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They should be compared with the orlgtnal documents. Seven other children and numerous miscarriages followed, all placing in extreme jeopardy the allegation of impotency report- 59 edly leveled at W. 60 It was in the Woodfin Street rather than the Spruce Street house that Mrs. To feel the fire full chimney- throat roar up a - tremble with the blast of his terrific fires, to hear the first fire crackling in the kitchen range, to hear the sounds of morning in the house, the smells of breakfast and the feeling of security never to be changed !
}o)y~ Wilson Angley STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA Department of Cultural Resources Raleigh 27611 December I ~ 1975 James E. These t ranscriptions were ta ken from copies of poor quality microfi lm. Ang ley d i d a most doubt, additions and corrections to this of such observations so that they may be the report. Please send to me coptes includ:;;e272-J ~orical Research Supervisor HISTORICAL RESEARCH REPORT THOMAS WOLFE AND THE OLD KENTUCKY HOME by Wilson Angley October 30, 197 5 Raleigh, North Carolina - TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Arriving in Asheville some time before her husband, Cynthia Wolfe set up as a milliner. The first child, Leslie, a girl who died in infancy , was born October 18, 1885, only nine months and four days after the wedding. Like Lesl ie before them, all the Wolfe children were born in Julia Wolfe's upstairs bedroom at the front of the house: Effie on June 7, 1887, Frank on November 25, 1888, Mabel on September 25, 1890, the twins--Grover and Benjamin--on October 27 , 1892, Fred on July 15, 1894, and Thomas Clayton on October 3, 190o. prepared the Satanic fir es described with such nostalgic vigor by his youngest child: 1--; Of, ever to wake at morning knowing he was there!
Books in the Wolfe Home Belonging to Various Members of the Wolfe Family G. By 1871 his brother Elmer had departed for Ohio, and W. Wolfe had established his own place of business in Raleigh at the corner of South Blount and East Morgan Streets. 53 The information in the Census of 1880, however, indicates that larger quarters must have been occupied at that ttme. 56 Thus the union which would one day produce one of America~s great novelists was begun on a basis of buying, selling, lending, and discussing books. Wolfe later recalled that her future husband had initiated his proposal, in the parlor of the Woodfin Street house, by explaining 12 • 13 that his mother-in-law, Mrs.
In something under a year, the work completed, the two moved northward to Raleigh, where they applied their craft to the construction of the state insane asylum and other buildings currently under way. and Cynthia Wolfe had lived briefly in two rented rooms on North Main Street before construction of the Woodfin Street house. and Cynthia Wolfe seem to have been unable to 11 • locate a house which suited them, and decided to purchase a piece of land and erect their own house . After a year and a half's attendance at Asheville Female College and Judson College in Hendersonville, she was able to establish herself as a rural school teacher in Yancey and later Mitchell counties 9 and supplemented her income by selling books during the summer .
Alice Johnston Reynolds, a widow, on July 13, 1889 for the muchincreased purchase price of ,500. In August of 1898, two years before his purchase of the Spruce Street property, the Reverend Myers purchased a large farm near Asheville which he dubbed the "Old Kentucky Home," the name he would soon after confer on the boarding house. Sondley re-corded the Reverend Myers' undistinguished exclamation alone, of all those 9 which must have found voice on that day in 1887, when Asheville's first elec-tric street railway car lurched forward, aided by neither animal nor steam power, on its maiden journey from the Public Square southward to Biltmore. Some account must be given of the Woodfin Street house, for it was there that all of the Wolfe children were born, it was there that the Wolfes' family life most nearly approached congeniality and cohesiveness, and it was there that Thomas Wolfe's fondest memories of childhood originated. But Cynthia Wolfe's health did not improve as hoped.
The next change of ownership came with the Barnards' sale of the house to Mrs. He was a lecturer , a Campbellite preacher [he is sometimes remembered, with less likelihood , as having been a Methodist], and a very brainy man at one time, but he 43 snapped several times they said, and had to go to an institution. 50 For more than two decades after the construction of their future house on Spruce Street, the Wolfe residence was located a short distance away at 92 Woodfin Street. 54 With the help of several men whom he had hired, Wolfe completed the building of the house soon after purchase of the land.
By 1883 he was a prominent Asheville citizen in the fifty-ninth year of his age with a well established household; his daughter, Cordie, according to the Census of 1880, would have been nineteen the year the house was built; and it was the Barnards , not the Sluder s, who were listed as residents of Spruce Street in 1883. Barnard (1858-1944) 27 was a leading buyer and warehouseman during Asheville's thriving tobacco marketing period in the 1880s.
Van Gilder (1881), Buncombe County Deeds, Book 41, pp. 26 Very probably Sluder never resided in the house he had built.
Buncombites throve in supplying feed and accomodations to the migratory hordes of men and ani- 17 mals.
Connections with the south followed in 1886 with the completion of 19 the Asheville-Spartanburg line.
The long-delayed Western North Carolina Railroad from Salisbury through Statesville, Morganton, and Old Fort, finally broke through to Asheville in 1880.
At the close of the Civil War, Asheville had stood sixty miles distant from railheads in Morgan-ton, North Carolina, Greenville, South Carolina, and Greeneville, Tennessee.
Reynolds (1887), Buncombe County Deeds, Book 68 , pp . The numbers of both the vaca-tioners and the migrant ailing were swelled appreciably by completion f h B b T . It was the advent of rail travel in the 1880s, however, which enabled Asheville to become a major resort and health center .
Barnard (1885), Buncombe County Deeds, Book 48, pp . Wo l fe, who followed them, opened its doors to the rapidly increasing numbers flocking to Asheville in search of health and recreation .