Saturday, June 15, 2019

Danlel Smith Cabin Location: Asheville, North Carolina

Where Was the Daniel Smith House?

What Do the Records Show?

Forster A. Sondley provided the following in 1912: "His residence stood on the hillside immediately east of the railroad and directly north of the first small branch which runs into the French Broad River above the Passenger Station of the Southern Railway at Asheville, North Carolina. The site of his home is now within the corporate limits of the City of Asheville. . . ." Sondley added: "In later life Colonel Smith was almost daily seen on the streets of Asheville mounted on his large white horse."

 Similarly, in 1922 Theodore Davidson wrote: Daniel Smith "settled immediately east of the railroad at the first branch above the passenger station at Asheville, on the hill just north of the branch where his cabin stood for many years, and where he died May 17, 1824. He was buried with military honors on the hill where Fernihurst now stands; but about 1875 his body was removed to the Newton Academy graveyard where it now rests."

An April 1796 Buncombe County court record documents the purchase by Daniel Smith of 300 acres of land. Around 1795 Daniel Smith paid £4, 14 shillings, four pence, to Benjamin Yardley "in part pay for the building a house for" Daniel Smith. In April 1792 the Buncombe County court ordered that [among others] Daniel Smith be on a jury to view and lay off a road from Colonel William Davidson's on the Swannanoa River to Benjamin Davidson's Creek "the nearest and best way according to law." This was the first order in regard to roads ever made in Buncombe County. The road became known as Boilston Road.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Portrait of the Past: Aston Park Hospital operating room, circa 1940

Click to See Larger Image
Aston Park Health Care Center grew out of Aston Park Hospital, located in Asheville on the northwest corner of what had been Aston Street and South French Broad Avenue. The hospital had opened in 1927 as the French Broad Hospital. The name change to Aston occurred in the 1940s when the street the hospital was on, Willow Street., was renamed in honor of Edward Aston, historic Asheville booster and mayor. The 1940s was also when the Asheville Colored Hospital was opened, leading Dr. John Walker to leave Aston Park, where he’d served as the only African-American physician in a local hospital. One of his specialties was administering anesthesia, which he did for operations in the room pictured in this 1927 photo by Ewart M. Ball.

Aston Park had 45 beds in the 1940s, whereas Mission Hospital had 134; St Joseph’s, 95; Biltmore Hospital, 50; Norburn Hospital, 120; and the Asheville Colored Hospital, 35 beds. The French Broad Hospital had itself gone through an expansion because the newspaper reported cases related to it before ground breaking took place in August. For instance, in March, a young woman was trying to recover at the hospital from peritonitis after Ralph Riddle had seduced her and then poisoned her to abort the fetus. In 1967, Aston Park Hospital began making the shift to nursing home care as Memorial Mission Hospital assumed acute care responsibility. Photo courtesy Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville. --Rob Neufeld,, @WNC_chronicler

Source: Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina), 11 June 2019.