D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Morse Family Chimney Rock Park Collection
M2018.11

Summary Information

Repository
UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives
Title
Morse Family Chimney Rock Park Collection
ID
M2018.11
Date [inclusive]
1882-1987
Extent
4.3 Linear feet  ; 8 boxes
Physical Description
Contains correspondence, legal and financial records,tourist and property brochures, photographs, monograph, news clippings, and postcards
Location
Located in Special Collections, Row 4, Section 3
Language
English

Preferred Citation

[Description of item], Morse Family Chimney Rock Park, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville.

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Historical Note

Chimney Rock is a monolith in the Hickory Nut gorge, near Lake Lure in Western NC, and is believed to be over 500 million years old.

In 1795, 400,000 acres of land including Chimney Rock were bought by Tench Coxe’s Speculation Land Company. Coxe later sold the rock and nearby lands to Anthony La Forrest, who immediately then sold the land to a group of New York businessmen. Little or no development took place during these years, but that changed when J. B. Freeman bought the property in 1890.

Freeman’s purchase coincided with the development of the area, in addition to improving the road, there were plans for a railroad from Asheville to Rutherfordton, and the birth of tourism in western North Carolina. Freeman was part the tourism boom, leading tours up the rock, building the first steps to the top of the rock, and putting as mule on top of the rock for a publicity stunt

On December 12, 1902, Freeman sold 64 acres, including Chimney Rock, to Dr. Lucius Morse and his two brothers. The Morse brothers subsequently purchased other lands in the area.

Also in 1916, the Chimney Rock Company was incorporated, with the three Morse brothers each owning 10 shares in the company. The aim of the company was development of Chimney Rock for tourism, rather than stewardship of the lands, with plans for illuminating the rock, cafes, and an amusement park.

The Pavilion, a 200 seat dining and entertainment facility opened in 1918, on what is now Vista Rock, followed in 1920 by the Cliff Dwellers Inn which comprised a main club room and 10 cabins offering accommodation. Both structures would later be torn down to make more space for parking, as the development of accommodation in the valley reduced the need for such facilities further up the mountain.

In 2007, the Morse family sold their lands to the State of North Carolina, with the property becoming the Chimney Rock State Park.

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Scope And Contents

Contains materials from the Morse family who owned Chimney Rock for over 100 years. Included are both items related to the family, such as photographs, correspondence, and genealogical items, and materials related to Chimney Rock including legal documents, brochures, photographs, and postcards.

The materials formed the basis of the book "For The Love of Chimney Rock", by Todd B. Morse, who donated the materials to UNC Asheville.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives

Ramsey Library, CPO # 1500
One University Heights
Asheville, North Carolina, 28804-8504
828.251.6645
speccoll@unca.edu

Rights

No restrictions. Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Accruals

Additional donations are anticipated

Creator

Morse Family, Todd B. Morse

Processing Note

Processed by Colin Reeve, January 2019.

Note: Incorporates materials from, and supersedes, previous Morse Family Collection M2008.01

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Related Materials

"For the love of Chimney Rock : four generations of Morse family stewardship" by Todd B. Morse [F262.R9 M67 2018]

Chimney Rock Hillclimb 1956 to 1995 [M2016.12]

Speculation Land Company Collection [M2003.3]

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Collection Inventory

Box 1: History 

Folder 1: Gate Receipts and Expenses, 1916 - 1950 

Folder 2: Receipts, 1916-1923 

Folder 3: Chimney Rock History, Clippings/Stories, (1920s - 1980s) 

Folder 4: Chimney Rock History, Letters, Notes, and other Documents (1930s - 1960s) 

Folder 5: Chimney Rock History, "Granddad Files", (1960s - 1970s) 

Folder 6: Chimney Rock History, Miscellaneous, (1930s - 1970s) 

Folder 7: Sale of Chimney Rock, (1970s) 

Folder 8: "The Sentence", by Hiram Morse, 1882 

Folder 9: Old Chimney Rock Deeds, Originals, 1902 - 1938 

Folder 10: Old Chimney Rock Deeds, Copies, 1826 - 1903 

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Box 2: History & Brochures 

Folder 1: Elevator, 1949 & 1999 

Folder 2: Chimney Rock, Supreme Court Briefs, 1927 & 1930 

Folder 3: Hillclimb, 1966- 1995 

Folder 4: Local Histories & Legends 

Folder 5: Hiram Morse 

Folder 6: Dr. Morse, Hendersonville 

Folder 7: Dr. L. B. Morse, Biography 

Folder 8: Norman Greig 

Folder 9: Brochure, "The Lure", (1920) 

Folder 10: Brochures, Chimney Rock, (1960s - 1990s) 

Folder 11: Brochures, Lake Lure, (1950s - 1960s) 

Folder 12: Vacation Maps, Chimney Rock & WNC, (1960s - 1980s) 

Folder 13: Newspaper Ads, Chimney Rock, (1950s) 

Folder 14: "The Carolinas are Calling You", 1934 

Folder 15: Lake Lure Promotional Materials, (1920s - 1940s) 

Folder 16: Brochure, celebrating 90 years of NC state parks, 2006 

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Box 3: Scrapbook & Strategic Planning 

Folder 1: Scrapbook, approximately 72 pages, likely compiled in the 1960s or 1970s of clippings, brochures, photographs, and postcards of Chimney Rock and the surrounding area. Most items are from the 1950s - 1960s, but the earliest dated item is a clipping from 1926. Some pages have become detached. 

Folder 2: "Strategic Planning" materials, including proposals for development of Chimney Rock Park, management review, and photographs, (1940s - 1990s) 

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Box 4: Chimney Rock Photographs 

Folder 1: Photograph Album, Chimney Rock, 57 monochrome prints of Chimney Rock and the surrounding area, most prints are circa 1916 -1920 and are captioned. Pages are detached and some prints are loose. 

Folder 2: Monochrome print of Chimney Rock with the Stars and Stripes flying and a man standing on top of the rock, credited to Blanchard's of Columbia, S.C. (1920s) 

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Box 5: Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Photographs and Postcards 

Folder 1: Oversized Postcards 

Two large color postcards of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 

Folder 2: Miscellaneous Chimney Rock Photos 

Daniel Day Lewis, filming "Last of the Mohicans" 

Madeleine Stowe, filming "Last of the Mohicans" 

Devil's Rock 

Waterfalls and footbridge 

Cliff Dwellers Inn 

(Telephone Smith Building or Dr. Morse's sanitarium in Hickory Nut Gorge) 

Street dance at Chimney Rock 

Chimney Rock sign and highway 

"The New Entrance to Chimney Rock" 

Cars parked at entrance to Chimney Rock (1950s) 

Four men with a dead bear 

Building a timber road bridge (1920s) 

"The Freeman House" 

Car with Chimney Rock bumper sticker at Singing Tower, Bok Gardens,Florida (1940s) 

Man and two women standing on wooden stairs looking towards distant mountain (1920s) 

"Chimney Rock showing Dining Pavilion", (1920s) 

Lobby of Cliff Dwellers Inn 

Photographer and model on rock above (Hickory Nut Gorge), (1940s) 

Cliff Dwellers Inn 

Chimney Rock lit by spotlights 

Chimney Rock at night with the moon 

Distant mountain with tree in left foreground 

Chimney Rock Park sign 

Chimney Rock Park sign being removed by crane on flat bed truck 

Silverado Saloon, Polaroid 

The Feed Bag Cafe, Polaroid 

Folder 3: Old Chimney Rock Photos 

Aerial view Lake Lure from Chimney Rock 

"Hickory Nut Valley, 'Land of the Sky', Stephenson Studio, Asheville", NC, nd, but pre damming of the valley 

Aerial view of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 

Early photo of Chimney Rock from valley floor, with buildings in the foreground, possibly by Barber of Hendersonville 

Small image looking down a mountain (to Chimney Rock) dated July 1937 

Folder 4: Pre-Lake Photos 

Surveying party before Lake Lure was built, (Loge) Smythe 2nd from left 

Bridge, looking newly constructed, with large building in background 

(Construction of dam) in background and six buildings in middleground 

Road through valley with some buildings in foreground 

Bridge, looking newly constructed 

Bridge, looking newly constructed 

Farmland in valley 

Folder 5: Early Lake Lure Photos 

Man and woman in canoe from Lake Lure Canoe Club, with dam and workmen in the background 

Construction of dam 

Three men in a boat on lake 

Looking down on lake with a small boat moving away from the camera 

Lake with wake from boat on foreground and mountains in background 

Lake with wake from boat on foreground and mountains in background 

Two waters skiers, one jumping, from Lake Lure Ski Club 

Folder 6: Photos Removed from Binder 

Approximately 60 photographs, and some news clippings originally grouped together in a binder. Subjects are views of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, including some before the 1916 flood, the Morse family, construction of the elevator shaft 

Folder 7: Sky Lounge Fire and Reconstruction 

Nine monochrome and two color prints of the aftermath of the fire that destroyed the Sky Lounge in 1981, and one mounted color print of a helicopter airlifting materials for the reconstruction 

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Box 6: Morse Family Photographs & History 

Folder 1: Cased ambrotype of Hiram Board of Granville, grandfather of Anna Maria Boardman Morse. Hinge of case is broken 

Folder 2: Photo album of Lucius Boardman Morse, 44 pages of photographs documenting Morse from his birth in 1907 through 1924. Includes family life, vacations, and Chimney Rock. 39 pages include descriptions of photos, but writing has faded on the first few pages 

Folder 3: Photo album, possibly of Lucius Boardman Morse, 92 pages of photographs from 1925 to the late 1930s. [The last dated page is 1936 but undated pages follow]. Album seems a continuation of that in Folder 2, documenting life of Lucius Boardman Morse, and includes images of universities, vacations, family and friends, and Chimney Rock. Last 16 pages do not include descriptions 

Folder 4: Morse family genealogy, 1829 - 1983 

Folder 5: Lucius Boardman Morse [1871-1946], undated photograph from Brock's Studio, Asheville, showing Morse half turned to camera, and aged possibly in his 40s. Brief biographical notes included on verso 

Folder 6: Anna Maria Boardman Morse [1834-1900], undated photograph from Gannaway Photographers, Fort Smith, Arkansas 

Folder 7: Lemeul Raymond Morse, [1829-1903], undated, undated but notes on verso indicate photo was taken about the time of his marriage to Anna Maria Boardman in 1856 

Folder 8: Morse Family Photographs 

Dr Lucius B. Morse, nd (1920s) 

Jack Ward, C H "Dad" Ward, Dr Lucius B Morse, Beth Richards, Burch Doggatt, nd (1920s) 

Todd B. Morse at Chimney Rock, nd (1970s) 

Lucius B Morse III, Dick (?), Norman Greig, (1975) 

Dr. Morse family Christmas card, 1925 

Uncle Lucius, Jessie (?) and his son, nd (1910s) 

Family group, 1981 

(Dr & Mrs Morse), 1923 

Jack Ward, Clyde K, Dick K, L B Morse, N A greig, and Dick W, nd 

Family group, 1967 

Hiram Boardman Morse, age 10 (1874) 

Unidentified teenage male, photo by M M Mudge, Valparaiso, Indiana, (1880s) 

Auntie Bea, Uncle Woody, Mama, Uncle Lucius, Dedication, 1953 

Lucius Boardman Morse, in his senior year of Chicago Homd. Medical College 

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Box 7: Oversize Items 

Sketch plan for arrangement of estate of Dr. Lucius B Morse on Chimney Rock Mountain adjoining Lake Lure, nd 

Pen and ink sketch sketch of Chimney Rock, Hickory-Nut Gap, from journal article "The French Broad", nd 

Morse Family Portrait, 1892. Front row (l to r), Anna Maria Boardman Morse, Lemuel Raymond Morse, Mary Elizabeth Morse (Lemuel's maiden sister); back row (l to r), Dr. Lucius Boardman Morse, Raymond Lemuel Morse, Jessie Penuel MacKenzie (ad), Asahel Underwood Morse, Hiram Boardman Morse. [From information provided by Todd Morse] 

Watercolor print, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure by E & E Fisher, nd [Item is currently on display in Special Collections Reading Room] 

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Box 8: Postcards 

1: Chimney Rock, Asheville, NC, C-89 (1940) 

2: Along Skyland Trail - Lake Lure in distance - Chimney Rock, NC, (1947) 

3: Chimney Rock and Mountain, and Falls from Entrance in Western North Carolina 

4: Top of Chimney Rock and View of the Valley, (1921) 

5: Hickory Nut Falls from Inspiration Point, Chimney Rock, NC 

6: "Old Glory" on Top, Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, B-578 

7: Glimpse of Chimney Rock and Pavilion, a portion of Cliff Dwellers Inn appearing to the left, N-795 

8: Airplane view of Chimney Rock "In the Land of the Sky" showing Parking Place at base of rock, Elevator Portal and Sky Lounge above, G-222 

9: "The Cliff Dwellers", Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, 339 

10: Chimney Rock and Rock Pile, Western North Carolina, 213 

11: Looking down Stairway thru "The Needles Eye", Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, 10 

12: Chimney Rock, in the Land of the Sky, (1907) 

13: Moonlight over Lake Lure from Inspiration Point, Chimney Rock Mountain, N-303, (1958) 

14: Along the "Appian Way", Chimney Rock Mountain, Western North Carolina, B-588 

15, 16, 17: Entrance to Chimney Rock, NC, CL-4, copyright 1955 [15 & 16 are identical. 17 shows the same image but is reduced quality, possibly a reprint] 

18: High Cliff, Chimney Rock Mountain, Western North Carolina, 16 

19: Toll Gate and Lodge, Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, 702 

20: Entrance to Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina 

21: Dining Room and Lobby, Cliff Dwellers Inn, Chimney Rock, NC, 636 

22: Chimney Rock Pavilion, Western North Carolina 

23: Chimney Rock Mountain, NC, (1908) 

24: Entrance to Chimney Rock Mountain, western North Carolina, 202 

25: Hickory Nut Falls, Chimney Rock, near Asheville Asheville, NC, 13, (1923) 

26: Greeting from Hendersonville, view from Chimney Rock and Chimney Rock 

27: Resting at Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina 

28: The Devil's Head, showing Rocky Broad River, Chimney Rock Section, Western North Carolina, 218 [See also #111] 

29: View from Top of Chimney Rock, NC 

30: Entrance to the Tunnel Leading to Elevator, Chimney Rock, NC, K5698 

31: Greetings from Chimney Rock, NC, copyright 1937 

32: Gift Shop at the Sky Lounge, Chimney Rock, NC, 1-H-76 

33: Chimney Rock and Pulpit Rock, 26 

34: The Grotto, Chimney Rock Mountain, Western North Carolina, 582 

35: The Chimney Rock Shop, Chimney Rock, NC, 98-D-21 

36: Entrance to Chimney Rock Park on US Highway 74, K-386 

37: From the Mouth of Cliff "Dwellers Cave", Chimney Rock, western North Carolina, B-595, (1920) 

38: Parking Place at Base of Chimney Rock showing new Elevator Entrance, Western North Carolina 

39: Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, near Asheville, NC, 70 

40: Top of Chimney Rock, America's Beauty Spot 

41: Fall Colors Along the Rocky Broad River, K-52 

42: Aerial View of Famous Chimney Rock, CL-15 

43: Chimney Rock and Carolina Pine 

44: Awe Inspiring Scenery Showing Rugged Rock Formation at Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, Shumont Mountain in Background, Altitude 4000Ft, N-774 

45: Chimney Rock Baptist Church, Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, N-633 

46: Cliff Dwellers Inn, Chimney Rock, NC, 635 

47: Interior of Cliff Dwellers Inn, Chimney Rock, NC, 1-H-35 

48: Tunnel to the Elevator, Chimney Rock, NC, 234 

49: Greetings from North Carolina, NC-1, (1960) 

50: Chimney Rock, NC, 1-H-57 

51: Lake Lure and Bald Mt. "In the Chimney Rock Section of North Carolina", A-545 

52: Entrance to Chimney Rock, NC 

53: Beautiful Lake Lure near Asheville, NC 

54: Rocky Broad River Bridge, Between Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, NC, Chimney Rock Mountain in Background, 357 

55: Looking toward Chimney Rock Mountain, from Roadway 

56: Eagles' Nest, Chimney Rock, near Asheville, NC, 38, (1938) 

57: View from High Cliff, Showing Top of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, 204 

58: Chimney Rock Cliff Dwellers and Dining Pavilion, Lake Lure, NC [Same as #73] 

59: Greetings from Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, 221 

60: Chimney Rock Pavilion, Western North Carolina 

61: Chimney Rock as seen from the Sky Lounge, Western North Carolina 

62: Part of the steps going up through the Needle's Eye, Chimney Rock Park, Western North Carolina, K-351 

63: Stairway to Chimney Rock 

64: Chimney Rock by Moonlight Western North Carolina, N-740 

65: The Sky Lounge at Chimney Rock, NC, 1-H-55 

66: Chimney Rock in the Land of the Sky 

67: Chimney Rock, NC - Lake Lure in Distance, 1-H-47 

68: (Hickory Nut Falls) [Postcard not captioned] 

69: Bald Mountain and Portion of the Town of Chimney Rock, Rock Broad River in Foreground, 31 

70: Chimney Rock Mountain and Entrance to Motor Road, Chimney Rock, NC, 633 

71: Chimney Rock Motor Road, near Asheville, NC, 7 

72: Top of Chimney Rock Showing Motor Road, Western North Carolina 

73: Chimney Rock Cliff Dwellers and Dining Pavilion, Lake Lure, NC [Same as #58] 

74: Chimney Rock and Cliff Dwellers Inn, North Carolina, 1-H-19, Copyright 1938 

75: Nighttime at the Lodge Gate on Chimney Rock Mountain, NC, Nose Rock in Foreground, 23 

76: Duncraggin Inn, Third Avenue West, Hendersonville, NC 

77: Moonshiners Cave, Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, 217 

78: Entrance to Moonshiners Cave, Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina 

79: Along the Appian Way, Chimney Rock Section, Western North Carolina, 336 

80: View from "Pulpit Rock" on Chimney Rock Mountain, Western North Carolina 

81: From the Appian Way, Chimney Rock, NC, 147C 

82: Chimney Rock in the "Land of the Sky", NC4 

83: Chimney Rock, 225 feet high, Western North Carolina, 1 

84: Dr. Morse's Sanatorium, Hendersonville, NC, 1914 

85: The Falls and Bridge, Chimney Rock, NC, S56A 

86: Chimney Rock and Cafeteria, showing portion of parking space, Western North Carolina, 5 

87: (Cliff Dwellers Inn), 1929 

88: Entrance to Chimney Rock, North Carolina, 101, 1941 

89: Looking up the Long Stairway Leading Thru "The Needles Eye", Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, N-539 

90: Tunnel to the Elevator, Chimney Rock, NC, 234 

91: One of the Natives Exploring Bat Cave in the Chimney Rock Section, Western North Carolina, N-730 

92: Cliff Dwellers Inn at Foot of Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, N-759 

93: View form Stairway Leading to Chimney Rock, Bald Mountain in Distance, Western North Carolina, 24 

94: Bottomless Pools, Western North Carolina, N-729 

95: (Chimney Rock, near Asheville, NC) 

96: Chimney Rock, Asheville, NC, 71 

97: Chimney Rock, 225 Feet High, Western North Carolina, 1 

98: A Scenic Beauty, Chimney Rock in Autumn, Western North Carolina, N-50 

99: Chimney Rock and "Rock Pile" in the Heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 26 

100: Greetings from Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, 221 

101: "The Opera Box", Chimney Rock Mountain, Western North Carolina, 6, 1944 

102: Chimney Rock Mountain as seen from the Roadway Leading to the Rock, 926 [See also #110] 

103: Inspiration Point and Broad River, Chimney Rock, NC 

104: Path to Hickory Nut Falls, Chimney Rock Mountain, Western North Carolina, N-758 

105: Lake Lure at Sunset, Western North Carolina, 401 

106: "Rumbling Bald" Mountain, above Lake Lure, NC, 388 

107: Yacht Club Island, Lake Lure, NC 

108: Part of the steps going up through the Needle's Eye, Chimney Rock Park, Western North Carolina, K-351 

109: Nose Rock and Toll Gate, Chimney Rock, Asheville, NC 

110: Chimney Rock Mountain as seen from the Roadway Leading to the Rock, 926 [See also #102] 

111: The Devil's Head, showing Rocky Broad River, Chimney Rock Section, Western North Carolina, 613 [See also #28] 

112: Sky Lounge, Chimney Rock, NC, 233 

113: The top of Chimney Rock with Lake Lure in the background taken from Opera Box, Western North Carolina, K-347 

114: Old Indian Chief, Chimney Rock Park, NC 

115: Chimney Rock Park, North Carolina [Postcard card, with part cut out] 

116: "Devil's Head" and Rocky Broad Valley, as seen from Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, 19 

117: The Last Stairway to Top of Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina, 206 

118: Hickory Nut Falls, Chimney Rock, NC, 1-H-46 

119: Greetings from Hendersonville, Chimney Rock, 1905 

120: The Falls, Chimney Rock, NC 

121: Devil's Head Chimney Rock Park, NC 

122: Steps Leading to the Needle's Eye...., Copyright 1974 

123: Hickory Nut Falls, Chimney Rock Park, NC 

124: Moonshiner's Cave, Chimney Rock Park, NC, Copyright 1974 

125: Souvenir Folder of Chimney Rock in the Land of the Sky, Western North Carolina 

126: Souvenir of Western North Carolina, Chimney Rock Section, 1945 [Same as #127] 

127: Souvenir of Western North Carolina, Chimney Rock Section [Same as #126] 

128: Souvenir Folder of Chimney Rock Section, Western North Carolina 

129: Views of Chimney Rock, Western North Carolina 

130: 10 Genuine Photographs, Chimney Rock, NC [Miniature photographs, approx. 2.75 x 1.75"] 

131: Souvenir Photo-Tones, Chimney Rock, NC [20 miniature photographs, approx. 2.75 x 1.75"] 

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