a mile of uninteresting territory. As the train begins its tortuous ascent of the mountains, which seem to be piled up in impassable massiveness, the scenery becomes grand, then inspiring, and finally, as the summit is approached, sublime. The two monster "creatures of iron and brass" attached to the train make the mountain fastnesses re-echo with their stentorian puffing as they drag their heavy load. The track is now clinging to the very edge of the mountainside, and, a moment later, crossing a dark rock-cleft ravine on bridge of steel, beneath which a stream lashed into foam is fighting its way to the valley. Another turn in the twisting path of iron and such a magnificent valley opens out before you that you involuntarily utter an exclamation of rapture. The most glorious works of nature are being shifted upon the easel of your vision with kaleidoscopic rapidity. Up and up you climb, the horizon broadening as you approach the summit. Forest-crowned peaks loom up in the background and dwarf the nearer ones. You catch glimpses of the track in fourteen different places where you have passed. The world seems at your feet. One brief and entrancing view is had just as the train plunges into the Swannanoa tunnel which pierces the topmost strata of the mountains. You enter it from the Atlantic slope and emerge on that of the Mississippi and the Gulf. It is the dividing line, and the Crystal Spring, in its centre, as if in demonstration, sends out two streams, one flowing to the east and finding its way to the Atlantic Ocean,

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"The crest of the mountains is pierced by a tunnel in which there is a spring, whose waters flow both east and west."

8  lots009 and the other to the west, ultimately reaching the Gulf of Mexico. Just beyond the tunnel, on the western slope of the mountain range, is Black Mountain station, 2,466 feet above the level of the sea. Near this point the lands of the Mountain Retreat Association begin, and they extend for six miles north to Greybeard, reaching at that point an elevation of 5,700 feet. This association is composed of Christian business men and ministers of all denominations. It is their intention to duplicate, in some respects, in these mountain fastnesses the work of the Methodists at Ocean Grove. The North Carolina legislature has granted a charter with ample powers and generous privileges. The enterprise is a community in the sense that all profits from the sale of lots will be used for the benefit of the entire community and for the purposes for which taxes are usually laid. By the charter the sale of intoxicating liquor is forever prohibited. Plans are being made for a large and important educational institution, one hundred acres of land having been set aside for this purpose, and the resort will also be a centre for annual gatherings of prominent and earnest Christians at work for the study of problems relating to the welfare of humanity, and ways and means for advancing the interests of Christianity through the various denominations.


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"There are many spots in 'The Land of the Sky' where the most magnificent mountain views are spread before the eye."

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The descent from Black Mountain to the level of the Asheville plateau is gradual and the passing scenery beautiful. Just where the railroad meets the lovely Swannanoa River is the handsome station of Biltmore, at the very corner of the vast estate of Mr. George Vanderbilt.


Two miles beyond is Asheville, which is the tourist as well as the commercial centre of this region. It has been called the " Janus of resorts," for, like that two-faced divinity of the ancient Romans, it has two fronts. Upon one it wears a welcome for the winter guests from the North, and upon the other a smiling greeting to the thousands who come here each summer from the Southern cities to enjoy the cool bracing air of the mountains.


Asheville has a greater elevation than any city east of Denver, being 2,300 feet above sea level. It occupies an ideal site just at the merging of the ever-beautiful Swannanoa (nymph of beauty) River with the historic French Broad.

The mountains have drawn away, leaving as fair a valley or plateau as human eye ever gazed upon. But raise your eyes in any direction above the immediate surroundings of undulating hills which have been left by the erosion of the rivers, and they will rest upon the circling ranges of towering mountains, which give a glorious setting to the picture. The city of Asheville has had a vigorous growth. It has an active air of commercial life, and upon every turn there are indisputable evidences of thrift and prosperity. Considered from a business and manufacturing point of view, the place occupies an enviable position among North Carolina's cities, and as a tourist centre its fame is worldwide. The visitor will find its streets well paved, and electric cars run through the principal thoroughfares and into the attractive suburbs. The city has an opera house, a fine social club, a country club, a golf club, an art gallery, and a public library. The churches and municipal buildings are modern and well built. Asheville has become quite an educational centre, and it has several very well-known institutions of learning in addition to excellent public schools. The Bingham School for boys, established in 1793, has long been known as one of the best of its class in America. The Home Industrial School, maintained under the auspices of the Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church, is doing a noble work (continue to page 11)

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"The North Carolina mountain streams are exquisitely beautiful with their rocky beds and overhanging verdure."

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11  lots012 in the line of practical education for girls. The Asheville Normal and Collegiate Institute, established for the higher education of young women, and under the control of the Northern Presbyterian Church, is located in a beautiful park of thirty-five acres, which it shares with the Home Industrial School. Asheville College, founded in 1842, is designed to be a school of the first rank for girls and young women. It has a strong faculty and is doing most excellent work. In addition to the above, there is a business college in most flourishing condition, the Misses Champion's school for girls, Skyland Institute, the Asheville Free Kindergarten Association, with four schools maintained by private subscription, amid the Asheville Farm School, occupying 420 acres, which has over one hundred students, who are taught agricultural work on approved and practical scientific lines. Asheville has a permanent population of about 14,000, and there are always a large

number of visitors, estimated to average several thousand.

The business portion of the city centers about the public square, where stands the picturesque old court-house, the modern municipal building, the city hall, in the basement of which is the public

market, the Legal Building, the newspaper offices, many stores, and other business edifices. Here the electric street cars on all the lines converge. On Saturday afternoon crowds of country people congregate in the square, and the mountain wagons, cloth-covered and drawn by mules or steers, lend interest to the scene. Radiating from the square, all the streets are solidly built up with brick business blocks. On all sides of these lies the residence part of the town, built on the undulating land, not too closely—the average residence lot having a 75-foot frontage.

There are few cities in the South which have a larger number of beautiful residences. Many people who have been attracted to Asheville because of its delightful and healthful climate are making it their permanent home, and have built modern, and in a number of instances, luxurious homes, one of them, that of Mr. George Vanderbilt, being the most costly private residence in America. The city is amply supplied with excellent modern hotels, and there are scores of boarding-houses where comfortable accommodations may be had. The two leading hotels,

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 "Mount Mitchell is the highest peak in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains."  

"Along the good bicycle roads about Asheville."

12  lots013 the Battery Park and Kenilworth Inn, rank high among the best resort hostelries of the country, and each has accommodations for from four to five hundred guests.

It is the peculiar climatic features of the Asheville plateau, added to its charming natural scenery, which have given this country its great reputation. These have been admirably summed up by S. Westray Battle, M.D., in an article recently published in the Medical Record of New York. He says:

"Nestled in the heart of the Alleghanies, cradled bythe Blue Ridge and Great Smokies, stretches the Asheville plateau, a most desirable and beautiful section of country, in close touch with the East and North, and most accessible from all points South and West. It has become the great sanatorium of the eastern United States. It enjoys a climate representing the golden mean of altitude and latitude, and the several meteorological conditions which go to make up a wholesome and fascinating resort. Nowhere east of the Rocky Mountains is there anything approaching it to be found for fall and winter, spring and summer—an all-the-year-round retreat. It is cool in summer, yet the winters, shorn of their harshness by reason of its southern latitude, induce almost daily out-of-door exercise in the way of shooting, riding, driving, or short mountain excursions on foot. For lovers of golf it is ideal; and at Asheville, the centre of the plateau, are united the comforts of a city with the delights of the country.

"The plateau is an elevated tableland, somewhat triangular in shape, embracing some six thousand square miles of western North Carolina, with a general elevation of two thousand feet above the sea level, though altitudes up to six thousand feet may be had for the climbing any day in the year. Hills, valleys, rivers, and forests so diversify this ultramontane expanse as to make it lovely and restful to the eye beyond the power of my pen to portray.

''The mean temperature of spring is 53.49° F.; that of summer, 70.72° F.; autumn, 53.48° F.; and winter, 38.87° F.; while for the year it is 54.14° F., with a mean relative humidity of but 65 per cent.

"There can hardly be room for controversy that upon this plateau may be enjoyed the golden mean of American climate. With medium altitude, dry, tonic, invigorating and ozoniferous atmosphere, the region cannot fail to grow in popularity as meeting the indications in

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Some of the most charming scenery in America is between Asheville and the Hot Springs.


13  lots014 the cases of a large majority of health seekers, more especially those looking for the all-the-y ear-round residence; and it has occurred to the writer that it should particularly appeal to the retired of the army and the navy, and to him of modest independence who wants to enjoy his otium cum dig. away from the busy whirl of the city and carking care.

In regard to the merits of the climate, or the climatotherapy of the plateau, let me briefly sum up its advantages without bestowing indiscreet or over-zealous praise. It is pre-eminently a suitable one for the early stages of pulmonary phthisis, especially for such subjects as can and will get out in the air, and are determined to take the benefit of the dry, tonic, invigorating, bracing qualities thereof, and keep good hours. Conditions which seem to favor germ propagation and prolong the species of the genus bacterium do not exist here. Wounds heal kindly, and operative procedures of the gravest character are very rarely followed by septic infection. The mortality from pulmonary phthisis is not large in any part of North Carolina, being, according to the mortality tables of the tenth census (1880), 13.4 for every 10,000 of population throughout the State. But it is interesting to note that the mountain counties show a mortality of only 10.6 in every 10,000 of population, as against 16.1 for every 10,000 of population of all the other counties of the State in the aggregate; or, in other words, in a State in which pulmonary phthisis does not figure prominently in the mortality tables, the burs of the same death-rate is still fifty per cent, less in the mountain section than in the other low-lying portions of the State.

"Among other conditions indicating the advisability of a sojourn in this region may be mentioned asthma, hay fever, convalescence from malarial and other fevers (there are no lakes or swamps, and malaria is unknown), nervous prostration and exhaustion from over-work or long-continued summer heat, as also chronic congestion of the internal organs, by reason of diminished atmospheric density causing a determination of blood to the surface—hence arises one of the benefits of altitude in incipient phthisis. Nervous energy and muscular vigor are usually increased, and the nutrition of the body and the general condition of the blood improved, by a sojourn at moderate elevation ; above six thousand feet the appetite for food is diminished and the digestive organs are frequently disordered, whereas a medium altitude usually increases the desire for food and quickens digestion. By reason of its medium altitude, contraindications to a residence upon the plateau are few, though organic disease of the heart where the circulation is much disturbed must not be lost sight of. Of course, those who are in advanced phthisis and are too feeble to breathe the out-of-door air and take some sort of out-of-door exercise are better off at home with their friends, surrounded by comforts that cannot be supplied elsewhere."

The drives round about Asheville are unexcelled anywhere for the lovely views

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Rugged old Black Mountain looms up over its neighbors of the same range like a great fortress.


14  lots015 they offer. Horseback riding is in great favor, but because of the hills, bicycling is but little indulged in. Out-of-door life, especially with tourists, is the rule, and there are mountains near enough to be considered for a day's excursion which will tax the endurance and skill of all save the professional Alps climber. During the spring and early summer these mountain sides are radiant in the blossoms of the laurel, the rhododendron, and the azalea, and for miles along the edges of the purling Swannanoa its banks are one solid mass of these exquisite flowers. With every turn of the road a new and exquisite panorama is spread before the enraptured gaze. Peak after peak comes into view, rising to majestic height and clothed to the very summit with deep green forest. It is a matchless region, to which all others except those of the far West are incomparable.

About two miles from the heart of Asheville, and upon one of the steps of the mountain range, is Mr. George Vanderbilt's magnificent chateau, the chef d'ouvre of the late Richard M. Hunt's architectural creations. It was begun in 1890 and was completed in 1895. The building is said to have cost up ward of $3,000,000, and as much more has been expended upon its surroundings and the vast estate of a hundred thousand acres. All of the landscape gardening and the development of the park shows the master hand of Mr. Fred. Law Olmstead, under whose direction the improvements have been made. Miles beyond count of superb model roads have been constructed, and hundreds of thousands of flowering plants and shrubs have been artistically grouped. In every line of agriculture, forestry, and floriculture there has been the highest development under expert direction, in order not only to improve the place itself, but to...

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Grandfather Mountain, one of the highest peaks of "The Land of the Sky, is plainly visible for many miles from all points of the compass.


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...furnish a working model which would be an influential factor in raising the standard of the entire region, and State.


The mansion is a rather highly elaborated version of the architecture of Francis I. and of the chateaux of the Loire. It is exceedingly rich in every detail, and the general effect is heightened by the free employment of decorative sculpture. Those who have stood spellbound upon the esplanade of this magnificent chateau and looked out upon the wild tumult of mountains which stretch away in every direction until lost behind the curtain of the horizon, can well understand why Mr. Vanderbilt selected this particular spot of all others in America for the erection of a home which is as supreme

among the houses of men as this spot is among the creations of Nature.


Among the latest and the most attractive improvements in or about Asheville is Albemarle Park, with its charming manor house of English quaintness as a central figure. The Park proper embraces a tract of thirty-four acres of glen and mountain-side, and fronts on Charlotte street. At the entrance stands an artistic lodge built of rough stone, and a perfectly constructed boulevard stretches away to the manor and its nearby cottages. The former is neither an hotel nor a boarding-house. It differs from both. It is unique in itself. The purpose of its original design was to provide a perfectly comfortable place to live, attractive in its surroundings, complete but modest in its appointments, and carrying that air of refinement essential to the comfort of cultivated people.


Although as nearly like a home as public houses can well be made, it is free from the highly organized service of the hotel with its consequent bustle and noise, and likewise from the unmethodical service, the restricted comfort, and isolation of the boarding-house.

It is located on the line of the electric railroad that reaches the centre of town in a ride of seven minutes, and the Southern Railway station in twenty-three, yet in touch with the woodland that covers the mountain slopes of Albemarle Park.

The rooms are all front rooms; one side opens upon a fine view of the range of Western mountains across the valley, and the other upon Albemarle Park with its picturesque cottages, wooded slopes, and serpentine macadam roads.

The idea of the hotel is that it shall be entirely different from an American hotel, something on the plan of an English inn, making it a comfortable home for people to reside in.

The drainage of the whole tract has been completed under the most scientific principles, under drawings and specifications by the late George E. Waring's firm, and the subsidiary roads and designs for planting, which are very elaborate, have been designed by Samuel Parsons, Jr. 7 ex-Superintendent of Central Park, New York ; the buildings have been designed by a well-known architect of New York.

Sewers and surface drainage have been put in, involving about a mile of sewer line to make connection with the

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The English-like Manor in Albemarle Park, Asheville, is neither a hotel nor a boarding-house. It differs from both.


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city sewers. The city water main has been extended through the Park, and electric wires for lighting.

Taken as a whole, Asheville more nearly than any other city in America meets all the requirements of a natural sanitarium and resort. In climate it is perfection, in scenery unequalled by any place east of Colorado. It is easily accessible by through trains upon the Southern Railway from the West or East, North or South. It has hotels which are admirably appointed and well-kept, and a large number of homelike boarding-houses. Spring or fall, winter or summer Asheville is an ideal spot on which to seek either recreation or health.

From Asheville the tourist or health-seeker may turn in any one of several directions and find charming localities in the midst of the mountains, where the scenery is sublime and awe-inspiring, and where there are excellent accommodations awaiting him in the form of comfortable hotels. The grandest and wildest scenery is, perhaps, to be found on that portion of the Southern Railway running from Asheville to Murphy. The first stage of the journey ends at Waynesville, so called in honor of Mad Anthony Wayne. It is the highest railroad town east of the Mississippi River, the seat of Haywood County, and one of the most beautifully situated towns in the mountain section of North Carolina. Its location is in the centre of the Richland Valley, at the very foot of the noble Balsam range of mountains, several peaks of which attain an elevation of over six thousand feet. These mountains are clothed from base to summit with a dense forest, the deep green fir balsam, whose odors exert an extremely healing influence upon weak throats and lungs, predominating. As a resort for invalids, the locality offers strong inducements. This section has an elevation of 2,800 feet above sea level, and such is the wonderful purity of the air that persons suffering with nervous prostration, or from the effects of overwork, obtain immediate relief. Its altitude insures a cool summer, and it is far enough south for a comfortable winter. The nights in summer are always cool and refreshing, insuring- sleep. Waynesville's population is about a thousand. The streets are broad and well shaded. There is a fine court-house, a public library, numerous attractive residences, and substantial business men in all branches of trade. The famous Hay wood White Sulphur Springs, with its large hotel, is near Waynesville on the opposite (north) side of Eichland Creek, which, even within the town limits, has its picturesqueness preserved, if not increased, by the old mills and the fine old oaks and beech trees which grow along its course, and by the distant background of forest-covered mountains.

Throughout the entire distance between Waynesville and Murphy the country is sparsely settled, and so little affected by the inroads of modern civilization that over much of the area one may see the clear streams, the dense forests, and the rugged mountains in their native wildness and beauty. Cherokee Indians have, until recent years, traversed the forests and wandered along the streams which their fathers named: the Tuckaseegee, Savannah, Tennessee, Elijay, Cartooga-jay, Tuskeegee, Oconaluftee, Stekoah, Tusquittah, Nantahala, and others. It is a wilderness as sublimely beautiful as it is solitary and grand, an Elysium for the health-seeker, a paradise for the sportsman.

During long ages of the past these streams have been carving, deeper and deeper, their channels between the mountains. So slowly has the work progressed, and so vigorously has the vegetation grown, that everywhere from the mountain tops to the banks of the streams the surface is covered with trees, shrubs, and flowers.

The gorge of the Nantahala River, through which the railway passes for more than a dozen miles, is by many believed to be the most picturesque and beautiful in western North Carolina. One of the full-page illustrations shows the upper end of this gorge, looking northeast down the river. Oil the right Clift Ridge rises almost perpendicular to nearly 2,000 feet above the river; while on the left the spurs of the Great Smoky Mountains

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rise nearly as high and are nearly as steep. Between their bases the gorge is so narrow that in many places there is hardly space enough for both the railroad and the river. Talc and marble abound

in these rocky, forest-covered slopes, and the lumbering and timber interests at Dillsboro, Bryson City, and other points are very extensive.

On the line of the Southern Railway between Asheville and Spartanburg, S.C., there is a beautiful a 11 d picturesque region which has long been extremely popular with tourists, and in which there are numerous resorts, well patronized both in summer and winter. The nearest of these resorts to Asheville is S k y 1 a n d, an attractive little place nestling down close under the protection of the nearby mountains. Beyond is Henderson, twenty miles from Asheville, and located in full view of the

mountain peaks of Tryon, Little Hog Back, Glassy, Pinnacle, Caesars Head, Hebron, Hog- Back, Pisgah, Busby, Craggy, Black, Hooper's, Bear Wallow, Sugar Loaf, Chimney Rock, the Shaking- Bald, and Point Lookout, which, rising above the plateau, form a complete panorama and amphitheatre, making the view from the town grand and majestic beyond comparison.

Southwest from Henderson and reached by a short road to Brevard, where broad spurs point off from the main chain of the Blue Ridge toward the lowlands of South Carolina and Georgia, is the Sapphire country, a region full of delightful surprises to the tourist, sportsman, and healthseeker. No other section contains more clear, cold, an d wonderfully picturesque streams, so many grand waterfalls, such wide-sweeping mountain views, such beautiful lakes, and verdure-clad valleys.

The most attractive features to be found are the Fairfield and Sapphire lakes


Lakes Fairfield and Sapphire in the heart of the North Carolina

mountains are duplicates of the most beautiful

gems of the Adirondack.

[Photos by R.H. Scadin

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20  lots021 Nowhere else in the South, at this altitude, are there such bodies of water of wonderful beauty and greatly varied character. There are towering cliffs, rising1 abruptly for a thousand feet from their shores, and cascades of rare clearness falling directly into the lakes from the lofty tableland surrounding. Indeed it is the general verdict of widely traveled people that, in respect to the remarkable combination and varied and attractive character of lake and mountain scenery this section is unrivalled by any in the world. Certainly no other part of America has anything to surpass it.

Until recently there was no provision made for the accommodation of visitors to this delightful section. Now, however, entertainment is offered at the Sapphire Inn (on Lake Sapphire), Mountain Lodge (on summit of Mt. Toxaway), and the magnificent new hotel, Fairfield Inn, on Lake Fairfield. Sapphire Inn, with cottages, will accommodate about fifty guests, and is kept open all the year. The grounds are spacious and well kept. There is an excellent livery in connection with the house, and a number of pleasure boats have been placed on Sapphire Lake for the use of the guests. The fishing on this lake is unsurpassed.

Three and one-half miles distant from Sapphire, on the summit of Mt. Toxaway, is the Lodge. This house is easily accessible from either of the lake houses by a nicely constructed and well-graded road, winding back and forth along the sides of the mountain for a distance of about three and one-half miles. The accommodations provided here for guests will be found of the most satisfactory character, There are good stables in connection with the Lodge, thus making the place one of a specially attractive nature for mountain parties. The view from this Lodge, which is on the extreme summit of the mountain, is the most extensive (it being an isolated peak) of any mountain point of vantage in North Carolina, probably in the entire Alleghany chain. The magnificent character of this view cannot well be described. Its grandeur and sublimity can only be felt and fully appreciated by looking out upon it.

Fairfield Inn is beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Fairfield. It is a modern house in every respect, with excellent water-supply, good baths, electric lights, etc. It has wide spacious porches and commodious public rooms, while well-kept grounds and parks, good boating and bathing, serpentine drives and shady walks about and around the lake...

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Fairfield Inn on Lake Fairfield, N.C. is a modern summer hotel, in which every comfort and convenience will be found.


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...make it an ideal place for health or pleasure-seekers.


The estate connected with, the hotel contains about twenty-six thousand acres. It is well stocked with various kinds of game and is under perfect patrol. There are seventy-five miles of river and brook fishing. Brook trout here have been taken weighing two pounds. The only restrictions made as to hunting and fishing are such as usually obtain about any well-ordered game preserve. The large and carefully cultivated farms and the numerous apple and peach orchards of the company supply the houses with a great variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. On the extensive pasture lands of the company graze numerous flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, the latter being selected with a view to their excellence for the dairy, which supplies fresh milk and cream in abundance at all times.

Many miles of roads have been graded around the margins of the lakes and over the property with a due regard for views which cannot be well surpassed for beauty and grandeur. Within a radius of ten miles of Sapphire there are fifty waterfalls, all of them being easily accessible. The height of these falls ranges from fifty to three hundred and seventy feet.


Whiteside Mountain, which has the highest perpendicular face east of the Mississippi, a wall two miles in length and eighteen hundred feet sheer drop, is one of the grandest mountains in America, and can be conveniently reached from either house. This, with the cliffs of Bald Rock, Chimney Top, Laurel Knob, and Green Mountain, gives to The Toxaway country a picturesqueness peculiarly its own. There are a hundred other attractions, combined with those enumerated, which makes this one of the most notable mountain resorts in the world.


To the forester, botanist, and geologist, this country about Sapphire is a veritable storehouse of wonders. Here is truly the forest primeval. In the spring and early summer hundreds of bright colored flowers light up the old woods; here rhododendrons grow to a height of thirty feet; the air is fragrant with perfume, and amid these old hills are treasures of wealth yet to be uncovered. The globe offers no greater natural sanitarium than here, where every breath, charged with ozone, develops pounds of energy and where all the conditions for perfect health exist in the highest degree. On the very hottest day in summer the thermometer has never registered above 87 degrees, while a record of the temperature kept at Sapphire for the past four years shows it to be an average of 69 degrees for the entire summer.


Visitors from the North and East reach Sapphire via Asheville and Hendersonville, N. C., to Brevard, N. C. From the South and Southwest via Spartanburg, S. C., and Hendersonville, to Brevard.

Three miles beyond Henderson is Flat Rock, one of the most charming little resorts in western North Carolina, and a spot where many prominent people from Southern cities spend the summer months. It is in appearance a little corner of old England tucked down in this North Carolina paradise.

While only a quiet little hamlet of mountaineers, Flat Rock was discovered many years ago and taken possession of by a company of French and English gentlemen who owned lands in South Carolina and Georgia. Among the very first were the Count de Choiseul, the Barings, the British consul, Molyneaux, and a half dozen or so of planters and their families from the coast, who, finding this climate

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On the French Broad River near the Tennessee line there are many rocky bluffs.


23  lots024 so entirely different from their own, the place so unique of all others in the mountains, set up their summer lodges here. At the present time these places, about fifty in number, cover an area of five or six miles, and are picturesquely wooded with the fragrant pine, the oak, the hickory, dogwood, sassafras, the crimson maple, the hemlock, and the holly, thickly interspersed with the beautiful mountain laurel and azaleas of colors the most gorgeous and the most delicate, while flowers and ferns fringe with beauty ''the banks and braes and streams around." Streams flow into artificial lakes shut in by rugged hills, and beautiful with, blue inverted skies.

Paths winding through the sweet shades lead out upon different points of interest, among them the quaint and picturesque church built eighty years ago by the Barings, of London banking fame, and called "St. John in the Wilderness." Its nearby vine-covered rectory is so classical that one involuntarily expects to see the Vicar of Wakefield step out from its portals. Flat Rock is provided with ample accommodations for the entertainment of guests, and no more restful or healthy spot exists on the American continent. All of the neighboring old estates are thrown together in such a way that visitors, who are always welcome to do so, may enjoy many miles of beautiful drives from which the loveliest of mountain and nearby views may be enjoyed.

Saluda, nine miles beyond Flat Rock, is 2,250 feet above sea level. In approaching it from the south there is for three miles an ascent of 237 feet to the mile, two locomotives being necessary on each train. The little town, handsomely situated on this elevated plateau, is nestled amid forest-covered hills ranging from 100 to 400 feet above the depot. On these hills families, principally from Columbia, Charleston, and the coast, have built their airy, shady homes, and spend their summers enjoying, in the cool breezes of the mountains, the repose of country life without its loneliness.

Saluda has two good hotels and several boarding-houses, so that the stranger within its gates is certain to find accommodations of a satisfactory type.

The little town of Tryon is forty-three miles from Asheville and twenty-seven from Spartanburg, and is 1,500 feet above sea level. The scenery hereabouts is beautiful beyond description. The mountains are covered to their very summits with verdure, and whether in the budding of spring, the full foliage of summer, or the gorgeous coloring of autumn, the ever-changing picture is always one of beauty, charming to the eye. The waterfalls and cascades of the Pacolet River and its tributaries are far-famed. The Horseshoe Falls, on Spring Mountain, tumble down the mountain side a distance of 350 feet. A good road leads to the top of Rocky Spur, a peak 4,000 feet high, a trip that can be made between breakfast and dinner; and the sightseer will find a comfortable hotel, the Skyuka, near the top of Tryon. Mountain, passing en route under the celebrated Horseshoe Falls. The roads about Tryon are being improved, and a day's ride through this picturesque country will not soon be forgotten.

No chapter upon the scenic beauties and attractions of the "Land of the Sky" would be complete without reference to that magnificent portion known as the Grandfather's Mountain and Blowing Rock region, which lies northeast of Asheville, between Lenoir and Cranberry, and chiefly in Watauga County, North Carolina. To reach it, travelers leave the Southern Railway at Hickory, which is between Salisbury and Asheville, and take the Carolina & Northwestern Railroad to Lenoir, twenty miles distant.

Lenoir has a population of about 2,000, and is a very attractive mountain town. It enjoys a large local trade, which comes from the rich agricultural section that surrounds it. It also has extensive lumber interests, being one of the largest hardwood markets in the Southern States. The town is built upon an elevated tableland between two ranges of mountains, and the horizon line on all points of the compass is broken by the graceful summits of towering ranges.

From Lenoir to Cranberry, over near the Tennessee line, stretches one of the most magnificent mountain boulevards on the American continent. It can be

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compared only to the Furca and other famous passes of Switzerland. It is fifty-six miles between the two places, and for nearly half of this distance a full trot may be held in one long sweep around dizzy heights and along the edge of deep-shadowed gorges. The finely graded road hugs the mountain side closely, and with every turn there opens before the vision an entrancing panorama of graceful forest-clad summits above and lovely valleys below. If the journey be made in May or June, the banks of the streams and acres of the lower mountain sides will be radiant in the blossoms of the rhododendrons and azaleas. Look where you will, from the crystal streams clashing down the mountain-side to the lowering summit of Grandfather's Mountain, which is always coming into view, and each time showing a different face, the panorama is one of surpassing loveliness.


Off to the south and west rise Table Rock, Hawk's Bill, King's Mountain, Mitchell's Peak (the highest east of the Rockies), and, towering above them all, because of its proximity, the Grandfather, its top the profile of an old man's face. The road winds among the hills for six or seven miles, and then strikes the Yadkin River, and follows it to the cool, bubbling spring, which is its source. The scenery grows more wild and rugged as we climb; so dense is the undergrowth which springs from the black mould that we wonder how the squirrels which are frisking about have the temerity to venture into such a tangle. The horses struggle up the ascent turning a sharp angle in the road, the whole world, as it were, lies below us. We look sheer down into the tree tops which skirt the John's River, and then out into the sweeping lines of the Blue Ridge as they rise, range upon range, and seem to melt into the blue of the sky. If the start from Lenoir has been made in the afternoon, the air grows chilly before the summit is reached, and search is made among the luggage for shawls and rugs. As day declines, the sun seems to pause a moment on a distant peak, flooding all the surrounding mountains with violet light, and then sinks to rest. The darkness falls quickly. You are tired now and close your eyes a moment; but someone breaks in upon your reverie with an exclamation

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The summit of Grandfather Mountain and lake at its base.


25  lots026 of wonder. You look up to find the world flooded with, moonlight. It rests like a halo over the mountains, and tips every fern and balsam bough with silver. You climb on, a mile perhaps, amid this glory, when the tired horses, admonished by voice and whip, break into a brisk run, and the hotel, all aglow with the ruddy light of open wood fires, stands hospitably before you, the first stage of the delightful and fascinating journey being ended.

There are three hotels at Blowing rock, the Wautauga, the Blowing Rock, and the Green Park. The view from the highest pinnacle of Blowing Rock, which has an elevation of 4,340 feet, is sublimely beautiful, and all the earth seems at one's feet. Range after range of mountains comes tumbling in from the horizon line like the waves of the sea, and as far as the eye can reach in every direction the view is one of sublime grandeur and beauty.


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The Battery Park Hotel, Asheville, is one of the best known resort hotels in America and is open all all the year.

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Here summer reigns with moderate sway - during the season 85 is the highest temperature recorded; for two successive Augusts the daily maximum ranged from 67° to 84°. The days are pleasant; the nights more pleasant, if possible; a seat by an open fire and a sleep under blankets make the dark hours delightful; nerves regain tone, muscles grow strong, blood reddens, dyspepsia and headaches flee away in the life-giving atmosphere above the clouds of the valleys.

Points of vantage for views abound. No two give the scores of mountain sides or tops from the same direction or at the same angle; the sights are also kaleidoscopic in variety.

at one place and hour there spreads below you a white and silent sea of mist; in a moment the vast surface begins to heave, to toss, to break; green peaks emerge from snowy billows; hillsides next appear; and them the waves float upward to the clouds, disclosing in all its bravery of field and forest, winding streams and rocky cliffs, the great valley which drains the waters from the southern slope of the Appalachian range. From another point, and as the evening sun tips the crest with flame, you see, as if they grew loftier while you look, the giant tops of Roan and Grandfather, Bald, Yellow, and Black, scores with no name at all, clean cut against a clear blue sky, so clam and still, so mighty and reposeful, lifting the soul as they seem to lift themselves.

Where the great spur already mentioned joins the Blue Ridge, an overhanging shelf of rock projects from the top so far over the "Globe" or valley of John's River as to catch and for a time confine the currents of air scent up from the depths as the northerly wind, finding no outlet, strike against the face of the cliff. The air presently finds egress over the top, and the force with which it boils up gives the name of Blowing Rock to the beetling crag. When the winds are right, any light article, handkerchief, scarf, hat, or bush thrown from the apex, instead of reaching the bottom, thousands of feels below, is borne upward and back again to the spot whence it was dismissed.


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Church of St. John in the Wilderness and Residence, Flat Rock , N.C. is picturesquely and historically interesting.

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The name of the cliff has become that of the village nearby where the road to Boone intersects the old turnpike.

Blowing Rock is preeminently cosmopolitan. There the summer girl may dress and dance and ride to the very fullness of her heart's desire. Or she may let her finery lay hidden in the depths of her trunk and go tramping about in thick shoes and short skirts from sunrise until dark. It is beautiful to watch the invalid's color come stealing back and the poor little sickly children grow round-limbed and brown in the bracing atmosphere. Verily, this is nature's great sanitarium, where that good old mother takes her children into her lap and soothes their jangled nerves: where the doctors are never in evidence and the medicines always delightful.

The twenty-mile drive from Blowing Rock to Linnville is over a road which for surveyor's skill has no superior in America. For miles it traverses the forest primeval, and from one point furnishes a view of matchless grandeur, and from another a glimpse of some sweet, quiet valley with perchance the modest home of some mountaineer and its little clearing far away below. Everywhere the wild flowers grow in profusion, and countless mountain streams murmur greetings as you pass. Nine and a half miles beyond Blowing Rock the traveler comes to the eastern boundary of the great park of 16, 000 acres owned by the Linnville Improvement Company and the first view, from a point 1,500 feet above it, is had of the beautiful valley of the Linnville River. Far away to the west and nestling in the heart of the valley is the charming Eseeola Inn, with its surrounding picturesque cottages. You may imagine it a little bit of Switzerland dropped down in our own "Land of the Sky." The inn is of pleasing architecture and has all the conveniences found in the best resort hotels, including an excellent orchestra. From the Eseeola Inn the main road continues to Cranberry,

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Eseeola Inn, at Linnville, N. C. is a beautifully located house In the centre of a glorious region.

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and from here the railroad may be taken to grandly beautiful Roan Mountain, Tennessee, or on to Knoxville.

Near Cranberry, in Mitchell County, and at an altitude of 3,750 is the Pineola Inn, a charming colonial hotel, newly built and modernly furnished. It is within driving distance of Linnville, Blowing Rock, Cranberry (its P.O. address), and within a short, distance of Grandfather Mountain (altitude 5,085 feet), and the beautiful "Falls" of the Linnville, while the grounds of the inn extend to the water's edge of the wild Linnville River.

Another section which attracts many visitors because of its grand scenery is that about Hickory Nut Gap and Chimney Rock. It is almost due east from Asheville, and may be reached from that city by mountain conveyance. The trip will amply repay the tourist, for the rugged, dizzy heights and the deep, somber gorges are fascinatingly grand and sublime. Tin-re is a hotel at Chimney 'Hock which furnishes comfortable accommodations.

Hot Springs, on the French Broad River, is the best-known resort in North Carolina after Asheville. It is thirty-eight miles west of the latter place and but a short distance from the Tennessee State line. It antedates Asheville by many years, for as long ago as 1771 there was a settlement here, and in 1790 the first public house was erected, as even in those early days the wonderful curative properties of its waters had become known, and the settlers for hundreds of miles around were wont to bring their sick here for the benefits to he derived from the baths. Today, Hot Springs of North Carolina is one of the best-known health resorts in America, and its handsome hotel, the Mountain Park, is frequently taxed to its utmost capacity to accommodate the great number of its guests.

The railway, between Asheville to the Hot Spring's, follows closely for the entire distance the tortuous windings of the historic and beautiful French Broad River.

Of such a stream the poets might sing, for it is matchless in its setting of mountains and in the beauty of its graceful curves.

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Where the railroad penetrates tunnels of rich foliage.


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Nearly the springs, the mountains, as if determined to head it off in its mad race to the lowlands, crowd in the closer and build high and rugged harriers on either side, between which the river, lashed into a of fury of foam, tosses and frets as if impetuous at the encroachment. Closer and closer crowd in these mighty "battlements of nature" until it seems as if the victory must ho theirs, when suddenly they spring apart, as if abandoning the struggle, and sink away on either side far into the distance, while the river, tired from the mighty strife, glides out into tranquil pools and lazily meanders through the broad and pastoral valley of the Hot Springs. About a mile beyond the gorge is located the Mountain Park Hotel, crowning the centre of a large and handsome private park. It stands close to the river, along the bank of which are located the modern bathing houses where the hot baths may he taken in handsome marble tubs under the best medical advice. The hotel has accommodations for three hundred guests, and is a well-managed, delightful place in which to sojourn, whether one is ill or well. The waters are especially efficacious in rheumatic and polity ailments, and have wrought many really wonderful cures.


In the foregoing pages have been given a few glimpses into the "Land of the Sky," which is rapidly becoming famous for its unequalled scenery and perfect climate, but no type nor picture can convey an adequate conception of the attractiveness of this region.


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