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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Started by Rob Neufeld in AC-T Book Reviews Aug 3, 2017.

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Oct 6, 2017.

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25, 2017.



Latest Activity

Connie Regan-Blake updated an event

A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

April 21, 2018 from 7:30pm to 9pm
Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm, join nationally celebrated storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, as she hosts her "Taking the Stage" workshop participants, for an enchanting evening of storytelling in picturesque Black Mountain, NC. You'll enjoy a variety of stories and storytelling styles featuring tellers Jane O Cunningham from Rome, GA; Gabriele Marewski from Black Mountain, NC; Christine Phillips Westfeldt - Fairview,…See More
15 hours ago
Glenda Council Beall posted a blog post

Writers Circle around the Table

We are located in Hayesville, NC. In April we begin our new season with outstanding Poet Mike James. Mike will read at Writers' Night Out in Blairsville, GA on Friday evening April 13. On Saturday, April 14, he will teach a class at my studio.Formally SpeakingThis class will focus on different types of traditional poetic forms such as the sonnet, the villanelle, and the sestina, and will also include other verse forms such as erasures, found poems, prose poems, and last poems.Contact Glenda…See More
Mar 12
Caroline McIntyre posted an event

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring Chautauqua History Alive at UNC Asheville, OLLI Reuters Center, Manheimer Room

April 15, 2018 from 3pm to 4:30pm
Step inside the revolutionary book, Silent Spring as its author Rachel Carson reveals the reckless destruction of our living world. Written more than 55 years ago Silent Spring inspired the Environmental Movement and has never been out of print. And now you have a chance to ask the author, Rachel Carson, how this came to be. But these aren’t just performances. They’re a chance to step into Living History – to ask questions and go one on one with a women whose books shaped our country and our…See More
Mar 7
Lynn Hamilton-Rutherford posted blog posts
Mar 7
Lynn Hamilton-Rutherford commented on Glenda Council Beall's photo

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"She looks like I look in my imagination right before I've had my coffee ... relaxed, bothered (by something, anything) and fully aware that I'm almost, but not quite, the center of the universe ... a feeling that quickly fades after that…"
Mar 4
Lynn Hamilton-Rutherford replied to Kathryn Stripling Byer's discussion Mary Adams's new chapbook COMMANDMENT
"This is so perfect ... the thought of every woman, who KNOWS what the men are thinking!  But now at least we have an idea! This makes me happy in a sad, lovely sort of way!"
Mar 4
Lynn Hamilton-Rutherford posted a photo

Mom in Her Writing Nook ...

She was working on the "About the Authors" section of "Echoes Across the Blue Ridge" when I captured this one morning. Though you can't see it, her coffee cup was within gentle reach that morning. Roxie is at her feet.
Mar 4
Carolyn Bennett Fraiser updated their profile photo
Feb 15
Harold N. Stern updated their profile
Feb 6
Glenda Council Beall posted a photo

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Lexie likes to sleep in the sunshine even on cold days.
Feb 6
Nancy Werking Poling posted a photo

Latest non-fiction book

In 1945 Indiana prohibited marriage between a white person and anyone with more than one-eighth "Negro blood." Yet Daniel (black) and Anna (white) gave up family, friends, and eventually even country to create a life together. Their 42-year marriage…
Feb 5
Nancy Werking Poling replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Bent Creek, the 4-part story
"Rob, Thanks for putting this into one document. I've been following the narrative in the Citizen-Times. I find it an added resource for my next writing project. In 1910 my husband's grandfather (1866-1947) showed up in Missouri and said…"
Feb 5
Rebecca L Caldwell updated their profile
Feb 5
Lee Ann Brown replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Writer Olive Dargan rises from obscurity
"Great Article!  Heart wrenching about her destroyed manuscripts and letters and notes but I will look for more of Olive Dargan!     Lee Ann Brown"
Feb 5
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Feb 4
Rap Monster posted a blog post


Focusing on the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis, The Bang Bang Brokers tells the story of a hedge fund manager (based on a composite of real life traders) who got rich off of predicting the subprime fallout. His guilt and suicidal impulses lead him to a chance meeting with a Latino Gang, headed by small time weed dealer Ramon (Erik Michael Estrada). In hopes that Ramon will kill him in exchange for the favor, Rolley (played by Donihue) robs a rival Black Gang, earning the pair a ton of…See More
Feb 4

Pamphlets and a diary reveal sanitarium life

by Rob Neufeld


PHOTO CAPTION: View of Asheville published in Dr. Gleitsmann’s 1870s advertisement for Mountain Sanitarium in Asheville

        “Asheville is famous for the coolness of its summers, the temperature of 90° being recorded only once in the whole period of eight years,” Dr. Joseph William Gleitsmann told the American Public Health Association in Baltimore in 1875, probably in a pretty strong German accent, since he had emigrated to Baltimore in 1871.

            The talk was published in “The Philadelphia Medical and Surgical Reporter” and then in a Sherwood & Co. reprint.

            Germans were leaders in the field of pulmonary diseases.  Robert Koch, Gleitsmann’s contemporary, would discover the bacterial agent of tuberculosis in 1881.  The first sanatorium for sufferers had been established in Görbersdorf, Germany in 1854, 2,133 feet above sea level.  That’s nearly the same as Asheville’s elevation, 2,150.

            Gleitsmann continued singing Asheville’s praises in his address.  The daily temperature here, he said, varied over 40° only once over a two-year period—only once in the two years he tracked it, 1874-1875—whereas in Colorado Springs, that happened 33 times.

            The best cure, he and other scientists believed, was having patients rest outdoors in the fresh air where the air pressure was low enough to help the heart irrigate the lungs.

            He wasn’t the first to ballyhoo this region’s climate.  E.J. Aston, realtor and Asheville’s future mayor, teamed up with Dr. Horatio Page Gatchell, founder, in 1871, of Asheville’s first tuberculosis sanatorium (located in present-day Kenilworth) to publish, “Western North Carolina—Its Agricultural Resources, Mineral Wealth, Climate, Salubrity, and Scenery.” 

            The pamphlet claimed that the air pressure in Asheville matched that inside people’s veins; and that the pine-scented air was restorative.


Magic Mountain


            In 1875, at age 34, Gleitsmann established Mountain Sanatarium on North Main Street (site of the vacant lot to the right of Tressa’s on Broadway).

            Gleitsmann’s place, writes Katherine Ott, author of “Fevered Lives,” was patterned after “the sort most fully developed at Davos, Switzerland, which Thomas Mann made famous in ‘The Magic Mountain.’”

            “Every consideration,” Gleitsmann advertised, “is given to all those agencies that are conducive to the restoration of health, and form a part of the treatment. The patients are supplied with rich, nutritious diet, suitable to their condition. Provisions are made for pleasant indoor entertainments, whilst the highly picturesque scenery gives ample inducement for outdoor exercise.”

            Board, including light, fire and nurse, was $10 to $12 a week.

            For five years, Gleitsmann treated 25 patients a day, the “New Charlotte Medical Journal” reported.  Most came from parts distant—in the winter from the north; and in the summer, from the south.

            Then, in 1880, the doctor had trouble finding a place to house his facility.  The Carolina House, a hotel run by W.P. Blair, took over Gleitsmann’s space; and Gleitsmann spent a year in the Eagle Hotel, trying to lease the Woodfin House, before giving up and moving to New York.


Young wife’s diary


            One of the patients staying at Mountain Sanitarium was Julia A. Ryder Bayles, the 28-year-old, married daughter of a Dennis, Massachusetts sea captain.

            “I am happy to say that I am feeling very much better than when I came here,” she wrote in a Jan. 26, 1877 letter found in her diary (sold on eBay in 2014).

            “To tell the truth there are times when I feel as if there was nothing the matter,” she continued. “My general health is good. Appetite good and I retain the flesh I have gained. Today has been a perfect day. Just like our weather in May. I have been out nearly all day.”

            After breakfast, she and other boarders walked to Beaucatcher Mountain, and did not return until 1 p.m.  After dinner, the group went out for another walk.

            “Fifteen years ago a consumption was regarded as incurable in this country,” she tells her grandparents, “but there was a sanitarium in Russia for consumption under the charge of a German physician and out of 900 patients who had been there, only 78 died with consumption.”

            Julia expected to be home in May, but thought she might have to spend another winter.

            In the meantime, she socialized with the gentility in the area, the Woodfins, Chunns, Chapmans, and the Martins (General James Green Martin’s family).

            She played croquet; went on more outings—to Elk Mountain and Alexander’s Inn, for instance; rode on horses and in carriages; and attended entertainments, such as at the Eagle Hotel.

            In mid-May, Julia got leave to visit her family.  She met her husband, Frank, in D.C., where she got to see President and Mrs. Hayes; and then went to New York (where she and Frank had a place on Long Island), before returning to Asheville in August, at first staying with the Chunns.

            “Took a walk with Charlie Chunn, up to the sanitarium,” she wrote on Aug. 19.  “In the evening had singing in the parlor and sat up quite late.  Clara gave me a bath.”

            It had been on July 10, 1876 that Julia had experienced a “hemorrhage from her lungs.”   There must have been a recurrence, for she ended up back in the sanitarium, and she died on July 21, 1878.

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