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City Lights Bookstore posted events
7 hours ago
Gary Carden posted a video

2012 Award Winner for Literature -- Gary Neil Carden

A literature and drama teacher turned storyteller, Gary Neil Carden is an award winning playwright whose tales are informed by mountain life in North Carolin...
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Gary Carden updated their profile
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Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Stories of Asheville's homeless

History of Asheville’s homeless: humanity on trialby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Jim Parton and Kirk Faulkner, two homeless men at A-Hope, where Jim is getting help finding housing and Kirk is making job connections.  Photo, 2017, by Rob Neufeld.“I admire my daddy more than any other human on…See More
Tuesday
Lockie Hunter posted an event
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Writers at Home at Malaprops at Malaprops

March 19, 2017 from 3pm to 5pm
A.K. Benninghofen, Lockie Hunter and Beth Keefauver will offer a free reading at the next installment of the Writers at Home series, presented by UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP), at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 19, at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood Street in Asheville. This monthly series of free readings is hosted by GSWP director and novelist Tommy Hays.See More
Sunday
City Lights Bookstore posted events
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Susan Weinberg posted an event

Reading by Poet Bianca Spriggs at Three Top Room, Plemmons Student Union, App State University

March 30, 2017 from 7:30pm to 8:45pm
A reading by poet, multi-genre artist, and core member of the Affrilachian Poets Bianca Spriggs in the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series at Appalachian State. Spriggs will also present a craft talk from 12:30-1:45 in the Price Lake Room of the Plemmons Student Union. Free admission.For more info, see the press release http://www.news.appstate.edu/2017/03/06/bianca-spriggs/Parking info is at parking.appstate.edu.…See More
Friday
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Mar 14
Toby Hill posted a blog post

Hester

HESTER      Growing up in Asheville,  N.C. in the 50’s and 60’s seemed, at the time, to be filled with a rhythm of adventure and strange encounters sprinkled with an assortment of particularly interesting and somewhat odd characters. One of those persons who fascinated me as a child was my father’s friend “Hester. “       My dad was about as straight an arrow as anyone could find. He seemed to a preadolescent, somewhat indolent son, frankly boring. Looking back from a perspective of 70 years, I…See More
Mar 11
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

African-American musicians in Asheville

African-American musicians flourished in Asheville neighborhoodsby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: The Outcasts, the state’s Battle of the Bands winner in 1979, included: (kneeling l to r) Edward Stout, saxophonist; Darriel Jones, drummer; (seated) Patricia McAfee, vocalist; (standing l to r) Marvin Seabrooks, trombonist; Mike…See More
Mar 11
Tipper posted a blog post

Blind Man's Bluff

According to the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, the game Blind Man's Bluff is as old as the 16th Century. It was a game I never liked playing as a kid. I was always afraid someone would get hurt-namely me! Its one of those games that makes grown-ups yell things like "Somebodys going to…See More
Mar 9
Mary-Chris Griffin shared Rob Neufeld's discussion on Facebook
Mar 6
Bob Plott replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Hunters and Plott hounds
"Thanks for sharing this Rob--and the book plug too. I have never seen this photo before. I have several others from the 1942 article, but this was a new one. The man on the truck looking down is WWII hero Little George Plott--who I profiled in my…"
Mar 6
Tipper posted a video

I'll Be All Smiles Tonight

old VHS film from 2002, a little distorted by the video conversion process... This song features a high lead by Pap and a harmony underneath. In the key of D...
Mar 5
Tipper posted blog posts
Mar 5
Jan Schochet shared Frank Thompson's event on Facebook
Mar 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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