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ASHEVILLE, a city and the county-seat of Buncombe county,
North Carolina, U.S.A., in the mountainous Blue Ridge region in
the west part of the state, about 210 m. W. of Raleigh. Pop.
(1890) 10,235; (1900) 14,692, of whom 4724 were negroes;
(1910, census) 18,762. Asheville is situated at the junction
of three branches of the Southern railway, on a high terrace on
the east bank of the French Broad river, at the mouth of the
Swannanoa, about 2300 ft. above the sea. The city is best known
as one of the most popular health and pleasure resorts in the
south, being a summer resort for southerners and a winter
resort for northerners. It has a dry and equable climate and
beautiful scenery. Among its social clubs are the Albemarle,
the Asheville, the Elks, the Tahkeeostee and the Swannanoa
country32423-h.htm'>country clubs. An extensive system of city and suburban
parks, connected by a series of beautiful drives, adds to the
city’s attractiveness. There are great forests in the vicinity.
Among the public buildings are the city hall, the court house,
the Federal building, the public library and an auditorium.
In or near Asheville are a normal and collegiate institute for
young women (1892), and, occupying the same campus, a
home industrial school (1887) for girls, both under the control
of the Woman’s Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian
church31447-h.htm'>church; the Asheville farm school for boys, an industrial
school for negroes; the Asheville school for boys (5 m. west of
Asheville); and the Bingham school (1793), founded at Pittsboro,
N.C., by William Bingham (d. 1826), and removed to its present
site (3 m. north-west of Asheville) in 1891. About 2 m. south-east
of the city is Biltmore, the estate of George W. Vanderbilt,
its 125,000 acres constituting what is probably the finest country32423-h.htm'>country
place in the United States. The central feature of the estate is
a château (375 × 150 ft.) of French Renaissance design, after the
famous château at Blois, France. In the neighbourhood is a
model village, with an elementary school, an industrial school
for whites, a hospital and a church31447-h.htm'>church, maintained by Mr Vanderbilt.
Both the château and the village were designed by Richard M.
Hunt; the landscape gardening was done by Frederick Law
Olmsted. A collection of woody plants, one of the largest and
finest in the world, and a broad forest and hunting preserve,
known as Pisgah Forest (100,000 acres), are also maintained by
the owner. Asheville is a market for live-stock, dairy products,
lumber and fruits, and has various manufactories (in which a
good water-power is utilized), including tanneries, cotton mills,
brick and tile factories, and a wood-working and veneer plant.
The value of the city’s factory products increased from ,300,698
in 1900 to ,918,362 in 1905, or 47.5%. The city was named
in honour of Samuel Ashe (1725-1813), chief-justice of North
Carolina from 1777 to 1796, and John Ashe (1720-1781), a
North Carolina soldier who distinguished himself in the War of
Independence, was settled about 1790, and was incorporated in
1835. The city’s boundaries were enlarged in 1905.
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