Saturday 29 April 2017

Asheville, North Carolina: A Marriage of Baseball & Tourism

Asheville, North Carolina was "the vacation destination for northerners and southerners alike". Tourism wasn't the only attraction the city held.  The nation's national pastime was about to be revived in the city with the arrival of the Asheville Skylanders in 1924.  Tourism and baseball joined together when the team was renamed the Asheville Tourists.  The city also brought in those afflicted with disease when tubercular installations were added.  The grandson of hotel owner Edwin Grove said that in 1905, Asheville was almost like a "leper colony".  As Grove began construction on his inn in 1913, he bought several tubercular sanitariums and burned them down.  However, others remained open, the last closing in 1930.

City planner Nolen believed that Nature should lead the way.  In 1922, he proposed a circle of parks around Asheville, including a park on Beaucatcher Mountain overlooking to the city.  Nolen's forward thinking plan also suggested a subway between Park Square and West Asheville.  He pointed out a practical site for the city's.  He sketched out major transportation routes keeping in mind that the plan could take decades to implement.  The Great Depression did put a thorn in the side of Nolen's plans.

Today, the Asheville Tourists still play at McCormick Field, built in 1924.  two of Nolen's lasting legacies are  Lakeview Park and Beaucatcher Park, two sites where modern day tourists can stroll just as their counterparts did a century ago.

Viewing Fall Colors at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC

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