D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

The Land of the Sky
Southern Railway, Premier Carrier of the South

Land of the Sky: Southern Railway, Premier Carrier of the South
D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNC at Asheville 28804
Title Land of the Sky: Southern Railway, Premier Carrier of the South
Creator Southern Railway Company, Passenger Traffic Department
Alt. Creator Herbert Pelton
Identifier http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/books/booklets/los_southern_railway/default_los_southern.htm
Subject Keyword Asheville, NC ; Grove Park Inn ; hotels ; travel and tourism ; Asheville, NC ; Battery Park Hotel ; Kanuga Lake Club ; Craggy Mountains ; Southern Assembly ; Lake Junaluska ; Montreat Hotel ; Camp Cherokee ; Bryson City ; Laurel Field Colony ; Land of the Sky ; Southern Railway Company ; Plateau Studios ; The Alba, Montreat, NC ; Mars Hill College ; Black Mountain Assembly ; Bryson City, NC  ; Camp Cherokee ;  Hot Springs, NC ; Waynesville, NC ; Robert E. Lee Hall ; French Broad River ; Swannanoa River ; Sapphire Country ; Saluda, NC ;
Subject LCSH North Carolina -- Pictorial works
Southern Railway (U.S.)
Resorts -- North Carolina
Tourism -- North Carolina
Winter resorts -- North Carolina
Pelton, H.W. 
Battery Park Hotel (Asheville, N.C.)
Kanuga Lake Club (Hendersonville, N.C.)
Salola Club (Hendersonville, N.C.)
Craggy Mountains
Southern Assembly (Junaluska, N.C.)
Montreat Hotel (Montreat, N.C.)
Camp Cherokee, (Bryson, N.C.)
Asheville (N.C.) -- History -- Pictorial works
Asheville (N.C.) -- Architecture
Mountains -- North Carolina -- Description and travel
North Carolina -- Social life and customs -- Pictorial works
Asheville (N.C.) -- Description and travel
Date original 1913
Date digital 2007-02-22
Publisher [N.C.? : The Railway, 1913?] ; Digital Publisher: D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville


Type Source type:  image ; jpeg ; text
Format 1 v. (unpaginated) : ill. (some col.), col. map ; [22] p. ; 28 cm   ; Digital:  56635 bytes
Source SpecColl F254 .L2 1913 ?
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? : Community Life in Western North Carolina, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections UNCA ; Davis, Burke. The Southern Railway : Road of the innovators, Chapel HIll: University of North Carolina Press, 1985 ;  
Coverage temporal 1913/early 20th century
Coverage spatial Asheville, NC
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 UNCA Special Collections Purchase 
Description A booklet published by the Southern Railway Company about major tourist attractions in western North Carolina. Contains photographs by noted photographer Herbert W. Pelton and descriptions of many well-known landmarks at the turn of the century.  Watercolor artist has not been identified.
Acquisition 2007-01-01
Citation Land of the Sky: Southern Railway, Premier Carrier of the South,  D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804
Processed by Special Collections staff, Fred DeStefano 2007
Last update 2007-09-07


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loss_cover Cover, front [Front cover] Land of the Sky - Southern Railway, Premier Carrier of the South. loss_cover_mod.jpg (72445 bytes)
loss_back  Cover, back [Back Cover]  Land of the Sky - Southern Railway Premier Carrier of the South. loss_backcover_mod.jpg (251345 bytes)
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PEACE is one of the fundamental elements of happi­ness. Ambition and inspiration are basic principles of progress and modernism. This book is designed to present, through the medium of pictures and text, a view of a section of this great country, which, in beauty of scenery and salubrity of climate, is incomparable in the world. Here Beauty and Peace, Ambition and Inspiration, go hand in hand.

Generations ago, Western North Carolina was named "The Land of the Sky." It has long been characterized as the most exquisitely beautiful region in all America. Here the resident or the visitor finds things ethereal and sublime; and here Nature inspires the mind, body and soul as if by the omnipotence of the Almighty.

A visit to this favored land enables the resident of the large city, of the small town or of the barren country hamlet to rest and recuperate, and, at the same time, through modern facilities, comfortable and delightful, to come into contact with Nature in her most charming and agreeable moods.

By a simple operation in topography the student or traveler may obtain an accurate idea of the extent of this beautiful territory. Place a compass point upon the city of Asheville—which is the center of the region—indicated on the Southern Railway map, and describe a circle which shall be, geographically, one hundred and thirty miles in diameter and approximately four hundred miles in circumference. Such a circle would enclose an area of thirty thousand square miles of irregular plateau, with an aver­age elevation of two thousand feet above the level of the sea, situated between the Blue Ridge Mountains on the east and the Great Smokies of the Cumberland Range of the Southern Appa­lachians on the west.

Within this circled area is the famed "Land of the Sky," the "Beautiful Sapphire Country," the exquisite "Land of Water­falls," the "Balsam" and "Nantahala" Mountains of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. The territory is almost in the heart of the great Appalachian Reserve of the United...

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...States Government created by the National Congress. Through this reservation it becomes by statute the only national play­ground in the Southeast, with more than twenty-five famous mountain resorts within its limits.

Then describe in your mind a larger circle, taking in such important social and commercial centers as New York, Philadel­phia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Norfolk, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Toledo, Detroit, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Louisville, Memphis, New Orleans, Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Macon, Savannah, Charleston and Columbia; and it will be found that any part of this delightful region is only a day's journey from these import­ant centers; it being easily accessible with through sleeping and parlor car service from the principal points mentioned.

Situated in the most favored part of the Temperate Zone, the region of the "Land of the Sky" affords climatic conditions un­equalled on the continent of North America. Summer there is a period of comfort, pleasant and agreeable to the seeker after health and replete with attractions for the strong and vigorous. Winter is crisp and cool and bracing, without being rigorous. The months of July and August, each has an annual mean tem­perature of seventy-one degrees; and the month of February, a mean temperature of thirty-seven degrees.

The average humidity is very low and, because of the topography of the territory and its elevation above the sea, the highest temperatures are not accompanied by the oppressive, enervating and sultry conditions so frequently experienced in less favored sections.

The mean annual rainfall of the region is only forty-one and twenty-five hundredths inches, pretty evenly distributed through­out the year. Snow falls have averaged for several years only ten inches annually, generally in short flurries, distributed usually through six months of the year.

The mountains of the region, generally, are covered with heavy primeval forests, the vivid green of which blends gor­geously into the sapphire of the sky. Attention has been directed to the fact, developed by science, that wherever the Pinus Palustris is the predominant growth, as it is in this territory, the soil, the trees, and their products are conducive to the pro­duction of ozone. Government scientists have recorded that this plateau carries a greater quantity of ozone in its atmosphere than any section east of the Rocky Mountains.

The scenic glories of the "Land of the Sky" have been told and retold in story and in song. The incomparable loveliness of the views, in whatever direction one may look, as the towering mountain peaks pierce the azure of the Heavens, is accentuated sharply by glimpses of the charming and fragrant valleys which lie at the feet of the monster upheavals of Nature. In the various...

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...ranges of the Appalachians comprised within the delightful "Land of the Sky" are twenty-three peaks exceeding six thous­and two hundred and ninety feet in height, including Mount Mitchell, six thousand seven hundred and eleven feet in height, the highest mountain east of the Rockies. Forty-three peaks exceed five thousand six hundred feet; while eighty-two are more than five thousand feet.

Golf, by reason of its increasing popularity among outdoor games, naturally takes the lead in the more vigorous recreations, and many of the resorts, including all of the principal, and most of the minor ones, are provided with excellent courses.

Excellent roads and highways furnish temptations irre­sistible for motoring, riding and driving. Asheville claims the distinction of having the only exclusive automobile road in the South, if not in the United States, being approximately five and one-half miles in length and extending from the City of Asheville to the summit of Sunset Mountain, at an elevation of 3,119 feet above sea level. The grade up this excellent course is for the most part three per cent, and at no point exceeds five per cent. The entire territory shows the result of good work upon the part of good roads enthusiasts.

Outdoor life in this exquisite "Land of the Sky" is ideal beyond the power of mere words to describe. The favorite pastimes of the true sportsmen may be indulged in throughout the region. Small game is plentiful and the only restrictions in its pursuit are such as have been deemed necessary to the preser­vation of denizens of the forest and glens, and the local regula­tions of land owners and hunting preserves. Permits to hunt, however, may be obtained easily in the open season.

Fishing in the lakes and streams may be enjoyed practically at the will of the angler. The mountain streams are bold, free and numerous. The water is clear and free of iron, and fairly alive with native black bass and mountain trout. Many of the streams have been stocked at intervals with rainbow trout and hundreds of these fine game fish, of large size and beauty, are taken each season by the enthusiastic wielders of the rod and fly.

To the lover of Nature, particularly to the botanist, not the least of the attractiveness of the region is the character and variety of the vegetation. Twenty-two varieties of the oak are indigenous to these mountain wilds; of the five spruces, four are to be found in this territory, almost side by side with six of the eight hickories and every variety of the pine and magnolia. Of wild flowers, including the rhododendron and galax, ferns and grasses, no other land of similar area contains so long a list.

Asheville, the principal city and geographical center of the region, set in the midst of the most beautiful scenery, is an all-year resort of international repute. It has a score or more of hotels, including the Grove Park Inn, the finest resort hotel in...

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...the world, the Battery Park, the Langren, the Margo Terrace, the Manor, and many homelike boarding houses capable of caring for thousands of visitors.

There is a comfortable opera house presenting metropolitan bookings during the season; a commodious Auditorium adapted to conventions; an attractive Art Gallery; and excellent Public Library well supplied with books of reference and current fiction; two public parks, and numerous handsome public buildings and institutions.

With all the world to choose from, Mr. George W. Vanderbilt, of New York, selected a site two miles from the limits of Asheville, for the location of his magnificent estate—Biltmore— not only one of the largest and finest, but one of the most picturesquely beautiful estates in America.

Biltmore comprises over a hundred thousand acres in forests and preserves; twelve thousand acres under cultivation in its park "Pink Beds;" and nearly twenty acres in gardens and ter­races. The mansion, built in 1892, is an exquisite piece of French chateau architecture, in gray stone, with Gothic roof of slate and elaborately carved chimneys.

The station of Biltmore, immediately outside the gates, but a part of the estate, is a model and a very pretty village.

On three days of each week visitors are permitted to drive over this famed place, where thirty miles of superb roadways, with marvelous landscapes and exquisite vistas may be enjoyed.

Any number of delightful side trips may be made from Asheville, as a base, to nearby resorts, including Tryon, Hendersonville, Brevard, Lakes Toxaway, Fairfield and Sapphire, in the "Beautiful Sapphire Country;" Saluda, Waynesville, Balsam, Bryson City, Black Mountain, Ridgecrest, Hickory, Blowing Rock, Linville, Hot Springs, Morganton, Flat Rock, Lenoir and Rutherford ton, in North Carolina; and Greeneville, Tate Spring and Newport in Tennessee.

Black Mountain is the railroad station for Montreat, at which point is located headquarters of the Mountain Retreat Association, an organization of and for people of the Presby­terian faith, and here the annual general assembly of this church is held each summer. Black Mountain is also the location of the Methodist Colony, established for summer conference work and the Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conference and Training, the latter being interdenominational in character and includes the summer conferences of the Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. in their various branches.

The Baptist denomination has its assembly headquarters at Ridgecrest. Here, too, each summer are held the annual meetings of this church.

Lake Junaluska, the railroad station for which is Waynesville, has been selected as the site of the Southern Assembly... 
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...where will be held the annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. During the summer of 1913, many Conventions will be held here, elaborate and extensive prepara­tions having been made for these occasions.

Western North Carolina, is, therefore, the center of gathering for people of various religious affiliations from all parts of the South, also for churchmen from other sections of the United States and foreign countries.

The Hot Springs Plateau, thirty-five miles west of Asheville nestles among the loftiest peaks of the Southern Appalachians where the Blue Ridge and Great Smokies join, and is a beautiful mountain-locked plain of about a thousand acres.

The thermal springs with4 varying temperatures ranging from ninety-six to one hundred and ten degrees, Fahrenheit, have been known and valued since the year 1790, and are wonder­fully remedial in obstinate cases of gout, rheumatism and kin­dred maladies. Many remarkable cures by these waters have been authenticated.

The Mountain Park Hotel reservation covers an area of about one hundred acres beautifully landscaped and besides the hotel, which is modern in every respect, a number of very excellent boarding houses furnish good accommodations for numerous guests.

Hendersonville is situated on a gently sloping plateau two thousand two hundred and fifty feet above the sea level, twenty-one miles southeast of Asheville, the center of concentric circles of verdure-clad mountain ranges, each rising higher as they are farther removed from the center, making Hendersonville the objective for panoramic views of great beauty.

The hotels, St. John, Wheeler, Lake View Inn, Kentucky Home and Majestic all of which are modern and well-equipped, and many private families entertain health and pleasure seekers.

One of the loveliest spots in all this region is Kanuga Lake, on which has been constructed a co-operative resort, of the nature of a club. Substantially everything in and about the delightful club-house was built from materials taken from the Kanuga estate.

Two miles of Hendersonville, in the midst of this wonder­land of scenic beauties, nestles Highland Lake. On the shore of this lovely sheet of water a club, which takes its name from the lake, has recently completed the construction of extensive buildings and grounds.

One mile west of Hendersonville at an elevation of 200 feet above the city, the Hillside Park Club have selected a charming location and erected a fine club building, while the Salola Club have placed their club house on the very summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain, sixteen miles from Hendersonville.

One of the most charming resorts in the "Land of the Sky"... 
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...is Waynesville, within an hour's ride on the Southern Railway from Asheville. It is located on a plateau one hundred feet above the valley and nearly two thousand eight hundred feet above the level of the sea. Its environments are picturesque and beautiful, produced by the crowding ranges and towering peaks of the fir-clad Smokies and Balsams. It possesses numerous excellent hotels and boarding houses. Its natural attractions are a source of constant delight.

Brevard, forty-three miles from Asheville, via Hendersonville, in the Transylvania Valley, is in the heart of the "Land of Waterfalls" and the entrepot to the "Beautiful Sapphire Country." More than fifty waterfalls, cataracts and cascades are to be found in this territory, one of them being fully three hundred and seventy feet in sheer fall, a worthy rival in picturesque beauty, of the famed falls of the Yellowstone. Hotels and numerous private boarding houses afford accommodations for about one thousand guests.

Lakes Toxaway, Fairfield and Sapphire are the largest and finest bodies of water in the entire region of the "Land of the Sky." The sylvan scenery in the immediate vicinity of the lakes is as exquisite as human eyes ever rested upon.

From the easily attained summit of Mount Toxaway, the panoramic view includes the entire Piedmont Plateau, showing more than a hundred peaks, including Mount Mitchell; Mount Pisgah, overlooking Asheville, forty miles away on an air line; Rabun, on the boundary line of Georgia; the massive walls of Old Whitesides, two miles away, the only mountain cliff of such noble proportions in all America; while in the distance the pic­turesque outlines of the Great Smokies, in Tennessee, blend softly into the marvelous blue of the sky line.

Among the lesser resorts of the "Land of the Sky" may be mentioned Flat Rock, twenty-four miles from Asheville and three miles from Hendersonville. Its scenery bears a striking resem­blance to a bit of English rural scenery.

Near Tryon, a few miles further one of the most picturesque bits of Pacolet River scenery, famed for its exquisite waterfalls and cascades is to be found—Horse-shoe Falls, plunging down Spring Mountain a sheer distance of more than three hundred and fifty feet. This bit is on the road between Tryon and the top of Tryon Mountain, a trip which may be made between breakfast and luncheon, which, by the way, may be enjoyed at the "Skyuka," a very excellent little hotel on the crest of Tryon Mountain.

Another section that attracts many visitors is that about Hickory Nut Gap and Chimney Rock, almost due east of Ashe­ville reached by coach or motor car over a fine mountain road.

A no less attractive section—the Grandfather Mountain and Blowing Rock region—is reached by train from Asheville to Lenoir... 

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...thence by coach or motor to Bio wing Rock, Linville and Cran­berry, near the Tennessee State Line, a distance of fifty-six miles over a superb scenic boulevard. An unequalled trip from Asheville, through the Balsams and Nantahalas, is to Murphy, N.C., via the Southern Railway. It is quite within bounds to assert that it is one of the most spec­tacular journeys of its kind in all America. The railway penetrates the very heart of a mountain range through a deep and rugged rocky gorge, and, following the valley of a rushing, tumbling mountain torrent, with precipitous peaks towering above and al­most shutting out the glories of the sun, successfully surmounts the huge barriers of Nature with the artificial agencies of man

Located delightfully in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee.  Tate Spring, long since acquired a notable reputation not only as a pleasure, but as a health resort.  To the natural beauties of the surrounding scenery and the attractiveness of its climate, is to be added the great remedial qualities of the giant spring from which the place takes its name.  The flow of water from the spring aggregates several thousands of gallons daily and its temperature is constant at fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit.  In cases of insomnia and nervous disorders, generally, its effects  have been marvelously beneficial.  Tate Spring Hotel affords every comfort, convenience and luxury that the tourist may desire. 


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loss014 page 14 Near Hendersonville N.C. loss_014.jpg (179797 bytes)
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loss017 page 17 Chimney Rock ; Scenes of the French Broad loss_017.jpg (281589 bytes)
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loss022 page 22 Battery Park Hotel

Langren Hotel

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loss023 page 23 Estate of Mr. Geo.  W.  Vanderbilt loss_023.jpg (285029 bytes)
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