||[Front cover] Land of the Sky -
Southern Railway, Premier Carrier of the South.
|| Cover, back
||[Back Cover] Land of the Sky -
Southern Railway Premier Carrier of the South.
||[Introduction Page] Land of the Sky -
Southern Railway Premier Carrier of the South.
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
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...
...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...
||Motoring In The Mountains
...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
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...
||Scene at Waynesville
...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
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
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
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...
||In the Lake Region
...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
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
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
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"...
||Spring in Tryon
...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
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
A no less attractive section—the
Grandfather Mountain and Blowing Rock region—is reached by train
from Asheville to Lenoir...
|...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.
||[Detail: Golf at the Grove Park Inn.]
||Near Hendersonville N.C.
||[Sunset Mountain road ?]
||[Rock steps on trail near Grove Park Inn ?]
||Chimney Rock ; Scenes of the French Broad
||[Detail: Swannanoa River.]
||[Detail: Chimney Rock.]
||[Detail: Cottage on the grounds of the Manor ?]
||[Detail: French Broad River.]
||[Detail: French Broad River with train track
running parallel with the river.]
||[Detail: View of the French Broad River and
Pearson's Bridge ?]
||[Detail: Grimshaws ?]
||[Whitesides mountain with Lake Toxaway in
||[Detail: Foot Bridge]
||[Biltmore Estate and Kenilworth Inn]
||[Detail: Margo Terrace]
||[Detail: Altitude 3417.]
||[Detail: Mountain view]
||[Detail: Biltmore Estate.]
||[Detail: Southern Railway Train.]
||[Detail: Lake Toxaway ?]
||[Detail: Mount Pisgah.]
||[Detail: Biltmore House, view toward Mt. Pisgah ]
||[Detail: Lake Junaluska ?]
||Battery Park Hotel
||[Mountain view ; railroad beside French Broad River
; Battery Park Hotel.]
||Estate of Mr. Geo. W. Vanderbilt
||Map of "Southern Railway and Connections."