Welcome to my second post about the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. The link here tells about the building of the hotel. The information included was part of the historic tour that one could listen to while walking from place to place on the property. I had a good time looking around, listening, and imagining. The hotel had displays and exhibits everywhere. I just wandered about and enjoyed. It reminded me a bit of the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, which I wrote about here and here several years ago. Like the Broadmoor, this hotel was also built as a retreat for health in a mountainous region. Edwin Wiley Grove was a very rich man. His fortune came from inventing Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic, a way of taking quinine for treatment of malaria without experiencing the awful taste. He was very successful. Mr. Grove then decided to build a hotel. Below, you can see two pictures taken during the building phase. The rocks to create the Inn were hauled from the area and 400 men worked long, long days to finish the hotel in a year's time.
Below is a picture of one of the gigantic fireplaces in the main room/lobby area of the Grove Park Inn.
This is a very unique feature built into both the giant fireplaces - an elevator for each. Yes, this is how one accesses the upper floors of the main historic section of the hotel. Elevators built into the side of the fireplaces. They each are small, require an operator, and you go in one door and exit another door when you get to your floor. I was a little scared the first time we went up, but the elevator operators were very friendly and knew a lot of fun tidbits about the hotel and the area. Still, it felt a little 'Harry Potter'-ish. Ha!
As I said, there were exhibits and displays and photographs and videos all over the hotel. This was a display of the original advertising for 'Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic'. It actually says 'Makes Children and Adults As Fat As Pigs'! Back when this medicine was in use, being well-fed and roly-poly was considered a blessing. It's an odd little ad though. Ha!
As with many historic places, there have been odd and unexplained things happen. The picture below is of the type of dress that 'The Pink Lady', the local 'ghost', would have worn. 'The Pink Lady' was a young woman who perished in a fall from the 5th floor to the 3rd floor of the hotel in 1920.
There have been many famous people who have visited this hotel over the many years it has been open. A local writer has a book that's available to purchase and I, of course, got a copy. In Tales of the Grove Park Inn, Bruce E. Johnson, shares stories and history of the area. I haven't read it yet, but I'll let you know how it is when I do read it.
Bruce E. Johnson also wrote a book about 'The Pink Lady' entitled An Unexpected Guest. I decided to treat myself to that one too.
The last pictures I will share are all from an event that happens at the Grove Park Inn each holiday season, The National Gingerbread House Competition. I didn't know this, but the competition has occurred for 30 years at this hotel. There was a whole section and display regarding the creative people that come to share their 'gingerbread' art. Loved it.
I can make gingerbread cookies and do some fun things with cookie cutters, but these creations are amazing! Who wants to enter this year? Ha! I texted my daughter the pictures and said she and her husband should try it. She just laughed and said it seemed way beyond their skills.
My last post about Asheville will be Saturday and I'll show a couple of North Carolina bookstores that I visited (and picked up a couple of additional books). Take care, stay well, talk to you soon!