- Philip A. Jamison
City in North Carolina (pop. 83,318; metropolitan area 417,012; 2010 US Census). Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, at the crossing of early livestock drover roads, Asheville was incorporated in 1797. Since the early 1800s, when visitors arrived by stagecoach, this small Appalachian mountain city has been promoted as a tourist destination (“The Land of the Sky”) for those seeking the beauty and cooler temperatures of the Southern Highlands. As a result, Asheville has never been culturally deprived. In 1876, residents were enjoying performances ranging from vaudeville to opera in an opera hall on the third floor the county courthouse. During the decade following the completion of the railroad in 1880, the city’s population quadrupled, and Asheville was transformed with the construction of dozens of resort hotels and George W. Vanderbilt’s Biltmore House (completed in 1895). During the summer months, dance orchestras played the latest waltzes and polkas in the hotel ballrooms every night of the week....