Asheville NC - The Grove Park Inn

The Grove Park Inn in Asheville NC is an historic resort hotel located in the Blue Ridge Mountains on Sunset Mountain overlooking the French Broad River Valley. It has been visited by many well-known people over the years including many United States' presidents and the developer of Chiropractic Dr. B.J. Palmer.

The Grove Park Inn was built by Edwin Wiley Grove and his son-in-law Fred Seely. After the Civil War, Grove bought Paris Medicine Company. Their best-known product was Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic, which was an elixir containing quinine a treatment for the chills brought on by malaria. Eventually the tonic became a household staple and sold more bottles than Coca-Cola.

 

Many people, including Grove believed the climate of Asheville, North Carolina had health benefits. It became the ideal location for his resort. The Asheville VA originally started as a sanitarium for TB patients.

 

  1. W. Grove bought the land for the inn in 1910 and began construction in 1912. It was completed in 11 months and 27 days and opened on July 12, 1913. William Jennings Bryan gave the keynote address to a crowd of four hundred of the most distinguished men of the South. The hotel was built of massive granite stones. The lobby has two huge granite fireplaces and a very large porch with an overlook of the French Broad River Valley. All of the Granite boulders were hauled from the mountain above it, so as not to work against gravity.

 

During World War II, the Inn was used first as an internment center for German diplomats. They were allowed trips into town, so they could purchase goods from the local merchants. This was very important in helping the local economy. Later is was used as a rest and rehabilitation center for returning sailors. And then in 1944–45, it was used as an Army Redistribution Station where soldiers rested and relaxed before being assigned to other duties.

The Grove Park Inn was purchased the Sammons in 1955. It has been expanded over the years and continues to be a very popular tourist attraction. Omni Hotels purchased it in 2013, and was then renamed The Omni Grove Park Inn.

The Inn impressed me the very first time I saw it in 1978 and every tour I have given of Asheville always includes a stop there.  I always like to show Dr. B.J. Palmer’s picture in the hallway and explain how he used to spend time there with Edison, Ford, Firestone and Hubbard.

 

Other celebrities who’ve stayed  there over the years include Helen Keller, Woodrow Wilson, John Rockefeller, John Pershing, Michael Jordan, Dean Smith, Roy Williams, Daniel Day-Lewis, Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Huckabee, John Denver, Trey Anastasio, Bill Gaither, Larry Gatlin, Dave Brubeck, Charles Schwab, William Howard Taft, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, Carl Sandburg, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Wiley Post, Will Rogers, Bill Tilden, Billy Graham, Barack Obama, William Shatner.

Also F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed at Grove Park for two years while his wife Zelda was a patient in a local insane asylum. This is another great place to visit in Asheville, NC