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(title page) Mountain Scenery. The Scenery of the Mountains of Western North Carolina and Northwestern South Carolina.
(cover) Mountain Scenery.
Henry E. Colton
2 p., [ix]-xii, -120 p., ill.
Raleigh, N. C.
W. L. Pomeroy
Call number C917.5 C72 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998
LC Subject Headings:
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859,
BY H. E. COLTON,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
IN the few pages which have here been collected together, it is not the Author's intention to attempt anything of a high literary cast, or to go into details as to the region of which he treats; but simply to place before the world some facts in relation to it, that persons unacquainted with its beauties may be induced to go to the mountains of Western North Carolina, and to furnish for visitors such items of information as may enable them the more to enjoy a trip there. Much matter here contained has been heretofore published in some one of the newspapers of the day, and hence portions of it may not be new to some readers; yet it is hoped that the little volume may meet with favor from all.
The work was prepared through a love for his native State, and a desire to see her merits appreciated. And, even in these few pages, the Author
has to complain of the indifference or carelessness of those whom it was intended to benefit. It is hard work to help those who will not help themselves.
The Author must acknowledge his indebtedness to Major J. C. Turner, Chief Engineer of the Western North Carolina Railroad, for the outlines of the map accompanying the work.
We trust that many who will look over its pages, may be induced to spend a few days or weeks or months in the Mountains. They will there find invigoration for the diseased body, and ample food for the mind which has a love for the beautiful and sublime. All such will realize the truth that
"The mountains holier visions bring
Than e'er in vales arise:
As brightest sunshine bathes the wing,
That's nearest to the skies."
ASHEBOROUGH N.C., February, 1859
IT has been the custom, in years past, for the seekers of health or pleasure, as the warm sun and miasma of the lowlands warned them of approaching danger to turn their attention towards the North; and it is only of late that the Virginia Springs, with all their invigorating powers, have been the stopping-place of others than the proud sons and daughters of the Old Dominion. But even yet the mountains of Western North Carolina, with mineral waters equal to any, and a climate superior to any other, are comparatively neglected. And we see even prominent citizens of our own State, year after year, journeying to Saratoga, and other watering-places of the North. They are familiar with every spot at Niagara, or Saratoga, but cannot give an idea of the western part of their own State, except as they have scantily derived it from others.
Such an accusation, however, cannot so truthfully be brought against our brethren of the State of South Carolina. For many years it has been their custom to resort to our mountains for the promotion of their health, for recreation and pleasure. Many of the lovely vales of Western North Carolina are adorned
with their neat cottages. A pride of State and section, which prevents their spending at the North that which can be kept at home, has caused them to find in our State a climate more pleasant than that of the North, mineral waters of equal efficacy, a home more comfortable, and company whose tastes and feelings more exactly coincide with their own. And to the shame of North Carolina be it said, that the first notice and the first patronage of her lovely transmontane section, should have come from another State. And the portion which they have visited and developed is but limited, in comparison with the great mass of country which remains comparatively unknown: a section of country covered with grand mountains, lovely and fertile valleys, and traversed by streams which, like everything emanating from the heavenly region, are pure and spotless as the crystal.
The greater portion of Western North Carolina is a large mass of table-land, situated, one might very properly say, upon the top of the Blue Ridge. This table-land is bounded on one side by the Blue Ridge, which, after running almost north and south, turns westwardly so as to become, for some distance, the boundary between the States of North and South Carolina. On the other side it is bounded by various ranges of mountains, all of which might be said to be but spurs of the great leading ridge. It is crossed by various ranges of mountains, many of them overtopping the surrounding boundary by fertile valleys, watered by streams of great rapidity and some size, and affording in amount of water power equal or superior to any other portion of the earth. A reference to the map, however, will show the reader all these peculiarities of the region of which it is our intention chiefly to speak.
The elevated situation of this table-land, its bracing atmosphere, fertile soil, and excellent water, all combine to make it a region of interest to any one who would seek refreshment for a care-worn body, or a place whereat to while pleasantly
away the hot summer months. Besides, this section embraces elevations of land higher than any other in the eastern portion of our Union, which fact should be an inducement to all to visit there, and a source of pride to North Carolinians. The White Mountains of New Hampshire have been, for years, a place for resort and recreation; why should not the Black Mountains of North Carolina, with a climate certainly more agreeable, and a view equally as good, be so now?
There is, perhaps, no section, embracing so small a compass, for which nature has done so much as that composing the eight counties west of the Blue Ridge. Filled with scenery, at once grand and beautiful, it is, too, blessed with a soil miraculously fertile; while in mineral products it is rich, almost beyond belief. Gold, silver, lead, plumbago, and copper are found in abundance, and iron in immense quantities and of the best quality. Such a section cannot fail to be of interest to the traveller, and should be inviting to the emigrant. The products of the vales and hillsides, when the appetite is taken into consideration, are, too, of a character such as would make the veriest epicures smile with delight. The butter, milk, honey, beef, and mutton of the mountains, are unsurpassed. And, while we confess that, at some of the stopping-places, but indifferent fare is obtained, yet there are many where one will find the delicacies, as well as the substantials of life, served up in the best style.
The section embraced in the table-land west of the Blue Ridge, is composed of the counties of Cherokee, Macon, Jackson, Haywood, Henderson, Buncombe, Madison, and Yancey. The chief of these, which we shall treat of as a resort for the stranger, are the last four: their position having caused their more rapid advancement into public notice than the others. To reach any of these counties, it is almost a necessity first to go to the town of Asheville: such is the position in which the mountains run, that all roads seem naturally to converge at
that point. And the traveller from the east, though he may stop awhile in the valley of the Catawba, seeks as his resting-place, this city amid the hills.
ASHEVILLE is finely situated in what might be termed a valley, through which flows the French Broad River, it having just received upon its bosom the Swannanoa. The rising ground from the valley, upon which the town is built, enables one to obtain from almost any point within its limits, a fine view. Near the town, in what might be said to be its rear, arises a small chain of mountains, from several peaks of which are obtained excellent views of the surrounding country, but more especially that looking towards Asheville. The valleys of the French Broad and of Hommony Creek, are stretched out before the eye, a scope extending over many miles, and taking in as fertile a region as the sun looks down on; while arising out of the valley, the solemn, gaunt Mount Pisgah lifts its sugar loaf peak to the skies, as if disdaining the more common formation in the mountains around. Far in the distance, through the low gap of Hommony Creek, may be seen the black summits of the Balsam Mountain, in Haywood County, a distance of about forty-five miles. To the northwest, the eye tires as it sweeps over the seemingly interminable ranges which rise above and beyond each other.
Satiated with the gaze, the beholder turns to the Valley, and traces amongst the rich green fields the course of the French Broad,--not as yet pent up in its rock walls, and foaming and
Herline & Hensel Lith. Philad. Hayes & Zell Publishers Philad.
VIEW OF ASHEVILLE N.C. AND THE MOUNTAINS FROM THE BEAUX CATCHER KNOB.
boiling in its mad career, but here comparatively a placid stream. Taken as a whole, the view is beautiful; and so it is taken, for the eye sweeps over it with a glance, but never tires its sight. It is considered, by some, to be the finest mountain-view in the West. No one should visit Asheville without seeing it.
Lanman, in his"Alleghany Mountains," thus speaks of Asheville and this view:"With regard to Asheville, I can only say that it is a very busy and pleasant village, filled with intelligent and hospitable inhabitants, and is the centre of a mountain land, where nature has been extremely liberal and tasteful in piling up her mighty bulwarks for the admiration of man. Indeed, from the summit of a hill immediately in the vicinity of the village, I had a southwestern view, which struck me as eminently superb. It was near the sunset hour, and the sky was flooded with a golden glow, which gave a living beauty to at least a hundred mountain peaks, from the centre of which loomed high towards the zenith, Mount Pisgah, and the Cold Mountain, richly clothed in purple, which are from twenty to thirty miles distant, and not far from six thousand feet in height. The middle distance, though in reality composed of wood-crowned hills, presented the appearance of a level plain, or valley, where columns of blue smoke were gracefully floating into the upper air, and whence came the occasional tinkle of a bell, as the cattle wended their way homeward, after running among the unfenced hills. Directly at my feet lay the little town of Asheville, like an oddly-shaped figure on a green carpet; and over the whole scene dwelt a spirit of repose, which seemed to quiet even the common throbbings of the heart."
The mountain alluded to has been named,--probably from its being so much frequented by ladies and gentlemen as an evening walk,--Beau-Catcher Knob.
The town of Asheville is adorned with many beautiful
private residences, the result of cultivated taste among its inhabitants, or the summer residences of citizens of South Carolina. While the broad yards of these make large the limits of the town, they yet are an attraction not to be dispensed with. Some one has said, that more praise is due to him who makes two blades of grass grow where one only did, than to him who grow conquers kingdoms; equal praise is due to those who, in a spirit of improvement, a love for the beautiful, and a taste for the refined, make gardens of waste places, and turn the barren hillside into blooming undulations. Such credit is due to some of the citizens of Asheville. One of the most luxuriantly adorned residences meets the traveller's eye just as lie leaves the Swannanoa River, to go into Asheville. It is the late residence of Dr. J. F. E. Hardy.
The people of Asheville are everywhere noted for their hospitality. We have heard many remark that in no town did they receive that attention from its inhabitants in Asheville. A stranger, who is at all disposed to be social, can add much to his enjoyment, while sojourning there, by a free intercourse with the citizens. A residence of months among them enables us to say that there are few towns which contain a more generous-hearted hospitable, and moral set of inhabitants; and our opinion is that expressed by almost every traveller.
There are few public buildings of interest in the town. The courthouse, a fine building, is situated on what might, with propriety, be called the culminating point of the town, as the hill there reaches its greatest height, and the town slopes gradually on every side. From the cupola of this building,--ninety-six feet from the base,--a fine view of the town and immediate vicinity is to be had. It is a pleasant place to sit, of an evening, to witness the sunset, and enjoy the cool breeze. The Female College is a building of some size, and the institution is in a flourishing state. It numbered during the past year, about 240 pupils. There are three churches,--Methodist
Presbyterian, and Episcopalian,--in all of which there is regular preaching.
There is but little of an historical nature about Asheville which is of interest. The place was originally called Morristown. It is, in comparison with some other towns of our State, of a modern date. The first court for the newly created county of Buncombe,--then embracing all west of the Blue Ridge, and sometimes called the Great State of Buncombe,--was held in an old barn, about three miles southeast of Asheville. It is not now standing. Robert Vance was the first clerk of the court, and the record now exists in which his beautiful, round, plain hand is displayed.
The hotel accommodations of Asheville are excellent. They are three in number: the Eagle Hotel, the Buck Hotel, and the Buncombe House. The latter is not at present open, but will probably be so during the summer. The first is the stopping-place of the stage from and to Salisbury via Morganton and Swannanoa Gap. The second, of the Stage from and to Charlotte via Rutherfordton and the Hickory-Nut Gap; also, of the stage from Greenville, S. C., via Saluda Gap, Flat Rock and Hendersonville. The stage from Greenville, Tenn., via Warm Springs, and up the French Broad River, stops at--Hotel. All are good hotels, and the traveller will, at any of them, receive kind attention and good fare. The Eagle, however, is the chief, and is, perhaps, more frequented than any other. It is now kept by Messrs. Patton & Blair, formerly by Dr. J. D. Boyd. It has lost none of its excellence by the change. Travellers will find Mr. Blair an accommodating gentleman. The Buck Hotel is kept by J. H. Gudger, who has been its proprietor for many years. It is a long-established house, located in the centre of the town, and has many customers. Travellers will be well provided for by Mr. Gudger and his able assistants. The Buncombe House is situated in a rather retired portion of the town, sufficiently near for all
purposes, yet away from its dust and bustle. It is, perhaps, for this reason a better place for those to stay who desire to spend some time in Asheville. But how, or by whom it will be kept, we cannot tell. Heretofore it has been well attended to.
There is, in connection with the Eagle Hotel, an excellent livery stable, kept by Messrs. Sullivan & Patton, at which travellers, who wish other than the usual public conveyance, can be accommodated. Their horses are better than the average quality of such stock, and the prices about such as are general in towns. There has heretofore been one or two other like establishments in town.
ASHEVILLE, we have stated, is the converging point of all the roads west of the Blue Ridge. It must therefore, be the same of all stage lines and, owing to its being the keystone to this great section, and formerly to the travel west, it is a distributing post-office. There are four routes, by stages, through which Asheville may be reached. Two in North Carolina, one from South Carolina, and one from Tennessee. One of the routes in North Carolina, and upon which we shall first remark, is called
THE SWANNANOA, OR MORGANTON ROUTE.
It extends from Salisbury, via Statesville, Newton, Morganton, Marion, Pleasant Gardens, and Swannanoa Gap, to Asheville.
Without a remark upon its scenery, we might say that, simply as a road, and as a line of stages, it is the best by which Asheville can be reached from Eastern North Carolina. About forty miles of the route is travelled in the cars of the Western Extension, and the rest is all in daylight over a good road, in good four-horse coaches. One of the editors of the N. C. Standard says of it:-- "On the morning of the 7th, I took the stage for Asheville. Mr. C. S. Brown, formerly of Salisbury, but now proprietor of the Walton House, at Morganton, is the contractor on this route, and I do not believe there is a better stage line in the State. He has comfortable coaches, fine teams, and sober and careful drivers. I have no hesitation in recommending this route as far superior to any other going west. I have done a good deal of staging in my life, but never travelled on a line superior to this. Mr. Brown belongs to the 'Young America' class, and infuses vigor into all he touches. This route is the nearest, cheapest, and, by far, the best to Asheville."
Statesville is a pleasant village, but not high enough to be called in the mountains. Its hotel, though, is excellent, and the traveller will never regret a stoppage there. The Female College is a fine building, and attracts some attention, but can only be seen in the distance by the through traveller. Newton, further on, is a small, quaint town, of rather a German origin, with which the traveller will have but little to do. Morganton, the, chief place in the route, is treated of in another chapter. In the railroad portion, thus, far, are some of the finest pieces of architecture anywhere in the South; and it would not be amiss for the traveller to defy railroad rules, and look out on the massive piles of granite over which he is passing. Leaving Morganton, we simply go through the village of Marion, and the next place of note which attracts the eye is Pleasant Gardens, near which, in the same valley of the Catawba, we find a stopping-place at Mr. Logan Carson's.
This is a lovely spot. Nature did much, but the hand of art and taste has beautified full well. It might well be called an earthly Eden. And the beauty of the outside is but a type of the hearty welcome and excellent fare which await the sojourner within. This house is situated immediately upon the banks of Buck Creek, one of the prettiest mountain streams to be found anywhere, and within a few hundred yards of the Catawba. There are a number of fine drives hereabouts up the creek, a beautiful level running into the mountains, and either up or down the turnpike-road. It is one of the most attractive places to stop at in Western North Carolina.
Leaving Carson's, the traveller proceeds, gradually ascending, to the Swannanoa Gap. During this route, the Catawba, now a clear, pure, mountain stream, and its tributaries, are crossed many times. The swift water, as it dashes over the rocks, ever and anon resting in some pool, in the calm sweetness of repose, forms a pleasing feature in the route. From several points between Carson's and the Gap, fine views of a portion of the Black Mountains are obtained, and the high pinnacle of the Blue Ridge is in view at nearly every turn. Gradually the ascent of the mountain is made, the traveller passes the summit almost without knowing it, and is upon the great table-land of the west. Just at the Gap is a spring of excellent water, and of a very cold temperature. The traveller who drinks from it can say that he has drank from the head-spring of the Catawba River. Now commences the descent along the banks of the Swannanoa, with the exception of two or three miles so very gradual, that it has the appearance of a level, and, in a ride of eighteen miles from the Gap, Asheville is reached, just as the sun is setting beyond the western mountains, in all that crimson glory which is so peculiarly its vesture in mountainous countries.
A writer says of this Gap and the Swannanoa:"By noon the next day we reached the head-spring of the Catawba,
which is about fifty yards from the top of the Blue Ridge. There we stopped to take a lunch. 'Tis a wild-looking place. The spring is thickly overshadowed with pretty trees, and is surrounded, except on the side next the road, with a rich carpet of green moss. The Castalian fount on Parnassus could not have been more charming than this; nor could it, think we, have more successfully inspired the bard, or the oracular priest. If one could not write sweet poesy there, or divine the future of man, 'twould be vain for him to try elsewhere. Waked by a noisy little storm-cloud from the nice nap to which the coolness and pleasantness of the place invited us, we bestirred ourselves, and were, in a few moments, over the summit of the Ridge, and descending into a delightful country. Nor were we at any loss for company. On both sides of us were clusters of the sweetest flowers of the Ridge; and, ever and anon, a merry brooklet coming from the Black and spurs of the Ridge, would dash across our path in frolicsome glee. After a few hours' travel, we discovered ourselves rolling alongside of that nymph of beauty, the Swannanoa. Its waters are unusually clear and pure, and its grassy banks look as if they had been washed; and the walnuts, sycamores, water-birch, hollies, and sugar-maples, which hang over it, throw down a deep shade upon its green-colored waters. When you come within five or six miles of Asheville, on one side of you is this river, and, on the other, splendid residences and rich farms. No one can fail to admire that part of the Great State of Buncombe."
Lanman, in his"Alleghany Mountains," speaking of his trip over this Gap, says:"The other prospect that I witnessed, was from the summit of the Blue Ridge, looking in the direction of the Catawba. It was a wilderness of mountains, whose foundations could not be fathomed by the eye; while in the distance, towering above all the peaks, rose the singular and fantastic form of the Table Mountain. Not a sign of the
breathing human world could be seen in any direction, and the only living creature which appeared to my view was a solitary eagle, wheeling to and fro, far up towards the zenith of the sky."
From any point between Morganton and Asheville, fine views may be obtained. The road is upon a ridge throughout, except when in the valley of the Catawba, the loveliness and fertility of which is sufficiently alluring; but, should one desire a grander scene, less of delicate beauty, they need only glance down its length, at the rugged mountains which seem to rise immediately in its course, but at whose feet it sweeps on in majesty, as if disdaining the obstructions which they seem to be endeavoring to push in its way. A fine view of the Table Rock, and Hawk's Bill, is obtained from a point in the Pleasant Gardens, just before reaching the river. There, too, may be seen the long, slow descent of the Linville Mountain, which, after vain endeavors to make itself a dam upon the course of the Catawba, first becomes"short-off," and then dwindles away to nothing. The traveller who delights in fine scenery, cannot fail to be pleased with this road; and if he keeps upon the look-out, will ever find something upon which the eye will rest with pleasure.
As the Swannanoa River is intimately associated with this route, we copy the following, which was written some years ago by a gentleman of Charleston, S. C.:--
Swannanoa, nymph of beauty,
I would woo thee in my rhyme;
Wildest, brightest, loveliest river,
Of our sunny, southern clime!
Swannanoa, well they named thee,
In the mellow Indian tongue;
* Swannanoa,--the Cherokee,--is translated"Beautiful".
Beautiful* thou art, most truly,
And right worthy to be sung.
* Swannanoa,--the Cherokee,--is translated"Beautiful".
I have stood by many a river
Known to story and to song,--
Ashley, Hudson, Susquehanna,
Fame to which may well belong;
I have camped by the Ohio,
Trod Scioto's fertile banks,
Followed far the Juniata,
In the wildest of her pranks,--
** The Black Mountain,--in which the stream has its source.
But thou reignest queen forever,
Child of Appalachian hills,
Winning tribute as thou flowest
From a thousand mountain rills.
Thine is beauty, strength-begotten,
Mid the cloud-begirded peaks,
Where the patriarch of the mountains,**
Heavenward far thy waters seeks.
** The Black Mountain,--in which the stream has its source.
Through the laurels and the beeches,
Bright thy silvery current shines,
Sleeping now in granite basins,
Overhung by trailing vines,
And anon careering onward,
In the maddest frolic mood,
Waking, with its sea-like voices,
Fairy echoes in the wood.
Peaceful sleep thy narrow valleys,
In the shadow of the hills
And thy flower-enamelled border,
All the air with fragrance fills;
Wild luxuriance,--generous tillage,--
Here alternate meet the view;
Every turn, through all thy windings,
Still revealing something new.
Where, oh! graceful Swannanoa,
Are the warriors who of old
Sought thee, at thy mountain sources,
Where thy springs are icy cold,--
Where the dark-browed Indian maidens,
Who their limbs were wont to lave
(Worthy bath for fairer beauty),
In thy cool and limpid wave?
Gone forever from thy borders,
But immortal in thy name,
Are the red men of the forest!
Be thou keeper of their fame!
Paler races dwell beside thee;
Celt and Saxon till thy lands,
Wedding use unto thy beauty,
Linking over thee their hands.
THE route by way of the Hickory-Nut Gap, leaves the North Carolina Railroad at Charlotte, and proceeds through Lincolnton, Shelby, and Rutherfordton, across the mountains to Asheville. Leaving Charlotte, the traveller traverses a section of country noted for the fertility of its soil, and the generous hospitality of its inhabitants. The many handsome
residences which line the road, give evidence of the taste of their owners. To all who are acquainted with North Carolina history, it is sufficient to say, that this region was the home of the Alexanders, the Brevards, and the Grahams of the Revolution, to make every foot of it classic ground. The road passes near several iron-works, some of which have been operated for many years. A ride of about thirty-five miles brings the traveller to Lincolnton, where, if he be in the stage, he will probably take supper. A night ride, through Cleveland County, lands him the next morning to breakfast at the pleasant little town of Rutherfordton, where he will most surely get that which will tempt and satisfy, his appetite. At Watkins's excellent hotel, near the town of Shelby, which is passed in the night, is situated one of the best sulphur springs in the world; but, owing to some cause, it is not fitted with such accommodations as it deserves. The Wilson Spring has no superior in the Union, as to the beauty of location or the curative powers of its waters. Nevertheless, we cannot, viewing it as it was during the last summer, advise any one to stay there.
Leaving Rutherfordton, the traveller begins to enter the mountains in reality. The road winds along the banks of Broad River, crossing it several times,--the river foaming and boiling over rocks and rapids all along the course. Occasional glimpses are caught of the distant mountains, and every little while the road winds along the edge of a frightful precipice; but, for the most part, the road is not intensely striking until after we leave Mr. Harris's. This gentleman lives about fifteen miles from Rutherfordton, just at what might be called the foot of the mountains; and the traveller, at his leisure, can find no better place to rest his weary limbs, or satiate an appetite acquired in the bracing mountain air. An excellent view of the mountains is obtained from this house. In fact, just here is the beginning of the grandest panorama of mountain
scenery which is to be found easy of access anywhere in the West. The highest colorings of the imagination fail to picture a tithe of its sublimity, and the artist's pencil would need the tenfold power of a Titian, or a Raphael, to make the canvas glow with an atom of its magnificence, or give the beholder a faint impression of the awe it inspires.
The road, for eight miles, winds upon the banks of the Broad River, the contortions of whose troubled waters are beyond description. They curvet and lash around each rock, as if caressing it, then scornfully, seemingly with coquettish glee, dash on, singing a wild song, as if murmuring at the barriers which nature has put in its course. In the midst of this wild scene are the falls of Hickory-Nut Creek. This is a small stream, which rises on the top of the mountain, and, after a course of a mile or two, leaps over a precipice nine hundred and fifty feet in height. Its little tribute of waters is nearly all lost in spray, and but a small portion reaches the river. We know of no better description of these scenes than from some sketches which have been heretofore published. We first quote from Lanman's"Alleghany Mountains:"--
"My first expedition, on arriving at Asheville, was to a gorge in the Blue Ridge, called the Hickory-Nut Gap. How it came by that name I cannot imagine, since the forests in this particular region, so far as I could ascertain, are almost entirely destitute of the hickory tree. It is true that, for four miles, the gorge is watered by a brook called after the hickory-nut, but I take it that this name is a borrowed one. The entire length of the Gap is about nine miles, and the last five miles are watered by the Rocky Broad River. The upper part of this stream runs between the Blue Ridge proper and a spur of the Blue Ridge; and, at the point where it forces a passage through the spur, its bed-is exceedingly rocky; and, on either hand, until it reaches the middle country of the State, it is protected by a series of mountain bluffs. That portion of
Herline & Hensel, Lith. Philad. Hayes & Zell Publishers, Philad.
HICKORY NUT FALLS.
Height of uninterrupted fall 350 feet height of precipice 900 ft.
This stream in the foreground is Broad River.
the gorge which might be called the gateway, is at the eastern extremity. From any point of view, this particular spot is remarkably imposing; the Gap being not more than half a mile wide, though appearing to narrow down to a few hundred yards. The highest bluff is on the south side, and though rising to the height of full twenty-five hundred feet [about fifteen hundred really: Mr. L. was mistaken], it is nearly perpendicular; and midway up its front stands an isolated rock, looming against the sky, which is of a circular form, and resembles the principal turret of a stupendous castle. The entire mountain is composed of granite, and a large proportion of the bluff in question positively hangs over the abyss beneath, and is as smooth as it could possibly be made by the rains of uncounted centuries. Over one portion of this superb cliff, falling far down into some undiscovered, and apparently unattainable pool, is a stream of water, which seems to be the offspring of the clouds; and in a neighboring brook, near the base of this precipice, are three shooting waterfalls, at the foot of which, formed out of solid stone, are three holes, which are about ten feet in diameter, and measure from forty to fifty feet in depth. But, leaving these remarkable features out of the question, the mountain scenery in this vicinity is as beautiful and fantastic as any I have witnessed among the Alleghanies. At a farm-house, near the Gap, where I spent the night, I met an English gentleman and tourist, and he informed me that, though he had crossed the Alps in a number of places, yet he had never seen any mountain scenery which he thought as beautiful as that of the Hickory-Nut Gap. My best view of the gorge was from the eastward, and just as the sun, with a magnificent retinue of clouds, was sinking directly in the hollow of the hills; and, as I gazed upon the prospect, it seemed to me, as was in reality the case, that I stood at the very threshold of an almost boundless wilderness of mountains."
We extract the following from the pen of the present junior editor of the N. C. Standard:"The scenery along the Hickory-Nut Gap is among the finest in the world. As you approach the Gap from the south the mountains seem to hem you in, looming up before you like an impassable barrier. On a nearer approach, the Gap is discovered,--a narrow defile between lofty peaks.
"Bald Mountain so called from its rocky brow, rises on the right, presenting to you a front of almost solid rock, rising perpendicularly to the height of several hundred feet. Just beyond it is 'The Pinnacle,' the highest peak for many miles around. The view from its summit is grand and extensive. On the left rise various peaks, known by their appropriate names.
"Just one mile from the road, to the left (leaving it at the house of Mr. Washington Harris, at the foot of the mountain), are 'The Pools.' A small stream flows down a deep ravine, and at length, with a perpendicular fall of ten or twelve feet, plunges into a natural well, or pool, formed in the solid rock. This pool is perfectly round, perhaps fifteen feet in diameter, and about thirty in depth. The stream flows on for a few steps farther, and again falls into another pool, similar to the first, and about the same size and depth. A little farther on is the third pool, about twenty feet in diameter, and of unknown depth. The water in this has a rotary motion, but there seems to be no subterraneous outlet, as the volume of water below is equal to that above. When a stick, or branch of a tree is thrown into it, it will disappear for some time, and again rise on the upper side of the pool, then disappear again, as before, and so continue appearing and disappearing. The whole surface around the Pools is a solid and smooth rock."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Tryon Mountain, about twenty-three miles south of this place, or rather southwest, has a peculiar bench of land about
half way up, it being a level of considerable size, on which are some farms, and many fine orchards; and, what is very curious, there is never any frost there. Peaches flourish finely, and are a certain crop. There have been several theories advanced to account for this freedom from frost, but the proper one is probably yet unknown."
This peculiarity, as to frost, is known of several places in the West. There is a cove, near Linville Falls, where the leaves do not fall from the trees until everywhere else around has the appearance of winter. It must be owing to some construction of the country around, which creates a constant current of air overhead. The country about Linville is much like that at Hickory-Nut; both furnish much interesting study for the geologist. There is visible in the rock cliffs on both sides of the traveller, a streak of red, which looks as if they once fitted together, but some great convulsion had torn them apart. The same streak of red is found in the bluffs of Linville Mount, facing the valley of the North Fork.
A tourist in the mountains, in 1858, says of this route:--
"This whole region has been characterized as 'The Mountains,' and well does it deserve the appellation. Even before crossing the Catawba, there are various points, from which the eye can catch a glimpse of solitary peaks, far away to the west, rising above the horizon. But it is only when the traveller has passed Lincolnton or Shelby, on the lower routes, and is approaching Rutherfordton, that the veritable 'Blue Ridge,' so long the wonder of the lowland school-boy, begins to appear. The face of the country becomes more rolling, and deep dells lie along the sides of the road, shaded with the evergreen laurel, while the creeks and rivers all seem to be in a wonderful hurry, as if they had important business to transact away somewhere below. Rutherfordton, though its location indicates that level ground is a rarity thereabouts, can scarcely claim to be a mountain village. It is true that it has its mountains in
a few miles, and to the inexperienced eye, they look grand and magnificent, but they are only the sentinels, stationed at a distance, a kind of promise on a lower scale, of something more magnificent beyond. But a few miles beyond Rutherfordton, the grand prospect bursts upon the vision. The Pinnacle, Sugar-Loaf, Chimney-Rock, Tryon Mountain, with innumerable other peaks, loom up over the horizon, and stretch from the north to the west and south, as far as the eye can reach. It is but for a moment, for the scene vanishes behind the intervening forests. The approach to them is almost imperceptible. Striking the Main Broad River, the road proceeds up its banks, and as the hills cluster in more closely, they completely exclude a view of the mountains. But the scenery near at hand amply compensates for the loss. The road is a kind of terrace, resembling a shelf on the mountain side; dark woods and steep rocks overhanging it on one side, and on the other, the river rushing and tumbling and roaring through and over ledges ef rock, in its frantic haste. Occasionally, at a sudden bend of the stream, the sweetest little dells in the world, canopied by the spruce and hemlock, where the sunshine never intrudes, afford welcome places to rest. And, to finish the accommodation, a spring of cold water gushes from the mountain side, and sends its laughing waters merrily in the stream below. For some miles this kind of scenery continues, until at last the hills recede a little, leaving a kind of basin of some hundreds of acres, at the confluence of several little streams. This is Harris's, or Chimney-Rock House, a place of considerable resort, in consequence of several very interesting spots in the vicinity. To the southwest, about a mile distant, is Chimney-Rock Mountain, so called from a huge rock standing out from its side, in the form of a chimney. About the same distance southward, are the Cascades, or Whirlpools, on a small stream coming down a deep mountain gorge. This stream runs a considerable distance in a channel
Herline & Hensel Lith. Philad. Hayes & Zell Publishers Philad.
of solid rock, and at three several places it leaps over ledges of rock about ten feet high, and plunges into circular pools, which incessantly whirl and foam under the action of the falling water. A slender pole of twenty-five feet in length may be thrust into them without finding the bottom. It will, however, come back with a rebound that is dangerous to the amateur explorer who heedlessly stands in its line of direction. No successful attempt has been made to sound their depth. Once, we are told, a rope with a stone tied to it, was lowered into them, but gradually ceased to descend at thirty-seven feet depth. The conclusion was, that the rope buoyed up the stone at that point. One is tempted to ask the difficult questions, whether these pools have been worn out by the falling water? and how long would it take a petty stream to make an excavation of that depth in solid granite? Who will answer?
"To the, west, near by, rises the Sugar-Loaf Mountain, a conical peak, very rocky and precipitous. A little further northward rises the Pinnacle, said to be the highest point in that range. The view from its summit is exceedingly grand. Mountains upon mountains rise up in a long, interminable succession, on three sides. Towards the northwest, Mitchell's Peak, now invested with a new and sorrowful interest, is to be seen, standing in solemn grandeur, the monarch of the giant brotherhood. In an opposite direction, the eye stretches over a vast panorama of woodlands, and fields, and houses, until heaven and earth seem to come together, and shut out the magic scene. A mile or two westward from this point, there is another novel and interesting phenomenon. It is a little stream rushing from the very brow of the mountain, down a precipitous rock, some hundred and fifty or two hundred feet. At, the distance of a mile it resembles a line of silver, or more properly snow-white ribbon, gently swaying and puffing in a light breath of air."
An editorial article in the Asheville Spectator, of May,
1858, says:"The route from Asheville to Charlotte is one of the most beautiful I have ever been on. But, on my trip this time, it was rendered somewhat disagreeable by the frequent showers of rain. The fame of the beauty and sublimity of the scenery is extensive, and the realization does not belie the report. The tall, grim old rocks, which lift their bald heads far, far towards the heavens, in all the sublimity of solemn grandeur, seem to remind us that, as earth itself, in them, is ever trying to reach that arcanum of all things good and pure, so we, who are of earth, should ever, with purity of intent, point our hopes and desires towards the same great source of all enduring blessings.
"The stage line of Messrs. Baxter & Adams, which travels in full view of the whole of this panorama of mountain scenery,--said, by those who know, to be unsurpassed by any in the Old World,--is as easy, cheap, and certainly the most speedy means of conveyance which the traveller can obtain at Charlotte."
We close this chapter with an article from the same paper, in which the editor draws a comparison between the two Gaps of which we have been speaking:--
"I did not reach the foot of the mountains until dark, therefore I can say nothing of my present experience as to the mountain scenery, but, having passed over the Swannanoa Gap before, I well remember its loveliness and sublimity. It has been a disputed point with me which has the finest scenery, the Hickory-Nut, or the Swannanoa Gap. The last I go over always seems to attract me most. Yet a distinction may be drawn. The Swannanoa Gap, and its attendant scenery, is all loveliness and beauty. There is a soft, sweet delicacy about it, which reminds one of the goodness, mercy, and love of the Creator, and makes one feel that he is drawing near to the throne where all is peace, happiness, and supernal loveliness. As one gazes from the mountain height upon the green fields
of the Catawba valley, rich in the soft delicacy of budding nature, and sees, too, around him, not barren rocks, but the tall oaks, rising their lofty heads, tinged a yellowish-green with the incipient buds of spring, while the gentle breeze wafts to his gratified senses the sweet perfume of the laurel, the ivy, and the multitudes of other mountain flowers, and treads under his feet a soil as fertile, even in its alpine height, as much of the lowlands which are stretched before his vision in the far-reaching distance, a feeling which seems to partake of other than the earthly, that breathes of the celestial, steals over his senses, unconscious of aught but the panorama of loveliness before him; there rests over the whole mental and physical system a delicious repose and tranquillity unknown but to those who highly appreciate the beautiful in art and in nature. Such is the scenery of the Swannanoa Gap.
"On the other hand, when we view the grand, towering, bare rocks, of the Hickory-Nut Gap, displayed in all the majesty and, greatness of Jehovah, one feels his insignificance, and trembles with awe at the typification of the grandeur and terror which is thrown around the ideal we have of the Creator in his wrath. He has no true appreciation of the grand and the sublime who will not, as he looks on those great high rocks, feel the intensity of his insignificance, and shrink within himself, gazing upon these marvellous works of sublime and terrible power, as displaying the supreme majesty of the All-wise, All-powerful Creator. Here the savage himself would pause, wonder, fear, and tremble; and not even the vilest of sinners, in his, wild, profanity and reckless infidelity, can pass such a scene, and not feel for a moment a dread of that awful unknown future. When in such a scene as this, I like to pause and lose myself in thought, not a word uttered, not a sound to be heard, except the wild dashing of the turbulent water of the crystal streams, which seem, even in their boisterousness, to sing a song of repose in the soft cadences of nature's own
music. To be in such a place, to witness such a scene, is worth a lifetime of toil and care.
"But, to leave the dreamland in which I have been dwelling, it comes, then, to this: Lovers of the beautiful, combined with softly delicate sublimity, will find their tastes most gratified in a home on the Upper Catawba, and a trip through the Swannanoa Gap. Others, however, who prefer the sternly grand, will find themselves most pleased by a view of the Hickory-Nut Gap, the falls, and their surroundings. I would, however, advise all tourists to visit both, and decide for themselves."
The cost of these two routes is about the same. The only difference being the railroad fare from Salisbury to Charlotte. On the Swannanoa route, the traveller will have the cars to Newton or beyond, which enables him, by resting a night in Morganton, to go through to Asheville in daylight.
Fare from Charlotte to Asheville, $10. Meals, $2 50. Time about 36 hours.
Fare from Salisbury to Asheville about $8 to $10. Meals and lodging about $2 50. Time on the way 36 hours, but does not travel at night.
PERHAPS the most travelled of all routes which converge at Asheville, is that from South Carolina via Greenville, Saluda Gap, Flat Rock, and Hendersonville. This road cannot be
said to be very remarkable for its romantic scenery. Its chief attractions are the displays of artificial taste which adorn the summer residences of many wealthy South Carolinians. The region around Flat Rook is particularly noted for this. Farm joins farm in rapid succession; and, looking over a vast array of artificial shrubbery, intermingled with a natural growth of oaks, the eye rests upon the handsome residence of some wealthy planter or retired merchant. Through them much money has been brought into the country, and these settlements have been of much benefit to the West generally. There is a hotel in the midst of this section of country, called the Flat Rock House. It has the reputation of being well kept.
This route, via Saluda Gap, is perhaps the tamest by which one can approach Asheville. There is nothing of more than usual grandeur in the mountains, and the only peculiarly striking scenery is displayed in the Flat Rock section. It is, nevertheless, perhaps the most comfortable by which one can approach Asheville. The staging is only sixty miles. Greenville, S. C., is a very pleasant place, and has several excellent hotels. It may be said to be a pretty place, as most South Carolina towns are. The Furman University, a large and flourishing institution under the control of the Baptist denomination, is located there. There are a number of fine private residences in and about the town. It is the terminus of a railroad from Columbia, and the starting-point of a number of stage lines. Chick Springs, a place of some resort, is about twelve miles northeast of Greenville. The pleasant little town of Spartanburg, so celebrated for the number of her literary institutions and refinement of her citizens, that some have applied to her the name of"Athens of Carolina," is situated about thirty miles in a northeastward direction. Williamston Springs, a well-fitted-up place, and of much resort, is on the railroad, some miles below Greenville.
There is another road to Asheville, other than that through Saluda Gap; which, too, in the beauty of its scenery and pleasantness, is almost equal to any. It is that via Jones's Gap, taking Cæsar's Head in the route. It leads through a fertile and interesting region, whose lovely valleys are ever, in their season, to be found teeming with the rich product of the farmer's labor, and whose green-clad mountains and harsh, frowning crags, as they gather round the way, all contribute to make a scene of varied beauty and interest. The chief feature of this route, however, is the rock and mountain called Cæsar's Head. It is a lofty mountain, with one side a perpendicular precipice of great height. From this rock, an extensive view of Greenville and Anderson Districts, in South Carolina is had. There is a hotel located a few yards back from the precipice, whose eating and sleeping arrangements are said to be unsurpassed. It may be easily inferred, that not the least attraction of that place is the well-selected and excellently prepared eatables of our host of the Cæsar's Head Hotel. A new turnpike connects this place with the Sulphur Springs, near Asheville; or, should the tourist prefer, he may reach the stage road at or near Hendersonville. There is no regular public conveyance along this route. The country passed through in going to Asheville, is the valley of the Upper French Broad, and is by no means of an uninteresting character.
The traveller leaves to the left, at Cæsar's Head, or rather, in passing from that place to Asheville, a section which, though but poorly developed; is known to be one of the richest in mineral and agricultural wealth anywhere in our country. We refer to what is commonly called Cashier's Valley,--whence its name, we know not. Some few South Carolinians have settled here, and made improvements, wherein to spend the summer. It is probably with more emphasis a valley, than any place so called, of which we know. It is hemmed in on
three sides by tall mountains, and is watered by the upper waters of the French Broad River. On the edge of this valley is a mountain, which is pronounced by those who have seen it, to be a great curiosity of nature. Seemingly, it juts forth from the Blue Ridge, and rises to the height of 1500 feet with a very decided inclination forward at the top. It is called Whiteside Mountain,--the rock of which it is composed being of a whitish cast. In this rock is a cave, descended to from the top by a slight winding path, the looks of which are enough to make one's blood chill. This cave is 1200 feet above the valley, in the side of a steep rock, and yet there is to be found in it a trunk of a tree, as large as a man's body. Will some geologist tell the world whence it came. It is related that a man once tied two umbrellas to his dog, and dropped him off this precipice, and the dog landed safe and sound at the bottom. He, however, did not thank his owner for the ride, as, it is said, he never could be induced to go near him afterwards. This valley and mountain are most easily reached from South Carolina, but can be, and often is, visited from Franklin, in Macon County, N. C.
After crossing the Saluda Gap, the traveller finds at its foot an excellent stopping-place, with Mr. Davis. Leaving there, he crosses Green River, and immediately begins to ascend the Butt Mountain Gap of the Blue Ridge. The Saluda Mountains, merely a spur of the Blue Ridge, are the boundary between North and South Carolina. The ascent of the mountain made, the traveller finds himself on the same table-land which we have before mentioned at the Swannanoa Gap. A ride of some miles, through the beautiful Flat Rock country, finds the traveller at Hendersonville. Here, too, will be found a very good hotel. In fact, the number of good stopping houses upon this route has been often remarked by travellers. Between Hendersonville and Asheville there are two,--Mrs. Patton's seven miles from the former place, a quiet, pleasant spot to
stay, and one where none of the necessaries or luxuries of life are lacking; Mr. Roberts's, the Half-way House, just ten miles from each place, has many very excellent qualities, and nowhere will the traveller find himself better attended to; everything necessary to his comfort is at hand, and at his service. This road goes into the Swannanoa road one mile from Asheville.
There are other routes from South Carolina; most of them are but tributaries, however, to the main leading ones we have mentioned; as, for instance, a road from Spartanburg connects with the Hickory-Nut Gap road. The main point, however, through which the table-land of the Blue Ridge is reached from South Carolina, is Greenville and the Saluda Gap; in fact, it is the only route of a regular public conveyance. Even to North Carolinians, this route is convenient and pleasant, as it passes through the city of Columbia,--perhaps the most beautifully adorned of any in our Union. The garden of Mrs. Hampton is, alone, said to be worth a visit.
*The author must acknowledge his indebtedness, for nearly all the information, and a great portion of this chapter, to a talented young lawyer of Greensborough, whose notes upon the Mountains, over the signature of"Harry Hall," appeared in the Patriot, of that town, in July, 1858.
THERE is another route by which all the beauties of the Swannanoa Gap may be viewed, and even still more lovely scenes added to them. We allude to the road via the valley
of the Yadkin, Wilkesborough and Lenoir, to Morganton, there connecting with the Swannanoa Gap road. This route, therefore, may be said to be merely a tributary to that. As there is no public conveyance much of the way, it can only be viewed in one's own carriage. The proper beginning of this road would be at the town of Greensborough. The traveller can, however, as easily leave the railroad at High Point, as we propose, to start the journey at Salem. At that ancient town, then, the traveller takes up his line of march, having in view, as a point of destination, the town of Wilkesborough. On the right hand will occasionally be seen portions of the Saura Town range of mountains, and the grand peak of the Pilot, standing solitary and alone; now, as in olden time, a guide to the wanderer.
One great object of attraction upon this route is the number of fertile farms and beautiful private residences. The valley of the Yadkin is known far and wide for its loveliness, and the wealth and, hospitality of its inhabitants. One of the first of these upon our route, and by far not the least in the points for which we have said the valley is famed, is the residence of Nicholas Williams, Esq. Of it, the writer, from whom we quote, says:--
Approaching the house,"the scene before him reminded the writer of some of those splendid old baronial possessions in England, which have been so graphically described by Sir Walter Scott in his brilliant stories of the olden time. The forest of oak, pine, cedar, and chestnut, formed a complete circle, leaving an open space of about ten acres, in the midst of which is the mansion, a neat and antiquated-looking building, which was commenced before the Revolution, and finished after its close, almost entirely hid from view by wide-branched oaks, which 'fling their gnarled arms over a thick carpet of the most delicious greensward.' On your left, as you approach the mansion from the large gate of the outside inclosure, is a
meadow of tall, waving grass; and, on your right, is a lovely flower-garden, with 'shrubbery which Shenstone might have envied,' environed by a beautiful juniper hedge. No one, who has ever read Milton's 'Paradise Lost,' can look upon this beautifully arranged garden without being reminded of the charming garden of Eden, which his strong imagination so richly bodied forth in that immortal poem.
"In the cool of the evening, the writer strolled out into the flower-garden, and, passing through it, fell into a walk which led him to the family grave-yard, a neat and sequestered spot, shaded by broad-headed and branching oaks. There he saw the graves of several of the Williams family, and, among them, two which peculiarly interested him. The one is the grave of Col. Joseph Williams, the father of our host, who distinguished himself as a brave officer in the Revolution, and was noted, at all times, for his activity, enterprise, patriotism, and devotion to correct and liberal principles; and the other, that of the Hon. Lewis Williams, as sterling a patriot, and as pure and wise a statesman as ever graced the halls of our national legislature. He entered public life in 1813, as member of the House of Commons, and was re-elected in 1814. In 1815 he was elected a member of Congress, and served continuously until 1842; a long career in one place proves the sincerity of his character and the confidence of his constituents. His life, compiled from his papers, would form a most valuable addition to our history. He was much respected in Congress for his sound judgment, inflexible integrity, and unwavering consistency, and received, by universal consent, the title of 'The Father of the House.' * * *
"None could desire a lovelier place than that for his long death-sleep. It is in sight of the old homestead, and lies between that handsome garden, where the kinsman and the stranger alike resort, and the noble Yadkin, whose silvery
waters, rolling down from the blue hills of Carolina, make melody over the graves of the departed."
The traveller crosses the Yadkin at what is called the Shallow Ford. Here he leaves the river, and enters upon the hill country proper; in fact, small spurs of mountains. All along the road, occasional glimpses are to be had of the Pilot Knob. The traveller at length reaches Wilkesborough. Wilkesborough is situated in an elevated place, and commands fine view of the mountains beyond."It was built before the achievement of American Independence, and named in honor of a distinguished English statesman, John Wilkes. Nature has done more for it than the inhabitants. To the southwest lie the Brushy Mountains, the highest peak of which is called Poor's Knob." On the other side the Yadkin pursues its turbulent course. Near this place is the farm whereon Daniel Boone once resided; and there are still to be heard in that region reminiscences of a pleasant nature concerning him.
From Wilkesborough the road turns southwest into Caldwell County, and passes through a section of that country said to be very appropriately named"The Happy Valley." The writer we quote says of it:"The surrounding mountains, which rise only into beauty, and not into grandeur, form an almost mathematically perfect ellipsis. The length of the valley is about five miles, and the average width not far from three. Within it are five highly intelligent families, living on as many rich handsomely improved farms. Everything which can enrich and delight has been lavished here in bounteous profusion. Here are beautiful lowlands on each side of the river, and towards the encircling mountains, are gently sloping hillsides, from which persons can descry the Grandfather in Watauga, the Hawk's Bill and Table-Rock in Burke, and Mount Mitchell, the loftiest peak of the Black Mountains. Here are green meadows and wide grazing pastures. Here are oaks, cedars, pines, the spruce, the silver, the white, and the black
walnuts, poplars, locusts, chestnuts, hollies, and the white and pink-blossomed laurels. Here are pure, gushing springs, and noisy, babbling rills, which dash down from the mountain-tops, as if in haste to bury themselves in the vasty deep. Here are refreshing fogs, which rise not from malaria, but from pure streams, bearing on their downy pinions the glittering dewdrops and the rose of health, and not disease and death. Here are bracing breezes, and cool nights, which strengthen man for the duties and toils of the long summer days. Here are fishes, sweet-singing birds, and deer; and here are groves not inferior to that of Daphne by Orentes. This is a sight well calculated to make one deeper in love with his native State; well calculated to make him abandon any notions which he may entertain of leaving here for a home in the South or Northwest. If you have not been through the western part of your State, you know little or nothing of the fertility, magnificence, and natural advantages, which are a few days' ride from you."
In this valley is situated Fort Defiance, now merely a post-office, but once a stockade fort of some prominence. This whole section has been very long settled, and is, perhaps, filled with as intelligent a population as any portion of our State. Upon the site of the old fort is now a graveyard, in which lie the ashes of Gen. Wm. Lenoir, a man of distinction in his day. His old mansion, a relic of the days of '76, is now occupied by his son. A curiosity in this neighborhood is the Blowing Rock. It is a peculiarity, in nature, not uncommon in the mountains; which, owing to the situation of the mountain ridges, the sudden depth of the valley, and, perhaps, other unknown reasons, causes an unceasing stream of air to come pouring up over the rock, which, of itself, is merely a ragged precipice. From this point, one can branch off into Watauga, and enjoy the rough, but beautiful scenery of that wild, almost unknown county.
Leaving the"Happy Valley," the traveller next halts in
the pleasant little town of Lenoir, named in honor of Gen Wm. Lenoir. Nothing of great note will strike the eye in this place, unless it be the large building recently erected for a Female College; from the observatory of which a fine view is obtained. The tourist from whom we have quoted, speaking of his sojournings about Lenoir, says:--
"Five miles from Lenoir is Hibriten, as pretty a mountain as any that adorns the earth. From that place you have a fine view of it and other lofty mountains, and, especially, from the observatory of the College. Leaving there at ten o'clock, we reached the cool and gushing spring, which is nearly a quarter of a mile from the summit of Hibriten, about half-past eleven o' lock. At different points along the way up, we had magnificent views of the surrounding country. Though the road, then, extended no farther than the spring; yet, by this time it is finished to the top. Near that cool fount we hitched our horses, and refreshed ourselves with its delicious waters before we commenced the ascent to the top. Much money has been expended by the citizens there, to make that mountain a place inviting to all. And truly it is inviting and delightful. By the time one reaches the spring, he is sufficiently wearied to make him quaff its water as if it were nectar, and the soft and balmy air that stirs in that high place! no pen can describe it; it is sweeter than air which has swept across beds of roses. Close to the spring, and in full view of one coming up to it, there is a large board upon a tree, which reveals to the stranger that he can rest himself under the dark, deep shade of cedars, when he has attained the summit.
"'Stranger, spare each tree,
Break not a single bough;
Their shade and beauty free,
Claim thy protection now;
"'A Heavenly Father's hand
Has made this lovely spot,
And beautified the land,--
Thy hand should harm it not.'
"So pleased were we with the thought of reclining under the shade of those cedars, and with that happy parody on George P. Morris's sweet song, 'Woodman, Spare that Tree,' that thoughts of malicious mischief never entered our minds. Nor were we content to tarry longer there. After a short walk, up a very steep ascent, we found ourselves on the highest point of the summit, an elevation of at least 2200 feet above the level of the sea. Nor were we ever before so much
"'Amazed,--confounded,--blinded with the blaze
Of concentrated beauty.'
"Every shade and hue and figure of beauty imaginable seemed to be presented to our eyes, in the splendid circle of mountains which lay around us. The bushes and smaller growth on the top have been cut out, leaving the larger and prettier trees, and the ground looks as clean as if it had been swept. On the side of the summit next to Lenoir are those comely and excellent cedars, which strangers have been so handsomely entreated not to break or harm. They remind the visitor of those lovely cedars of Lebanon, of which he has read in the Songs of Solomon. And beneath us, and all around, were beautiful and highly cultivated farms; and then set in small mountains, which are dotted here and there with fields of oats, and wheat, and corn; and there are others still in the rear of these, which rise gradually, in amphitheatre style, into lofty and grand mountains."
This mountain can easily be visited in an afternoon ride from Lenoir. We should suppose that, considering its position, a sunset view from its top would be very fine. There
is a good hotel in the town of Lenoir, at which travellers can stop. It is a pleasant little place, and has many agreeable inhabitants. The road from Lenoir to Morganton passes over a comparatively uninteresting country, though the mountain view becomes better as you approach Morganton. As we said before, but little or none of this route can be travelled in a public conveyance; therefore, the tourist must take his own carriage and horses, which is, perhaps, the most agreeable way of travelling through the mountains. Having now brought the reader to Morganton, we shall land him at the Walton House, where he may rest assured his wants will be well attended to, and tell what, as the morning dawns, he may there find to interest him.
[What the cost of this route would be, we are not able to say; it would depend much upon the time spent upon the road. The greatest expense would be stopping in the towns. Country stopping-places are very liberal in their charges. In fact, I would advise all persons who wish to travel economically to avoid the towns.]
THE first idea which will propose itself to the mind of the tourist; after rising from a refreshing sleep, will be to see what view can be obtained from the observatory on the top of the Walton House. And there, without doubt, is to be had the finest view anywhere in Morganton. We have sometimes thought, as we gazed off on the landscape which stretched
itself far, far in the dim distance, just as the sun was leaving us in a glow of crimson splendor, and the twilight came hastening on, that this place gave one of the best views of the mountains to be had in Western North Carolina. The town seems to be perfectly hemmed in with mountains, which keep themselves at a respectful distance though, and are not by any means contracted in the curvings of their range. To the south and southeast, may be seen a range called the South Mountains, which run thence in a northwardly direction, and are lost in small spurs and ridges. In the far distant western prospect is seen the Blue Ridge and its spurs, a portion of the Black Mountain; and, almost beneath us, the Linville Mountain extends its snake-like arm far down until its course is stopped by the Catawba. Nearer still, rising in stern grandeur, may be seen the Table Rock and Hawk's Bill; between them and our station we view the swiftly flowing Catawba, sweeping on in its course through fertile fields, whose rich growth is ever a grateful sight to the eye; while immediately at our feet are scattered around the residences of the hospitable citizens of Morganton. Every beholder will most surely say that it is a beautiful view.
Morganton is a town of considerable age; it was named in honor of Gen. Morgan, of the Revolution. It has no public buildings of note but a court-house. The Supreme Court of the State holds a summer session here. The place is healthy,--being about 1100 feet above the level of the sea,--but does not combine the great advantages of climate peculiar to the Blue Ridge table-land. The country is one of considerable wealth, and among its inhabitants will be found the descendants of men whose names stand high in the list of Carolina's patriot sons. Few men deserve more praise for their efforts in the Revolutionary struggle than Charles McDowell. Waightsville Avery is, too, a name not unknown in our Revolutionary history, though his services were more in the council hall than
in the field. The town itself, and an acquaintance with its inhabitants, will well repay the visitor for a few days spent there.
In a ride of about fifteen miles, westward from Morganton, the Piedmont Springs are found. The waters of these springs are sulphur and chalybeate. Their somewhat out-of-the-way location has kept them from being much resorted to; but the beauty, of the scenery around, and the health-restoring properties of the waters, certainly demand for them more attention at the hands of visitors, than they have heretofore received. Immediately in their neighborhood, the Hawk's Bill and Table Rock are situated. These sublime works of nature have not received the notice which their merits deserve. The Table Rock is a high, bleak rock, rising out of the top of a mountain to the height of over two hundred feet at the south end--a gradual rise being the boundary on the north side. It can easily be ascended; and there is upon the top about an acre of rock, in a smooth surface. An excellent spring gushes out of a little hollow on one side of the rock, and thus enables the traveller to spend his time comfortably amid the lovely and grand scenes that burst upon his view.
Immediately at the foot of the beholder runs the Linville River fretting and groaning within its immovable walls. In front rise the towering rocks of the Linville Mount, shutting out from view the lovely farms of the North Cove. On one side is Morganton; on the other, we see the cloudy cap of the Grandfather rising from out the Blue Ridge. Behind, far in the, distance, and only to be seen of a clear day, the quaint-formed peak of the Pilot attracts our notice. Immediately at hand, and seemingly so near that we might step upon its top, is the peak of the Hawk's Bill. All around the mountains rise, some in the soft beauty of rich verdure, others in the grim grandeur of solid rock, without even a trace of vegetation. But the eye, wherever it wanders, will turn again and
again to the awful gulf which yawns beneath us, and we shudder at the thought of what would be our fate were our frail bodies cast into that almost fathomless abyss. There runs the Linville River; and we see it, as the sun glances on its waters, apparently nought but a threadlike silvery stream; and, almost pitying the troubles that its waters endure, we trace its course until it unites with the noble Catawba, and, with it, sweeps on to lose its purity amid the mud of the lowlands. Taking all things into consideration, especially just at sunset, there are probably few mountains the view from which excel that from Table-Rock.
The Hawk's Bill is a bare rock, rising probably to a greater height than Table-Rock. The view from it is about the same as from that point, as they are, in fact, but a short, distance from each other. It has been but seldom visited. The peak, from a number of points on the road from Morganton to Pleasant Gardens, bears a striking resemblance to the hooked-bill of a hawk.
These two mountains rise out of the valley comparatively alone. They look like twin-sisters, or, as a tourist once expressed it,"like two mighty sentinels guarding the peaceful stillness of the valley," that no intruding hand should break the calm repose of nature. Their formation, and that of the valley of the Linville, afford much fertile study for the geologist. What great convulsion once rent them in twain, and caused the awful chasm in which the Linville pursues its tortuous course?
These points can, perhaps, be best visited from Piedmont Springs. Ample accommodations will be found at that place for many visitors; and, as far as the scenery is concerned, no one will ever regret a visit to them.
THERE is, in what might be said to be the vicinity of Morganton, a curiosity of nature, almost unnoticed, which, for its grand sublimity, and that of its surroundings, is, perhaps, equal to anything of the kind in our country. We allude to the Falls of the Linville River, not a great deal more than twenty five miles from Morganton in a direct line, but more than thirty by an accessible route. The best route by which they can be reached is from Carson's, on the Catawba; there taking a road to the little settlement of Childsville, from which place the Falls can be easily visited. The tourist, however, who has his own conveyance, and prefers so to do, can, with ease, go to the same place from Morganton; and from thence, after having visited the Falls, go to Carson's without returning to Morganton; and it is probable that such would be the best and most interesting route. The following, which has heretofore appeared before the public eye, will give an idea of the scenery and the manner of visiting the Falls a year or two ago:--
"There here are numbers of natural curiosities throughout the South which are never seen or heard of except by some adventurous traveller, and known intimately only by the intrepid mountain hunter. Thus, these curiosities remain unnoted, while yearly thousands of our citizens go northwards in search or pleasure. Among such may be classed the Falls of the Linville River, in Burke County. We doubt not but numbers of persons in Burke County never heard of them. They are to be found in the northwest corner of that county,
near to that famous tree upon which the four counties of Burke, Watauga, Yancey, and McDowell corner, and about nine miles from the Piedmont Springs. The facilities for getting to them are as yet about no facilities at all; an idea may be formed from our experience:--
"Leaving Childsville on the morning of Tuesday, in company with Col. Childs, we rode within three miles of the Falls, and then leaving our buggy, we went on horseback to the house of Mr. David Franklin, one mile from the Falls. Mr. Franklin consented to become our guide, and, after a short rest, we moved on to the Falls. Having arrived within half a mile of them, we dismounted and proceeded on foot, being unable to ride on account of fallen trees. We soon reached the river, the din of the waterfall having for some time been roaring in our ears; we then crossed it, to do so, being compelled to put certain portions of our person in a state of nature. Having crossed, we proceeded down the eastern bank, through a wild and irregular growth of ivy, laurel, and whortleberry bushes. It is rather singular that on the west bank of the Linville, the soil is rich and covered with a most luxuriant growth of trees, while on the east bank, just here, for some distance out, nothing of any worth grows. The river, where we crossed it, has as clear, smooth an appearance as any other mountain stream; it soon becomes agitated by slight rapids, until suddenly it is divided by a huge rock, and dashes over a fall of about twenty feet; it then boils and surges in a most terrific manner for about two hundred yards, the while falling three several times, twisting and turning in every shape that human imagination can fancy.
"Following our guide, we seated ourself on the top of a rock, around the base of which the river rushes in its wild career. About forty feet below us, on one side, dashed the troubled waters of the Linville; on the other, these same waters having forced themselves through a passage not more than ten feet
wide, made their descent over the last and highest fall. Here the mist was rising; and the rays of the sun, as it shone through, caused the peculiar view which resembles so much the sulphurous flames, which Bunyan so well describes as arising from a certain dark abode, that it gives the cavern under the lower fall the name of the Devil's Hole. Our position was a commanding one, but not such as a person with weak nerves should seek. As we gazed far down the course of the river, we could see the stream again assume its comparatively placid appearance; but now, instead of banks almost even with its bed, it was locked in by an impenetrable mass of chimney rocks, which continue for miles down its course, rising in the most majestic grandeur to a height of one, two, and three hundred feet, and in some places near to a thousand. At one point we are informed the rocks close over the river, and it is easy for a person to jump from one bank to the other.
"The grand sublimity of the scenery which is hereabouts presented to the eye, cannot be surpassed by any in the world. Language fails to describe it, and the pencil of the artist can give but a faint conception of its beauty and magnificent grandeur. Here it is that man feels his insignificance and trembling kneels with awe and fear. We have seen Niagara in all its artistic splendor, and we have seen what was called grand scenery, but never, never, have we seen anything to equal the scenery of Linville Falls, nor do we ever expect to see the like again until we revisit them.
"Ere long the pencil of the artist will trace the rarest beauties, and give them to the world's view. Ere long the spirit of enterprise will make good roads, and build a good house, at which visitors may stop. No place can present the same attractions as a watering-place that Linville can. Its beautiful scenery, that never has been fully explored; its healthful climate, the excellent water of the Rattlesnake Spring, the fertility of the soil, and last, but far from least in the pleasure,
seeker's eye, the large quantity of game which is to be found thereabouts.
"Having spent the afternoon at Linville, we returned to Mr. Franklin's house, and there rested for the night. The next day we visited the Gingercake Rock. This rock is a curious formation, resting on a ridge between Hawk's Bill and the Gingercake Mountain, very near to the latter. It is a high rock, conical in shape, between fifty and seventy feet in height, about six feet through at the base, and rising to a thickness of twenty-five or thirty feet. This rock is flat on top, and covered with gray moss. On one end of its top there is a rock about fifteen feet long and four or five feet wide, with a thickness of about four feet. This rock is, to all appearances just about to fall. At least ten feet of it is projecting from the edge of the main rock, the whole presenting the appearance of having just been dropped in its place, and lodged for a little while thus making one of the grandest sights that can exist in nature. Reascending the mountain, we walked over to the Chimney Rocks, and there we had presented to us as beautiful a landscape view as can be found in Carolina, unless it be that from the Pilot Knob. The eye has a full, open scope from the Grandfather Mountain entirely around the Roan, and even beyond that. The valley of the Catawba is open to the view from its origin to its end, the whole of Turkey and North Coves, with their rich fields of waving corn. In the dim, dark distance, a lone mountain rises to view, which, from its location, we suppose to be the Pilot. Just as, the sun fades beneath the horizon, it casts forth a clear, red light, and you see flashing in its blaze the windows of the houses of Morganton; from the same source, a golden tinge is thrown upon every leaf, and everything is mellowed into soft loveliness in the accomplishment of nature's most splendid creation. Far, far beneath, hid amid a mass of shrubbery and rocks, the Linville finds its way to the Catawba.
Turning to our guide, we asked: 'Does the Linville run there?' He replied, 'Yes, and poor thing, it sees troublous times before it gets out of there too.' We have never seen anything which gave one so forcible an idea of man's littleness as this point. The Chimney Rocks of the mountain are about three hundred feet high; from their base the mountain descends with fearful rapidity into the Linville River; bow far, it is beyond our power to estimate, but it seems as if it was almost into the bowels of the earth. It seems as if one might fall
"'From morn till noon, from noon till dewy eve,"
and but then fathom its depth! We looked, and turning, looked again. Gladly would we have spent hours upon that summit; but nature changes not to suit man's wishes, and days must end on the mountain top as well as in the valley. We returned to Mr. Franklin's house, thankful for what we had seen, but wishing that we could spend weeks roaming among the beauties of that mountain country."
Lanman, it seems, found this hidden spot, and, in his letters from the Alleghany Mountains, says of it:"I come now to speak of Linville Falls, which are situated on the Linville River, a tributary of the beautiful Catawba. They are literally embosomed among the mountains, and, long before seeing them, do you hear their musical roar. The scenery about them is as wild as it was a hundred years ago. Not even a pathway has been made to guide the tourist into the stupendous gorge where they reign supreme. At the point in question, the Linville is about one hundred and fifty feet broad; and, though its waters have come down their parent mountains at a most furious speed, they here make a more desperate plunge than they ever dared to attempt before, when they find themselves in a deep pool, and suddenly hemmed in by a barrier of gray granite, which crosses the entire bed of the river. In their desperation, however, they finally work a passage through the solid rock, and, after filling another hollow with foam, they
make a desperate leap of at least one hundred feet, and find a resting-place in an immense pool, which one might easily imagine to be bottomless. And then, as if attracted by the astonishing feats performed by the waters, a number of lofty and exceedingly fantastic cliffs have gathered themselves together in the immediate neighborhood, and are ever peering over each other's shoulders into the depths below. But, as the eye wanders from the surrounding cliffs, it falls upon an isolated column, several hundred feet high, around which are clustered, in the greatest profusion, the most beautiful of vines and flowers. This column occupies a conspicuous position a short, distance below the Falls, and it were an easy matter to imagine it a monument erected by nature to celebrate her own creative power.
"With a liberal hand, indeed, has she planted her forest trees in every imaginable place; but, with a view of even surpassing herself, she has filled the gorge with a variety of caverns, which astonish the beholder, and almost cause him to dread an attack from a brotherhood of spirits. But how futile is my attempt to give an adequate idea of the Linville Falls, and their surrounding attractions! When I attempted to sketch them, I threw away my pencil in despair; and I now feel that I should be doing my pen a kindness if I were to consume what I have written. I will give this paragraph to the world, however, trusting that those who may hereafter visit Linville Falls, will award to me a little credit for my will, if not for my deed."
The Falls are about five miles from Childsville, from which place buggies can go within half a mile of the Falls, but it is even best to ride all the way upon horseback. However, before the summer of 1859, a good carriage road will be made entirely to the bank of the river. Very fine views are to be obtained below the Falls from the high bluffs which rise for awhile on both sides, and at one point recede on the east side.
The cliff at this point, is called Bynum's Bluff, from the Hon. John Gray Bynum. The Hawk's Bill and Table-Rock stand immediately in front, and through the space between them is the far-distant prospect, while some twelve hundred feet, perpendicularly below, runs the Linville River. An idea may be formed of the height of these cliffs when it is known that Linville River runs nearly through the centre of a mountain of the same name, which is about five thousand feet above the level of the sea. I have never seen any place so well calculated to give one a good idea of height and depth; one seems to look into the bowels of the earth. Far, far down beneath us the eye traces by the rough rocks and want of trees the course of the Linville River, and a spy-glass enables one to see the troublous moving of its waters, but not a sound is heard to indicate the awful whirlpools which exist in the stream as it passes on in its rapid course.
A route which has in it much of beauty, would be up the North Cove; but, at this time, it can only be accomplished upon horses. There is a cave in the northern part of the valley until late almost unknown. The author, writing in the N. C. Presbyterian, said of this section and a visit to the cave:--
"On Tuesday morning, I left the house to explore a cave in the limestone formation, that extends through the cave, which was the chief object of my visit there. Having procured a guide, a little after 9 o'clock we entered the cave, and after proceeding about a quarter of a mile, came to water. Previous to this, nothing of a very remarkable nature had met with, but now began the wondrous splendors of that hidden world. Stooping through a low passage, in which the coldest of water ran rippling and singing a merry song, which echoed back a thousand times from the dark dismal arched roof of the unmeasured space which stretched itself before, behind, and above us, we emerged into an immense passage,
whose roof was far beyond the reach of the glare of our torches, except where the fantastic festoons of stalactites hang down within our touch. It looked like the arch of some grand old cathedral, yet it was too sublime, too perfect in all its beautiful proportions, to be anything of human, but a model which man might attempt to imitate. Passing along we would come to a huge figure, so horridly like the petrified skeleton of a human being, that as the fitful glimmering light cast a shade upon it, one would start back in horror. But a steadier shade exhibits it truly to our sight--nought but the working of nature, yet so perfect in its lineaments that it would take no great stretch of the imagination to think it a petrified remnant of the body of one of that departed race of giants, which fables tell us once strode over the land. Revelling in these horrid phantasies of the imagination, I touched it. How cold--icy cold! my hand was numbed by the contact. But I missed my guide, and turning, I noticed him far above me, ascending a kind of natural stairs. I soon followed, and through a hole, hardly large enough for my body, entered a chamber, which, in the gorgeous splendor of its transparent drapery, the beauty and delicate look of its carpeting, surpassed any natural scene I ever witnessed. I thought to myself that could one but hear the strains of delicious music, he might well conclude that the land of the fairies was reached at last. It was not a large, gross cavern, with dark, gloomy stalactites, but these pendants were of a delicate lightness, and a most beautifully transparent yellowish hue, while the floor was covered with a formation which more resembled white moss petrified than anything else I can compare it to. My guide was pushing himself about into the various passages far from me, and not a sound reached me but the sweet murmur of the rippling water, which, as it came echoing along through the thousand harp-strings which hang from the roofing, answered my imagination amply for the music of the fairy elfs, while my torch giving but light
enough to illumine the little room in which I sat, allowed my mind's eye to see hundreds of shapes dancing merrily in the thick darkness below. Had I but a picture of that scene, it should be an heirloom which I would pride in transmitting to an after generation, for I am convinced that never man stood on that spot before. Far beyond, half hanging on a ledge of rock, was my guide, looking more like a goblin from another world than a mortal creature of this, his face blackened with lightwood smoke, and his clothes covered with mud, his light held high above him, and his head stretched out in a searching glance into the pitchy darkness of a cavern which lay before him. Soon satisfied that he could see about as far as the end of his nose, he seized a rock and struck a huge stalactite near him, bringing forth a deafening, crashing sound, which, echoing through a hundred passages, rang like a chime of bells, and thus dispelled a fancy of mine whereby I was endeavoring to make him out a giant spirit of the goblin world. Soon with a bound or two he reached me, and announced the not very astounding fact that it was farther than he had ever been before, and that no one had ever been farther than he. His next was, 'Shall we go on?', to which I replied, 'To the end.' And on we went, sometimes in water up to our knees, then beside the stream as it rippled on, now stooping or crawling through a narrow passage, again standing erect in a vast arched chamber, hung with the grandest of nature's stony tapestry. Every little while we would turn aside and examine some finely adorned chamber, whose splendid carvings would so dazzle the eye that the last seemed always the most beautiful. At length my guide cried, 'Look out for your light!' and well I heard it, for just then my foot slipped, and I was in a pool of water about four feet deep, and about as near ice as I ever wish to see that element. As I was in, I kept on, holding a ledge of rock so as not to go any deeper, and soon the narrow passage opened into a good-sized chamber,
and the cave proper was at an end. There were several passages branching out, but all very small and difficult of access.
"Then I sat down on a sort of artificial seat which extended round the pool, which seemed to constitute the head of the stream of water we had been tracing, and thought for the first time of the peril I was in. But yet it did not seem to me as if there was anything to fear. There we were, under the centre of the Humpback Peak of the Blue Ridge, with at least 2500 feet of rock and earth above us, in a place where the foot of man had never before trod, with nothing but our own intelligence to tell us the road back, and how much that may have been bewildered, we know not. At length we turned our steps backward, and, after travelling rapidly for some time, reached the mouth of the cave. I suppose the length we went to could not have been less than a mile. The water has a slight taste of lime, and runs with great rapidity, occasionally standing in pools of some depth. About three or four hundred yards from the mouth of the cave it turns directly south, and sinks into the rock after a short distance. I found, far in the cave, a perfect grasshopper, petrified and covered with a crust of lime. We found bats, and traces of mice. So great was the change in the atmosphere, from the cave to open air, that all my clothing dried without the aid of fire.
"The general formation of the country in which the cave lies is limestone, and there have been found some beautiful specimens of marble. The blue marble abounds; and there is a quarry of white, which, if worked, would bring to light some good specimens. I was pointed to some good specimens of novaclite or honestone. There are a number of beautiful falls upon the North Fork, and the general scenery is wild and grand. The towering cliffs of the Linville and Blue Ridge, upon each side, add greatly to the scene. One fall is about fifty feet over a solid, perfectly even ledge of marble, polished
as smooth as glass by the action of the waters. The scenery is well worth a visit; but I would not advise any one to attempt the cave, though I think it affords some food for scientific research."
The land above the Falls, upon the Linville River, is very fertile; and in some spots upon its banks are the most beautiful valleys, of perfectly flat land, many hundred acres in extent. In one of these is found a species of white pine, noted for its great height without limbs. A scientific writer remarks, that in the Linville Cove is the only place, east of Oregon, that this pine is found.
This work of nature can, probably, be visited with less expense than any other noted spot in the West. It is impossible exactly to estimate the cost, as all depends on the number of the party, and the time spent there. The general charges are, however, about fifty cents for a man and horse one night.
WE have heretofore spoken of Asheville, and the beauties of its immediate surroundings; but, as it is the point which commands more of the attention of the Western tourist than perhaps any other, it may not be amiss to notice its vicinity more fully. Besides, too, there are in its vicinage points which are of great attraction and value to the West.
Five miles west of Asheville are to be found the Deaver White Sulphur Springs. Buildings, amply sufficient to accommodate a large number of persons, are here; and the author has assurances that, during the next summer, the establishment
will be kept in a style which a place of its value deserves. The waters of these Springs are of a valuable medicinal nature. There are two springs,--one, said to be blue sulphur, is not used; the other, white sulphur, has a high reputation. It is said to be equally efficacious with any of the Virginia Springs. We have at hand no correct analysis of the water. It partakes, however, in chief of sulphur, and a slight particle of iron, and, perhaps, a little magnesia. It is very cold and pleasant to the taste. It is said to have no superior in cases of dyspepsia, and it certainly gives one a most excellent appetite. The water is in such quantity that it can be carried to the house for bathing when desired. There is, not far off, a chalybeate spring.
The position of these Springs make them a delightful summer resort. There is always a pleasant, cool breeze stirring; and the thermometer stands about three degrees lower than in Asheville. The view, from almost any point of the grounds, is fine,--presenting, in front, the Blue Ridge and its spurs; in the west, Mount Pisgah, and the Haywood Mountains. From a little mount, called after the editor of the Charleston Courier--Mount Yeadon--a very fine view is to be had. From its summit, the town of Asheville, distant about seven miles, is to be seen. The view of the valley of Hommony Creek is extremely good, and enables one to form at a glance a correct idea of the supassing fertility of that region. It is about two and a half miles from the Springs, to the top of this little mountain. The traveller who visits Asheville will most certainly go to the Sulphur Springs; and, when there, a jaunt to Mount Yeadon is indispensable to the fall appreciation of the attractions of that section.
About twenty miles from Asheville, fifteen from the Sulphur Springs, is Mount Pisgah, a mountain of considerable height, but has not yet been much visited. The summit of this mountain is differently constructed from any surrounding
it. Beyond it is a large valley, perfectly locked in by high mountains, except where a small stream finds its way out. This valley is a famous range for stock, and is called the Pink Beds. Besides its peculiar construction--somewhat resembling an oblong tray, which alone should make it a place of interest--has an attraction still more inviting to some in the quantity of game found in its limits. Parties often leave Asheville and the Springs to spend a few days at this place. The little stream which flows through it, is said to be one of the best for mountain trout anywhere to be found. It is common for parties to catch five or six hundred. A pleasant and interesting trip for the tourist, sojourning at the Sulphur Springs, would be to this mountain and valley.
There is, about nine miles north of Asheville, a place which, though not yet in a condition to receive boarding visitors, nevertheless presents a prospect of being in the future a place of great resort, as it is now a remarkable curiosity and of great value. We allude to a number of newly discovered springs, which have been called by some the Million Springs. This name is derived from the large number of springs which flow out of the ground in the space of about an acre. They are beautifully situated in a cove between two ranges of mountains. As this place affords no permanent accommodations for visitors, it does not now command much of our attention. Many from Asheville ride out and spend the day, returning to that place at night. A beautiful horseback-ride is from Asheville to the Springs, thence to the top of the Bull Mount, through the stock-farm of Messrs. Woodfin, and on the mountain range back to Asheville. Many fine views of the valleys around are obtained in this way. The water at these Springs has never been fully analyzed, but they are known to be chiefly sulphur and chalybeate.
A fine chalybeate spring is found in a ride of about two
miles on the east of Asheville, in what is called Chunor's Cove.
There are many fine drives about Asheville, but that up the Swannanoa is, perhaps, the best. It is much resorted to in the cool evenings of summer. Another route, called the Beaver Dam Road, passes by some fine farms, and is a good road. Three or four miles down the French Broad is not an unpleasant ride, while it gives one a slight foretaste of the beauties beyond.
Now we shall speak of what may be called the greatest curiosity of the West,--the range called the Black Mountains. This range is peculiarly so called because of the dense growth of the balsam tree, with which it is covered, which gives it, when viewed in the distance, a black appearance. The fact, that these mountains have long been thought*
*The author has, not long since, seen it stated, that Professor Buckley, of New York, and Professor Lecompte, of South Carolina, accompanied by Hon. T. L. Clingman, measured a peak of the Smoky Mountains, in Jackson County, and found it higher, by twenty-six feet, than the Pinnacle of the Black. It is in a wild, almost undiscovered country though.
to be the highest land east of the Rocky Mountains, the beautiful views to be obtained from them, the singularity of the growth, and other causes, have made them an object of much interest. There is now a very good horse-road to the top, and ladies and gentlemen can with ease ascend the peak. Mr. Jesse Stepp's at the
*The author has, not long since, seen it stated, that Professor Buckley, of New York, and Professor Lecompte, of South Carolina, accompanied by Hon. T. L. Clingman, measured a peak of the Smoky Mountains, in Jackson County, and found it higher, by twenty-six feet, than the Pinnacle of the Black. It is in a wild, almost undiscovered country though.
foot of the mountains, is the point at which all travellers stop before beginning the ascent. Four miles up the mountain, just in the edge of the balsam growth, is the Mountain House. This house was built by a wealthy gentleman of Charleston, William Patton, Esq., as much for his own accommodation, and with a view to attract attention to the mountain, as any other cause. And, in fact, to his efforts, much of the attention of late drawn to the mountain scenery of Western North Carolina is due. This house is now kept as a public resort by Col. T. T. Patton, of Asheville, and will afford to the traveller as pleasant a stopping-place as he can find anywhere in the West. It is well in visiting the mountain, to spend at least one night there. Should the traveller choose, however, to stop at Mr. Stepp's, he will find that gentleman accommodating, and will do all in his power to make his visitors comfortable. All things connected with the mountain will, however, be much better arranged, and more for the comfort of visitors, during the next summer, than ever before. We would advise large parties going up to take saddles with them for use at the foot of the mountain. A few can be procured at Mr. Stepp's.
To visit the mountains from Asheville, a party should leave early, and go to the Mountain House that night, and the next day ascend to the High Peak, and return to Mr. Stepp's, or the Mountain House. Or, if they wish to spend a night on the High Peak, there is a comfortable cabin there for the accommodation of such tourists as wish to view the sunset and sunrise. The following are some extracts from the journal of a party who visited the mountain in this way:--
"Among the many scenes of interest with which this section is filled, none have attracted so much attention this year as the Black Mountains. The burial there of the great and good, the honored and beloved, does, perhaps, as much to influence the constant stream of visitors as the natural beauties of the mountains and their scenery. It is, in fact, almost
astonishing to note the number who have ascended to the highest peak of these mountains during the past two months, many of whom we know have gone there, like pilgrims at the shrine of Mecca, to look upon the last resting-place of one who was, by them, respected as a teacher, beloved as a friend, and honored as a man of science. Few of his pupils but loved him, and none such can visit his grave and the scene of his last labors upon earth without a feeling of reverence and shedding a tear when thinking of his sudden and lonely death.
"It was to visit this scene that a party left the town of Asheville, on Monday, the 16th of August last. Passing over the incidents by the way, I shall land our party at Mr. Stepp's, the foot of the mountain, late that day. This might be made a lovely spot, and were it so, would command more transient visitors, and no doubt a number of regular boarders. Nature, however, has done everything, art nothing. With the exception of Mr. Stepp's little improvement, the woods, the creeks, and all nature stand in their primitive and lovely, but yet rough grandeur, seeming to invite, by their neglected condition, the hand of skill and taste. It is a sweet little glen, the high mountains rising on all sides, save one, in grim solemnity, as if they stood guardians over the peaceful stillness which ever reigns in that vale of nature's loveliness. The only sound that comes to the ear, breaking the sweet stillness, is the music of the waters of the Upper Swannanoa, that 'loveliest river of our sunny southern clime,' in whose ripplings, nature,--setting us an example,--sings her never-ending praises to the great Creator.
"On Tuesday morning we left Mr. Stepp's for the mountains, our party consisting of four ladies, five gentlemen, a lad of about ten years, two guides, and a servant. Having resolved to spend the night upon Mitchell's High Peak, so as to witness the sunset and sunrise, we made the ascent very leisurely, stepping at various points to obtain views or for rest. About
one o'clock the party reached Otey's Cabin,--so called from Bishop Otey, who was lately upon the mountain at the burial of the Rev. Dr. Mitchell; there all dismounted, took a good long rest of more than two hours, and ate dinner. Here I might pause to analyze our company, and somewhat strange, though all were brought together by accidental circumstances, there was first a Presbyterian minister, six members of the same church, all the others born in that denomination and favoring its precepts. Our dinner consisted of cold chicken, bacon roasted on sharp-pointed sticks, corn bread and biscuit, and pickles; of course we had them, as there were ladies along; sweet creatures, they must have something sour. Now, the thought has just struck me, perhaps that is the reason most of them like to get married. Our dinner was eaten, some standing, some lying, and others sitting, but none in silence, and was washed down with water from a spring, in which the mercury stands at 45 deg. Near the spring is a precipice, which might very appropriately be named the jumping-off place. Upon a clear day it affords a fine view of the country around the upper waters of the South Ton River.
"After all had rested to their hearts' content, the horses and mules were brought into requisition, and off we started. In about an hour we reached the top of Mitchell's Peak, as almost every one now knows, the highest point east of the Mississippi. After a short pause at the grave of him whose name the mountains perpetuate, and whose earnest efforts were ever directed to the revealing of their wonders, the party passed on a little down the east side of the peak to a cabin, where, in a room 12 by 16 feet, we were to lodge for the night. A fire had been kindled, which was found by no means uncomfortable, as most of the party had been in a shower of rain. Forthwith one set to work drying boots and shoes, others bringing wood, some resting, and one industrious young lady took it upon herself to wash sundry tin pans, cups, spoons, &c., which were
found in the cabin, they being there for the use of all travellers. Preparations for supper were made, the eatables examined, and the universal question, 'What shall we have for supper?' answered; the teakettle, too, was put on the fire, and soon the water inside was singing a merry song.
"The sun, which had been throughout the day hid behind a gloomy mass of clouds, at length burst the misty fetters which held its loveliness, and the fact was announced to the party that he was retiring from the scene of his almost fruitless labors, amid a mass of glory and splendor, which well compensated for the want of his presence during the day. The whole eastern sky was a blaze of crimson, of richest, most delicate tint; not, a sound disturbed the sublime stillness which reigned around that mountain top. The valleys all about were dark and gloomy with the fast deepening shades of night; here and there a milky cloud, like an emblem of purity, rested over some far distant cove; all was twilight and darkness, save on that peak: the sun seemed to linger for it alone. Slowly that blood-red ball of fire began its descent; it began to disappear faster and faster; it faded away suddenly with a rapid whirl; like the sinking ship, it buried itself in the dark vista which bounded that sea of glory, and was gone. The thought struck me, how, like many a Christian's life, had been that day and that sunset. Full of troubles, care, and toil, in the morning, the noon, and evening of life, yet when its night came, and the sun of mortal existence must set, as the friends gather round to witness its setting, how are they dazzled by the halo of glory which surrounds the Christian's couch, and awe-struck with the calm serenity which pervades that scene wherein he yields to earth that which came from it, to God that which He gave unto him. The sun of his mortal existence fades away forever, but the spiritual rises into another world as calmly and as gradually as it fades from our view, but leaves
behind, in the memory of good deeds and the example of that dying hour, a long, lasting reflection of its own virtues.
"The sun had passed from sight, but not so its beauties. Long, long we sat and watched the varying forms which the sprinkling of clouds assumed. Now we had a grand old castle. Suddenly its walls would topple down at the approach of a well-horned goat, who pushed towards it with fierce intent; then all was smooth and plain, seeming to be prepared for a race between two gigantic characters, who appeared on the scene at rapid strides, but suddenly they dissolved themselves into a monkey and a kangaroo. Soon up came the goat again, and seemed bent on butting a lion out of his path; but the calculations of the whole company were disturbed by a sudden change of the whole into a view of a town, with houses, steeples, and trees. Thus, for an hour, dazzled with the lovely crimson-orange glow which overspread the sky, and cast its soft reflection upon the white clouds below us, amazed with the glorious splendor of the whole scene, we sat, allowing the imagination to play, conjuring up picturings amid the transmutations which rapidly and strangely occurred around the burial-place of day's departed light. Words cannot describe such a scene, or give an idea of the feelings it inspires. The mind is bewildered. Entranced in the enrapturing sensations which the vision of loveliness inspires, one seems to have left the several things of this lower earth to dwell with celestial purity, the paradisial loveliness of supernal creations; and, for a time, to lose a thought of aught but the scene around us. We are reminded, however, that we are beings of an earthly and perishable world; but, by a proper respect for His precepts here below, we may attain to a never-ending world of loveliness where every day and hour is a rising sun of glory and peace, and unalloyed bliss.
"Early the morning all rose and hastened to the top, to see the sun rise, but it was enveloped in cloud. The disappointment
was fully made up in the perfect ocean of clouds which covered the whole face of nature around and beneath us. Here and there stuck out a mountain top, like an island in a sea of foam. So purely, intensely white were these clouds, they were not snow-like, for they rivalled the eider down in softness and lovely delicacy. No comparison could do them justice. The sun at length rose, above the clouds, and cast over them the faintest, most delicate tinge of crimson; but the stern realities of every-day life had too much clipped the crimson freshness of its youth, to leave but a faint trace of the lovely purity which graced its infant moments.
"Breakfast, and then to horse again. After walking about half a mile, the ladies were all safely mounted, and we commenced the descent in earnest. As an incident of our journey, a fine buck crossed the path in a few feet of some of the party. The hunter of our company failed to get a shot at him, so he lost his deer, and we our venison. We proceeded rather slowly down the mountain, and reached Mr. Stepp's about 12 o'clock."
Since the above was written, however, a company has been formed to build a turnpike from Asheville to the top of the mountain; and visitors will, no doubt, have the pleasure hereafter of viewing the scenery in a more comfortable way than on horseback.
The place where the Rev. Dr. Mitchell lost his life is almost inaccessible, and but few persons have ever been there. It is distant from the summit about three miles, in a westerly direction. Of the route to it, a writer who has been there, says:"It required no little nerve to undertake the descent to such a place, along such a wilderness way, especially at that time of day, and when we knew that a dreadful storm had passed over that side of the mountain only an hour or two before, and, even then, there appeared to be one between us and the Falls. Before we commenced descending, we were told that it is the
worst wilderness,--there is no road or foot-path there, and in some places not even so much as a bear-trail,--over which man ever trod; but we could have formed no conception of the wildness, terribleness, and exceeding great hardships of the descent beforehand, no, not the faintest. No tongue, no language, nothing, except bitter experience, can give the reader anything like the remotest idea of what we saw and suffered, on that never-to-be-forgotten evening."
We would advise all readers to let the experience of others satisfy them, and not to attempt it.
Perhaps the grandest, and, at the same time most terrible, scene to be witnessed on the mountain is a thunderstorm. We were upon its summit once at such a time; and, while we would gladly look upon its like again, the blood chills within us as we think of its awful splendor. Each rock around and beneath us, seemed a sheet of fire at each flash of lightning. Anon it would blaze forth its forked chain in some cloud far beneath us, then glancing upwards it next sent its shivering dart into some noble tree upon a distant peak. While it played its vivid fancies about us, darkness came on, and then its splendor was doubled. But the thunder! we have often thought that if a thousand mountain tops were to come tumbling, crashing down upon the valley, they could not give half an idea of the awful grating of that thunder upon the top of the Black Mountain. It seemed to strike into one's inmost depth, piercing every nerve and throbbing upon every sinew. One should be there in such a time to feel truly its awful sublimity. But there are few who can witness this terrific pyrotechny of heaven with a steady nerve. We have never known any one, not even the hardy mountaineers, who did not shudder when recalling to mind such a scene. One thinks of Phaeton's fiery course, and has, somewhat like him, to risk his life to feel and see that sublimest blaze of glory and grandeur.
THERE is another mountain in Yancey, which, from the similarity of its tree-growth, and its great altitude, will arrest the attention of the traveller, in connection with the Black. We allude to the Roan, situated in the western part of the county. The best route to reach it is from Carson's, on the Catawba, or Marion, by turnpike, to Mr. R. B. Penland's, at Flat Rock; thence to the foot of the Roan, at Bakersville, where buggies must be left, and a general resort to horseback made. Mr. J. A. Pearson's, at Bakersville, is the nearest house to the foot of the Roan. One considerable attraction of this mountain is the great bald spot upon its summit; it being two or three miles long, with almost no tree-growth, but covered with the best of grass. The view from this mountain is said to be the most extensive and beautiful in the West. Its situation, overlooking the valley of East Tennessee, would seem to warrant this assertion. All who visit it seem to agree in this opinion. It is much visited from Tennessee. The junior editor of the N. C. Standard, who visited it in 1857, speaking of his visit, says:--
"A ride of four miles brought us to the foot of the mountain, where we commenced the ascent. From the foot to the top is about three miles. The ascent, along a little trail, is very steep. The mountaineers ride all the way up; but, with a tender regard for the interests of the N. C. Life Insurance Company, I preferred to walk and lead my horse, well-knowing that, if I should break my neck, the aforesaid company would suffer. To one unaccustomed to climbing mountains, the
fatigue is very great. I walked and panted, frequently stopping to rest; but 'Cross-Roads' seemed just as much at his ease as on a level road. The only signs of civilization I noticed on the ascent were the fragments of a broken bottle and the stump of a cigar.
"After something over an hour's climbing, we stood upon the top of the Roan. A single glance compensated for all the fatigue of getting there. The eye swept over a comparatively level prairie, several miles in extent, covered with grass, with huge rocks and patches of the balsam fir tree at intervals diversifying the scenery. Over this broad expanse many cattle graze during the summer months. Viewed from a distance, this bald summit presents an appearance from which it takes its name,--the Roan. Of all the mountains I have ever seen this is the most beautiful. Others are grander, more sublime, and more impressive; but none are so pleasing, so romantic, and so charming.
"Riding to a convenient point, we turned our horses loose to graze, and walked up to what is called the Bluff. Standing on the huge rocks, on the brink of a precipice, down which you gaze upon the mass of green foliage a thousand feet below, one feels a wild desire to hurl himself from his position and fall into the lap of nature spread so sweetly, and apparently so softly, in the depths on which he looks. Over this Bluff the clouds were flying, frosting our garments with their mist, and hurrying on to the rendezvous of the elements of some future storm. As far as the eye could reach, mountain rose over mountain. Their sides, and the valleys between them dotted with farms, looking like naked islands in the ocean of deep green foliage. It is impossible for language to convey an idea of the beauty of the scene to one who has never looked upon it, or something similar to it.
"Over the Bluff rushes a strong current of air, restrained, as it were, in the semicircular valley below, and madly rising
over the cliff. Here you may attempt to throw your hat over the precipice, without the least danger of doing so. The wind will whirl it back, carrying it over your head, far down upon the prairie, or lodging it among the dense growth of dwarf balsam firs.
"About a mile from the Bluff is a large rock, the top of which Prof. Guyot makes the highest point of the Roan, about 6300 feet above the level of the ocean. Passing by a dense forest of the balsam fir, which we penetrated, and from which we cut some canes, and gathered some beautiful moss, we rode to this rock.
"Near this rock runs the line between the States of North Carolina and Tennessee. We rode over in to the latter State, viewed the scenery around, returned to what is called the Big Avery Spring, mixed our bitters with some of its cold water, ate our dinner, again went up on the Bluff and took another view, and reluctantly commenced our descent. At nine o'clock that night we reached the village of Burnsville, where we ate a hearty supper, and got a good night's sleep."
Comparing the Roan and the Black, he says:--
"One leaves the top of the Roan with feelings of love, an appreciation of beauty, a glow of romance warming the soul with ideas of unutterable poetry; but he quits the Black with a wild sense of strife, an impression of the sublime and rugged, the tremendous reality of life. The lover may stand on the Roan and sigh forth sentimental sonnets; but the soldier may stand on the Black and feel the kindlings of his soul for the din of battle. Could I see but one of them, I would prefer the Roan."
The Great Bald Mountain, about nine miles west of the town of Burnsville, in Yancey County, is also worthy of some notice; but it is almost inaccessible, except to the most hardy tourist. The bald spot upon its summit is about three hundred acres. It also presents a fine view of the valley of East
Tennessee. Persons wishing to visit it, go from Burnsville to Mr. Prophet's, at the foot of the mountain, where horses must be left, as there is nothing but a mere footpath up the mountain and that very steep. Unless one wishes to see all the country, it is useless to visit both the Roan and the Great Bald. To one so inclined, it will well repay the trouble of a visit.
THE French Broad River will command very urgently the attention of the tourist who visits Asheville. The scenery upon this river is widely known, and is ever admired by those who have seen it. This river was called, in the Indian, Tockeste, or Racer. It derived its present name thus: In the early settlement of the country, a party of hunters left what was then Mecklenburg for the mountains. They named the first river they came to First Broad, the next Second Broad, and the third Main Broad. Arriving at the foot of the mountains, a portion of the party stopped; the other part crossed the Gap, and, going down a creek, in what is now Buncombe and Henderson, called it Cane Creek, on account of the quantity of cane at its mouth. The stream into which it empties they called French's Broad, after the captain of their party.
The Henderson portion of this river is not much known to the tourist, as, except near its source, where it is in almost a wild state, there is nothing very striking about it. The fine farms upon its banks, however, make it an object of interest to the agriculturist. There have been of late many beautiful
private residences placed upon the upper waters, and it is gradually becoming known to the world. That portion below Asheville is what we shall principally treat of; and we know of no better plan of bringing its beauties before our readers than by extracts from scattering pieces which have been heretofore published. The first is from an article in the Southern Quarterly Review:--
"We shall never forget, though we shall be quite unable to describe the effect made upon ourselves, the first sights and sounds of this sublime passage. We travelled by night from Asheville, on the route to the Warm Springs. We reached the river along whose margin thence the road proceeds, about the dawn of day. In the vague and misty twilight the first flashings of the foaming torrent rose in sight; and, as the opposite shores could not be distinguished at that early hour, and in consequence of the heavy mist which overhung them, the illusion was perfect which persuaded us that we were once more on the borders of the great Atlantic Sea. These curling, flashing, white billows, reeking up and rolling over, and wallowing one after another, upon the shore, were the combing surfs upon our sandy islets along the eastern coast. The illusion was wonderfully aided by the deep and solemn roar of the perpetually chiding billows. They were the identical voices of the sea that we heard,--as if these themselves were not properly natives of the deep, but mountain voices, torn away from their proper homes, and perpetually wailing their exode in a chant which is mournful enough to be that of exile.
"It was only in the full breadth of day that we could scan the boundaries beyond, and justly appreciate the wild grandeur of the route along which we sped. Our road, an excellent one for the mountains, is cut out along the very margin of the river. Occasionally there is no ledge to protect you from the steep. The track does not often admit of two carriages abreast; and huge, immovable boulders sometimes contract,
to the narrowest measures, the pathway for the single one. You wind along the precipice with a perpetual sense of danger, which increases the sublimity of the scene. The river, meanwhile boils, and bounds, and rages at your feet, tossing in strange writhings over the fractured masses of the rock, plunging headlong with a groan, into great cavities between; now fretting over a long line of barrier masses, now leaping with a surging hiss, down sudden steeps which it approaches unprepared. Beyond, you note the, perpendicular heights, stern, dark, jagged, impending a thousand feet in air.
"You find yourself suddenly in a cavernous avenue: look up, and behold an enormous boulder, thrust out from the mountain sides, banging completely over you like, a mighty Atlantean roof, but such a roof as threatens momently to topple down, in storm and thunder, on your head. And thus, with a sense keenly alive to the startling aspects in the forms around you, the superior grandeur of the heights, the proofs which they everywhere present that the volcano and the torrent have but recently done their work of convulsion and revolution, you hurry on for miles, relieved occasionally by scenes of a strangely sweet beauty in the stream; where the valleys are calm; where they no longer hiss, and boil, and rage, and roar, in conflict with the masses whose bonds they have broken; and where, leaping away into an even and unruffled flow, they seem to sleep in lakes whose edges bear fringes of flowery vines and the loveliest floral tangles, from which you may pluck at seasons the purplest berries, drooping to the very lips of the waters.
"Sometimes those seeming lakes gather about the prettiest islets, such as prompt you to fancy abodes such as the English fairies delighted to explore, and where, indeed, the Cherokee has placed a class of spirits, with strange mysterious powers, who were acknowledged to maintain a singular influence over the red man's destinies. A landscape painter, of real talent, would find along the two great stems of the French Broad, a
thousand pictures, far superior to anything ever yet gathered from the banks of the Hudson, or the groups of the Catskill."
Upon this river is situated that famous and marvellous work of nature,--the Warm Springs. They are very valuable as to medicinal properties, both as a bath and for drinking. In the fall of 1858, the author forwarded a quantity of the water to Prof. W. J. Martin, of Chapel Hill, who, in reply, says of it:--
"I analyzed the water, qualitatively, the day after I got it, and found in it free carbonic acid, free sulphuretted hydrogen, carbonic acid in combination with lime, sulphuric acid also in combination with lime, and a trace of magnesia. It is possible that the original water may be richer, and a portion of the gases may have escaped before it got to me, as the sealing of the jug was broken." The water was not analyzed quantitatively because Prof. Martin's letter failed to reach the author in time.
The editor of the Asheville Spectator visited these springs in 1858, and said of them and the French Broad,--
"Every person who has ever visited our mountains, and also those of Virginia, has yielded the palm of beauty, if not, too, of sublimity, to our scenery. And it will ever remain an undisputed fact that our own mineral waters are as beneficial to the diseased system as waters of like kind in Virginia. None deny the infallible efficacy of our Warm Springs in cases of rheumatism and like diseases. It is universally acknowledged that, except in the Hot Springs of Arkansas, they have no rival. To this lovely spot we have lately paid a visit, and can add our testimony to that of hundreds of others as to the healing qualities its tepid waters.
"For nearly thirty miles the high frowning mountains press themselves into the waters of the French Broad River, leaving on one side a track hardly wide enough for a carriage-way. Suddenly the southwest bank recedes, and a level plain, of considerable extent, meets the traveller's eye. Near the middle
of this plain is a lovely grove, in which is seen the hotel. A few yards in front roll on, in unceasing turbulence, the long pent-up waters of the French Broad. The wild grandeur of the scenery, which constantly demands the traveller's eye along the river, is famous, wherever the beautiful in nature is admired.
"The Warm Springs Hotel is now owned by Dr. J. A. McDowell. As it was our first visit to the Springs, we know not how it has heretofore been; but, if the present is a type of the future, the traveller for health, or for pleasure, will ever find them an antidote for sickness, and a most pleasant retreat from. the cares and toils of business. It has been our good fortune to have been at many watering-places, but never at one where the comfort of the visitor was more looked to by the proprietor; and where, all things taken into consideration, the inner and outer man fared better. Every accommodation for bathing is rendered which is possible. There is, beside the warm spring-bath, a fine shower and plunge-bath, supplied with water from one of our pure cold mountain streams. So, therefore, the invalid may find near to him that which he needs; and the man of health, by a short walk, can still further invigorate his system.
"The Warm Springs present more attractions, leaving out of view the invalid, to the seeker of pleasure, than probably any watering-place in the South--certainly in this section. In front and around the hotel runs the French Broad, where he may fish; while, if he would grace his book with that daintiest of the finny tribe--if our readers will pardon us, the Venus de Medici of fishes--the speckled trout of the mountains, he has them in a ride over the mountains of four or five miles. And, should he be a good marksman, and luck favor him, he can, with a little trouble, carry home the antlers of a Carolina buck. With these and many other attractions, we defy any one to stay there without enjoying himself. We need not speak of
the beautiful and grand mountain scenery,--it must be visited to be appreciated; its beauties cannot be described, nor can the awe which inspires one in beholding its solemn grandeur be conceived.
"Through the politeness of Dr. McDowell, we visited the Boiling, or Limestone Spring,--quite a curiosity in its way. This Spring is perceptibly impregnated with lime, but not so much so as to be unpleasant to the taste. Quite a large stream is formed from its boils. It is one mile and a half from the Warm Spring."
Another writer says:"No one should visit Asheville without taking a ride down the French Broad River, to the Warm Springs, in, Madison County. The turnpike road is excellent, the river beautiful, and the scenery on both sides wild and grand. The public houses, too, are very good. At one of them, Baird's, there is a first rate chalybeate spring; and, if any invalid needs that kind of water, and desires a quiet, rural place, and the best of eatables, let him go there. They catch large red horse-fishes all along the road, and know just how they ought to be served up to suit the most fastidious appetite.".."The Warm Springs, every one must admit, are the most curious and remarkable phenomena in nature; just think of it,--they are right on the bank of the French Broad River, not more than ten steps from that wide stream of pure, cool, freestone water, and still the water of these springs ranges in temperature from 98° to 102°. One side of the plantation on which they are situated, is covered with springs of freestone water, and the other, with springs of limestone water, so that these springs must be on the dividing line between these different kinds of water. Some have conjectured that this is the cause of this water being of such a temperature. It is a sovereign cure for persons afflicted with rheumatism."
Lanman, in his"Alleghany Mountains," writes of them:
"I come now to speak of the Warm Springs, which are thirty-six
miles from Asheville, and within six of the Tennessee line. Of the springs themselves there are some half a dozen, but the largest is covered with a house, and divided into two equal apartments, either one of which is sufficiently large to allow of a swim. The temperature of the water is 105° ; and it is a singular fact that rainy weather has a tendency to increase the heat, but it never varies more than a couple of degrees. All the springs are directly on the southern margin of the French Broad River. The water is clear as crystal, and so heavy that even a child may be thrown into it with little danger of being drowned. As a beverage, the water is quite palatable; and it is said that some people can drink a number of quarts per day, and yet experience none but beneficial effects. The diseases which it is thought to cure are palsy, rheumatism, and cutaneous affections; but they are of no avail in curing pulmonic or dropsical affections. The Warm Springs are annually visited by a large number of fashionable and sickly people from all the Southern States, and the proprietor has comfortable accommodations for more than two hundred and fifty persons."
Situated immediately on the banks of the French Broad, there is almost always a breeze stirring. The yard is beautifully shaded and well set in handsome grass. As a resort, especially for the latter part of summer, it has no superior in any State.
There is a seeming strangeness in the French Broad, in its course from Asheville to the Springs, which has often been remarked. Some think that the same quantity of water does not pass the Springs which passes the town of Asheville, and a mere glance would seem to warrant the supposition. That there may be some unknown suck-hole, is not unreasonable, considering its approach to the limestone formation, where such things are so common.
The Warm Springs are reached, by stage from Asheville, in thirty-five miles,--one of the best lines in the country. It
leaves Asheville early in the morning, and reaches the Springs to dinner. By the same means they can be visited from Greenville, Tennessee, in twenty-five miles; at that point the stage connects with the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. Fare from Asheville, $3 50. A pleasant trip, for the tourist, would be from the Warm Springs to the valley of East Tennessee, and up to the Holston Spring, on the borders of Virginia; thence back through North Carolina, or returning through Virginia, by the cities of Lynchburg and Richmond. The whole route, from Asheville to Greenville, Tennessee is travelled in daylight. The coaches are large and comfortable, the drivers careful and accommodating, and the road good.
IN the section of country which we have run over, there are many pleasant places at which the seeker for health may sojourn with comfort and benefit, and the while be away from the dust and bustle of town. To persons who desire quiet and rest for the wearied body, such places are far preferable to, the towns, and more general public resorts.
First among such places we mention Carson's, near Pleasant Gardens, on the Catawba. We have before mentioned this place. It has, perhaps, more attractions than any other. About two miles, up the creek is a fine Sulphur Spring, to which is a beautiful road. One, however, as a place of rest, will be perfectly content with the immediate place of abode. We have never seen any place which conveyed so good an idea of perfect repose as this. The yard is beautifully adorned with
grass of the richest green, and shaded with the loveliest evergreens, even the dark balsam of the Black Mountains. Did one want to live out his days in sweet content, amid fancied picturings of paradisial beauty, I know of no place better suited to the taste than this residence. A writer says of it:--
"That night we spent with Col. Carson, who lives on the bank of Elk Creek. His residence filled our eyes full. It is in the midst of the mountains, and his dwelling-house is embowered amid large and magnificent old forest trees, and stands only a rod from the clear and rippling Elk. Poet could not fancy, nor artist paint a dwelling-place, which, if real, could more completely satisfy the human heart."
We may mention, with equal commendation, another locality upon the same road, some few miles nearer the Gap than Carson's, Gen. A. Burgin's, Old Fort Post-Office. There is no pleasanter place anywhere than his house. Excellent accommodations for the inner and the outer man are provided; and the mountains and river furnish ample means for recreation and pleasure.
Another place of considerable attractions is Mr. R. B. Penland's at what is called Flat Rock, in Yancey County. This location is immediately on the road to the Roan Mountain. I know of no place where a guest will be more attentively looked to than there. The table is as good as the mountains afford, while the sojourner may rest assured that its contents are well and cleanly done up. A look within and around the house is sufficient to make the traveller feel that he will be comfortably attended to. A writer says of this place:"I left Childsville yesterday morning, and it has done nothing but rain almost ever since. It bids fair though to be a pretty sunset this evening. But I believe the sun always sets fair here. I am now at the residence of Mr. R. B. Penland, called, among the people here, Flat Rock, and as pleasant a spot to be at as any I know of. The situation of the place itself is delightful. From
a position, near the house, the Roan Mountain is seen on the west, and the Black Mountains on the southeast.
"The sun is setting beautifully. From where I am sitting I can see it fade far, far away, and the sky is covered with that magnificent crimson tinge so peculiar to mountain sunsets. The crest of the towering Roan is covered with a cap of clouds, which change their milky hue for a lovely delicate purple; and, leaving everything in a panorama of beauty, and the softness of repose, the sun sinks to rest behind the gilded crests of the mountains. How truly might it be said that,
The thick-sown glories in this field of fire,
Perhaps a seraph's computation fails.'
This house is reached from Carson's in about twenty-four miles. No person, visiting the Roan, should fail to stop at least one night there. To boarders the charge is moderate, not only there, but all over the country.
Upon the French Broad, there are at least two houses at which the traveller will find himself most agreeably entertained,--Mr. A. E. Baird's at Marshall, in Madison County, and Mr. A. Alexander's, twelve miles from Asheville. The first has been before mentioned, and it cannot be commended too highly. Situated within a few feet of the French Broad, one can sit upon the piazza and look on the unceasing flow of its waters, and, on retiring to rest, be lulled to sleep by their soft musical murmur. It is situated twenty miles from Asheville, and fifteen from the Warm Springs. A good place to dine, even if one does not care to stop longer. There is an excellent chalybeate spring, a short walk from the house, the water of which is superior to any we ever tasted. Mr. Alexander's is similarly situated on the banks of the river. It is the breakfast and supper house for the stage, and the fame of the table is extensive and invariably favorable. There
is a chalybeate spring two miles and a half from the house. Mr. Alexander is an attentive landlord.
On the Swannanoa, Mr. George Alexander's is a pleasant stopping-place. It is twelve miles from Asheville, situated very prettily, and with a very good view on all sides.
Mr. Sherrill's, on the Hickory-Nut Gap road, near the top of the mountain, is a very pleasant place, and affords a fine view. It is about fifteen miles from Asheville. It is a cool, pleasant place in summer.
Mr. Washington Harris's, on the same road, has a very high reputation as a stopping-place. It is there one should stop to visit the beauties of the Gap. The beauties of the scenery around his house have been before spoken of. A fine view of all of it can be had from his house. His table is always well supplied, and his guests made comfortable in every way possible. His house is twenty-three miles from Asheville, and fifteen from Rutherfordton.
There are other places of stoppage, which have been heretofore mentioned, at which the traveller, can linger as long as taste or fancy may dictate, and will not find himself tired unless so of good eating and excellent accommodations.
WHEN the tourist arrives at Asheville, he often hears that portion of the table land west of Asheville, spoken of under the name of Western Counties. In this term are included the counties of Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Cherokee;
and although the tourist may not feel inclined to go into this, to many natives of our State, unknown region, we cannot close without devoting to them a brief chapter, as their merits, viewed as to agricultural and mineral wealth, and as to beauty of scenery, demand it. These four counties cover an extent of country at least one hundred and sixty miles long, and averaging about sixty in width. Within this extent are some of the grandest mountains and loveliest rivers that the eye ever rested on.
The traveller leaves Asheville and travels up the valley of Hommony Creek, to the sources of that stream; there it crosses the mountain; and so much higher is the general face of the country in Haywood than in Buncombe, that it is with only a slight descent he finds himself upon the banks of Pigeon River, with the broad, fertile fields of its valley stretched out for miles before his eye. Crossing the river, in two miles, he reaches Mr. Patton's, a stopping-place, where the traveller will find himself well accommodated, and well fed. Ten miles further, and thirty miles from Asheville, is the town of Waynesville. There are several hotels here; the only one with which we are acquainted is Mr. Moody's, where the traveller will find himself well cared for. In a short walk from this place is an excellent white sulphur spring; and should that section of country be ever opened, to railroad communication, the beautiful situation of the town and its many attractive surroundings, will make it a place of much resort. The Balsam Mountain is plainly seen from this place. It is the only peak, besides the Roan and the Black, which has the balsam growth upon it.. A pleasant trip, for one who has the time, is up Pigeon River, there to spend a few days or weeks in fishing for trout and bunting deer, and viewing the fine scenery around the head of that stream. It is worth a trip up there to see the crops growing in the valley; and its inhabitants
are as hospitable and intelligent as any portion of that section.
Leaving Waynesville, the tourist, if alone, can linger leisurely along the road; but, if he has company, an early start and no lagging, will, in a drive of forty miles, allow him to reach Franklin, the county-seat of Macon. All along the road the watchful eye will detect many fine views. In this day's travel, he passes entirely through the county of Jackson, a long, narrow county, rich in minerals and fertile soil, but, as yet, almost entirely unnoticed. In the northern end of the county, a large number of the Cherokee Indians still reside; and the tourist who chooses to visit them, can do so by taking, at Webster, the road to Quallah Town. There he will meet with the former Indian Agent, W. H. Thomas, Esq., who will take pleasure in showing the visitor not only the Indians, but anything else of interest in his county.
At Franklin, the traveller can pause awhile, as there he will find a pleasant place and intelligent people. It has two churches, Methodist and Presbyterian; and two hotels,--one in the centre of the town is immediately on the street, and is kept by W. N. Allman; the other, in a retired, quiet spot, at the western end of the town, is situated in a beautiful grove of trees, kept by Mr. Jesse Tiler. From Franklin the tourist can visit the Falls of the Chulsagee, or Sugar Fork of Tennessee River, and the Whiteside Mountain, which we have heretofore mentioned. These Falls are said to be a very sublime and beautiful work of nature. The Falls of the Tuckasegee River, in Jackson County, are thought, by many, to surpass in beauty anything of the kind they have ever seen. These last though are difficult to get to.
Leaving Franklin, the tourist who wishes to go farther, will cross the Nantahala Mountains, and, in twenty miles, reach Mr. Munday's, on the banks of a stream of the same name. It is our opinion that no prettier stream exists on earth than
this. Had the poet, who sung of Swannanoa, as"the loveliest river of our sunny southern clime," seen it, he would have placed Nantahala in the highest position. It is very famous for the immense number of speckled trout caught in its waters, and Mr. Munday's is the place to get them served up nicely. Leaving Mr. Munday's, unless the traveller chooses to pause there a day or two, a ride of ten miles, across the Valley Town Mountain, brings him to Mr. Walker's, on the headwaters of Valley River. And we know of no more pleasant place to spend any length of time than there. Without disparagement to any other, we know of no place where one is better cared for, either in point of appetite or rest. A ride of eighteen miles, immediately on the banks of the Valley River, will land us at Murphy, the county-town of Cherokee. And here he must pause, for a few more miles will take him to Tennessee or Georgia. Returning, the traveller may, at Mr. Walker's, take the Tuckasegee turnpike, and pass over a country entirely new and very interesting, leaving Franklin to the right. By this route, he passes immediately by the Marble Mountain, Blowing Cave and Quallah Town.
A writer, in the N. C. Presbyterian, says of the route to Franklin:--
"Beyond the ridge, the bold precipitous features are more rare. There is less of grandeur, but more of beauty. The rugged rocks give way to gentler declivities covered with heavier forests below; while higher up the sides, and upon the summits, the sombre fir, or balsam tree, so called, adds interest to the prospect. Or, more rarely, they are entirely destitute of anything but the barren sedge upon the highest peaks. Nor are they found in such long continuous ranges, but stand about in groups of a few miles in diameter. We might mention the Balsam, or Scotch Creek Mountains, the Richland, the Cowee, the Nantahala, with others whose local names were not gathered. Beyond Asheville, in the counties
of Haywood, Jackson, and Macon, to which may be added Henderson, south of Buncombe, and Buncombe itself, there are many beautiful and exceedingly fertile tracts of country, whose rich virgin soil yields a large harvest of the natural crops. These tracts generally lie along the banks of rivers unheard of by the dwellers in the middle and eastern part of the State. Who has heard, for instance, of the beautiful Pigeon River, glancing along in the sunlight almost as swiftly as the bird whose name it bears? Who has heard of the Tuckasegee? or who remembers that there is a respectable Tennessee river in our State? And yet they are there, murmuring on, in their hasty flight, to mingle their crystal waters with the mighty Mississippi. And there are little villages, embosomed in the mountains, whose very names are unfamiliar to us. Of course everybody has heard of Asheville, romantically situated, and tastefully built among the hills, hard by the beautiful Swannanoa and the dashing French Broad, and many bear witness to the taste, polish, and, above all, the warm-hearted hospitality of its inhabitants. But everybody has not yet learned that Waynesville, in Haywood County, is surrounded by as beautiful scenery as can be found in the State. When art shall have done as much for it as nature has, it will be a gem of the mountains. On the west, the Balsam range of mountains hems it in, and Bald Mountain, with his head wrapped in clouds, stands sentinel near by, and frowns across the valley at his neighbors; and other nameless peaks swell up in every direction. A few miles on this side of Franklin, there is a new experience for the traveller. It is the ascent and descent of Cowee Mountain. The turnpike winds gracefully around it, or strikes out in bold, zigzag lines, with the mountain on one side, and frightful chasms or gorges gaping on the other. A few feet here would make all the difference in the world in the selection of a standing-point. Near Franklin, on the banks of the Tennessee, there is a circular
mound, in the form of a truncated core, evidently the remains of the aboriginal inhabitants. It seems that the neighboring Indians, the Cherokees, have no tradition which explains its use, and no very satisfactory explanation is found elsewhere. It is thought, by some, that it was used for the celebration of the 'Green-Corn Dance.' Others think that these mounds were used for fortifications. This is rendered probable, by the discovery of jointed timbers in the bottom, which seems to indicate that the superincumbent earth had been once sustained on a strong frame. This frame yielding, the central earth would sink, and leave the mound a truncated cone. Perhaps, however, they were mausolea, erected, like the Pyramids of Egypt, to the memory of distinguished chiefs. This is rendered probable, by the discovery of human skeletons in similar ones in the valley of the Mississippi.
This whole country is one of vast resources. It contains water-force enough to turn the machinery of the United States. Its mountain sides and gorges, and its valleys will afford pasturage for innumerable cattle. Its mineral wealth, though unhappily thus far more fruitful of litigation than anything else, is said to be great. Its agricultural resources are not insignificant, and it possesses a mine of wealth in the energy and life of its inhabitants."
The editor of the Asheville Spectator passed through these counties in March, 1858. We extract from his remarks:
"About 10 o'clock I commenced the ascent of the Nantihala Mountain--perhaps one of the greatest curiosities in the way of roads in the world. Its twistings and turnings are really labyrinthical. It is said, with truth, that a gentleman from the low country, in ascending it, came to one of the chief turns, and, instead of turning up, turned down the mountain, and pursued his way several miles before he discovered his mistake. Any of my readers may form an idea of it if they have ever seen a long black snake run up a steep rock. In
one place the road makes a perfect M; and you may travel two or three miles and then roll a stone to where you started from.
"The ascent was magnificent; for awhile we were enveloped in a cloud, which, sweeping over mountain top and valley, left on every tree and shrub the frigid marks of its solemn presence. The whole mountain top, as far as the eye could reach, was covered with the clippings from the hoary locks of its visitor. The giant mass of fleecy clouds would sweep along with slow and solemn grandeur, resting awhile on those points where earth most sought the heavens, as if of too high an origin to dwell in the common level, suddenly swooping down would trace its frail solidity upon the lower vale, and rise again to contemplate its work. I have stood on the lofty precipice, have seen the mighty cataract in all its terrible sublimity, but never have I seen nature's artistry traced so eloquently and with such solemn beauty; combining every delicacy of touch and finish, blending together beauty and sublimity in one of those rare and magnificent masterpieces which seem to draw heaven and earth together.
"As we commenced descending the mountain, the cloud passed over us, and we were covered with the congealed droppings of its misty composition. It seemed as if Mother Cary, tired of the continued warm weather on sea, had bagged up her chickens, and brought them to the mountains for a general picking. The descent of the mountain is much more rapid than its ascent, and presents hardly so animating a view as the other. Yet the deep verdure of the spruce and white pines, and laurel, with their evergreen tresses drooped as if mourning that their hopes of returning spring were again blasted, presented a pleasing and attractive landscape. The intense thickness of the laurel is somewhat of a curiosity to those unused to viewing it; but, if I may use the expression of a very distinguished Virginian, 'the intense frigidity of the circumambient
atmosphere so congealed' my 'corporosity' that I thought of but little else than reaching a good fire.... The valley of Valley River is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen; and, in fertility, it does not deceive its looks. Not only is the soil fertile, but there is, in the hillsides and valleys, a mineral wealth perfectly inexhaustible. Iron, lead, silver and gold abound in chief. Marble, of various qualities and species, is found in the greatest abundance. I was surprised to see, in Murphy, numbers of chimneys built of marble, which, by a little work, is capable of the highest polish; while in the quarry is found an immense vein of the purest white. Near this marble vein is found the remains of an old mine, which has existed for years. Tradition says that it was once worked by white men from the south, supposed to have been Spaniards. It is very certain that the metal the persons who dug the pit must have been in search of, was silver, not gold. There is a probability that De Soto, in his march over the country, searching for wealth, may have penetrated the western part of our State. Bancroft's account of his movements gives probability to the supposition. There are immense works there, which could only have been carried on by a large force, or for a small one have taken a series of years; and as no traces of houses are visible, it is fair to suppose that but a few days sufficed to De Soto, and his army, to test the vein. A copper vessel,--a sort of crucible,--was found there some years ago, with evident signs of having been subjected to fire, and traces of a white metal still remaining in it. The vein of lead, silver, and gold,--more valuable for lead and silver than anything else,--follows close upon the marble vein, rather to its southern side. The indications of iron are very strong on the road down the mountain, but the only mines which have been worked are in the valley near to the road. I was told that articles of iron-ware sold, in Cherokee, at from three to five cents per pound,--never dearer than the latter
sum. They have iron-works in the county, with no facilities for getting either the manufactured or raw article to market. Copper has been found in some places, but it is not so valuable as the other minerals. It is very evident to me, from what I have seen, that the valley of Valley River contains more undeveloped wealth than any section of the same size in the world. I have never seen its equal in all points, and its superior would be too precious for earth. I could stand and gaze at it,--beautiful even in its not half cultivated state,--and my heart swells with pride, when I think that all this beauty is within my own glorious Carolina. But how neglected, how unknown! How many of the wealthy farmers of Hyde, Tyrell, Washington, or Carteret, know that amid the fastnesses of our mountains as many bushels of corn can be raised to the acre as on their boasted swamp lands? None, we fear none. Nor will they ever know until they have more of a North Carolina spirit.
"I spent nearly a day at Mr. Walker's, on the upper waters of Valley River, and a pleasanter spot to stay at I have seldom found. I would recommend persons visiting the Western Mountains, to call on him. I learned that, about fourteen miles from his house, there is a large and high mountain, wholly of beautiful flesh-colored marble and that there is in it a blowing cave. It has never been explored more than twenty or thirty yards. Circumstances prevented my visiting it. It is certainly a curiosity worthy of being brought into notice. If there were nothing else of interest about it, the beauty of the flesh-colored marble, of which its sides are composed, would render it attractive.
"At Murphy, I saw numbers of Indians, and having but little to do, busied myself in searching about for a good-looking one; which I failed to discover, and at length came to the conclusion that poetry and romance might throw a halo of beauty around the form and feature of the Indian maiden yet stern reality
would lend not an atom of truth to the enchanting picture. I am sure that Minnehaha is not to be found among the Cherokees; nor can there be traced the manly form of Hiawatha, unless a hump-shouldered, big-headed, short-necked, and somewhat of a wedge-shaped species of humanity, can call to mind the fair proportions of the warrior lover, whose tender wooing and noble ideal exists only in the imagination of the poet. So far as I have seen them, the Cherokees are a lazy, good-for-nothing set of people, ignorant of our habits and customs, and desiring to be more ignorant than they are. To exist and breathe, is about all they care for. There are noble exceptions to this rule, but they are not numerous."
The cost of a trip throughout this section will not exceed $20 or $25. It depends entirely upon how long the trip is, and how long one stays in the towns. There is a hack-line going through the whole extent of these counties, but I would advise all who wish to view the scenery, and enjoy themselves, to go in their own conveyances. Such is, in fact, the most pleasant way to travel over the whole West, and is not so costly, unless the tourist stops long in the towns. For the seeker of health I would advise taking the trip on horseback.
IT may not be amiss, in bringing this little book to a close, to say something of the productions of the soil in the West, and the wild animals native there. The general soil of the West is good, and even upon the mountains it is equal to the best lands in the low country. In the valleys, the inhabitants,
with their imperfect system of cultivation, find but little difficulty, in a good season, in raising from forty to sixty bushels of corn to the acre; while, upon some of the bottoms, where more care is taken, they raise one hundred bushels to the acre, and sometimes over. The whole country is peculiarly adapted to grazing, and all kinds of grass grow with luxuriance. The mountain sides being almost entirely free from undergrowth, naturally spring up in grass, which makes the range of a most excellent quality. While, too, there is an almost unfailing mast of oak, chestnut, beech, sugar maple, and linn. The products of the soil by culture are very extensive. Corn, wheat, rye, oats, barley, buckwheat, tobacco, Chinese sugarcane; and, in fact, everything which can be raised anywhere else in the State, except rice and cotton. The country affords every variety of climate and soil. Agriculture is as yet, however, in but a poorly advanced stage, unless in the immediate neighborhood of Asheville. Hon. T. L. Clingman, in his address before the State Agricultural Society, says of this mountain region:--
"At its extreme borders, there rises up a mountainous region, with bolder scenery, and a more bracing climate. Few of our own citizens realize the extent of this district, or are aware of the fact, that it is three hundred miles in length, and has probably more than forty peaks, that surpass in altitude Mount Washington, long regarded as the most elevated point in the Atlantic States. Though this region does not present the glacier fields and eternal snows of the Alps, yet their want is amply atoned for by a vegetation rich as the tropics themselves can boast of. Rocky masses, of immense height and magnitude, and long ridges and frightful precipices are to be found; but the prevailing character of this section is one of such fertility, that the forest trees attain their most magnificent proportions on the sides, and even about the tops of the highest mountains. There, too, are to be seen, those strange
treeless tracts, which the aboriginal inhabitants supposed to be the foot-prints of the 'Evil One,' as he stepped from mountain to mountain. Their smooth, undulating surfaces, covered with waving grasses, suggest far different associations to the present beholders.
"The landscape is variegated, too, by tracts of thirty, and even forty miles in extent, covered with dense forests of the balsam fir trees, appearing, in the distance, dark as 'the plumage of the raven's wing,' and green carpets of elastic moss, and countless vernal flowers, among which the numerous species of the azalea, the kalmia, and the rhododendron, especially contend in the variety, delicacy, and brilliancy of their hues. From the sides of the mountains flow cold and limpid streams along broad and beautiful valleys. Though such a region as this can never weary the eye, its chief merit is, that almost every part of it is fitted to be occupied by, and to minister to the wants of man."
A writer, in the X. C. Presbyterian, speaking of Yancey, says:--
"I was surprised at the variety and beauty of the wild flowers, which peeped their heads, of varied hue, above the ground on every side. In fact, it seems that everything which does grow in the mountains is produced in greater luxuriance than in the lowlands. I noticed several colors of the lobelia, all very pretty; and I was much struck with a flower called, by the inhabitants, snake's head. But the object of most attraction, in the botanical line, was the immense number and varied forms of the mosses and ferns. There is a plant, which I found among the mountains, which, though little known in the East, has been, for years, an article of great commercial value to the mountain region. I allude to ginseng. One of my guides pointed it out to me, and said that the day had been when anybody could gather six or eight pounds (worth about $1 25), but now it took a right smart hand to get that much.
It is sent to New York, and thence shipped to China. The trade is not as largely carried on now as formerly.
"The tree-growth of the mountains has, too, much of interest in it. The ordinary trees are chestnut and oak, white pine, spruce, and hemlock. The balsam is a growth peculiar to the Black Mountains, the Roan, and several other high mountains. The color of its leaf is of a dark green, shaped like the pine, but shorter, and they cluster around the bough upon all sides. At a distance, it has a black appearance, which gives the name to the mountains. There are two varieties, which might be classed as male and female. One is not of so intense a deep green, and produces no gum; the other is much the prettiest tree, and has the blisters, containing balsam, scattered over its trunk. A balsam blister is somewhat like a boil. The inhabitants gather the balsam, by pricking the blister with an instrument similar to the charger for a gun. The blister is a little sac, inserted between the outer and inner bark, and, by careful work, can be taken whole from its resting-place, and, on being held to light, is of a yellowish, transparent color. The gum is good for sores, cuts, & c., and resembles virgin turpentine. The bark peels easily from the green tree, but, when dry, crisps, and holds tightly to the trunk. I have been told of instances of hunters sleeping in the bark as stripped from a tree.
"Another growth, of some peculiarity, is the linn tree, from which the river Linville takes its name. It has a large, beautiful leaf, and would make a fine tree for ornament. It is chiefly valued for the use of cattle, as it is the first to put out its leaves in spring, and the last to fade in autumn. We see, too, the cucumber tree, which, though a curious affair, is, I believe, of no great use, except such as all trees. The wahoo, or Indian bitter, resembles both the cucumber and the linn. It bears a fruit similar to the wild cucumber,--a red substance, more like a balsam of Gilead apple than anything else I can
liken it to. The bark, steeped in liquor, is said to have miraculous effect in curing the chills and fevers; but, as they do not have that disease in the region where it grows, or very slight cases, I cannot say a great deal as to its truth. The sugar maple has been often heard of by most of your readers. It, too, is a product of the mountains, and, from its sap, much sugar and syrup are made. It resembles much our common maple, but the leaf has not so many scollops.
"The chief cultivated productions of the section through which I passed are wheat, corn, rye, oats, and buckwheat. I regretted to see that the crops generally were rather poor. I noticed, in the forest, an unusual quantity of mast of all kinds, which looks like fat and cheap bacon. I was somewhat surprised to see, throughout the county of Yancey, tobacco growing very luxuriantly. Every house had a patch close by. The leaves are dried by hanging up, and then it is used for smoking. The Chinese sugar-cane has a place on nearly every farm.
"The mineral resources of the section which was the subject of my observation, are, by no means, inconsiderable. In Yancey, my attention was called to a mine upon Jack's Creek, near Burnsville, which was said to be silver. As I did not see a specimen of the ore, I cannot speak of it. The mine is known, to old inhabitants, to have been open over eighty years; and, an old tradition says, that white men from the south (probably Spaniards), worked it in the days of the Indians. I was told that lead was, at this day, found upon the Bald Mountain, by a citizen of the county, who refused, for any consideration, to tell his secret. In time past, a rich vein was known to exist there, but many searches by the inhabitants have failed to reveal it. I suppose, if some man of science were to direct his attention to these mountains, the true state of the hidden treasure might be discovered. Copper and iron are known to exist on the South Toe River, right under the shade of the Black Mountain. Upon Gingercake
and Linville Mountains, both in the edge of Burke, the finest quality of iron ore exists in large quantities. And, in years gone by, a lead mine was worked. upon the banks of the Linville River. So rich was the ore, the old inhabitants say, that it was smelted in a common fire, and the lead would run out like water. On a spur of the Bluff Ridge, near the Linville, I am informed, that black lead has been found of a good quality. Turning a little south, into McDowell County, and just in the head of North Cove, we find a mine rich in lead and silver. It has been worked just enough to show its value. It exists just on the edge of the limestone formation, of which I have spoken; and whence, it is my opinion, good marble may be obtained.
"There are, in other places than I have mentioned, mineral substances of great value. On Rheim's Creek, in Buncombe, the remains of a forge yet exist which was erected, I believe, by an ancestor of Hon. D. L. Swain. Why it was abandoned, I am not informed. On a branch of the same creek there is a salt lick. Whether there be salt there of any amount, or value, I know not, but the cattle delight to resort to it, and have, with their licking, made a hole large enough to put a small house in. There is but little probability that it will be developed soon. I was presented with a specimen of pure copper from Henderson County. It is certainly the genuine article. There is found in Buncombe, on Cane Creek also, a limestone vein, from which some lime has been made. Probably it is the same vein which exists in North Cove.
"I was surprised to see the great quantity of mineral water which exists throughout Yancey County. The chief ingredient is iron. In fact, almost all the water in the county partakes more or less of that mineral. There are some faint traces of sulphur, but in no great abundance. The inhabitants do not seem to regard the mineral as of any great advantage, but will
let it run to waste, while they improve the more purely freestone water.
"There is one feature of the mountains, however, which I have omitted,--the wild animals. First of these, and being the most numerous, stands the black bear. He grows somewhat larger than in the swamps of the East, and has a more glossy and fur-like coat of hair. I have heard of one of his habits, which I have never seen mentioned in any natural history. In the spring, when the he-bear begins to travel, as he starts upon a path, he will rear upon his hind legs, and, with one of his fore-paws, reach as high as possible, and make a scratch in the bark of the tree. Another bear starts upon the same path, and, seeing the marked tree, he rears up, and, if he overreaches the other, travels forward with boldness and rapidity; but, if be cannot reach it, turns off in another direction. The mark shows the size and strength of the bear. I have seen balsams perfectly torn to pieces,--marks extending up to six feet. Col. Crocket calls it making 'his mark.' The bear is not a dangerous animal, unless attacked; but a wounded bear is certain to be a troublesome customer. They are considerably hunted, and are, perhaps, more plenty than the deer. Every one knows what the common red deer is, therefore I shall say nothing of him. Elk once existed in the mountains, but they are all gone. The wolves and wild-cats are nearly extinct, though their noise may sometimes yet be heard in the wild spots. The gray squirrel of the lowlands exists there, too; but little, however, is seen of the large fox squirrel. There is upon all the mountains, a little squirrel, in size between the gray and the ground squirrel, called, by the inhabitants, 'mountain boomer.' If one will slip quietly into some retired vale, on the borders of the Black, of a summer evening he may see the woods perfectly alive with them, and hear a chattering more confused than Bedlam itself. They are a pretty animal, of a light red color, the under portion of
the body very white. Then there is the ground-hog. As his name indicates, he burrows in the ground, and like the prairie dog, builds a perfect city. He is about as large as a medium-sized opossum, and has similar hair. His color is a sort of dark gray. I believe all these animals are eaten by the people of that section. I cannot pass from wild things without mentioning the pheasant, a bird about the size of a pullet which runs, rather than flies; and, when taken, and well served up, is most delicious eating. They abound all over the West.
"And now, from that delight of epicures, I will pass to a subject, which, to some of your readers, may be disagreeable, the snakes. The commonly received opinion is, that the mountains are filled with rattlesnakes, and, at every step, one is seen. But such is far from fact. In all my rambles, not a few, I have yet to see a rattlesnake, or any other considered poisonous. The rattlesnake has great injustice done him. He is ever more ready to get out of the way than to fight, and never attacks unless he thinks he has been assailed. He is more irascible at some seasons than others; but, so far as I could judge, the mountaineers generally do not mind them. I know of particular rocks where they can be seen and killed at any time, but it is only there; and, by avoiding those places, the traveller may go all over the mountains and not meet with one. The hog is a deadly enemy of the rattlesnake. I once asked a mountaineer why it was the snake could not hurt a hog? He replied, that he didn't know, unless it was that the first time the devil was heard of, after he left the serpent, he went into the swine. The other poisonous snakes of the mountains are rare, the adders and copper-snake. The moccasin of the mountains is not considered poisonous; and a gentleman told me be had seen the Indians let them bite their feet, and no bad result ensued. These half-brutes, however, will, I am credibly informed, keep rattlesnakes in their houses as we do
tame cats. A gentleman told me he once entered an Indian hut, and saw the Indian crouched up on one side of the fire-place, and, on the other, lay a large rattlesnake in his coil. Supposing the Indian did not see it, he was about to strike it with his cane, when the Indian prevented him, saying, 'He good snake.' As may be imagined, he did not stay there long. I am told that sometimes they act as watch-dogs, and will make a horrible din with their rattles on the approach of a stranger. A person who once hears that noise, never forgets it. It seems shriller, more piercing among the crags and mountains, than in the swamps of the East. A singular fact it is, that where the balsam growth begins, on the Black, and other mountains, there the existence of poisonous snakes ends."
These remarks will apply to the whole West, as the animals and plants are nearly the same throughout. However, many think that Yancey has the best soil, and is naturally the richest county in the West. The writer omitted to mention the mountain trout. This beautiful fish is found in most mountain streams, but exists in greater abundance in those which are comparatively wild, and whose banks are uncultivated. North and South Toe Rivers abound with them. The Upper Swannanoa has considerable. They are found in Buck Creek, near Carson's; and in Pigeon and Nantihala Rivers, and many other streams, they are found in abundance. The Nantihala (spelled by the Indians Nantihaitla, and meaning maiden's bosom), is especially famous for its trout. The fish itself is one of the loveliest creatures the eye ever beheld. It has no scales, and is covered with a thin, clear skin, of a brownish black on top, with yellow underneath, interspersed with spots of blue, purple, and crimson. It will keep, without the least taint, for several days. Fishing for them is fine sport, as one does not have to wait forever for a bite; but, if there is a fish in the waters, it bites as soon as the hook is thrown in.
And now, closing our last chapter with that purest of living creatures, which derives its more than earthly beauty from near the skies, we trust that many of our readers may visit the Mountains, and, in the fresh air and pleasant rambles, find much pleasure, or renewed health.
Herline & Hensel, Lith. Philad. Hayes & Zell. Publishers Philad.
VIEW OF THE PILOT MOUNTAIN FROM MR. GILLAM'S.
THERE is, in the more eastern portion of North Carolina, some curiosities of nature, and some health-giving waters, which deserve a passing notice. We allude to that strange phenomena of nature,--the Pilot Mountain, and the Piedmont Springs, of Stokes; and we way not be out of place in alluding to Kittrell's Springs, in Granville, and the long-known Shocco Springs.
The Pilot Mountain is situated in the eastern end of Surry near the line of that county and Stokes. It rises, an isolated pile, in the midst of a plain. No other mountain, or even considerable hills, being within many miles of it. It would seem as if the mountains, having concentrated all their strength, make in it a last desperate effort and die away. There is a hotel kept at the foot of the mountain, where many travellers resort in the hot season.
"The ascent of the mountain to the spring, an agreeable spot of refreshment, more than half way to the top, is so gradual that the visitor may proceed on horseback. From this
spot the acclivity becomes steeper, until you reach the pinnacle, which presents an elevation of some two hundred feet. The only pass to the summit is on the north side, narrow, steep, and laborious of ascent; yet it is considered by no means a difficult achievement. And the visitor is rewarded for his toil by an enchanting prospect of the surrounding country and mountain scenery in the distance. The dense and wide-stretching forest appears dotted with farms and hamlets. The Blue Ridge reposes in a long line of mountain heights on the northwest. Eastward, in Stokes County, the Saura Town Mountains rise to the view,--some of whose summits exceed the Pilot in height. And the Yadkin River, flowing down from the hills of Wilkes, and washing the western base of the mountain, 'rolls its silvery flood,' in a mazy line of light, through the wilderness. The Pilot Mountain is nearly or quite three thousand feet above the level of the sea. Its position and form, not height, make it an object of interest.
"At a point on the road, between the Little Yadkin and Mount Airy, the traveller may obtain the most singular, and, perhaps, the finest view of the Pilot. One end of the mountain is there presented to the beholder in its most perfect pyramidal form. Its vast sides are seen sweeping up from the surrounding forest, gradually approaching and becoming steeper, until they terminate at the perpendicular and altar-like mass of rock which forms the summit. It here gives an idea of some gigantic work of art, so regular, and so surprisingly similar are the curves of its outlines, and so exactly over the centre, does the towering pinnacle appear to be placed.
"It satisfies the eye, and fills the soul with a calm and solemn delight to gaze upon the Pilot. Whether touched by the fleecy clouds of morning or piercing the glittering skies of noon, or reposing in the mellow tints of evening; whether bathed in the pale light of the moon, or enveloped in the surges of the tempest, with the lightning flashing around its
brow, it stands ever, ever the same; its foundations in the depths of the earth, and its summit rising in solitary grandeur to the heavens, just as it rose, under its Maker's hand, on the morning of creation, and just as it shall stand when the last generation shall gaze upon it for the last time."
The Pilot Mountain is reached from Greensborough, or High Point, to Salem, by Clemmens & Co.'s line of stages; from thence by hired conveyance. Salem is a very pretty and quiet town, and will well repay a visit. The cemetery is a favorite walk, and will, probably, compare with anything of the kind in the South. A gentleman, who had travelled over much of Europe, once said that Salem reminded him more of a German village than any place he had seen in this country. There is a Female Institute of much celebrity and age in the place. The town was originally settled by the Moravians, and still bears many marks of their taste and public spirit.
Twenty-five miles from Salem, and about twenty from the Pilot, in an east direction, lie the Piedmont Springs of Stokes. The water of these springs is chiefly iron. There is said, however, to be one slightly tinctured with alum. They are located just at the foot of the Saura Town Mountains, and present many fine views of those peaks; while, in the west, is seen the Pilot. The springs have, of late, been much resorted to. The country around is very pretty, but does not bear comparison with the Blue Ridge region.
For those who do not feel inclined to visit the Mountains or who are in search of pleasure, more than health, North Carolina offers, in her more eastern section, the far-famed and much-resorted-to Shocco Springs. This very fashionable watering-place is crowded, year after year, by the gay, the fashionable, and the staid, from every Southern State. Its proprietor furnishes every facility for the comfort or amusement of his guests. The waters are of a valuable medicinal character; but, we believe, it is more a resort for the seeker
of pleasure than health. They are located in Warren County, about four miles from the Warrenton depot, on the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, at which point stages are always ready to convey passengers.
In Granville County, one mile from the railroad, is located Kittrell's Spring. The water is of iron, and, like all such water, is very invigorating to the system. Professor Emmons says:"Kittrell's Spring furnishes a valuable water, and may be resorted to, in many cases of debility, with a reasonable expectation of a cure; and, when good accommodations are provided, we expect it will be one of the favorite watering-places of the State."
SUCH phenomena, as those of the Clayton fogs, though rare, are not the only instances in which the accumulating clouds of one district, borne along by the winds, are dissolved in another, and may again reappear in a third. Some years since, on the coast of England, there occurred an instance of the appearance and disappearance of a cloud, with its reappearance again at a point not far distant. It came floating onward toward an arm of the sea, where it disappeared at the moment of coming above the water. On, and on, it came, for hours,
but seemed to make no progress beyond the margin of the sea. It was soon observed, however, that the cloud was reforming on the opposite coast, and continued, as long as the first cloud lasted, to float onward from that point, at a rate of speed equal to that of the first from which its vapor was derived. The cause of this remarkable occurrence is to be found in the fact, that the atmosphere, over the arm of the sea, was warmer and had less humidity than that of the land on either side.
It frequently happens that clouds hang around the summits of mountains, though the particles which compose them are continually changing. An example of this occurs upon the St. Gothard, a mountain in Switzerland, about six thousand feet above the sea. Dark, heavy clouds, that form on one side of the mountain, are frequently seen pressing summit, and descending, in dense masses, into the vale of Tremola, on the opposite side, where they are immediately dissolved by the warm, dry air, into which they are precipitated.*
The vapor, which rolled through the notch into the cove, noticed in the first part of this article, had, doubtless, formed the night previous in the valley of Cheoah River, which lies directly to the westward. Overshadowed by the atmosphere of that river must have been cooler than that of the cove, into which the sun was brightly shining. Two masses of air, both of which must have been saturated with vapor, being thus brought into contact, the temperature was diminished, and the excess of moisture precipitated.
And now, kind reader, allow me to say, that your dyspeptic friends, if once settled among these mountains, would soon be restored to health. Some have tried it with abundant success.
The water from these crystalline rocks is wholly destitute of lime or so nearly so that molluscs in the rivers cannot construct their shells, and are, consequently, very rarely to be found. There is no stagnant water, hereabouts, in ponds and marshes, to produce malaria. The water of the springs is as clear as crystal, except when rendered grumly by dashing rains, and is far sweeter and more palatable than the best filtered water of the lowlands. Send a dyspeptic to a water-cure establishment, if you will, to take his daily rounds in drinking cold water, and walking his one mile or six miles per day, to keep from dying: feed him on bran bread, and slices of bacon-side, lest he overtask his digestive organs: you might as well send him to the tread-mill for exercise, and put a box of bran before him to satisfy his hunger, as though he were a blind horse. Send your dyspeptic friends to such places if you will; but I shall not do so with mine. I shall place a gun in his hand, and, if necessary, give him a horse to carry him to the pathways of the deer in these mountains, The hounds shall accompany him, and, coursing the forests, shall start the noble buck and give him chase. As the animal dashes along its wonted route, to escape its pursuers, I shall not ask my invalid friend to dismount, and be prepared for the shot as the game passes. He will do this almost by instinct; and, if a wound is given, not instantly fatal, I shall not instruct him to give chase, along with the dogs, to be in at the death. He will do this involuntarily, and will run a mile or two without thinking of his feebleness. When success has crowned his exertions, I shall not prescribe cold water; he will soon seek the mountain-stream, and drink of it plentifully. When he reaches home, with his buck before him on his horse, and an appetite created by the exercise and excitement of the scenes through which he has passed, I shall not set before him the rude fodder of the Grahamite. His knife will soon supply
him with steaks of the venison, and a spit of wood will serve to cook it in the blazing fire. His blood, now coursing freely in his veins, will carry with it the elements of digestion, and a hearty meal of the wild meat will sit lightly upon his stomach. A routine of such sports, amidst turkeys, deer, and bears, all of which abound in these mountains, will rejuvenate almost any man not radically diseased.
THE undersigned begs leave to call the attention of the travelling public to the fact that he has recently taken charge of this celebrated Hotel; that he will have it thoroughly repaired and in perfect order by the 1st of June, 1859; and that he is determined to spare neither pains nor money in order to make his guests perfectly comfortable and at home while they sojourn at the EAGLE HOTEL. Especially would the subscriber call his Hotel to the attention of Eastern North Carolinians, who may, for health or pleasure, visit this beautiful and romantic mountain country; than which, no other section of the Union can furnish a purer or more invigorating atmosphere, cooler or more refreshing fountains of water, or more sublime and picturesque scenery. The undersigned will give a cordial greeting and hospitable cheer to all who will honor him with their patronage.
J. M. BLAIR,
FROM THE TERMINUS OF THE WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA RAILROAD
TO ASHEVILLE, VIA MORGANTON, MARION, PLEASANT
GARDENS, AND SWANNANOA GAP.
This is the most direct, nearest, and decidedly the most pleasant route to Asheville. The whole route is gone over in daylight. The traveller rests over night in Morganton, dines at Carson's on the Catawba, and is in Asheville to supper. He has a fine view of the different mountains on the route, and among them the celebrated peak of the Black Mountains,--Mount Mitchell.
C. S. BROWN,
THIS hotel is favorably located in the centre of the town of Asheville. From it many fine views of the surrounding country are to be had.
The table will always be supplied with the very best the market affords, and attentive servants will always be at hand to attend to the wants of guests. The Proprietor will use all means in his power to please his visitors and make them comfortable.
The office of the Southern, Gaston, and Murphy stages, is at this house.
JAS. H. GUDGER,
OFFICE AT GUDGER'S (BUCK) HOTEL.
THE undersigned respectfully calls the attention of travellers, traders, and others, to the fact that they keep constantly on hand a large and excellent assortment of
CARRIAGES HACKS, BUGGIES, AND SADDLE-HORSES,
and will convey persons to any point with despatch, comfort, and safety. They have in their employ none but sober, experienced, and careful drivers; such as will take pleasure in promoting the comfort of all committed to their charge. Special accommodations to those visiting the Black Mountains.
Horses boarded by the day, week, or month, on reasonable terms, and placed in the hands of experienced hostlers.
Good pastures can be furnished to any who may wish their horses pastured during the summer.
SULLIVAN & PATTON.
Upon one of the peaks of this great natural curiosity, will be open for the reception of visitors early in July. It will be kept in the best style, and visitors may always expect a hearty welcome and excellent fare. Terms of board moderate.
A new turnpike road has been lately constructed from Judge Bailey's residence on the Swannanoa, via this House, to the highest peak. It will afford facilities heretofore unknown to the traveller.
Any one desiring a comfortable night's rest in the highest house in the Southern States, perhaps in the United States, should not fail to stop over night and enjoy a sight of the lovely sunrise.
T. T. PATTON.
FRENCH BROAD LINE
FOUR HORSE STAGES,
From Asheville, N. C., to Greenville, Tenn., running down the French Broad River through the grandest scenery of the world, crossing the Mountains in full view of the Painted Rocks.
This line of stages, said by all who travel upon it to be one of the best in the Union, leaves Asheville daily, Sundays excepted, at 5 1/2 o'clock, and connects with the train upon the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, at Greenville, at 71/2 o'clock. Passengers can breakfast at M. A. Alexander's, and dine at the Warm Springs,--both eating-houses unsurpassed in this country. Fare from Asheville to Springs, $3; to Greenville, $6.
W. P. BLAIR,
THIS delightful watering-place, situated in Madison County, North Carolina, will be opened for the reception of guests, under the charge of its old proprietors, McDowell & Patton, about the 1st of July.
The location is all that the seekers for health and pleasure can desire. Situated immediately on the French Broad River, and surrounded by extensive mountain ranges, it affords a climate and scenery unsurpassed in any country.
The temperature of the water ranges from 96°; to 100° Fahrenheit, and the use of the waters has proved invaluable in cases of
RHEUMATISM, DROPSY, PARALYSIS, CUTANEOUS AFFECTIONS,
and various other diseases.
Rare opportunities are afforded for hunting, fishing, driving and mountain excursions.
A daily line of four-horse mail coaches runs between Greenville Tenn., and Greenville, S. C., passing through Hendersonville and Asheville, and immediately by these Springs, and accommodation conveyances are always in readiness to carry passengers to and from either place, and all the intermediate points.
Distance from Greenville, Tenn., 25 miles; and from Asheville, 37. The roads are good, and the scenery along the French Broad, between Asheville and the Springs, beautiful and picturesque. The buildings are large, handsome, and commodious; the servants experienced and well-trained; the table will always be supplied with the best the country affords, and the charges as moderate as those of any similar establishment--$1 50 per day, $8 per week, $30 per month.
An experienced physician is resident at the Springs.
A splendid band of music is engaged for the season.
Keeps constantly on hand a large assortment of all the standard works of the day. School-books for all courses,--academical, collegiate, and primary. The best assortment of Books that is to be found in the City of Raleigh is at his establishment. Every work in religious, miscellaneous, or political literature, may be called for, and if not on hand, will be immediately ordered for the purchaser.
All new books from the principal publishing houses in this country received as soon as issued.
All varieties of blank-books and stationery, envelopes, & c., kept on hand and sold by wholesale or retail.
Orders promptly attended to.
Large lithograph views (for framing) of the town of Asheville, and Hickory-Nut Falls, for sale by
JAS. M. EDNEY,147 Chambers St., N. Y.
Will execute paintings, drawings of scenery, or portraits, whenever called on.
Pension and Bounty Land Claims prosecuted.
No charge made unless money or land is recovered.
Pension-money collected from U. S. Agency at Fayetteville.
BLANKS THEREFOR FURNISHED GRATIS.
Collections made and promptly remitted. Discounts procured and
Notes renewed at either of the Banks.
THE HIGHEST CASH PRICE PAID FOR LAND WARRANTS.
JOHN M. ROSE.