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!
That gingerbread competition really brings out the talented people out there. I can recall just one time we tried one of the kits when the kiddos were little. Note that I said (1) time - what a mess. LOLReplyDelete
I know. The displays and videos they had about this competition were really amazing. Way beyond my skills. LOLDelete
I think that Pink Lady has been featured on one of those ghost or mystery shows on The History Channel. Love the gingerbread houses. Incredible!ReplyDelete
Oh, that's interesting about The Pink Lady. Not surprised. I know the Food Network has covered the gingerbread thing. The houses/nutcrackers or whatever gingerbread creations were really cool.Delete
What a great way to spend some time! I love going places like this. Thanks for the info and photos of building the hotel!ReplyDelete
Vicki, I did have a really good time. I honestly didn't know all of this would be available and it just added to the fun.Delete
I'm loving your tours and photos, Kay. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Well, you are very welcome, Cathy. I did have fun wandering poking into things. LOLDelete
How interesting! In my mind a chill tonic would be something different. I love that beautiful "pink lady" dress.ReplyDelete
Yes, those 'tonics' or old-time medicines were quite interesting. As I said, lots of displays in the hotel and I had fun wandering seeing what I could find.Delete
Glad you enjoyed your trip. Asheville and the surrounding area have so much natural beauty and history. Thanks for sharing your photos too.ReplyDelete
We did have such a good time and agree about the beauty and history. It was just the icing on the cake to get to find out all these things. LOLDelete
I love learning about the histories of old buildings. What a great place to stay!ReplyDelete
It was a lot of fun. I like the history lessons as part of vacations too. :-)Delete
Wow that's a lot of stonework at the hotel. How interesting how it was built. If I ever get to Asheville, I hope to stay there!ReplyDelete
Yes, all that rock came from quarries in the area. It was quite interesting how quickly it was built, for the time anyway.Delete