University of North Carolina at Asheville
D. Hiden Ramsey Library
Special Collections/University Archives

Oral History Register

Fred Seely, Jr.

Elvira Bryson Seely, Nina, Fred Seely, Jr., Fred the III
(date unknown)


Fred Seely, Jr. Oral History
Creator Seely, Jr,, Fred

Alt. Creator

Interviewer: Dr. Milton Ready


Seely, Fred, Jr.
Asheville -- history
Grove Park Inn (Asheville, N.C.) -- History
Hotel Management -- Grove Park Inn -- History
Deaf -- Education -- United States  -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Biltmore Industries (Asheville, NC)
Battery Park Hotel (Asheville, N.C.)
Vanderbilt, George Washington, 1862-1914
World War II -- United States Internment Camps -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  


Grove Park Inn,  Henry Ford, Van Vlissingen, American ENKA, Battery Park Hotel, 
George Vanderbilt, Internment Camps, Biltmore Industries


Asheville history is described as Seely outlines his family history and his own remembrances. Fred Seely, Jr was the grandson of Dr. E. W. Grove, pharmacist in the Confederate Army, who learned of suspending  quinine to fight malaria; created Grove's Chill Tonic;  and later built the Grove Park Inn and Grove Arcade. E.W. Grove's son-in-law, Fred Seely, Sr., was involved with the Grove interests, resulting in reading architecture at Princeton, for 9 months, and drawing the plans for the Grove Park Inn. The Seely family history includes remembrances of the constructing and the history of  the Grove Park Inn, influential Asheville people and the building of Asheville as a  growing city. 


D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville, NC, 28804


Bob Cuningham, Seely family relative and volunteer with Special Collections, Ramsey Library, UNCA


Electronic Record Issued: 2002-06-20


Sound ; Text, Oral History Addendum ; books from the Fred Seeley, Jr. family


Tape, TRANSCRIPT ; books



Southern Highlands Research Center, D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville




Fred Seely's Women: Early Entrepreneurship and Male Mentoring
Grove Park Inn Letters
Grove park Inn Photographic Collection
Seely's Castle


1910-1975 ; Asheville, NC
Rights 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 authors of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


Donor number: 23 ;  Date of acquisition: August, 1977

Processed By

Special Collections staff and volunteers

Interview Date



Fred Loring Seely, Jr. of Tryon, North Carolina was born in Asheville, 1916,  the time the Grove Park Inn was being completed (1913) and described his education: involving tutors and traveling with his father, Asheville School for Boys in Asheville and Yale, graduating in 1939 with a Bachelors in Art, majoring in Art. Seely  graduated in a commission in Naval ROTC with the United States Navy and immediately went to England and joined the Royal Air Force and flew for two years and transferred to the Royal Navy Commandos for two and a half years and then transferred back to the regular navy, the United States Navy, and served for twenty-one years. Seely, Jr. had four children: Fred, the 3rd, Nina Seely, Kent Seely, and Tom Seely. When Fred Loring Seely died in December of 1942, Biltmore Industries was struggling with the economic impact of a world at war.. In 1946, Fred Seely, Jr., who had somewhat distanced himself from the many businesses of his father, returned to Asheville to lead Biltmore Industries.


Books from the Fred Seeley, Jr. family Selected writings of Elbert Hubbard; his mintage of wisdom, coined from a life of love, laughter and work, lovingly gathered by Elbert Hubbard II and made into goodly volumes by the Roycrofters at their shops, which are at East Aurora, New York, and issued as a memorial edition  Vols.1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,11,12,13,14, New York, W.H. Wise & Co., 1922
The Romance of Leonardo Da Vinci: Translated from the original Russian of Dmitry Merejkowski by Bernard Guilbert Guerney.  The Modern Library, New York, 1928. Signed by the author.

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