Blue Ridge Apartments

When I Was 69

When I Was 69
Click pic to go to "When I Was 69"

Saturday, August 31, 2019

A few days being a tourist

 Breakfast out - the Biscuit Company had delicious fare...rather strong coffee however!

 We had to see the source, the Swanannoa River, for which the valley is named, and then many other non-profits, i.e. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swanannoa Valley, Swanannoa Valley History Museum, etc.
Two Barbaras who enjoyed touring around for a few days.  Yes there's more!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The heart of the boarding house

 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Museum is tucked in between hotels and the theatre in downtown Asheville.
 The original boarding house of his mother, Julia, still stands. After a fire a few years ago which damaged mainly just two rooms, it has been restored as it was when last people were sleeping there for $1 a night including 2 meals...what now would be considered a B&B.

I admit I didn't listed to the recorded voices. You can go there and do it yourself!

 We enjoyed the porch with so many rockers!

 The dining room has period furnishings, but most were not the original ones from the house, having been damaged in the fire.

 When ice was delivered, people would put this card in the window to order how many pounds they wanted.
The coal burning stove in the kitchen. Not all that big when maybe 20-30 people were going to eat twice a day from this kitchen.  Thomas Wolfe was highly critical of the food being served in his book.

 Looking past the center table, one of our tour-guests peaked into Mrs. Wolfe's bedroom
 The other stove was gas.
 Julia Wolfe's own bedroom was right off the kitchen. 

 She had the sewing machine in her room.
I imagine this pie safe was kept full of groceries...and perhaps some pies.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

More of a boarding house

 Our guide told us that Julia Wolfe was, above all else, frugal.  These are the original furnishings in the home, but where there was floorspace, sometimes cots were brought from the basement to rent more sleeping arrangements.

 This room reminds us that there was limited plumbing installed, as a chamber pot sits below the bed. Boarders had to empty their own chamber pots. An outdoor privy was available also, but was moved several times over the years, and has not been excavated yet.

 The turquoise painted bedstead had been Mrs. Wolfe's bedroom suite before she opened the boarding house.  It was damaged in a fire a few years ago, so when experts looked closely they were able to match the paint in reconstructing it.  It was among the many beds that Mrs. Wolfe sold to boarders at $1.00 a night, including 2 meals.
 Mrs. Wolfe renovated the house adding more bedrooms and porches.

Three tubs, and I think as many indoor toilets were eventually added while Mrs. Wolfe was running the Kentucky Home (aka Dixiland in Look Homeward Angel.)

More to come...

Monday, August 26, 2019

Thomas Wolfe's mother's house

The old boarding house that was run by Thomas Wolfe's mother, known as the Old Kentucky Home of Asheville NC, is now a state run historic site, including a museum about Thomas Wolfe.

In case you've not visited Asheville yet, Wolfe wrote the novel "Look Homeward Angel" with many of the characters modeled around family and people living around him. 

I'll let you google him, or if you have read his books or stories, you probably know more than I did walking into this visit last week.  I spent the afternoon sharing a tour with other docents from the Swanannoa History Museum walking through the boarding house of Mrs. Julia Westall Wolfe.

Our guide was Kayla (not sure how she spells it)
No, it's not a sideways photo,the stereoscope is just sitting on that table in the sunny parlor. Seen above and below these slides.

The main parlor had less room for standing,  and was actually roped off.  Most of the other rooms we could walk through, or at least into and out.

I'll have a few more photos of the various rooms to show next time.