The Road To Ashville

By Werner Willis

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The Road to Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina

The Buncombe County Turnpike was the most modern road in North Carolina when it was completed in 1828. It connected Greeneville, Tennessee to Greenville, South Carolina, running beside the French Broad River for 75 miles. The turnpike detoured from the river to make a stop in Asheville, North Carolina, thus opening up the land of sky. The wealthy plantation owners from the Carolinas and Georgia often came by this road to cool off from the summer heat and relax in the peaceful mountains.

Foster Sondley, a Buncombe native, wrote of his observations of the stagecoaches arriving and departing from Asheville, “No more exhilarating scene was ever witnessed than a handsome, newly painted stagecoach drawn by four fine horses as it bursts upon us around some bend in the mountain, dashing at full gallop along a road winding its way through mountain defiles. No more inspiring sound ever greeted human ears than that of the horn of the stage coach rushing up to a mountain station while its reverberations penetrated the deep recesses and were tossed from hill to hill in wild and weird musical cadences.”