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The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History. Last reply by Scott Dockery Feb 16.

The history of Oakley

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History May 13, 2016.

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Montreat College Friends of the Library Annual Luncheon at Montreat College, Gaither Fellowship Hall

June 10, 2017 from 12pm to 2:30pm
Author Vicki Lane, who is working on her seventh novel, will be the guest speaker at the Montreat College Friends of the Library Annual Luncheon at noon on Saturday, June 10, 2017 in Gaither Fellowship Hall.  Reservations: 669-8012 Ext. 3502Open to the Public.See More
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Rose Senehi posted an event

Rose Senehi will read from her new novel: CAROLINA BELLE at MALAPROPS BOOKS & CAFE

May 3, 2017 from 7pm to 8:30pm
Belle McKenzie is obsessed with finding the best apple anyone ever bit into and determined to rekindle the love this obsession has nearly destroyed.        Woven throughout Carolina Belle is the fascinating history of Henderson County, North Carolina’s, apple orchards that endlessly unfold on the county’s horizons and still bear the same names as the early settlers to the area. Senehi, known for her historically accurate novels, sprinkles the book with stories of the development of the Southern…See More
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Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Becky Stone Presents Maya Angelou

Chautauqua Alive! Becky Stone Presents Maya AngelouWednesday, May 24 at 6:30pmPack Memorial Library67 Haywood Street250-4700The Buncombe Chautauqua Committee and Pack Memorial Library will present a pre-Chautauqua special event in Lord Auditorium at Pack Memorial Library at 6:30 Pm on May 24.  Renowned storyteller Becky Stone will present “Becoming Maya Angelou.”   Ms. Stone will be appearing as Maya Angelou in the opening program of the annual Chautauqua series that begins June 19.  On May 24,…See More
Apr 19
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Prize-winning YA author Sedgwick at Literacy fundraiser

Fundraiser for Literacy Council & Book Launch Marcus Sedgwick Tuesday April 25th 5:30-7:30 p.m., Twisted Laurel, downtown Asheville, 130 College Street COST: $45 per person (ticket includes hardcover book, food, and non-alcoholic beverage) All proceeds go to Literacy Council from press release Marcus Sedgwick, author of Saint Death Spellbound Children's Bookshop, Asheville's locally owned independent bookstore for kids and teens, presents a special event with one of the most critically…See More
Apr 17
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Dellinger Mill--sacred place east of Bakersville

A Mitchell County gristmill sifts through 150 yearsby Rob Neufeld PHOTO CAPTION: Book cover, “Dellinger Grist Mill on Cane Creek” by Jack Dellinger.             In 1861, when Bakersville got a post office, locals changed the town name from Bakersville to Davis, after Jefferson Davis, President of the…See More
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Reading by Poet Al Young at Table Rock Room, Plemmons Student Union, App State University

April 6, 2017 from 7:30pm to 8:45pm
A reading by past California Poet Laureate Al Young in Appalachian State's Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series. The reading will be preceded by a craft talk titled "No Poem, No Home" from 2-3:15 the same day.Both are in ASU's Plemmons Student Union. Free admission; books will be available for sale and signing. See More
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Citizen science author in Asheville April 6

Eco author in Asheville April 6 Citizen science can foster earth-saving policies Journalist Mary Ellen Hannibal, author of Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction, speaks at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 6 in conversation with Mallory McDuff, Warren Wilson…See More
Mar 23
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Appalachian Authors Book Signing and Reading at Historic Carson House

April 8, 2017 from 10am to 3pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be a featured author and reader at the Appalachian Authors  Book Signing and Reading to be held at the Historic Carson House on Saturday, April 8 from 10-3. She will debut her new poetry collection A Part of Me. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.See More
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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...
Mar 22
Gary Carden updated their profile
Mar 22

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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