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Traveling with Grace: from Asheville to Home

Posted on November 26th, 2019 by

This week, our #TravelTuesday series, Traveling with Grace, takes us on the final leg of Grace’s 1940 journey! To read more of Grace’s travels, click here.

A Big Black Bear along the Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park GSMNP, North Carolina NC, Tennessee TN, Vintage Wildlife Postcard, 1940s. Image via.

Tues. Aug. 20. We started at 10 o’clock to go to the Great Smokies National Park. The weather was perfect and everything is so beautifully green. We went thru the Cherokee Indian reservation and on up to Newfound Gap and Clingman’s Dome altitude about 6,642 ft. On the way down we ate our box lunches and just as we had finished a big black bear came strolling up the road with a forest ranger in pursuit trying to get him off the road as he feared a possible accident with one of the cars. We threw the bear a couple of apples which he chewed up daintily and we followed him back up the road as he was such a curiosity. The next tidbit he found was a watermelon rind which he munched in rapturously, drooling as he ate. Later on we saw so many bears including a family of father, mother, and several cubs fording a stream and others climbing up in the trees, also a few opossums.

Vintage 1940s postcard – The Highway Tunnels in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Image via.

We went up to Gatlinburg on the Tennessee side and then returned by the same way. The road goes thru several tunnels in the mts. and at one place forms a know going thru a tunnel and winding right on top of it. We completed the round trip of 220 mile and returned to the hotel about 6. It was too much for Carolyn and she went right to bed without any dinner but the rest of us enjoyed ours as we were very hungry.

Beaver Lake, Lakeview Park, Asheville, North Carolina. Image via.

Wed. Aug. 21. This afternoon we went to call on Carolyn’s friend May Haven and her little boy. We had quite a time finding the house but with our usual perseverance finally located it and had a pleasant visit there. Later we rode out thru the Beaver Lake section and Lakeview Park where the best residences are. Tonight Major Haven called on us at the hotel.

Asheville Regional Airport, c. 1940-1960s. Image via.

Thurs. Aug. 22nd. Started Carolyn to the airport at 12 o’clock and her plane which was due at 1 never arrived until 4:05 but we had lots of fun while we waited. She is so jolly and has so many funny jokes to tell in her droll way. We watched several large and small planes come and go and finally hers came so we put her on board and watched until it was out of sight. On the way back to the hotel we got out at the Three Mountaineers Shop where they have some pretty imported and antique bric-a-brac and then it started to rain hard, so we stayed in the hotel the rest of the evening.

Biltmore House showing Lily Pools, Asheville, NC, c. 1940s-1960s. Image via.

Fri. August 23rd. After lunch we shopped at the 5 and 10, then visited the Biltmore Estate which I had seen before, but I wanted the others to see it. Watched the dancing this evening.

Sat. Aug. 24th. Rain today so we rested most of the afternoon. Tonight watched the horse races, talked to some of the guests and watched the dancing.

Mayview Manor, Blowing Rock, NC., 1940s. Image via.

Sun. Aug. 25th. Took a long walk thru the hotel grounds this morning. This is one of the loveliest places and there is just about everything anyone could wish for. After dinner we started for Blowing Rock and it was a magnificent ride over the mts. all the way. In some places we ride right thru the clouds. We arrived at the Mayview Manor around 5 and it was so cold I wore a sweater and coat. This is one other pretty mt. resort not as pretentious as Grove Park Inn but very attractive and we are most comfortable. The rooms have windows overlooking the tops of the mts. and we can look deep down into the valleys. The flower arrangements in the lobby and dining room are simply gorgeous and they are done by Mrs. Chapman, wife of the manager who makes it her hobby. The food is simply delicious, better if possible than Grove Park Inn. There is a nice long porch for me to exercise on and the views on all sides are lovely.

Mon, August 26th. Rode over to Boonsboro a pretty ride and gave the town the once over. Met a woman on the street selling the most beautiful strawberries and we bought a box for tomorrow’s breakfast which we have served in our room. In the evening an orchestra gives a nice concert.

Flat Top Manor (aka Cone Home), c. 1940s-1950s. Photo courtesy of National Park Service/Blue Ridge Parkway. Image via.

Tues. Aug. 27. Rode around Blowing Rock. Saw the Cone home (Miss Etta is staying there) and the club house where Lazaron’s are staying. There are some very pretty houses and shops in this small town.

Wed. Aug. 28th. Left for Waynesboro, Ga. this morning over the Blue Ridge Parkway. The scenery is simply magnificent, far prettier than Skyline Drive. We stopped for picnic lunch having brought a variety of fancy rolls and buns and fruit from Mayview Manor. Arrived at the General Wayne which seemed like an old acquaintance to me and is just as nice and quiet and clean as when I was here in 38. After a good dinner we sat in the lobby and talked to some ladies who later joined us in a bridge game.

Thurs. Aug. 29th. Left Waynesboro this morning by way of the Skyline as far as Big Meadows. Took a short cut to Washington where we had a late lunch (or early dinner) at the 400 Club which was very poor. We tried the Washington Hotel Roof but they were not serving meals at this hour. We ate in company with some very questionable looking characters and I was glad to get out. Phoned Cousin Carrie who told us to come up so we paid them a little visit at Woodley Park Towers and told them about our trip. Arrive home in a powering rain about 8 P.M.

Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. This entry is the final one in Grace’s 1940 travel diary. We’re going to take a quick break in December and then pick back up with Grace’s travels in January 2019! As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager


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