Early in the 19th century railroads were being built throughout the expanding United States. Western North Carolina was growing as well. Asheville, a crossroads for agriculture, was also emerging as a magnet for tourists seeking the healing climate, loggers looking to harvest timber, and miners interested in the large deposits of minerals.
One of the most historic railroads in Southern Appalachia, the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina,ran from Johnson City, TN, to Boone, NC, from the late 1800s until 1950. It was born when the Tennessee state legislature granted a charter to construct the railroad in 1866.
Located in Madison County at the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek, Hot Springs has long been a destination for therapeutic relief. First Native Americans, then European settlers “took the cure” in the hot mineral waters. In 1831 James Patton of Asheville built the 35- room Warm Springs Hotel.
We have pure air, common-sense, digestible food, quiet in the bedrooms at night, the finest orchestra outside of New York and Boston, a great organ, and an atmosphere where refined people and busy business men with their families find great cofort and a good time.” ~From the 1916 Maps and Road Book of Western North Carolina.”