Blue Ridge Assembly Post Card Collection
Blue Ridge History and Timeline
The growth of Blue Ridge over the past 100 years is very interesting. Like most organizations, Blue Ridge as flushed and struggled. But even during the darkest times, Blue Ridge continued. To give perspective, major world, national, local events have been included in blue type. Information from my post card collection, based on readable postmark dates, is included in red type. History on the Blue Ridge NC Post Office is on the Post Office History and Postmark pages (some highlights are also in this Timeline). Source material within the timeline is also listed on the Publications and References page. Within the timeline are “AU” links. These jump to notes at the bottom of the timeline that reference “pieces” of information that cannot be fully connected together (yet) or are other interesting pieces or information about conferences, events, cottages construction, and people of Blue Ridge. The timeline contains “Quote from” from various brochures, publications, or newspapers to give context or reference for the time.
Links to the original source documentation / newspaper is provided. For most college/university newspapers, the entire edition is included. For most daily newspapers, the front page and the page with the article is included (sometimes the article can be a little difficult to find on the page). Some documents are very large because they are collections. In this case, page numbers are provided.
NOTE: Books and articles reflect the times they were written. Some language, used at the time, may no longer be acceptable. Language, writing styles, and terms used should be taken within historical context. Some newspapers are published by religions organizations and reflect the organization’s or author’s view (at the time of publication). Inclusion of religious-based newspapers and publications is to support the historical research of Blue Ridge Assembly and WD Weatherford.
Copyright of all material belongs to the original publisher/author. Inclusion of material is to support the historical research of Blue Ridge Assembly and WD Weatherford.
This timeline is in the process of being updated. More dates, events, and references will be added. Suggestions, corrections, reports of dead links, etc. can be emailed to email@example.com.
1902: Weatherford named Student Secretary for the South International Committee of the YMCA.
July 10, 1902 Nashville American article: Weatherford resigns as Tennessee State Student Secretary to start the position of the South Student Secretary.
August 6, 1902 Nashville American article: WR Pearson replaces Weatherford as the new physical director for the Vanderbilt University gymnasium when Weatherford starts his new job.
December 8, 1904: Weatherford marries Lula Belle Trawick in Nashville, TN. The couple will live in Atlanta, GA.
October 6, 1906: Eureka! Blue Ridge site is chosen. Willis D Weatherford and Alexander L Phillips (superintendent of Sabbath Schools for the Southern Presbyterian Church) rent a horse and buggy from Asheville NC and dive to Black Mountain to look at property known as the “Johnson Tract”. After parking the buggy the two walk up the mountain. Weatherford climbs a tree to get a look at the view and exclaims: “Eureka, we have found it!” The two return to Asheville and with Judge JD Murphy borrow $5000 (or $4000) as a down payment and give personal notes for balance of the purchase price of $11,500 for 952 acres.
August 25, 1918 Tampa Sunday Tribune article includes history of Blue Ridge. The article contains an abbreviated version of the story, but no names.
August 18, 1921 Roanoke News article includes history of Blue Ridge. The article does not contain any names.
July 5, 1931 Asheville Citizen Times: Article includes 1906 story and history of Blue Ridge (up to 1931)
June 12, 1938 Asheville Citizen Times: Article includes 1906 story, but does not mention climbing the tree.
1940 Venture of Faith: Document written Weatherford covering Blue Ridge history up to 1940.
June 7, 1955 Asheville Citizen: Article includes the story about Weatherford climbing the tree
July 5, 1964 Asheville Citizen Times: Runs a photo of the July 3, 1964, ceremony when a plaque is placed at the base of the tree
1907: Weatherford completes his thesis and earns Doctor of Philosophy from Vanderbilt University.
June 19, 1907, Vanderbilt University 32nd Commencement Program (page 275 of PDF, page 6 of program) lists Weatherford.
January 23-24, 1907: First Blue Ridge organizational meeting is held in Charlotte NC.
January 23, 1907, Charlotte News article: “There will be a meeting tonight or tomorrow of a number of committeemen from various organizations to consider a plan to arrange for summer conferences at Montreat (sic)…” Representatives from: Young People’s Missionary Movement (YPMM) and YMCA. (YWCA not mentioned in the article.)
January 24, 1907, Charlotte News article about “a committee meeting of the representatives of the Young People’s Missionary Movement…” “At the meeting this morning the plan of organizing a summer conference camp was freely discussed.” Only organizations mentioned were YPMM and YMCA.
January 25, 1907, Charlotte Daily Observer article: “Committees representing the Young Men’s Christian Associations of the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee and the Young People’s Missionary Movement of the South met here (Charlotte, NC) at the Central Hotel yesterday and appointed a committee, composed of Messrs. WD Weatherford, of Atlanta, and JD Murphy, of Asheville, to draw a charter and make other necessary arrangements to purchase a track of land near Montreat for the associations represented. It is the purpose of these organizations to buy about 1,000 acres of land and erect proper buildings for conferences and conventions and residences. Something like $50,000 will be expended during the coming summer.” (YWCA not mentioned in article and the name “Blue Ridge” is not mentioned.)
March 4, 1907 (Postmark date): Post card promoting the Southern Student Conference to be held in Asheville June 14-23, 1907. Early in Blue Ridge’s history, Weatherford kept his position as YMCA Student Secretary for the South. x01-1907b01
March 6, 1907: “An Act To Incorporate The Blue Ridge Association For Christian Conference And Training”
Private Laws of the State of North Carolina as its Session of 1907:1907-Chapter 318 (page 747). Executive Committee must have at least 21 people, at least three of must be from the Young People’s Missionary Movement (YPMM) and at least 13 from the YMCA (YWCA is not mentioned). (Sponsored by Weaver)
Executive Committee: John A Patten, president; JD Murphy, vice-president; FC Abbott, secretary/treasurer
Business Committee: John A Patten, JD Murphy, AL Phillips, WD Weatherford, CA Rowland, JW Fisher, FC Abbott
Others Named: LA Coulter, GC Huntington, CW Kent, FH Helvitt, GC Shall, CC Mitchenaur, WR Lambreth, John L Wheat, Owen Gathright, JP Jackson, RS Menger, JW Fisher, SW McGee, DL Jackson, __ Thornton (first name not listed)
As part of coverage of the session, several newspapers around the state ran lists of bills which included the incorporation of Blue Ridge.
July 30, 1907 Charlotte Daily Observer article describes “a movement which is of interest to many people is an effort being put forth to purchase a track of 950 acres of land...to be used as a place for conventions of religious organizations. To this end an association has been formed and chartered by the State with the name ‘The Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conferences and Training’...the movement under the auspices and control of the YMCA, YWCA, the YPMM, and the Laymen’s Missionary Movement—all of the South.” (YWCA is mentioned in the article.)
July 30, 1907 Charlotte News runs a similar story.
1907: Regional Utilities
-Black Mountain Telephone Company
-Telephone and electric service in Black Mountain
September 24, 1907 Charlotte Observer: Black Mountain Telephone Company has connected 30 +/- phones.
May 24, 1909 Asheville Citizen article about the sale of Black Mountain Telephone Company. The article gives history and explains debts.
May 29, 1909: Public Auction of assets of Black Mountain Telephone Company. WH Clark paid $70. Sale was because of debts to Asheville Telephone and Telegraph Company and Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph.
July 24, 1909 Asheville Citizen: Notice of Sale by order of the Superior Court. Western Electric sues and receives judgement for debts owed by Black Mountain Telephone Company.
August 6, 1909: Public Auction of franchise and easement rights of Black Mountain Telephone Company. WH Clark paid $25. Sale was because of debts to Western Electric (supplier of equipment).
August 23, 1909: Sell assets back to Black Mountain Telephone Company. WH Clark sells the assets he purchased at both auctions back to Black Mountain Telephone Company.
(1912: Blue Ridge was built with its own electric light plant, see Blue Ridge Construction Announcements in the timeline.)
April 17, 1913: Asheville Citizen: “The towns of Black Mountain and Montreat are to be afforded all the advantages of electricity was assured at a joint meeting held here (Black Mountain) last night, participated in by the town officials of the two places. A modern hydro-electric plant will be installed at the waterfalls just above Montreat…it will be more than sufficient to supply both towns with light…”
April 18, 1913: Charlotte Observer: one paragraph article: “A citizens’ mass-meeting was held in the school house auditorium Monday night to consider the proposition of giving a 20-year franchise of electric lights to the Mountain Retreat Association of Montreat. The Board of Aldermen was instructed to close the contract. It is expected that lights will be in the town by June 15. The contractors having the work in charge arrived Tuesday to commence work.”
April 6, 1913 Charlotte Observer: In article about the conference centers around Black Mountain, the new electric light plat at Montreat is described in detail. Other details about the electric light plant are explained in August 24, 1913 Charlotte Observer.
May 13, 1913: Black Mountain Telephone Company charter amended. Activities expanded to include providing electric light service and name changed to Black Mountain Telephone Corporation.
June 10, 1913: Charlotte Observer: brief article about Black Mountain Telephone Corporation getting the franchise for electric service: “…When the telephone corporation was organized it was believed that a power company at Montreat would receive the franchise for lighting the streets but the local men (Black Mountain Telephone Corporation) made a bid for the franchise and it has been granted.”
July 8, 1913: Charlotte Observer: “Black Mountain Telephone Corporation, which was recently awarded a contract to install an electric light plant and furnish power for this section for the next 10 years, will submit a franchise for a street car line at the next regular meeting of the Board of Aldermen…”
October 5, 1921: Asheville Citizen: Black Mountain files suit against Black Mountain Telephone Company for failure to provided promised electrical service.
April 1925: Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph purchases the telephone systems and equipment of Black Mountain Telephone Corporation (deed)
March 18, 1929 Asheville Citizen: Southern Bell improves equipment and service in Black Mountain. Black Mountain has 264 telephones.
August 18, 1929: Sunday Citizen: Controversy over billing practices of Southern Bell.
February 20, 1954: Asheville Citizen: Calls between Black Mountain and Asheville are no longer long-distance.
November 6, 1964: Asheville Citizen: Southern Bell expands services in Swannanoa area.
June 27, 1907: Weatherford speaks at the joint Asheville Board of Trade and Asheville Retail Merchants Association meeting
June 28, 1907 Semi-Weekly Citizen (Asheville) and June 28, 1907 Charlotte Observer run articles about Weatherford’s presentation at the meeting. Weatherford gives details on conference attendance and dollars spent. He also outlines the need and land. The article includes the YMCA, YWCA, and the YPMM. “At the joint meeting the object of the gathering was stated very clearly and concisely. It was to hear a proposition by Mr. Weatherford looking to the permanent location of these movements in summer conferences in or near Asheville.” The Charlotte Observer article mentions “…other places were bidding for the permanent home including Hendersonville and Chattanooga or Lookout Mountain.”
July 12, 1907: Lula Belle Trawick Weatherford (1876-1907) dies during child birth. The baby girl does not survive. Lula Belle is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Clarksville, TN.
July 13, 1907 Nashville American (two places on this page)
August 1907: Decision between Asheville and Hendersonville.
June 28, 1907 Charlotte Observer in an article about Weatherford’s presentation to the Asheville Board of Trade and Asheville Retail Merchants Association, it mentions: “…other places were bidding for the permanent home including Hendersonville and Chattanooga or Lookout Mountain.”
July 11, 1907 French Broad Hustler (Hendersonville, NC) article details visit to Hendersonville by Weatherford and Dr. Brown for “the establishment of the yearly convention and training school for the YMCA and allied organizations…”
August 3, 1907, Asheville Citizen details the decision to develop property outside of Asheville (same property purchased in 1906) or near Hendersonville (where property is being offered at no charge). To stay in the Asheville area $6500 must be raised. The article refers to the “YMCA and YWCA assembly grounds” however “the movement for permanent grounds is in the charge of” Weatherford and WE Millis of the YMCA and John A Shell of the YPMM (no YWCA representation). (Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain not mentioned in article.)
October 24, 1907: Blue Ridge Committee meeting in Charlotte
October 25, 1907 Charlotte Observer: “An important meeting of the officers and committeemen of the Blue Ridge Association was held in the city yesterday…The association is planning the development of a permanent conference resort at Black Mountain, near Montreat, on the 1000 acre tract purchased by the association for the benefit of the YMCA, YWCA, and Young People Missionary Societies of the South…” (Note YWCA is mentioned in this article). A separate article details the quarterly meeting of the Interstate Committee of the Carolina YMCAs at the Selwyn Hotel.
October 25, 1907 Charlotte News article about the quarterly meeting of the Interstate Committee of YMCAs of North and South Carolina. Weatherford speaks about student conferences and “the need of a conference meeting place and a training school in the South… a need which Blue Ridge Association for Christian work is seeking to supply…”
November 1907: Oklahoma admitted to the Union
June 15, 1908 (Postmark date): Post card sent during the Southern Student Conference, June 12-21, 1908 (PM: Montreat NC). x01-1908a01
1908-1909: Fundraising campaign (pre Rockefeller gift):
June 5, 1908, Nashville Tennessean article details visit from Mr. RL Wiggins fundraising at Vanderbilt University. The article states, “...the Vanderbilt boys have raised $1,000…” and “...Vanderbilt will be the only college where subscriptions will be solicited this year, but next year Mr. Wiggins will go to all the southern colleges and put before them the mark that Vanderbilt has set…”
December 19, 1908, University of Virginia Madison Hall Notes describes new location of student conference: “...more than a thousand acres.” Building plans include: “... large Auditorium, an administration building, a dining hall, suitable dormitories and other such buildings as may be needed. A lake for boating and swimming and a large athletic field are already laid out by the leaders of this movement.” Another article in the same edition: “...Twenty-one Christian, business men (referring to the 21-member Blue Ridge Association executive committee) are backing this cause with their thoughts, their money, and their prayers; the company has now been chartered under the laws of North Carolina as the Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conference and Training; the land is purchased and partly paid for; a financial secretary is visiting the colleges of the South to secure funds to equip these grounds. Vanderbilt (University) has led off with $1,000 in cash and subscriptions will increase this amount…”
April 10, 1909, University of Virginia Madison Hall Notes details visit from Mr. Wiggins and college fundraising for Blue Ridge. Vanderbilt University and University of Mississippi have pledged $1,000 each. University of Virginia starts campaign.
April 25, 1909 Nashville Tennessean and April 29, 1909 Raleigh Christian Advocate run very similar articles. The articles, although slightly different, contain much of the same information and quotes. Both are laying the foundation to the need to build a “permanent and separate grounds”. “To pay for the property and equip the plant $50,000 is needed. About $8,000 has already been secured and the deeds to the property have been transferred to the Blue Ridge Association.” The article lists these contributions so far: Vanderbilt University $1000 with “several members of the faculty and alumni adding $1000”; Ward Seminary in Nashville “a large contribution”; University of Mississippi $1000 in memory of J Arthur Brown.
September 27, 1909 Charlotte News article details a visit by CK Ober to Charlotte and planning of Blue Ridge. The article quotes Ober: “We need now at least $75,000 to put up the necessary buildings, etc. It is not possible to make a general canvass, but the amount will be raised in gifts of $500 and $1000.”
October 16, 1909, Asheville Citizen Article states that all but $5000 of the $12,500 land purchase has been paid. The YMCA, YWCA, and the YPMM are asking the people of Asheville to contribute the remaining $5000. The Asheville Board of Trade will setup a committee to raise the money. The article states, “A gentleman stands ready to donate $25,000 towards the construction of the buildings which will cost complete $62,500.”
1909: William H Taff becomes President
1910: John D Rockefeller donates $50,000.
May 28, 1910 Asheville Gazette News article gives history of the YMCA conferences, possible growth, Blue Ridge purchase of land, and plans to build. Fundraising of $92,500, with a $50,000 donation from a “friend” (Rockefeller is not named) if the remaining can be raised by June 1, 1911.
May 28, 1910 Greensboro Daily News article about CK Ober appearing before the Asheville Board of Trade and the Retail Merchants Association to help raise funds, “With an offer of $50,000 from an unnamed philanthropist as an incentive.”
May 28, 1910 Asheville Citizen in an article about the joint Asheville Board of Trade and the Retail Merchants Association fundraising efforts, it mentions: “…a friend has offered to contribute $50,000 if a similar amount is raised by June 1, 1911…” (Rockefeller is not named.)
May 29, 1910 Baltimore Sun and June 1, 1910 Greensboro Patriot run identical articles: “...Pending the completion of the plans and raising the remainder of the required money, the name of the man who has given $50,000 to this work is not announced, but is practically known that he is John D Rockefeller, the Standard Oil magnate.”
December 28, 1910 Charlotte Observer runs list of organizations receiving gifts from Rockefeller. The list includes “Blue Ridge Association $50,000”
December 31, 1910 Chicago Tribune in the list of annual gifts and bequests: “May 28 – John D Rockefeller, New York, gift to Blue Ridge Association, $50,000”
Chicago Daily New Almanac and Year-Book for 1911, page 331: Notable Gifts and Bequests in 1910 under John D Rockefeller. – Blue Ridge $50,000 is included in the list.
(This gift is highlighted in many future articles and fundraising campaigns.)
1910 - 1926: Fundraising campaign – other large gifts
October 16, 1909, Asheville Citizen Article states that all but $5000 of the $12,500 land purchase has been paid. The YMCA, YWCA, and the YPMM are asking the people of Asheville to contribute the remaining $5000. The Asheville Board of Trade will setup a committee to raise the money. The article states, “A gentleman stands ready to donate $25,000 towards the construction of the buildings which will cost complete $62,500.” (Note: the “gentleman” is never named.)
1921 Blue Ridge Summary Statement: on page 3 states: “The outstanding subscriptions to this property have been Mr. Rockefeller, $50,000; three special subscriptions of $50,000, $30,000, and $15,000 respectively; Mr. Cleveland Dodge, $5000; Miss. Grace Dodge, $5000; Mrs. John Patton, $5000; Mr. McKeown $3500…”
1926 Blue Ridge Summary Statement: repeats the 1921 Blue Ridge Summary Statement donations, but includes others: “The outstanding subscriptions to this property have been Mr. Rockefeller, $50,000; three special subscriptions of $50,000, $30,000, and $125,000, respectively; City of Asheville, $20,000 toward the Asheville Building; Mr. Cleveland Dodge, $5000; Miss. Grade Dodge, $5000; Mrs. John Patton, $5000; Mr. McKeown $3500;…Mr. CH Hobbs has contributed a total of more than $100,000 to the Association and is our largest single contributor.”
1910: Fundraising campaign (post Rockefeller gift):
May 28, 1910 Asheville Citizen: article about the joint Asheville Board of Trade and Retail Merchants Association assisting with raising “…$11,500 of the $50,000 needed…”
June 5, 1910 Nashville Tennessean: page 4 short article on Blue Ridge. Mentions plans for the property, organization, and these contributions: Rockefeller $50,000 (including conditions), Vanderbilt University $2000, University of Virginia $1000 and University of Mississippi $500 (for field to be called “Brown Memorial Field”)
June 29, 1910 Charlotte Observer article about recent Blue Ridge business meeting, announcement of Rockefeller gift, plans, donations, upcoming fundraising, and quotes from individuals. In the article the YMCA, YWCA, and YPMM are highlighted.
September 16, 1910: The Weekly Banner: page 1 short article about Charles A Rowland being elected President of BR Board and “...Mr. Rockefeller has agreed to help by donating $50,000 if the sum of $25,000 is raised to supplement it. The raising of this sum of money will be undertaken soon”
October 1910: The Association Men: Blue Ridge is described as “a Southern Silver Bay” (comparison to Silver Bay Conference Center, NY that started in 1902). Article mentions land secured, plans, fundraising of $80,000 ($30,000 to be raised plus $50,000 matching gift from Rockefeller), goal to complete fundraising by November 1 to open by summer 1911, local association gifts, and naming rights auditorium or gym.
January 3, 1911 Asheville Gazette News article states “enough money has been subscribed...to make available the $50,000 donation by John D Rockefeller. This means that when the weather opens up in the early spring, construction work will begin upon the buildings…”
October 17-23, 1910. One-week fundraising campaign (but was extended).
June 30, 1910 Asheville Gazette News article mentions upcoming October campaign.
September 21, 1910, Asheville Citizen, Simultaneous fundraising campaign in the Southern states. Details: land has bene paid for; $50,000 has been offered, conditional on $30,000 being secured; NY architect has offered his services for free; lumber needed is on the property (saving 50% of cost); and lumberman has offered to supervise for free. The goal of the week is to raise $30,000 to secure the $50,000.
October 4, 1910 Asheville Gazette News article describes a new “beautiful and attractive booklet giving additional information on the development of the association grounds….” The article states “The work of raising funds for the work is progressing nicely and within a few days the campaign to raise the balance of the money will begin simultaneously in all large cities and colleges of the South.”
October 12, 1910 Asheville Citizen article about a meeting with the YMCA to reach out to the Board of Trade and Retail Merchants Association to raise funds for Blue Ridge. “A simultaneous campaign will be waged over the entire South for the raising of this money, the sum needed being about $30,000. The week beginning next Monday has been selected as the one in which to do the work and Asheville is to be the headquarters of the movement…”
October 18, 1910 Asheville Gazette News: article gives update on campaign: “…progressing nicely and nearly half of the amount needed to be raised to make sure the donation of $50,000 by the Rockefeller Foundation has been raised…(requirements of matching funds)” The article mentions the on-going logging operations and desire for the buildings to be ready next summer.
October 25, 1910 Asheville Gazette News article states “only about $7500 of the $24,500 necessary to comply with the conditions of the gift of $50,000 by John D Rockefeller was needed and it is believed that this will be raised by November 1. The canvas in Asheville will not close for another week…only $1500 was raised here, leaving $3500 of the mark set for Asheville yet to be raised.” The article also mentions the on-going lumbering operations at Blue Ridge and having the building ready by next year.
December 2, 1910 Western Sentinel (Winston-Salem NC): article following building committee meeting at Blue Ridge. The article is mainly about construction, but also mentions: “…there is now in sight all of the money needed for the association’s plans except $2000 and this amount is now being raised…” “Naturally, the most pleasing thing to those behind the movement has been the success which has crowned the efforts to raise the money needed for the work. With enough is sight to obtain the conditional gift of John D Rockefeller, the financing of the work is assured.”
February 29, 1911 Asheville Citizen article about selection of contractors mentions the “amount was raised and developments began immediately.”
1910-1911: Construction announcements:
June 30, 1910 Asheville Gazette News article details plans for property, Board decision to “place a saw mill immediately upon the property which is heavily timbered and proceed at once to get out hardwood lumber for the buildings”. CH Hobbs will oversee the cutting at no charge. Building plans have been made by a New York firm (not named). Fundraising plans for October.
July 15, 1910, The Lumber Trade Journal: “Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conferences and Training, Montreat, NC (sic), will erect sawmill to cut hardwood lumber for erection of various buildings; estimated 1,000,000 feet available; cutting under the direction of CH Hobbs, Asheville, NC.”
August 9, 1910 Western Sentinel (Winston-Salem NC) brief article: “Active work began this week on the development of the grounds of the Blue Ridge Association…”
October 25, 1910 Asheville Gazette News mentions the on-going lumbering operations (the article is mainly about the fundraising efforts).
November 1910: Municipal Journal and Engineer: On various pages: Considering Road Construction $5,000; Considering constructing sewage system (no est.); Considering constructing dam and electric plant (no est.). FC Abbott is listed as contact.
December 1, 1910: Electrical World: “Preparations are being made by the Blue Ridge Association for municipal improvements, including the construction of a dam and electric light plant, water-works and sewerage, etc.”
December 2, 1910 Western Sentinel (Winston-Salem NC): article following building committee meeting at Blue Ridge. “The principal thing which is now worrying the executive committee is the erection of the main, or administrative, building…Its construction will necessitate a number of very heavy timbers, and as these are being cut from the forests on the grounds it is feared that they will not have time to properly season before this spring when it would be necessary to start the work if the building is to be finished in time for the summer’s conferences…In the meantime it is definitely settled that a number of buildings will be erected almost at once. A large auditorium with seating capacity of some 600 to be erected first, and a number of cottages and a gymnasium will be built at the same time.”
January 3, 1911 Asheville Gazette News article states “enough money has been subscribed...to make available the $50,000 donation by John D Rockefeller. This means that when the weather opens up in the early spring, construction work will begin upon the buildings…” The article includes a photograph of the architect’s illustration showing “Robert E Lee Hall, the auditorium, and the gymnasium.” “The hall will have a capacity of 400, while the dining room will seat 600 in one sitting. Each room is to be equipped with running water, electric lights from the association’s private plant, and steam heat. A barber shop and billiard room will also be provided. The auditorium will seat 700 and be equipped with a large stage and several dressing rooms. The gymnasium will be equipped with modern apparatus, bowling alleys, shower baths, and lockers.” The last of the article states “The buildings will hardly be in readiness for the June conferences but may be completed by early next fall.”
January 5, 1911: Electrical World: “CE Waddell, of Asheville NC, engineer, is reported to have been engaged by the Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conference to take charge of the construction of electric light plant, water works, and grounds in connection with the errection of a summer school to be established by the association”
February 28, 1911, Asheville Citizen announces that building contracts will be announced after bids are opened. The project is now valued at $92,500. Some work has started and roles selected. Hobbs is already supervising the cutting of lumber. Louis E Jaliade is the architect. CE Waddell is the engineer. “Robert E Lee Hall” is mentioned in the article. Previous fundraising campaign is also mentioned as a success.
June 25, 1911 Sunday Citizen: article written during the 1911 YMCA Student Conference at Montreat, Weatherford talks about building of Blue Ridge: “It has been announced at the conference now in session in Montreat that erection of a hotel, with rooms for 400 persons, administration offices and dining hall will be begin at an early date, and already preliminary work has been done upon a system of roads to cost $5000, a water supply, sewerage system, and electric light plant and spacious athletic fields.” “…the hotel, to be known as Robert E Lee Hall, and in addition to an auditorium seating 700 and a gymnasium will be erected. Lumber for the three buildings (four are named in the article) is being produced on the association’s property…”
January 27, 1912 Charlotte Daily Observer: article about ER Rufty of Charlotte visiting Blue Ridge and reporting back on construction progress. The article states: “The hotel is enclosed and the floors nearly completed…The water supply and electric lighting will come from the company’s own plant which is being installed. A laundry operated by electric power will also be installed. A first-class macadam road is being laid from Black Mountain station, a distance of about two miles…”
February 23, 1912 Charlotte News article: “…work on the buildings and grounds is going on rapidly and that according to present indications the institution will be opened on June 1…”
February 26, 1912 Asheville Citizen: short article about the Blue Ridge business committee meeting. “The business committee finds the building operations and the association grounds nearing completion. Some changes are being made in the plans and more rooms added. The water and sewerage systems are installed and the macadam roads will be pushed to completion as soon as the weather will permit. Indications are that the entire plant will be in readiness before the time for the summer conferences which begin on June 5th.”
April 18, 1912 The Tradesman: “Construction contract awarded to David Getaz and Son of Knoxville, TN for construction of an auditorium, hotel, and other buildings….”
May 1911: Not ready for Summer of 1911.
January 3, 1911 Asheville Gazette News article about construction starting in the early Spring ends with “The buildings will hardly be in readiness for the June conferences but may be completed by early next fall.”
May 1911 Association Men, a single paragraph: “The buildings at the new Blue Ridge $86,000 Association conference place are being rapidly pushed forward, but will not be completed in time to hold conferences there this season.”
Opening in Summer 1911 (or “next year”) is mentioned in June 29, 1910 Charlotte Observer, August 9, 1910 Western Sentinel (Winston-Salem SC), September 21, 1910 Asheville Citizen, October 4, 1910 Asheville Gazette News and October 1910: The Association Men.
Summer 1911: Before Blue Ridge hosted its first conference, Weatherford was giving tours.
June 15, 1911, Charlotte News reported at a YWCA meeting in Asheville: “About two hundred delegates attending the conference visited the Blue Ridge Association grounds at Black Mountain this afternoon.”
June 25, 1911 Sunday Citizen: article written during the 1911 YMCA Student Conference at Montreat, Weatherford talks about building of Blue Ridge. The article mentions: “…A trip to the grounds was made by the entire conference, and many expressions of admiration were heard…”
May 9, 1930, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Tar Heel reports in a conference history article that during the Southern Student “...1911 conference at Conference at Montreat Dr. Weatherford took a large group of students from the conference over across the valley and several hundred yards up the slope on the opposite side of Black Mountain, to explore the proposes site for a permanent YMCA assembly grounds…” In the April 5, 1936, University of North Carolina Tar Heel, the story changed slightly to “...That summer the entire convention hiked across Black Mountain valley and, led by Dr. WC (sic) Weatherford, selected the present Blue Ridge grounds as a permanent home.”
1911-1912: Announcements of Blue Ridge pending opening:
April 25, 1911, Washington and Lee University The Ring-tum Phi on page 4: In article about the 1911 conference, “...Last year the Conference was held at Montreat NC, and it will be held there in 1911. After this it will meet on the beautiful new grounds of the Association about 15 miles out of Asheville.”
June 13, 1911 Asheville Citizen: in an article about the YWCA Conference, it mentions Weatherford “spoke enthusiastically of the great work mapped out for this institution (Blue Ridge)” during one of the chapel exercises.
January 12, 1912 The Presbyterian of the South: article about the Missionary Education Conference coming June 25-July 4, 1912 at Blue Ridge. The article states “...Blue Ridge is the new permanent home of this conference.”
February 21, 1912 Asheville Gazette News article citing CK Ober “...the buildings and grounds is going on rapidly and that according to the present indications the institution will be opened on June 1…”
February 1912 Missionary Survey (page 270): “For a number of years, the conferences (Young People’s Missionary Movement to be renamed Missionary Education Movement) have been held at Asheville NC. During all this this time there has been a constant effort made to secure a permanent location. As announced through the religious and secular press the Missionary Education Movement…, in connection with the YMCA and YWCA has secured one of the most beautiful locations in the mountain... Mechanics of all kinds are busy erecting the buildings on the mountainside near Black Mountain NC….”
March 1912 Intercollegian on page 141: Blue Ridge is on the list of 1912 Conferences for the YMCA (June 14-23) and YWCA (June 5-15). “The Blue Ridge Association in South Carolina (sic, should be North Carolina) will be ready to entertain conferences this year and several gatherings will assemble there during its opening year….” Two other mentions of Blue Ridge later in the March edition.
April 13, 1912, Clemson College The Tiger on page 5: Short article about attending the Southern Students Conference (“generally referred to as the Montreat Conference”) June 15-25, 1912 and the “new grounds belonging to the Blue Ridge Association…”
April 17, 1912 Asheville Weekly Citizen article details the history, contributions, construction, facilities, and plans for Blue Ridge. Article mentions: Louis E Jalade, CH Hobbs lumber, David Getaz Son and Company of Knoxville, Tucker and Laxton of Charlotte. Of note in the article: “Probably on account of its being comparatively level, about 20 acres of the lower part of the property was cleared for cultivation many years ago, but has long been abandoned to broomsedge. This ‘old field’ will be converted into an athletic park…”
April 20, 1912, Athens Banner on page 8: fundraiser for the “Blue Ridge Conference fund” (to loan students the fees to attend the conference) with “This conference, June 15-23, near Asheville NC and is to held at the new conference grounds of the Blue Ridge Assembly…”
April 21, 1912, Pensacola Journal (FL) on page 11: article detailing the opening and first conferences.
May 9, 1912 Pensacola Journal (FL): article about CK Ober visiting the local YMCA to “…present the opportunities for recreation and study at the new resort (Blue Ridge) by means of stereopticon.”
January 1912: New Mexico admitted to the Union
February 1912: Arizona admitted to the Union
April 15, 1912: Titanic sinks
May-July 1912: 1912 Olympics in Stockholm
May 1912: Construction complete for opening at Blue Ridge. (Also see Construction Announcements above for details.)
-Robert E Lee Hall built (renamed Eureka Hall in 2015)
-Dining Hall (behind Lee Hall)
-Auditorium (not College Hall)
-Athletic Areas (baseball, tennis, basketball, race courses)
-Road from Black Mountain to Blue Ridge
-Water and Sewer System
May 16, 1912, Asheville Citizen article mentions the May 15, 1912 Board meeting “held for the purpose of accepting the building, which is practically completed.” The article describes the building and grounds, including “...138 bedrooms in the building and a large number of baths…”, “about 20 classrooms and a large Dining room capable of accommodating four to five hundred…an auditorium of a seating capacity of about 500…” Furniture is arriving and being placed. “The building is furnished with water and electric lights from the association’s own plants...one of the best macadam roads in the state has been constructed from Black Mountain to the association building...a baseball diamond is being laid off and several tennis courts arranged for.” The article also mentions “It is also understood that a golf course will be constructed. A gymnasium will be erected near the building.”
May 18, 1912 Evening Chronicle article “The new buildings of the Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conference and Training have been completed…Two miles from Black Mountain and in the mist of virgin mountain forest stands the main building with porticos and Corinthian columns and with its three stories and 300 feet of length, affords to the eye of the visitor a pleasing spectacle in the midst of the mountain fastnesses. The dining hall is located in a separate building and will accommodate 400 people, while there is a handsome auditorium seating 800 people. The light and power for various purposes will be furnished from power generated by a stream close by, which also affords a pure supply of water for the hotel.”
May 20, 1912, Asheville Citizen article: After a visit to Blue Ridge five Board members “were highly pleased with the present condition of the buildings and grounds and report that within a few days the structures will be complete”. The article describes Blue Ridge: “The property consists of 853 acres…a perfect water supply furnishes water for the buildings and grounds and a system of electric lights had been installed. Macadam roads transverse the property and the athletic field consists of a basketball diamond, tennis courts, basketball courts and race courses. The auditorium has a seating capacity of 800 and is arranged in such a manner that the sides can be removed and the occupants of the building can have all the advantages of an open air meeting. Sixteen classrooms are arranged…” The article states “As one goes back to Black Mountain he can see three buildings, the dormitories, and the classrooms”.
September 12, 1912, The Tradesman on page 44 (562 of PDF): completion of Lee Hall, logging, and roads. Lee Hall is described as “300 feet long by 50 feet wide, with a wing on the north end 90 feet long and 40 feet wide. The building is of wooden construction three stories in height with a large roomy basement of native stone. The Dining room is 70 by 50 feet with seating capacity of about 500. There are four baths on each floor, both shower and tub, with hot and cold water, two each for men and women. Building is heated by steam. The electric lights for buildings and grounds are obtained from a small hydro-electric plant developing thirty h.p. from direct connected dynamo, located on a brisk mountain stream of sparkling clearness which runs through the grounds. The reservoir is about 2500 feet away from the building up the mountain side, and the water is carried to the building through a ten-inch main with a direct fall of 170 feet. The sewerage line extends a distance of 6200 feet to the creek below.” The article also states “Although not quite completed for the beginning of the season, three conventions have already been held in this structure….”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 1 number 3, January 1920: In an article about the 1920 Building Program, it starts: “Success has been the greatest embarrassment of the Blue Ridge Association. When the three original buildings were erected (Lee Hall, the Dining Hall, and the Temporary Auditorium) (sic), it was thought that we had sufficient equipment for at least the first five years. Instead the buildings were filled to capacity the very first summer (1912) (sic)….”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 1 number 3, January 1920: Article explains the naming of Lee Hall: “The Central Building on the Blue Ridge grounds is dedicated to the memory of the South’s greatest and most beloved son, Robert E Lee….” Lee was President of the YMCA at Washington College 1865-1870. “There hangs in Lee Hall at Blue Ridge a facsimile letter from Lee to the YMCA at Washington Lee…” In the letter Lee acknowledges being elected an honorary member of the YMCA of Washington College. Included is a photo of a signed RE Lee photo, which was identified as belonging to “the editor” (WD Weatherford).
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 3 number 4, January 1922: Article about the naming of Lee Hall and letter from Mr. AN Gordon, who Lee’s letter was addressed to. The article also includes more information on the signed RE Lee photo as belonging to WD Weatherford, a gift from Flora Miller.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 4 number 4, January 1923: Includes multiple articles on RE Lee.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 6 number 4, January 1925: Includes reprint of RE Lee portrait and YMCA letter.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 8 number 4, January 1927: Includes a very long article on RE Lee by Dr. Smith, President of Washington and Lee University.
June-July 1912: First conferences at Blue Ridge and dedication. The 1912 Conference Schedule is:
-YWCA June 5-14
-YMCA June 15-23
-Missionary Education Movement July 25-July 4
-YMCA Institute July 5-19 (Summer Conference of YMCA Secretaries)
-Buildings Open to Guests July 5-August 31
May 13, 1912 Twin City Daily Sentinel announces the YWCA conference on June 5: “For the first time the southern division of the YWCA of the US will enjoy the privilege of holding its annual summer conference on its own grounds at Blue Ridge, near Black Mountain NC, because the grounds and buildings of the Blue Ridge Association blong (sic) jointly to the YWCA, the YMCA, and the Missionary Education Movement...”
May 27, 1912, Asheville Citizen announces the dedication of the buildings to be June 15
May 28, 1912 Asheville Gazette News announces the first conference will be June 4 “College YWCA Meeting Will Mark the Opening of Blue Ridge Assn. Buildings”. Dedication ceremony is on the last day of the conference.
June 20, 1912 Greenville Daily News article “first annual Association Leaders Institute” July 5-12. Article mentions different conferences being held at the same time that week.
June 23, 1912 Sunday Citizen: full page ad “Where Shall We Spend Our Vacation? The Magnificent Estate of the Blue Ridge Association…Open as a Summer Hotel July 5-August 31, 1912” Ad says “Buildings and Furnishings Absolute New, Opened for First Time 1912. Tubercular People Will Not Be Accepted”. Gives rates for weekly stays. Roy H Legate is listed as the contact. (in other ads he is listed as the “manager,” he is the Blue Ridge NC postmaster starting in 1913). Similar ads of various sizes run in newspapers.
June 26, 1912 Charlotte Daily Observer article after the YWCA and YMCA conference end and the YPMM conference is starting. The article states: “The site on which the building stands commands one of the finest views in all western North Carolina and is approached by a fine macadam road which has been designated by students attending the conferences as the ‘Rhododendron Drive’ because of the masses of this mountain flower which boarder the drive, through the association property”
June 20, 1912 Greenville Daily News article about the representatives (including the “entire board of directors”) attending the “first annual Association Leaders Institute” (July 5-12, 1912). The article includes a letter written by “John B Adger, Dean”, details of the schedule, rates, transportation costs, and other conferences being held at the same time.
July 3, 1912 (postmark date): Oldest postmarked Blue Ridge card (PM: Black Mountain). On the back of the card is the 1912 Conference schedule: hwp011a02
July 5, 1912, News-Record article after the first two groups finished
August 2, 1912 Charlotte Daily Observer article after summer conferences were over. Article mentions four buildings: Robert E Lee Hall, “great auditorium, dining room and kitchen, and servant quarters”. Article also states “The building and grounds are worth over $125,000, most of which are fully paid. In fact about $15,000 is unpaid….”
August 11, 1912 Times Dispatch runs a group conference photo of the Southern Student YMCA Conference at Blue Ridge
August 25, 1912 Nashville Tennessean, page 5 article details the grounds, buildings, conferences, and summer staff.
August 18, 1912 Sunday Citizen, brief article: “...hotel building will be open for guest during the month of August…”
October 4, 1912 Charlotte Daily Observer article gives details on attendance: “Before the buildings were opened, the demand for increased accommodations necessitated the adding of tents and extra furnishing, increasing capacity to 400. In the Summer of 1912, the association entertained four conferences...with an aggregate attendance of over 1000 guests.”
1912: Weatherford meets Julia Pearl McCrory at Blue Ridge. She is from the YMCA of Winthrop College, South Carolina.
November 1912 The Intercollegian, Both Weatherford and McCrory are listed in the staff section.
1912: Construction at Blue Ridge (after the 1912 summer conferences)
-Martha Washington Hall (female staff dorm)
-Hobbs Library (??)
-Agnes Scott-Georgia Tech (Georgia School of Technology) Cottage (sometimes called Agnes Scott-Tech Cottage)
1921 Blue Ridge Summary Statement: In the list of improvements after the opening includes: “the Martha Washington Cottage, accommodating 80 college women who work in the buildings”
Agnes Scott-Georgia Tech cottage: In the 1912 Agnes Scott Silhouette (yearbook), there is a mention of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA—YWCA builds the Agnes Scott Cottage at Blue Ridge. The May 29, 1914 University of Georgia Red and Black mentions the University of Georgia men were staying in the Agnes Scott Cottage during their conference. The 1915 Georgia School of Technology The Blue Print (yearbook) shows a photo of the Tech Cottage. The April 30, 1918 Georgia School of Technology The Technique has a picture of the Agnes Scott-Tech Cottage and states this was the first cottage built.
November 1912: Campaign for $60,000
October 4, 1912 Charlotte Daily Observer article about a “...financial campaign for the purpose of raising $60,000 with which to double the capacity of the institution…”
(NOTE: No details on this campaign. Bonds would be issued in January 1913 and another $80,000 campaign would start in 1914.)
November 25, 1912: Black Mountain Business Section Fire
November 25, 1912 Asheville Gazette News article: “Fire of unknown origin starting at midnight practically destroyed the business section of Black Mountain…”
November 1912: Forest Fire on Blue Ridge grounds
November 26, 1912 Asheville Citizen: “…assembly grounds…have been damaged greatly within the past few days as the result of disastrous forest fires which have ragged on the property in spite of the effort of fire fighters…” “…flames have been gotten under control and it is believed that the buildings, which for a time were threatened, are out of danger…”
January 1, 1913: Blue Ridge issues $30,000 in bonds. Meeting held December 20, 1912 to approve bonds for “improvements and additions to the property.”
January 1, 1913: Issue of $30,000 of Bonds to Independence Trust Company. “…at a meeting of the Executive Committee of said Association (Blue Ridge), duly called for the purpose and held at the office of the Association, in the City of Charlotte, NC, on the 20th day of December 1912,… authorize the issuance…of $30,000 in the amount of First Mortgage Bonds to be used to pay for improvements and additions to the property…” The bonds are due in 10 years, January 1, 1923.
January 8, 1913 Asheville Gazette News runs article Blue Ridge has issued $30,000 bonds to the Independence Trust Company of Charlotte. The property is being held in trust. The article states the executive committee decided to issue 90 bonds during the December 20, 1912 meeting in Charlotte. “They are dated January 1, 1913, and will run 10 years at 6%, and may be paid after three years.” The purpose of the bonds is “improvements and development”.
January 9, 1913 Asheville Citizen runs article with headline “Damaged buildings will be remodeled”. The article is about the $30,000 bonds.
January 16, 1913, The Tradesman has a paragraph about Blue Ridge “securing bonds of $30,000 for the purpose of improving and rebuilding its buildings which were partly destroyed in the recent fire.”
March 3, 1913 Charlotte Daily Observer article mentions “securing of $30,000” with plans, but does not mention the word “bond”.
March 9, 1913 Sunday Citizen: article about Blue Ridge meeting mentioning the $30,000 bonds. “…They are unwilling to make any statements as to what was decided upon at the meeting, although it is understood that they went over the plans for the proposed improvements…” The article lists some: “erection of 12 cottages,…completion and equipment of the athletic grounds,…swimming pool to be constructed….”
(Note: On September 1, 1921, the $30,000 in bonds will be refinanced with the issuance of $80,000 in bonds.)
1913: Construction at Blue Ridge
April 6, 1913 Charlotte Observer: In an article about the conference centers around Black Mountain, Blue Ridge is highlighted. In the Blue Ridge part, it mentions: “…A beautiful macadam road has recently been built from the station to the grounds. The Robert E Lee Hall has already been built at a cost of approximately $100,000. It is electrically lighted with power from its own streams, and there is every facility desired available. An auditorium has already been built separate from the main building. Mr. CK Ober is now working on plans to erect another $60,000 building.” (Article does not name the new building.)
June 4, 1913 Asheville Citizen article (a week before the YWCA conference): “New improvements have been made at the association since last summer that have added greatly to the general appearance of the place…New bungalows have been erected for the convenience of guests who would desire this manner of living.” (The article does not detail the “improvements”, give the number of bungalows (cottages), or name the structures built or improved.)
1913: Woodrow Wilson becomes President
June 1913: Quote from June 8, 1913 Sunday Citizen: Article about the opening of the YWCA Conference – “The second season of the Blue Ridge Association has officially opened here by 600 young women members of the YWCA, who swarmed into town and overtaxed the liverymen. Forty carriages, many of them with 4 sears, were kept busy all day conveying passengers to the grounds….The crowd this season surpasses that of any previous year and is beyond the expectation of the association. The main hotel which accommodates 500 soon filled to overflowing. Over 50 tents were secured from Montreat Association and erected on the grounds, equipped with water and electric lights. Several cottages, not yet completed, were pressed into service. Every one of the delegates have been cared for, although many are sleeping three and four to a room that originally intended to for two persons”
June 1913: Quote from June 11, 1913 Asheville Citizen: Article written several days into the YWCA Conference – “Tuesday brought the first real day of sunshine to the 600 or more delegates attending the YWCA second annual Southern Conference at Blue Ridge Association and was welcomed with a shout of joy by the students. A continuous rain of 4 days has kept them indoors and has been very disagreeable to those who are camping out in the 50 tents erected on the grounds…” The article explains the indoor games that were played, speakers, and trip into town: “Over a hundred of the delegates swarmed into town and took the merchants by surprise and nearly bought them out of souvenir goods and postal cards…”
June 1913: Quote from Southern Student Conference booklet June 17-26, 1913:“The Blue Ridge Association was opened in June, 1912, and the second gathering held there was that of the Southern Students’ Conference. The building represents the most splendid traditions of Southern Colonial Architecture; and these, with the water supply, electric lights, and athletic fields, make the equipment complete. The grounds, comprising nearly 1000 acres, are right in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. More than forty peaks can be seen from the property. Among these are the Great Craggies, the Seven-Sister range, and Mt. Mitchell. Besides the new buildings, which include a large rooming house, dining room, and auditorium, there are tennis courts, a baseball field and track for athletics. The entire equipment costs about $125,000. At this season of the year the climate is all that could be desired”
August 2, 1913 Asheville Citizen: “Ray H Legate has been appointed fourth-class postmaster at the new office at Blue Ridge, Buncombe county.”
September 13, 1913 Daily Bulletin of Orders Affecting the Postal Service: Blue Ridge post office listed
September 14 Greensboro Daily News: “A postoffice has been ordered established at Blue Ridge, Buncombe county.”
February 1913: 16th Amendment to the Constitution ratified: Status of Income Tax Clarified
April 1913: 17th Amendment to the Constitution ratified: Senators Elected by Popular Vote
1914- __: Blue Ridge Cottage Fund and $80,000 campaign starts. This campaign would run for several years as cottages are built at Blue Ridge. College YMCAs/YWCAs are asked to raise funds to build cottages at Blue Ridge. Most cottages are around $1,000. In many cases, the cost of the cottage would split between a YMCA at a men’s school and a YWCA at a women’s school. Each would have exclusive use of the cottage during their conference and Blue Ridge would use the cottage the rest of the year. The cottage would be named after the college/university donating the funds. If the cost of the cottage was split between a men’s and women’s school, both names would appear on the cottage. Over the years, the second name on the cottage was dropped. In some student newspapers, the cottage would be referenced without out the other name.
(1912 Agnes Scott Silhouette mentions the YWCA building the Agnes Scott Cottage in 1912,)
February 1914 Association Monthly, on page 36 mentions that Queens College (women’s college in Charlotte NC) and Davidson College (men’s college) are planning to build a cottage.
Staunton Daily Leader (Staunton, VA) runs articles on June 10, 1914, June 11, 1914 and June 12, 1914 detailing the Virginia YMCA State Executive Committee agreeing to an “urgent request” to “release SA Ackley for six months to supervise the raising of $80,000 with which to liquidate the indebtedness of Blue Ridge Association and to make necessary additions to the property and equipment.” The amount includes the $30,000 in bonds and $50,000 in improvements.
October 24, 1914 University of South Carolina Gamecock article about the campaign to build cottages and enlarge the auditorium. The article states: “...The Committee, in endeavoring to raise money, is asking the colleges of each city to donate $1,000. The college contributing will have the cottages named for their college, and the enlarged auditorium will be called ‘College Hall’….” A different article in the same edition about Winthrop (women’s college) mentions that Winthrop has raised $500 to go toward the Winthrop-Clemson cottage at Blue Ridge.
December 1, 1914 Washington and Lee University The Ring-tum Phi article: Washington Lee and Randolph Macon Woman’s College have agreed to build a joint cottage. Randolph Macon have already raised their half. The article also mentions these colleges have started raising funds: Georgia Tech –Agnes Scott, University of Georgia-Shorter, VPI-State Normal, and VMI-Sweetbriar.
December 12, 1914, University of South Carolina Gamecock, article about a visit to University of South Carolina where Weatherford explains the needs of BR. In the article: “A number of colleges including Winthrop, Agnes Scott, Georgia Tech, and UNC are erecting their own building to be used by their delegates to the conferences. A number of other institutions are uniting in erecting the large auditorium.”
December 19, 1914 University of South Carolina Gamecock article about Weatherford visiting the University to raise funds to build a cottage at Blue Ridge.
April 2, 1916 Nashville Tennessean and April 28, 1916, Asheville Citizen run identical full page spread about the Southern Student Conference. Side article mentions: “...Among the colleges of the state without employed officers of the YMCA, Tusculum and Maryland should be given first rank. Both of these colleges only recently contributed $100 each to the new auditorium being built at Blue Ridge which is to be called ‘College Hall’ and which is being constructed by 30 or more institutions contributing $100 to $300 each…”
November 4, 1916 Florida State Florida Flambeau article about Weatherford visiting the college and promoting a cottage. In the same edition, other articles detail the Florida State women raising almost $1,000 in pledges in one hour and challenging the University of Florida men to a cottage fundraising campaign.
1914: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Swimming Pool (by Lee hall)
July 1914 Association Monthly editorial mentions the swimming pool opens during the 1914 YWCA conference (page 260 of PDF). The editorial also mentions large jump in attendance between the 1913 and 1914 YWCA conferences which lead to some overcrowding of rooms. It states “The tent colony and the cottegers made the most of their accommodations…”
July 6, 1914 Concord Daily Tribune (Concord NC): article about Black Mountain includes: “The Blue Ridge Association has put in a swimming pool, and done much towards improvement of its grounds.” The article also mentions Black Mountain building an electric light plant operated by steam and construction of 40-50 miles of road from Asheville to Black Mountain.
July 28, 1914 Charlotte Daily Observer: In a mid-summer article about Blue Ridge, it mentions: “…this season a swimming pool 70 by 100 feet has been added, and is proving one of the most popular features…”
1914: World War I starts
June 8, 1914 (postmark date): First post card with Blue Ridge NC postmark hwpr39262a01 (I have cards postmarked June, July, and August 1914).
August 26, 1914 (postmark date): First postmarked card to say Blue Ridge “was erected by the Young Men’s Christian Associations of the Southern States.” This also the first postmarked card to a description on the back, to have a white border, and to show an area away from Lee Hall (the card shows people playing tennis). spc0b409-a48257-a02 Southern Post Card Co cards have a white border but Herbert W Pelton and Brown Book Co cards do not.
1915: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Hot and Cold Water System improved
-Water System Reservoir expanded
-“Down Road” built
January 24, 1915 Charlotte Daily Observer short article on Black Mountain improvements, single paragraph on Blue Ridge: The YMCA “is also improving its immense plant for the approaching season. Last year the water supply was insufficient to meet the increased demands of the large conferences…”
May 7, 1915 Sunday Citizen article about overall improvements to Black Mountain also contained details on Blue Ridge improvements:
- “The installation of a complete hot and cold water system, which was very inadequate for the demands last season. A central plant will be erected on the outside of Robert E Lee Hall…This work will begin immediately…”
-“The recent improvements to the reservoir...increased capacity about one-fourth…”
-“Building several cottages…one cottage has been completed and several others will be erected before the first of June…”
-“A new road… It was decided to build a belt line road from the eastern portion the property in order to allow the return of outgoing vehicles from the association. Last summer the present macadamized road was so badly congested that at times it was dangerous to travel.. When the new road is completed all the incoming vehicles will approach the association via the old road, and all outgoing vehicles will leave the grounds via the new road…The new road will be a belt line and will be well graded, but not macadamized.”
June 10, 1915 Charlotte News article: “Blue Ridge…has been making a number of very marked improvements in grounds and equipments during the present spring. They have spent $10,000 erecting a number of new cottages, enlarging the water supply, building new roads, and putting the grounds into a more attractive condition.”
May 27, 1915: Weatherford and Julia Pearl McCrory get married in the home of the Winthrop College president.
May 28, 1915 Yorkville Enquirer runs wedding announcement (article misspells McCrory)
(The first conference at Blue Ridge in 1915 was the YWCA Conference June 4-24, 1915)
June 9, 1915 Asheville Gazette News, Social News section states that “Dr. and Mrs. Weatherford of Blue Ridge spent yesterday in the city (Asheville).”
1916: Construction at Blue Ridge:
April 2, 1916 Nashville Tennessean: mentions “...new auditorium being built at Blue Ridge which is to be called ‘College Hall’ and which is being constructed by 30 or more institutions contributing from $100 to $300 each…”
July 29, 1919 Asheville Citizen article about the YWCA conference mentions College Hall: “...at a meeting of the delegates and leaders held in College Hall at Blue Ridge…”
September 16, 1920 Charlotte Observer: in end of season article, it mentions: “last year additions were made to the auditorium, offering more room for seven classes”
1921 Blue Ridge Summary Statement: mentions one of the first three buildings was a “temporary Auditorium” and later “the Auditorium has been rebuilt with classrooms above.” The same statement is in the 1926 Blue Ridge Summary Statement.
April 1916: Quote from April 4, 1916 University of South Carolina The Gamecock: “The conference grounds are excellently equipped. Robert E Lee Hall, the principal building, contains 138 rooms for guests besides classrooms, offices, a book store, and an immense lobby. There are 11 cottages which have been built by the larger colleges in the South, and which are occupied by the delegates from these colleges during the conference. The dining room has a seating capacity of 435 and the auditorium seats 600."
May 1916: Quote from May 17, 1916 Clemson College The Tiger: “The conference equipment consists of 1,000 acres of land, owned by the YMCA; $200,000 in building and improvement; a hotel with 138 rooms, 12 cottages, accommodating 14 people each; 32 tents; ample athletic facilities; swimming pool; etc.”
July 1916: Great Flood of 1916—Asheville, Black Mountain, and other communities of Western North Carolina are flooded.
Mentioned on postcard: spc0b474a04
July 19, 1916 Asheville Citizen, in article about flood it gives update on several conference grounds, including Blue Ridge.
July 21, 1916 Wilmington Morning Star runs short article about YWCA conference being cancelled. “No reason was given for this action in the telegram, but it is supposed that it is due to the impossibility of the railroads getting their lines in shape again in time to permit the conference being held this summer….the floods of water in the rivers have made it altogether impossible at present to reach the western part of North Carolina without great difficulty.” The conference was the YWCA Conference of City Associations.
August 2, 1916 Atlanta Constitution article: “Instead of being closed down on account of the recent severe storm, as first reported, the Blue Ridge NC Association housed and fed comfortably 300 guests at the time…”
1918 Helping Win the War: “Flood” listed in the Attendance in Past Seasons
July 12, 1916 (postmark date): First postmarked card showing the Tent Colony next to Lee Hall spc0b410a01
August 1916: Travelers’ Aid Conference held at Blue Ridge National Conference in 1916; Regional Conferences in later years
July 6, 1916 Asheville Citizen article announcing the Travelers’ Aid Conference will be August 1-2.
July 29, 1923 Sunday Citizen: article about “the first regional conference of the Travelers’ Aid Societies of the South will be held at Blue Ridge August 6-12…”
1917: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Ten cottages completed.
From 1912-1917 newspaper articles, these 10 cottages may have been: Agnes Scott-Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina-State Normal, Queens-Davison, Washington Lee-Randolph Macon, Winthrop-Clemson, Wake Forest-Meredith, Guilford-?, Converse-University of South Carolina, Florida State-University of Florida. (see footnote about 1917 Blue Ridge Cottages)
April 1917: United States enters World War I
July 1917: Mary McLeod Bethune speaks at Blue Ridge
July 31, 1917 Asheville Citizen in an article about the Southern Sociological Congress (split between Blue Ridge and Central Methodist Church in Asheville), the program agenda is listed. Among the topics and speakers listed for Tuesday, July 31, 1917 is: “Miss. Mary M Bethune, principal, Educational and Industrial Institute, Daytona, FL.”
July 31, 1917 Wilmington Dispatch, runs brief article about Southern Sociological Congress. Article includes list of speakers, including: “Miss. Mary M Bethune, Dayton, FL”
August 21, 1925 Negro Star (Wichita, KS), article about the Mary McLeod Bethune speaking at the YMCA Student Conference.
1917: Blue Ridge was a training and support site for War Workers. 1917 trainings are mentioned in several articles:
December 23, 1917 Greensboro Daily News and December 26, 1917 Asheville Citizen run almost identical articles The articles are about upcoming 1918 campaign: “It was the Blue Ridge Association that trained 163 Army ‘Y’ workers in a series of two schools last summer.”
February 3, 1918 Charlotte News: In article about the 1918 $125,000 campaign: “Without the 163 Army YMCA secretaries in 1917 from Blue Ridge Summer Schools, it would have been impossible to man the cantonments in the South," (quote from SA Ackley)...The 163 were trained in two schools the summer of 1917. Later in the same article, "In addition to the 163 Army YMCA secretaries, Blue Ridge last summer became a kind of clearing house for YMCA war workers. A large number of men were brought there to be interviewed before going to France and other work overseas. The important Southern conferences of the National War Work council, YMCA, were held at Blue Ridge." (quote from Weatherford).
June 13, 1917 (postmark date): First postmarked card showing the Swimming Pool next to Lee Hall spc0b475a05. This is also the first card to show Auditorium (later called College Hall) in the background.
June 1917: Quote from June 26, 1917 Raleigh Christian Advocate: “Perched on the side of the mountain, overlooking Black Mountain station three miles below, and Montreat, some three miles further, and surrounded by mountains on every side, is Robert E Lee Hall, owned by the Blue Ridge Association and used for students’ conferences. It is a spacious building thee stories high, arranged on the plan of a modern college with dormitories, class rooms, comforts, etc. The auditorium, a little to your left, as you approach and in front, Martha Washington and other cottages to your left in the rear, a swimming pool to your right, a dining hall a few feet behind the main building…”
August 1917: Blue Ridge Law and Order Conference Focus of the conference is mob violence, lynching, and race relations. John Wesley Gilbert from Payne College is a speaker.
August 10, 1917 Charlotte News and August 15, 1917 Charlotte News run articles about the Law and Order Conference details the recommendations/outcomes from the conference. Included in the list of speakers is: “John Wesley Gilbert (colored)”. (articles contains racial language and topics)
September 3, 1917 Nashville Tennessean runs article “Recently there was held at Blue Ridge NC a conference on the race question…” The article does not specifically name the conference or give the dates. The list of recommendations/outcomes is the same as the Charlotte News articles.
1918-1920: Influenza pandemic
October 24, 1918 Rockingham Post Dispatch: Prints a letter from ZV Roberson after he attended the YMCA War Work School. In the letter he mentions: “…At first we were quartered in ‘Shorter-University of GA’ (cottage) then after the ‘flu’ attacked me we were moved to the cottage named ‘Ward-Beltmont’.”
January 19, 1919 Sunday Citizen: Asheville reports the number of flu cases has increased. City officials close theaters, limit church services/Sunday School, and take other measures to limit continued increase.
February 29, 1920 Sunday Citizen: Schools in Black Mountain are closed because of the flu.
Week of February 3, 1918: One-week campaign to raise $125,000 to support wartime training camps at Blue Ridge. States were assigned goals. Funds to be used to pay the $89,000 debts ($59,000 floating indebtedness and $30,000 in maturing bonds) and $36,000 to improve grounds and expand buildings, including new classroom building, new wing for Lee Hall, and furnishings (amounts vary in different articles).
Articles in December 23, 1917 Greensboro Daily News, December 26, 1917 Asheville Citizen, January 15, 1918, Nashville Tennessean, January 17, 1918, Wilmington Dispatch, January 28, 1918, Wilmington Dispatch, January 28, 1918 Richmond Times Dispatch, February 3, 1918 Charlotte News, February 9, 1918 Charlotte Observer, and February 12, 1918, Bourbon News
March 1918: Blue Ridge is site for Red Triangle officer training camp. Holding training camps will require building improvements and upgrades at Blue Ridge. In the Athens Banner article, Weatherford explains “by special contributions $125,000 will be on hand.”
Articles in March 18, 1918 Montgomery Advertiser, March 21, 1918 Chesterfield Advertiser, March 21, 1918 Athens Banner, July 14, 1918 Sunday Citizen, July 14, 1918 Nashville Tennessean, and July 16, 1918 Trench Camp
1918: Quote from “Helping Win the War at Home and Overseas” 1918. “Blue Ridge Association- 1,191 acres of land; 24 buildings; electric light plant; sewerage; all the major conveniences; elevation 2,700 feet; splendid tennis courts; outdoor swimming pool; baseball diamond; volleyball and basketball courts; in the heart of the most rugged scenery of Western North Carolina… Blue Ridge has been chosen as the official training grounds for the Southeastern Department of War Work Council of the Young Men’s Christian Association.” The flier also lists $230,000 in equipment. The aerial view of Blue Ridge has the Electric Plant to the right of Lee Hall and Steam and Hot Water Plant behind the Old Dining Hall (which was behind Lee Hall). Also shown are the Auditorium, Martha Washington Hall, and many cottages.
June 6, 1918 (postmark date): First postmarked card to show a car. The car is in the background, parked in the circle in front of Lee Hall. This is also the first postmarked card from the Asheville Post Card and Pennant Co. (later known as the Asheville Post Card Co.) apc004a02
1918: First High School Conference Attendees
May 20, 1918 Jackson Daily News (Jackson MS): article about the upcoming Southern Student Conference, “For the first time in the history of the conference, the high schools of each state are going to be allowed to have boy representatives.”
June 12, 1918 Commonwealth (Greenwood MS): brief article about the upcoming Southern Students’ Conference. “All the boys in the party are students at Greenwood High School…”
July 1, 1918 News and Observer (Raleigh NC): article describes the Student YMCA conference and the difference having high school boys attend this year. “Like every other act or institution of our country, the Student Conference of 1918 felt the influence of war. The most conspicuous evidence of that influence was the absence of college men. Of the total enrollment this year of about 300 – a number considerably below the average – about 50% were high school and preparatory school boys. The high school boys are a rather new but increasing element in the conference group…” The article explains the lower number of college aged men is because many have joined the military or joining the labor force to fill vacancies of others who have joined the military. The July 3, 1918 Presbyterian runs a very similar article but includes list of speakers.
July 10, 1918 Charlotte News: article includes list of attendees at the YWCA conference, with the exception of one club and “…several from the High School who are planning to go…”
May 15, 1919 Morning Herold (Durham NC): article promoting the upcoming 1919 boys conference describes it as “second annual high school boy’s conference.” Several newspapers run articles about the 1919 conference.
May 25, 1919 Morning Herold (Durham NC): article with details about Blue Ridge for the upcoming “second annual high school boys conference”
(see June 1919 High School Conferences)
1918: Adela F Ruffin speaks at Blue Ridge
August 16, 1918 Altoona Tribune (Altoona PA) article about a Blue Ridge Conference includes “Miss. Adele Ruffin (colored worker) was the speaker of the evening.” The article also mentions other speakers on race relations and an conference vote apposing lynching. (Note: Article headline misleading; exact conference name not used, assuming it was the YWCA Industrial Conference.)
1920 Southern Workman (page 455) article by Adela F Ruffin: “We met them (white students) at Blue Ridge conferences in 1918 and 1919.”
July 31, 1920 Asheville Citizen: in an article about the summer conferences details the YWCA Industrial Council conference. Listed in the speakers is: “Miss. Adela F Ruffin, colored secretary of the South Atlantic field….”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 2 number 9, June 1921: In a post-conference article about the YWCA conference in June 1921, it mentions “…Prominent conference speakers were Miss Adele Ruffin, Miss Oolooah Burner, Maj. RR Moton, and Drs. WP Keeler, WA Morgan, DH Ogden, Rev AW Moore, and Mr. FM Potter…”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 3 number 8, May 1922: In an article about the upcoming 1922 YWCA conference, “Miss Adele Ruffin, secretary for colored work…” is included in the list of guests.
1918: Quote from August 25, 1918 Tampa Sunday Tribune article describes property: “Robert E Lee Hall, a beautiful and stately colonial building, is the main structure with a view from the porch that rivals any on the continent. Besides Marth Washington Hall, the auditorium, and dining hall, about 20 cottages are scattered about the grounds, these being built almost entirely of native stone and wood. Tennis courts, swimming pool and beautiful graded footpaths and drives contribute to the pleasure of the guests.”
1919: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Leaders’ Building (renamed Abbott Hall in 1926)
September 16, 1920 Charlotte Observer in an article highlighting the year, it includes “a building for guests and faculty members was also erected” (no other description of the building or building name in the article)
1921 Blue Ridge Summary Statement in the list of improvements includes “a new building accommodating 78 persons, every room with a private bath”
September 6, 1926 Report of WD Weatherford to Blue Ridge includes: “In view of the very remarkable service rendered by Mr. FC Abbott during all the years of our Blue Ridge existence, and due to his wonderful faithfulness to the task here, I come to the conclusion that we ought to do honor to Mr. Abbott by placing his name on one of the most prominent buildings of this group. I have therefore had a sign made for the Leaders’ Building, just beyond the auditorium, calling it ‘Abbott Hall.’ I am sure the Board will most heartily approve of this action, and will join me in expressing to Mr. Abbott our deep appreciation for his wonderful service during all the past years.”
1926 Blue Ridge Summary Statement in the list of improvements includes “a new building, now known as Abbott Hall, accommodating 78 persons, every room with a private bath” (same as the 1921 list, but includes “now known as Abbott Hall”)
1919-1920 Construction at Blue Ridge:
-New wing to Lee Hall, 60 Additional Rooms
July 31, 1920 Asheville Citizen: Article states that “…some 60 rooms have been since added to the accommodations…” (referring to being able to have more attendees than last year) –Article does not state where the rooms were added or exactly when they were added.
January 1919: 18th Amendment to the Constitution ratified: Liquor Abolished (repealed December 1933 by the 21st Amendment)
1919: Blue Ridge host trainings on soldier transitions.
January 15, 1919 Atlanta Constitution and January 18, 1919 Salisbury Evening Post run articles on the Atlanta planning meeting which outlined the program for the Blue Ridge trainings: SEP: “Prominent ministers from 7 southeastern states, representing 9 different religious denominations, on Wednesday, give their endorsement to a comprehensive program of reconstructive activity to be used as the basis of instruction…at Blue Ridge…”
February 2, 1919 Charlotte News article: “The state committees of the YMCA of this and other southern states are putting on an after-war program which has developed out of the extension and success work of the Red Triangle secretaries in the army camps…”
February 7, 1919 Asheville Citizen article “Closing its first session of eight days at Blue Ridge today, the War Work Council of the YMCA is sending home 50 men who have received training in the ‘Y’ policy for aiding in many ways returning soldiers. There will be several more session during the next three months and it is expected to train 1000 men for the moral and religious work among the men who are coming home from the battlefields…”
February 11, 1919 Tuscaloosa News article about the after-war training that starts February 21.
April 4, 1919 Brevard News (Brevard NC) runs brief article: “The National Board of the YMCA is this week holding a conference at Blue Ridge NC for the discussion reconstruction work and other war problems…”
April 17, 1919 Brewton Standard (Brewton AL) and April 18, 1919 Winston County Journal (Louisville MS) run what appears to be letters sent to multiple newspapers about the post-war conferences written by attendees of various religions dominations. The letters appear to target those dominations. Letters were sent based on Baptist and Methodists. Some of these letters mention race.
April 23, 1919 Ocala Evening Star (Ocala FL) run open letter on page 1 from the “Blue Ridge Reconstruction School of April 7-16, 1919” supporting the “… ‘after-war’ problems with special reference to the returning soldier…”
(Note: see footnote about 1919 Inter-racial Post-War Conference in Atlanta)
1919: World War I ends
1919: Black Mountain NC Fire Department established
June 1919: Meeting on Race during the Southern Student Conference
July 8, 1919 Danville Daily Messenger (Danville KY) and July 17, 1919 Citizen (Berea KY) run similar articles: “65 college professors and ministers, representing a large number of Southern institutions and organizations, at the Southern Student Conference, Blue Ridge NC have studied and discussed for 10 days the various aspects of the race problem in the South…” The article outlines principles and recommendations in list form (similar to the 1917 Law and Order conference). The article mentions “returning negro soldiers.” The article does not list the speakers or attendees. The Danville Daily Messenger article opens with the KKK ad in the Charlotte Observer (June 8) and the response to that ad then runs the same article as the Citizen.
June - July 1919: High School Conferences, first mention of “Hi-Y” High School Clubs
April 24, 1919 Morning Herald (Durham NC) and May 15, 1919 Morning Herald (Durham NC) run similar articles: “…second annual high school boys’ conference for the boys of the southern states from June 24th to July 3rd at Blue Ridge, NC.” “Only boys over 15 years of age who will be leaders in their Sunday school churches and Hi-Y club during the next year, and a few of this year’s leaders, will be eligible to attend…and no boys will be admitted who wear short trousers.”
May 25, 1919 Morning Herold (Durham NC): article with details about Blue Ridge for the upcoming “second annual high school boys conference”
May 30, 1919 Salisbury Evening Post: article about the upcoming Southern High School Conference, “The world war has called forth in a remarkable way the tremendous capacity for leadership on the part of older high school boys when confronted by tasks that challenge their spirit of loyalty and of unselfish service, particular in the war work campaign.”
June 23, 1919 Asheville CitizenJune 23, 1919 News Observer (Raleigh NC)June 23, 1919 Charlotte Observer run almost identical articles: Article about upcoming high school conference. “…the Southern High School Conference, known as a training camp for leaders, will open at Blue Ridge under the auspices of the YMCA. These conferences are held each year under the supervision of the ‘Y’ and are attended by delegations from many high schools of the south. The conference is under the direction of the YMCA and because of its connection with the high schools the ‘Y’ is known as the ‘Hi-Y’ club…”
July 29, 1919 Asheville Citizen: Article about the YWCA conference mentions: “Within the city conference is a smaller conference attended by members of the girl reserve and high schools girls….About 150 are in attendance at this smaller conference…”
July 29, 1919 Daily Democrat (Tallahassee FL) article about two high school boys returning from the high school boys conference. One of the boys reported on the race lectures Weatherford give at the conference.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 2 number 4, January 1921: Includes article about the 1920 “Older Boys” – Southern Hi-Y Training Conference held June 25-July 5 (1920). 145 boys attended from 8 states.
July 2-4 1919: Southern Industrial Conference on Human Relations in Industry starts at Blue Ridge (name later changed to Southern Industrial Relations Conference – SIRC – then to Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership). The conference has met at Blue Ridge every year except 1943 (when Blue Ridge did not open for the summer).
July 7, 1919 Richmond Times Dispatch: very brief mention of local men and women attending “the industrial conference” at Blue Ridge.
June 6, 1920 Winston Salem Journal: “A weekend industrial conference …will be held at the Blue Ridge conference ground July 2 – 4…”
July 1920 Association News (page 43 of PDF): Industrial Conference – “ ‘Human Relationships and Betterment in Industry,’ was the theme of the first Industrial Conference held at Blue Ridge, NC, July 2 and 4. It was attended by 240 delegates…”
July 19, 1922 Gastonia Daily Gazette article lists the program of the upcoming Southern Industrial Conference on Human Relations in Industry. The article states in the headline and article the 1922 conference is the “This is the third of these annual conferences...”
July 24, 1932 Asheville Citizen Times: article at the end of the 1932 conference: “150 persons attending the 13th annual Southern Conference on Human Relations in Industry…”
July 14, 1969 Asheville Citizen: article about SRIC celebrating 50 years.
1919: Weatherford resigns as YMCA Student Secretary. Dr. HC Gossard is the next Student Secretary.
April 22, 1920 Davidson College The Davidsonian in article about the YMCA Student Conference states: “Dr. WD Weatherford, who is student secretary of the YMCA, president of the YMCA Secretaries College at Nashville, and founder of Blue Ridge, will be in charge of the conference.” (Note: the June 21, 1920 Asheville Citizen article identified Gossard as the student secretary – information used for Davidsonian article may have been outdated.)
June 21, 1920 Asheville Citizen in article about the YMCA Student Conference: “Dr. Weatherford, who has been the international student secretary for the south, is now the president of the Southern College YMCA, Nashville. Dr. Weatherford is responsible for this plant (referring to Blue Ridge)…Dr. HC Gossard, of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, succeeds Dr. Weatherford as international student secretary of the south…”
August 1919: Laundry Building Burns and is replaced
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 1 number 3, January 1920: In the building plans for 1920 includes this: “…The laundry building, which burned August 1, 1919, is already replaced…”
(no newspaper articles about the fire)
October 1919: Weatherford develops and becomes president of the Southern College of YMCAs (YMCA Graduate School of Nashville). The new College opens on October 1 or October 4, 1919 (depending on the article). It is located in Nashville, TN and has summer classes at Blue Ridge.
May 4, 1919 Nashville Tennessean ran short story about Weatherford being elected President of the College.
May 15, 1919 Nashville Tennessean article about fundraising for the new College. The article mentions “an endowment of $50,000 to be raised” but later says “…Eventually an endowment of $500,000 is to be raised…”
July 23, 1919 Presbyterian of the South ran a short article announcing the opening on October 1, 1919 (page 9)
August 18, 1919 Nashville Tennessean ran a short article announcing the school would open October 4, 1919.
September 18, 1919 Asheville Citizen ran article announcing the school would open October 1, 1919.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 1 number 1, November 1919: includes article about the “new” Southern College and Blue Ridge being the summer quarters. Southern College information and ad is included in most editions of the Blue Ridge Voice. The first ad shows a photo of a large library: “22,000 volumes on social and religious subjects open to all students of Southern College of YMCAs.” (The library or location is not identified by name.)
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 1 number 5, March 1920: The Southern College ad photo changes to Wesley Hall: “Wesley Hall, the present home of the Southern College.” Wesley Hall is on the Vanderbilt campus.
November 1919: First edition of the “Blue Ridge Voice”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 1 number 1, November 1919 The first edition of the “Blue Ridge Voice.” In the first edition, WD Weatherford is editor and JJ King is manager.
December 18, 1919 Asheville Citizen article announces the first edition. The “Blue Ridge Voice” is to be published monthly from November to June. WD Weatherford is identified as the editor and JJ King as the business manager (in the masthead). It will be published out of Nashville (winter location of the Southern YMCA College).
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 3 number 1, October 1921: Now identifies JJ King as Editor and Manager, WD Weatherford as consulting editor, and HW Sanders as assistant manager (in the masthead).
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 8 number 2, November 1926: No names are listed in the masthead anymore.
1919-1923: Regional Transportation
-Asheville-Black Mountain Highway
-Black Mountain roads
February 9, 1916 Asheville Citizen: Article about a large group from Black Mountain attending County Commissioners meeting in Asheville asking for a road from Asheville to Ridgecrest (other side of Black Mountain). The article states “…the road at present to be impassible…” Blue Ridge was represented by RL Ferguson at the meeting. The Commissioners voted to build a road. (Of note is the Black Mountain group took a special train from Black Mountain to Asheville and did not use the current road.)
December 21, 1918 Asheville Citizen: In an article about the recommendations of the Asheville Motor Club, it mentions “The Motor Club will ask the commissioners especially to give early attention to the road from Asheville to Black Mountain, completing the pavement from the end of the present pavement near the old water works on the Swannanoa past the Azalea Hospital as soon as possible, and on to Black Mountain because of the great religious assembly grounds there and the great throngs of people who come there annually…”
March 21, 1919 Asheville Citizen: RE Carrier writes a letter about the Asheville-Black Mountain highway giving history and supporting continued work.
March 22, 1919 Asheville Citizen: Newspaper prints follow-up editorial supporting Asheville-Black Mountain highway. The article references the previous RE Carrier letter.
March 26, 1919 Asheville Citizen: Weatherford writes a letter to the newspaper supporting the Asheville-Black Mountain highway. Weatherford references the previous RE Carrier letter.
March 31, 1919 Asheville Citizen: runs two articles on road work. The first is about the new “Pharr-Matthews” for road construction. The second is about meeting of Black Mountain residents “interested in the improvement of the road from this city (Asheville) to Black Mountain…” “This meeting is for the purpose of making plans for improving of the road from the end of the concrete out of this city (Asheville) to the concrete road out of Black Mountain. The road has always been one of importance, especially since the establishment of the large religious institutions at Montreat and Blue Ridge…”
August 30, 1919 Asheville Citizen: In article about road work, it mentions not building any more “macadam roads” and “…particular interest in the opening of the bids for the Black Mountain road September 2…”
September 4, 1919 Asheville Citizen: Contracts awarded for the Asheville-Black Mountain Highway, “Asheville Paving Company…for paving and HA Wells for the grading.” Blue Ridge and the other conference centers in Black Mountain are mentioned. The article also states: “Engineers from the state highway commission, who recently surveyed the new route of the Asheville-Black Mountain Highway, changed the road in many places, making curves in several instances less dangerous and shortening the road somewhat in other places.”
January 3, 1920 Asheville Citizen: Paving of Azalea Road complete, grading of other parts of the Asheville-Black Mountain Road by Asheville Paving Company continues.
February 29, 1920 Sunday Citizen: In an article about road construction, it mentions: “A link of pavement 3 1/3 miles in length running from Black Mountain to the McDowell County line, on the State Central Highway, is to be constructed at once and bids for the work will be received. This link and the stretch between here (Asheville) and Black Mountain, which is more than half completed will give a paved road from Asheville to the McDowell County line on this important and much needed highway.”
November 28, 1920 Sunday Citizen: Brief update on the Asheville-Black Mountain highway: “If the inclement weather gives place to sunshine, allowing engineers and laborers to put in full time work during the 23 working days yet remaining, Christmas will witness completion of the Black Mountain asphalt highway…”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 2 number 9, June 1921: Includes a brief article and photo of “Newly Completed Driveway from Asheville to Black Mountain”. The article states “…The building of this road brings the Blue Ridge grounds within 40 minutes run of Asheville…”
July 5, 1921 Asheville Citizen: Article about Black Mountain having a “…celebration of the completion of the highway…”
March 31, 1922 Asheville Citizen: Black Mountain issues $30,000 in bonds for improvements in city water works system and $30,000 for street improvements. “Bonds will be used to pave a stretch of about a mile of the Montreat road and also Vance Street…”
January 29, 1923 Sunday Citizen: In an article about federal road funding, it mentions: “Among the Federal Aid projects listed in the report are the following: Buncombe, No. 45: 7.79 miles, Azalea to Black Mountain, completed July 1921, cost $350,000 with 50% Federal Aid; No. 62, Black Mountain to McDowell line, 3.44 miles, penetration macadam, completed October 1921, $160,505…”
February 5, 1923 Asheville Citizen: In an article about the activities of the new Black Mountain Chamber of Commerce, it mentions road work, including: “Among progressive projects listed here may be mentioned a street paving program which contemplates putting down a concreate highway running toward the Montreat gate, upon the one hand and out Vance Avenue toward Blue Ridge upon the other, this extending pavement invitingly toward these two great religious assembly grounds…” “…it is understood that the Blue Ridge officials have made proposals to the county heads to work jointly upon the road leading to their spacious mountain grounds…”
August 12, 1923 Sunday Citizen: Very brief article about Weatherford hosting a dinner for the “business men” of Black Mountain, including the Chamber of Commerce secretary.
1920: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Martha Washington: 20 new rooms
-Replacement Laundry Building
-Small Hand Laundry Building
-Dining Hall addition
-Replacement / New Electric Plant
-Additional Plans: New Refrigeration Plant, Speakers Cottage, Stone Library, new Building with 40 rooms with baths (not named)
-Thompson Seton Woodcraft Cabin
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 1 number 3, January 1920: Announced the following: “The building plans for the present year (1920) call for an addition of 20 rooms to the Martha Washington cottage where the college women live who do the work at the Blue Ridge grounds. The laundry building, which burned August 1, 1919, is already replaced. A small hand laundry building with tubs, hot and cold water, electric irons, etc. for use of mothers, is already built. The large addition to the Dining Hall, which gives a special dining room for colored servants, a baby kitchen and dining room, an enlargement of the pantry and serving rooms, and much better kitchen equipment is now well under way. Plans are drawn and half the money secured for building a refrigeration plant. A new electric plant has been purchased and is being installed. We had outgrown the old plant and the new one will practically double our capacity. / A special speakers’ cottage will be built. Plans are perfected for a beautiful stone library, but the high cost of building may prevent its erection this year… / Plans are drawn for an additional building with some forty rooms, each with private bath. This building is imperatively needed… This new building would house about 70 people…”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 2 number 3, December 1920: Includes an article on The Woodcraft League. The article states, “…Mr. Ernest Thompson Seton…came to Blue Ridge in April (1920) and built the Woodcraft cabins…These cabins are built with pegs, and with the simplest crude materials that can be gathered from the woods…” The article includes photos of the Council Ridge (campfire ring with benches), Seton, and the cabin.
May 1920: World Conference of Boy Workers at Blue Ridge. 23 countries represented.
May 27, 1920 Citizen (Berea, KY)article about Abraham Lincoln portrait being hung in Lee Hall during the conference.
May 30, 1920 Sunday Citizen article about the conference coming to an end.
August 29, 1920 Standard Union (Brooklyn NC): article about the Boy Scouts and YMCA “After a long period of embarrassing misunderstandings, the first real step toward co-operation between the YMCA and the Boy Scouts of America was taken at the YMCA Boys’ Work Secretaries’ Conference held at Blue Ridge NC last May…” The article is a report produced since that conference.
May 1920: Abraham Lincoln portrait added to Lee Hall
May 27, 1920 Citizen (Berea, KY) article: “The unveiling of a great life size panting of Abraham Lincoln was an important event in the World Conference of Boy Workers which is now in session at Blue Ridge…”. Portraits of both Lincoln and Robert E Lee now hang in Lee Hall. Both were painted by Mrs. Bush-Brown.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 1 number 8, June 1920: has article about the Lincoln portrait being added to Lee Hall. Mrs. HK Bush-Brown of Washington, DC painted the Lee and Lincoln portraits. The article also mentions portrait of Sidney Lanier also in Lee Hall and Stonewall Jackson to be added. The edition also includes a Statement by Mrs. Bush-Brown.
1921 Blue Ridge Summary Statement has photos of the Lee portrait and Lincoln portrait.
September 5, 1927 Decatur Evening Herold article with transcript of a Weatherford address explaining the Southern connection of Blue Ridge design, naming of Lee Hall, and portraits in Lee Hall – including Sidney Lanier and Lincoln. Weatherford also mentions wanting to add a portrait of Stonewall Jackson.
1920: Quote from April 20, 1920 Clemson College The Tiger: “The Blue Ridge Association has in its buildings a book store, a soda fountain, a pressing room, photographic rooms, barber shop, post office, etc. … The Association has a trained nurse in attendance and a physician is available on a few minutes notice. But we do not receive sick people, invalids, or tubercular persons. … The buildings and ground are lighted with electricity; have abundant hot and cold water night and day, with forty-six shower baths and eighty-one bath tubs. … Sixty rooms with private baths … Blue Ridge has a garage where cars used by delegations driving through can be stored…”
July 1920: Robert R Moton from Tuskegee visits Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 2 number 7, April 1921: In the article about the YMCA Student Conference, the list of guests for the upcoming conference include “Dr. RR Moton, President of Tuskegee Institute.”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 2 number 9, June 1921: In a post-conference article about the YWCA conference in June 1921, it mentions “…Prominent conference speakers were Miss Adele Ruffin, Miss Oolooah Burner, Maj. RR Moton, and Drs. WP Keeler, WA Morgan, DH Ogden, Rev AW Moore, and Mr. FM Potter…”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 3 number 4, April 1922: In the list of speakers for the YMCA conference, “Dr. RR Moton, President of Tuskegee Institute” is included.
June 3, 1922 Asheville Citizen: in an article about the YWCA conference starting, “…appearing also on the program Monday and Tuesday, Robert R Moton, colored head of Tuskegee Institute, who will give lectures during the coming week.”
1920: Quote from July 31, 1920 Asheville Citizen: “The total attendance at Blue Ridge conference this summer is expected 5000…Last year more than 1500 were turned away because of lack of space, and although some 60 rooms have since been added to the accommodations, it is not unlikely that as may will have to be refused admittance this year….Blue Ridge, which as a capacity of 650 guests at one time, has 34 buildings and has a total property valuation of half a million dollars. A staff of 143 college men and women is employed during the summer to do the work in the big halls and cottages. Blue Ridge has its own electric plant, its own water supply, its own sewerage disposal system, its own truck gardens and its own athletic field, tennis courts and swimming pool. The Dining room seats 618 guests at a time.”
August 1920: Christian Leaders’ Conference on Inter-racial Co-operation held at Blue Ridge
August 19, 1920 Charlotte News: one-paragraph announcement about local YMCA secretary attending three-day “inter-racial conference at Blue Ridge.”
September 11, 1920 Durham Morning Herald runs brief article about local man reporting on the conference: “On August 18-21 an inter-racial conference of church leaders from the southern states was held at Blue Ridge…”
September 16, 1920 Charlotte Observer: in end of season article, it mentions: “A conference of church leaders on inter-racial relations held during August…”
November 27, 1920 Dallas Express (Dallas TX) and December 4, 1920 Broad Ax (Chicago IL) run identical articles listing the “platform” established from the Christian Leaders’ Conference on Inter-racial Co-operation held at Blue Ridge. Both articles list the platform, attendees, and organizations involved but do not include the dates the conference were held.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 2 number 4, January 1921: Includes article about the conference with a list of 9 “observations and suggestions.”
August 1920: 19th Amendment to the Constitution ratified: Women’s Suffrage
June 7, 1921 (postmark date): First postmarked card using the word Library (“as seen from Library Window in Robert E Lee Hall”). spc0b423a01. Note that card in spcxf003a01 (post card folder, not postmarked) shows a view of Lee Hall from the Library. It looks like the Library is where Blue Ridge Center is now. Card apcbm19b01 shows an aerial view of Blue Ridge with a building down from Lee Hall.
1921: Quote from June 19, 1921 Sunday Citizen: In a brief article about the summer conferences: “A trained nurse has been engaged for the season at Blue Ridge and physicians are on the grounds. A special laundry and a baby kitchen are at the disposal of mothers with small children. The services of a kindergarten teacher have also been secured. During the 1920 season a total of 5061 visitors registered at Blue Ridge, with the enlargement of facilities and accommodations which have been made, it is expected that this number will be considerably increased during the present season.” (Note: “enlargements of facilities and accommodations” may refer to the new 1919 building (Abbott Hall) and new wing to Lee Hall.)
June 17, 1921 (postmark date): First postmarked card showing Martha Washington Hall. spcxf001a01-06, part of post card folder spcxf001a01-01. This is also the first postmarked card or folder to use “Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conference and Trainings.” This name is not used very often. Quote from the description in the folder: “Blue Ridge is a Christian conference home, located in a campus of virgin forest. In addition to the conferences and schools which it houses annually, there is capacity in Lee Hall and cottages of the Southern colleges for two or three hundred guests during the open season, August 1st to September 1st...The building and equipment of Blue Ridge Association consists of 1,191 acres of land; 24 buildings; electric light plant; sewerage; all modern conveniences; elevation 2,700 feet; splendid tennis courts; outdoor swimming pool; baseball diamond; volleyball and basketball courts; in the heart of the most rugged scenery of Western North Carolina. This property is held under charter by the Board of Trustees of twenty-one men and women. No dividends can be declared. Entirely non-commercial…”
1921: Warren Harding becomes President
1921: Masons donate money for playground equipment.
July 22, 1921, Asheville Citizen runs story about donation.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 6 number 6, March 1925: Includes photo identified as “Children’s Playground” (not sure if this is the same one donated by the Masons)
September 1921: Blue Ridge issues $80,000 in bonds. Meeting held July 30, 1921 to approve bonds, refinances previous $30,000 plus additional $50,000.
September 1, 1921: Issue of $80,000 of Bonds to Independence Trust Company. “…At a meeting of the executive committee of said Association (Blue Ridge) on the 30th day of July 1921, it appeared to said Executive Committee that it was necessary to issue bonds in the total of $80,000, to take up the outstanding bonds in the sum of $30,000 due January 1st, 1923 and also to take up the $50,000 additional indebtedness of the Association for which notes were outstanding and being carried in banks, and in order to meet necessity of the said Executive Committee unanimously authorized the issuance of the bonds hereinafter described aggregating $80,000…”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 3 number 1, October 1921: Runs full page: “A High-Grade Seven Per Cent Investment – offered by the Blue Ridge Association - $80,000 First Mortgage Bonds” (First time this appears in the “Blue Ridge Voice”. Same page appears in multiple issues.)
July 24, 1922 Charlotte Observer runs two ads from FC Abbott and Company for Stocks and Bonds. The first one lists: “$5000 Blue Ridge Association 7% bonds, five fold security real estate”. The second one lists: “$25,000 Blue Ridge Association 7% bonds, five fold security”.
September 24, 1922 Charlotte Sunday Observer: runs ad from FC Abbott and Company for Stocks and Bonds. The ad lists: “$20,000 Blue Ridge Association, 7%, Bonds due”
December 9, 1933: Independence Trust Company records the September 1, 1921 as cancelled.
(Note: On May 1, 1928, the $80,000 in bonds will be refinanced with the issuance of $180,000 in bonds.)
1921: Quote from 1921 Summary Statement: (page 3) “The first buildings erected were Robert E Lee Hall, a temporary Auditorium, and a temporary dining hall and kitchen. With these three buildings the first conferences were held. Since then, there have been added Martha Washington Cottage, accommodating 80 college women who work in the buildings; 16 cottages which accommodate 275 guests; a beautiful servant building for the colored kitchen help; three laborers’ houses for workmen on the grounds; a splendid garage; a boiler house; a store-house; a new wing to Lee Hall, with rooms having a private bath; a new building accommodating 78 persons, every room with a private bath; the Auditorium has been rebuilt with classrooms above, and a modern laundry has been installed.” Other things listed: electric plant and water system, heating plant, swimming pool, roads and grading. “We have a small truck farm, a good apple orchard, ample land for poultry yards, a dairy or other productive project desired, when we have sufficient funds to operate such productive agencies…ample space for golf links, for other athletic fields and tennis courts.”
1922: “Carolina in the Morning” song first published words by Gus Kahn and music by Walter Donaldson.
1922: Blue Ridge Leaders’ School starts at Blue Ridge (starts as Leaders’ School of the Southern YMCA Summer School, a sub-conference of YMCA Southern Physical Directors)
Physical Training November 1922 – October 1924: “Leaders’ Corps,” “Leaders’ Club,”, “Blue Ridge” and Ira C (IC) Matheny (first dean of Leaders program at Blue Ridge) mentioned several times in publication. On page 347 Matheny article: “Report of Development of Southern Leaders’ Course, Blue Ridge Summer School, 1924”
September 1922: Gold Eagle Scout Badge presented to Daniel Carter Beard during the Second National Training Conference of Scout Executives at Blue Ridge (only one made).
Official Report 1922 (transcripts of sessions)
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 4 number 5, February 1923: runs several articles about the Scout Executives Conference with photos, including the presentation of the Gold Eagle Scout Badge to Beard.
1922: Improvements Planned at Blue Ridge:
December 17, 1922 Sunday Citizen, December 17, 1922 Durham Morning Herald, and December 18, 1922 Greensboro Daily News run almost identical articles: “Plans for additions and improvements to the big conference grounds at Blue Ridge, which will increase the value of the plant to more than $700,000, became known yesterday, the building program to cover a period of approximately two year. Included in the additions and improvements, which total about $100,000, will be a gymnasium to be located near the present outdoor swimming pool….library building…additional equipment…a classroom building…dormitory for men…. The gymnasium will be the first building to be undertaken and efforts will be put forth to have this structure ready for use by summer when the conference grounds open June 5...” The article also explains Blue Ridge has “added facilities in water supply through the construction of another reservoir…plans are being completed to equip many of the cottages with return hot water heating system, together with bath facilities, to give a total of 70 rooms so equipped…” (Article does not mention the new facilities for the SCY Camp that opens in June 1923.)
1923: Quote from April 1923 Carolina Magazine: Lee Hall “upon the first floor also is a library, and offices of Conference officials. Downstairs is the Blue Ridge Post Office, a bookstore, a drug store, pressing club, and other conveniences. Upstairs are the rooming apartments with showers. / On one side of Lee Hall is a swimming pool filled with the coldest water the mountain prints can provide. On the other is the Conference building, College Hall, with a large auditorium downstairs and class rooms upstairs.” Also described is the Dining hall behind Lee Hall. Cottages named: NCCW-UNC, Agnes Scott-Georgia Tech, Randolph Macon-Washington and Lee, Coker-NC State.
1923 Construction at Blue Ridge:
-SCY Camp facilities
-Gate at Entrance
June 17, 1923 Sunday Citizen: “The camp grounds are far enough away from the group buildings…yet close enough to permit use of the splendid equipment…SCY Camp has a new frame building, with a large recreation and lounging room, a small auditorium, and four classrooms overhead, thus insuring a place of enjoyment and recreation in rainy weather. It also has a well-equipped dining room and kitchen, sleeping quarters are open-air building with a wooden roof, wooden floors, the remainder of the wall being closed by a canvas which can be drawn…” Each tent will sleep 11 (10 boys plus one counselor).
June 29, 1923 Asheville Citizen: In an article detailing the controversy about Blue Ridge making an exclusive contract with one car service to haul guests from Black Mountain to Blue Ridge, it mentions: “…Blue Ridge Association constructed a gate across the road at the meeting of the road of the Association and the Buncombe County road.”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 6 number 7, April 1925: includes one page about the gate with photo of stone entrance / gate with cars. “The Blue Ridge Gate is a symbol of hospitality, not of exclusiveness…”
1923: Calvin Coolidge becomes President
June 1923: George Washington Carver from Tuskegee first visits Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 4 number 8, May 1923: In the list of speakers for the YMCA conference – “Prof. George Carver, of Tuskegee Institute,…(will) bring with him an exhibit which will be of special interest to students of science.”
June 17, 1923 Sunday Citizen: In an article about opening of the summer season, “Prof. George Carver of Tuskegee Institute” is included in the list of conference speakers.
June 24, 1923 Sunday Citizen: In an about the YMCA conference, speakers are detailed including: “Prof. George Carver, of Tuskegee Institute, one of the foremost scientist of the present day. He brought with him an exhibit which was of special interest to students of science. This exhibit was amid the many products obtainable from sweet potato, the peanut, and the pecan.”
June 17, 1924 Asheville Citizen: In an article about the YMCA conference starting the list of speakers includes: “…Prof. George W Carver, scientist, Tuskegee, ‘The Goober Wizard’...”
June 1923: SCY Camp (Southern College of YMCA youth camp) is started. In 1931, the name changed to Camp Blue Ridge for Boys. It would run until 1932.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 4 number 7, April 1923: includes article “The Boy and His Summer” which introduces SCY Camp. SCY Camp is featured in many editions of the Blue Ridge Voice.
June 17, 1923 Sunday Citizen article announces the opening of the new camp: “Under the leadership provided by the Southern College of the YMCA, SCY Camp, at Blue Ridge, will open its first season June 29 and will last until August 23...”
September 2, 1929 Asheville Citizen article about the end of the 1929 season includes: “SCY Camp, boys’ summer camp of the YMCA closed an 8-week period on August 9, experiencing a splendid summer with some young boys of the South. CC Huffman of Shreveport, LA served as resident director, with a corps of boys’ work students as his assistants.”
July 8, 1931 Asheville Citizen article details the plans for Camp Blue Ridge.
May 14, 1933 Asheville Citizen Times article about the opening of the 1933 season includes: “This program (referring to a new summer children’s program) is designed to supplement the regular camp program of Camp Blue Ridge which has been suspended for the 1933 season.”
Organized Camping and Progressive Education, published in 1935, details the SCY Camp, including the 1931 name change.
June 1923: Controversy over exclusive taxi service contract
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 1 number 1, November 1919: ad for Black Mountain Auto Company uses the tag line: “Authorized Service Autos for Blue Ridge – YM and YWCA”. Black Mountain runs ads in the Blue Ridge Voice with the “authorized service auto” line until June 1923.
June 29, 1923 Asheville Citizen: “A number of citizens of Black Mountain are protesting the recent action by Blue Ridge Association…in entering into an agreement with the Black Mountain Auto Company, by which the latter concern secures the exclusive right to haul passengers from the Black Mountain railway through Association grounds to Robert E Lee Hall…” The article explains the details of the contract, that one person was arrested for “trespass” (found not guilty), the debate over whether Blue Ridge is be considered private or public land, and building of a gate.
1924 Construction at Blue Ridge:
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 5 number 2 November 1923: Includes a full page “A new attraction for Blue Ridge”. The article announces plans for a lake and funds needed.
May 16, 1924 University of South Carolina Gamecock: “If present plans go through, Blue Ridge will soon have a large lake for boating, fishing, and swimming…. Blue Ridge now has 1,391 acres of land, 43 buildings, electric light plant, hot and cold water, steam laundry, swimming pool, athletic grounds, truck garden, and a boys’ camp. However, in order that the conferences may be make more pleasurable as well as profitable, a large lake is needed.” A fundraising campaign will start soon.
May 1, 1925 University of South Carolina Gamecock about the new lake at Blue Ridge. “The lake, which covers several acres, is filled with clear sparkling waters from the mountain springs. Spring boards and diving stands have been provided. Everyone at Blue Ridge may use the canoes at the lake.”
August 1924: Black Mountain Chestnut Hurst Development started
August 27, 1924 Asheville Citizen: advertisement for auction of lots from the 65 acre tract for the new Chestnut Hurst Development (formally LL Dougherty property).
1924: Improvements announced:
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 6 number 1, October 1924: Within “Blue Ridge – Past, Present, and Future – The Big Things Ahead:” The following is listed as needs: “…library building ($25,000), a gymnasium ($20,000), a college dormitory and class room building ($30,000).”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 6 number 1, November 1924: Repeats the same three buildings are needed.
1925: Buncombe County and McDowell County line moved
February 17, 1925 Asheville Citizen article about Broad River Township voters voting to become part of Buncombe County.
May 3, 1925 Sunday Citizen: brief article: “Broad River township, now a part of Buncombe County, will be host to citizens of Buncombe and McDowell Counties on Wednesday…” to a picnic.
July 18, 1935 Deed (sale of 55.5 acres from Mrs. SA McKoy to Blue Ridge), the description “…southeast crest of said Blue Ridge which was until recently the McDowell County line…”
1925: Carolina Power Company supplies electric service to Blue Ridge (no longer using own electric power plant)
1925 Weatherford and Parker Letters: In a series of letters between Weatherford and Parker, where other Blue Ridge business is also discussed, the two exchange information about Carolina Power and Light and placement of poles / running of lines. In his April 18, 1925, Parker suggests the power lines could run from the gate through the middle of the field and up toward the buildings (the lines still run that way today). Carolina Power agrees to provide Blue Ridge electric service for a minimum of $800 per year.
June 15, 1936 Easement to Carolina Power and Light Company - poles and lines from front gate to buildings (easement agreement sounds like poles were already in place)
1925: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Tear down old Gym
-“Temporary” Library (built using lumber from the old gym)
-New Gymnasium (built on site of previous gymnasium, by the swimming pool next to Lee Hall)
-Improvements to Lake
-Repaint Lee Hall
-Repairs to road from Black Mountain
1925 Weatherford Parker Letters about construction: In a series of letters, Weatherford and Parker discuss various construction and improvement project at Blue Ridge, including painting, road work, the old gym, and the library.
June 3, 1925 Asheville Citizen about start of season includes: “…a number of substantial improvements have been made. A handsome gymnasium with two playing floors, baths, and lockers has just been completed on the site of the old open air gymnasium beside the swimming pool. The lake has been enlarged by more than acre. An observation house and a boat house have been erected beside it, and the margins have been beautified by plantings of rhododendron and other mountain shrubs.”
June 28, 1925 Sunday Citizen article about dedication of new gymnasium: “The fine new gymnasium just completed…was formally opened and dedicated Friday evening”. The dedication included musical performances and speeches with “the formal dedication was done by Willis Weatherford, Jr” (age 9). The building is described as: “The new gymnasium, which stands on the site of the old one beside the swimming pool, is an artistic and commodious two-story building with a stately colonial façade. On the lower floor are dressing rooms, showers and lockers for men and women and a small gymnasium 28x55 feet in size. On the second floor is the main gymnasium, a great room 55x85 feet in size, without pillars or other obstructions, the wide expanse of roof being supported by steel truce work. The first floor is of cement, the second of polished maple…”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 7 number 1, October 1925: includes this paragraph: “A fine new, two-story gymnasium, commodious and thoroughly equipped, was opened at the beginning of the season, and added greatly to the effectiveness of the physical training program, of which training of recreational leaders for the South is a notable part. The new lake also was a very popular feature.”
1926 Blue Ridge Summary Statement in the list of improvements includes “a beautiful gymnasium with two floors, baths, and dressing rooms…”
(Note: 1979 National Registry of Historic Places lists the gymnasium as being built in 1915.)
June 17, 1925 (postmark date): First postmarked card showing Aerial View of Blue Ridge spcb020a02. Shown are: Abbott Hall, College Hall, Lee Hall, (old) Dining Room, pool next to Lee Hall, and several cottages. All roofs are red.
1925: YMCA Southern College fundraising and endowment campaign; New Nashville building opens September 21, 1927; Fundraising continues
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 6 number 6, March 1925: includes a map showing “Southern College of YMCA” (corner of Charles and 21st Ave.). The map does not show the Thompson Seminary (Blue Ridge Voice November 1925) or “Temporary Home” location shown in the April 1926 Blue Ridge Voice). The full page ad in this edition has a photo of Wesley Hall with the caption, “Wesley Hall, the winter home of Southern College.”
April 26, 1925 Nashville Tennessean runs “picture of proposed home of the Southern College of YMCA”. “The new building is estimated to cost $507,000 and this money, as well as half a million endowment fund, is expected to be raised in the Southern states.” “…the effort will be made to have the building ready for occupancy within three years.” The article includes a detailed description of the building plans. The building plans “were drafted by the building bureau of the National Council of the YMCA, with headquarters in New York…” The building will be on 21st Avenue.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 7 number 3, November 1925: The photo in Southern College ad changes to the Thompson Seminary: “Old Thompson Seminary, 2015 Grad Avenue, built in 1874, one of the earliest college buildings in the city of Nashville, now owned and used as a temporary home for Southern College of YMCA.”
February 4, 1926 Nashville Tennessean: Weatherford announces “The new home of the Southern College YMCA will be ready for use within18 months.” “…a New York architect has already engaged to design the plant” and Hibbs Construction of Nashville will be in charge of construction.
March 13, 1926 Tampa Morning Tribune article about the fundraising and local donations. Article states that half will be contributed by the Laura Spellman (Rockefeller) Foundation. (No other articles state this.)
April 20, 1926 Asheville Citizen article about YMCA meeting where “…The object of the State meeting is to plan means of rounding out a $1,000,000 endowment for Southern College of the YMCA at Nashville, TN and the Blue Ridge assembly grounds…” “…Dr. WD Weatherford, president of the institution, has been able to raise $800,000 and the remaining $200,000 is divided up among the 10 southern states…” (Note: much of the $800,000 is in pledges.)
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 7 number 7, April 1926: much of the edition is for the Southern College. Included is a map showing the “Temporary Home Southern College” (corner of Grand and 21st Ave.) and shaded area labeled “Southern College of YMCA” (corner of Charles and 21st Ave.). Also included an update of fundraising and a list of donations.
June 6, 1926 Montgomery Advertiser brief article: “…the institution had completed a campaign for a million dollars for building and endowment…”
September 12, 1926 Nashville Tennessean: in a large article highlighting all the various colleges and universities in Nashville, it mentions “Four Nashville schools, Southern YMCA College (three others listed)…look forward to moving into new homes within a year…” “YMCA College” is included in the list Nashville schools with a detailed description. It also mentions “SCY has two homes, one here and one in Blue Ridge, NC…”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 8 number 1, October 1926: Includes photo of men pouring the concrete foundation for the new building and site elevation drawings of the new building.
September 22, 1927 Nashville Tennessean: brief article announcing “Southern College of the YMCA opened the fall term Wednesday morning at 11:00 in the new building on 21st Avenue…”
December 28, 1928 Nashville Tennessean: “The first gift toward a million dollar endowment fund for the YMCA Graduate School was announced…as $250,000.” “The name of the donor of the gift is to remain secret by his stipulation.” Announcement of gift is repeated in December 31, 1928 Nashville Tennessean, in larger article about construction of Nashville educational buildings during 1928.
April 9, 1930 Nashville Tennessean: “Gift of $125,000 at $25,000 a year for a period of five years has been placed at the disposal of the YMCA Graduate School by John D Rockefeller, Jr. and Julius Rosenwald…”
May 27, 1926: Quote from Chapel Hill NC Tar Heel: In an article about the upcoming 35th annual Southern Student YMCA Conference, Blue Ridge is described: “In athletic equipment there are 20 tennis courts, a baseball diamond, two volleyball courts, two basketball courts, a large gymnasium with three floors, a 5-acre lake with diving towers, spring boards, and 20 canoes. There is also a 75x120 swimming pool, which is located near Robert E Lee Hall.” The article mentions “nearby livery stable places”, 20 cottages, “College Hall building with large auditorium and a dozen classrooms, an additional small hotel with 50 rooms, a women’s dormitory, athletic equipment, and other facilities…”, and “large dining hall.” The article mentions the Carolina-NCCW cottage.
June 1926: Mordecai W Johnson from Howard first visits Blue Ridge
May 6, 1926 Davidson College Davidsonian in an article about the upcoming YMCA Conference in June, the list of speakers included: “Mordecai W Johnson, an expert on the racial problem.”
July 24, 1926 New York Age article about Mordecai Johnson, “recently elected president of Howard University” speaking at Blue Ridge. The article also states that “two colored students…were present by invitation…”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 8 number 6, March 1927: includes copy of Dr. Mordecai Johnson’s “Christianity in Race Relations” address at Blue Ridge in June 1926.
(see footnote: Summer 1926 Race Issues at Blue Ridge)
1926: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Asheville Building (later called Asheville Hall)
1925 Asheville Building Letters: In a series of letters Parker and Weatherford discuss the plans and building of the Asheville Building.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 7 number 5, February 1926: In the article about the Southern College, it starts: “Southern College of YMCAs is very happy to be able to announce that its new building on the Blue Ridge grounds will be ready for the opening of the Summer Term, June 10th, this year. The building is now under construction…It will contain 12 one-room efficiency apartments with bath and kitchenette, for our married students. It also will have a sufficient number of single rooms to take care of all the unmarried students for the summer…The handsome building with its auditorium, class rooms, and social hall has been made possible through the generosity of the citizens of Asheville, NC…” The article also includes a sketch of the front on the building.
September 10, 1926 Asheville Citizen article about the end of the 1926 season report to the Board includes: “The new ‘Asheville Building,’ so designated because its erection was made possible to a large extent by contributions of Asheville citizens, received a great deal of favorable comment from the members of the committee. Not only was the building of great service during its first season, but in the opinion of the committee, the contractors of Daugherty, Green, and Company of Black Mountain, completed the building at far less cost than is usually the case in buildings of similar type.”
September 6, 1926 Report of WD Weatherford to Blue Ridge includes: “The Asheville building, which was completed June 1st, at the cost of $32,000 constructed by the Southern College of YMCA, and with a capacity for 96 students, has been a very great blessing. In the first place, it has taken all of the boys of the staff out of the rookery, where the accommodations were very inadequate, and where they were quite a nuisance to the guests below, because of the noise of those big open halls. This has made much more valuable the third floor of Lee Hall for guests. In the next place, it as concentrated all the boys on the working staff in one building and given us an esprit de corps, which we have never before had. In the next place, it has added a little auditorium where we hold our staff meetings in complete isolation from all other activities on the grounds, and has added five class rooms to the number we already possessed.
1926 Blue Ridge Summary Statement includes a photo of “The Asheville Building” and on page 3 in the list of buildings: “Our latest building is Asheville Building, the home of Southern College YMCA.” In the Funds Secured section it lists “outstanding subscriptions to this property” and includes: “…City of Asheville, $20,000 toward the Asheville Building…”
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 8 number 7, April 1927 includes a photo the Asheville Building (but not identified). The page describes it as the “…new building now on the Blue Ridge grounds is the summer home of Southern College…”
August 11, 1932 Asheville Citizen, in an article about a conference it mentions the YMCA Graduate School students will present a play “in the Asheville building, the summer home of the YMCA Graduate school men students, which was made possible by contributions of Asheville citizens.”
July 20, 1933 Asheville Citizen article about different groups at Blue Ridge mentions YMCA Graduate School with “Final examinations for the first term of the summer quarter of the Graduate School, whose summer home is located in the Asheville building on the Blue Ridge grounds will be held Wednesday, and the second term will begin Thursday.”
September 1926: Lee School for Boys opens. James Alexander Peoples is the headmaster. It operates during the non-summer months at Blue Ridge. It would run until 1931. (Not to be confused with Blue Ridge School for Boys which was in Hendersonville NC.)
July 31, 1923 Nashville Tennessean announced the school opening as September 1924. (Note: Lee School for Boys did not open until September 1926.)
August 2, 1923 Asheville Citizen article details Weatherford’s announcement of Lee School for Boys during a meeting of “the five civic organizations of the city.” Plans are for the school to be 8-12 grades and open September 1924. (Note: Lee School for Boys did not open until September 1926.) Similar article appears in August 4, 1923 Asheville Citizen with “Fall of 1924” opening date.
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 6 number 1, October 1924: Within “Blue Ridge – Past, Present, and Future – The Big Things Ahead:” “Blue Ridge is eager to use its buildings 12 months instead of 3, hence we are hoping to establish a boys’ school during the winter months.” (no school name used or other details)
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 7 number 2, November 1925: includes article about Lee School for Bos
December 4, 1925 Nashville Tennessean announced the opening as September 1926. Article mentions JA Peoples as headmaster.
September 10, 1926 Asheville Citizen article about the end of the 1926 season report to the Board includes: “Dr. Weatherford informed its committee that the new Robert E Lee School for Boys will start with an enrollment of from 50 to 75, a very good showing for a new school. The teaching staff of the new school was reported as perhaps the strongest in the South. Including as it does three men who were formerly headmasters of their won schools…”
December 2, 1927 Atlanta Constitution: The Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools of the Southern States admits Lee Schools for Boys. The article lists the schools admitted during the 32nd annual meeting in Jacksonville, FL.
December 18, 1927 Sunday Citizen: brief article about Christmas break: “Robert E Lee School, at Blue Ridge, closed sessions today until January 3, and by tonight every one of the 80 or more students had departed.”
1926 Handbook of American Private Schools lists “Lee School for Boys”
September 2, 1929 Asheville Citizen article about the end of the 1929 season includes: “Lee Hall will be re-opened on September 4 to house the Lee School for Boys, a 9-month prep school whose home is on these ground. The outlook for this, the fourth session of the school, is optimistic according to JJ Peoples, headmaster.”
August 16, 1933 Asheville Citizen article mentions the Lee School for Boys closed in the Spring of 1931.
1926: Quote from “Picturesque Blue Ridge” 1926: “Blue Ridge is located in the heart of the most rugged mountains of North Carolina (fifteen miles from Asheville) at an elevation of 2700 feet. The estate comprises of 1619 acres of virgin forest; it has fifty-one buildings, athletic fields, tennis courts, swimming and boating lake, a fine two-floor gymnasium, a well run library, a daily program of music, lectures and travel talks, and prices which are within the reach of those with modest means.” The 1926 “Picturesque Blue Ridge” also mentions Southern College “has a new home of its own on the Blue Ridge grounds” and SCY Camp and Lee School for Boys are part of Blue Ridge.
1927: Postmaster appointment controversy
January 14, 1927 Asheville Citizen article about controversy of removing/replacing James Parker as Blue Ridge postmaster (no details on reason). Senator Overman becomes involved.
January 22, 1927 Asheville Citizen runs brief article with response from First Assistant Postmaster General to Senator Overman about James Parker. The article suggests Parker was not eligible because of an examination.
(Note: Charles E Boone would replace James Parker as Postmaster in April 1927. Parker would continue to work for Blue Ridge.)
1927: Blue Ridge Institute for Community Service Executives starts using Blue Ridge. It would run continually at Blue Ridge Assembly, except for 1943, until __ when it moved to a new location.
July 19, 1928 Asheville Citizen: “The program for the second annual Summer Institute for Social Work Executives, conducted under the auspices of the Association of Community Chests and Councils…”
1927: Southern YMCA College name change to YMCA Graduate School. New Nashville building opened.
May 22, 1927 Kingsport Times runs brief article announcing the name change from Southern YMCA College to YMCA Graduate School. The article also mentions the Graduate School will be “housed in a new $500,000 building September 1.”
1928: John Hope from Morehouse College speaks at Blue Ridge
1928: Blue Ridge issues $180,000 in Bonds.
May 1, 1928: Issue of $180,000 in Bonds to Nashville Trust Company. “…the Association (Blue Ridge) desires to borrow, for use in paying off and refunding its outstanding indebtedness, improving its properties…, and for its other corporate purposes, the sum of $180,000…” Bonds, in various denominations, are due between 1 year (May 1929) and 10 years (May 1938). A provision of the new bond issue is to pay back the previous $80,000 in bonds. (Meeting of Blue Ridge Executive Committee referenced in document, but date of meeting not given.)
July 26, 1928 Asheville Citizen: Legal announcement: $80,000 of First Mortgage Gold Bonds issued September 1, 1921 (due September 1, 1931) have been called for redemption as of September 1, 1928 by Independence Trust Company of Charlotte NC.
August 18, 1928 Commercials and Financial Chronicle (page 880) lists Blue Ridge with $180,000 of bonds (1929-1938).
1929: Herbert Hoover becomes President
1929: Stock Market crash, Great Depression starts
July 22, 1929 (postmark date): First postmarked card showing Asheville Hall (areal with Gym and Pool) apc457a02
December 1929: Colleges asked to release their Cottages. Weatherford writes colleges who built cottages explaining declining attendance, financial hardship, cost of using cottages, potential rental income from cottages, and available space in Lee Hall and Abbott Hall during the YMCA/YWCA conferences.
CottagesRelease-1929-1930: Letter from Weatherford and replies from:
Winthrop and Clemson (Winthrop-Clemson cottage),
Converse (Converse-University of South Carolina cottage),
Wake Forest and Meredith (Wake Forest-Meredith cottage),
Agnes Scott and Georgia Tech (Agnes Scott-Georgia Tech cottage),
Coker and NC State (Coker-NC State cottage),
Florida State College (Florida State-University of Florida cottage),
Medical College of Virginia (Virginia Medical-? cottage),
Mississippi State College for Women (MCSW-Mississippi A&M cottage),
North Carolina College for Women (NCCW-University of NC),
Randolph Macon (Randolph Macon-Washington and Lee cottage),
Shorter (Shorter-University of Georgia cottage),
University of Kentucky (Kentucky-? cottage),
Virginia Polytech (VPI-Virginia Normal cottage),
Hollins College (Hollins-Virginia Medical cottage, Virginia Medical was previously named Richmond Medical).
No replies from: Ward-Belmont cottage, Queens-Davison cottage (?), Guilford-? Cottage (?)
1930: Campaign to raise $250,000
February 25, 1930 Asheville Citizen and February 25, 1930 Greenville News (Greenville SC) run very similar articles: “plans are rapidly being developed for raising by May 1 the sum of $250,000 to clear up encumbrances…” The articles state that the YMCA and YWCA control Blue Ridge (no mention of YPMM).
March 16, 1930 Atlanta Constitution runs brief article announcing the $250,000 campaign.
1930: Quote from May 2, 1930 University of Kentucky The Kentucky Kernel article describes Blue Ridge: “Since the first summer session, Blue Ridge has acquired land totally 1619 acres. There are 56 buildings on the grounds…;ample class and conference rooms; an auditorium; dining hall, gymnasium, swimming pool, cottages for family groups, etc.” A second article lists the “13 schools”: The College Conference of the YWCA; The Student Conference of the YMCA; The Conference of the Missionary Education Movement; The Summer School for Secretaries of all departments of the YMCA; The City Conference of YWCA; SCY Camp for Boys; The Conference on Human Relations in Industry; The Southern Summer School of Social Service and Christian Workers for the South; Institute of Social Work Executives; YMCA Graduate Schools (same time as previous conferences); Lee School for Boys (winter); Conference for board of Directors; also “in addition each year there are special conferences”
July 3, 1931 (postmark date): First postmarked card by newly renamed Asheville Post Card Company. apc250a01
1931: Blue Ridge celebrates 25 years (starting at 1906 Weatherford purchase of property)
July 5, 1931 Asheville Citizen Times article with headline “YMCA Center at Blue Ridge Is Now Nearing Its 25th Anniversary.” The grounds are described as: “1,500 acres of mountain landscape...56 other distinct buildings (Lee Hall was mentioned earlier)...”. “Thirty comfortable cottages, nestled advantageously about the Blue Ridge lands...”
August 23, 1931 Asheville Citizen Times article about the close of the 20th Season (starting at the 1912 opening/first conference) states: Blue Ridge “will be able to look back over two decades which have brought more than 60,000 delegates and vacationists to this locality, at least which 4000 of who have been prominent leaders in social, political, economic, and religions life.” The article lists many of the speakers and how many years they have attended Blue Ridge.
1931-1932: Financial troubles start to surface.
June 3, 1931 Asheville Citizen: On June 2, 1931, CA Floyd files suit seeking back pay of $450.
February 28, 1932 Asheville Citizen Times: On February 27, 1932, JA Peoples files suit in county court asking that a receiver be named for Blue Ridge Association. His complaint details he is owed $400 for services to Lee School for Boys, the Association owes $200,000 of which $40,000 is back salaries, food, fuel and other bills. March 7 is set for the hearing.
August 4, 1935 Asheville Citizen Times: Myron Turfitt of New Orleans (trustee for a finance corporation) files suit for $27,300 for unpaid balance on “a sprinkler system installed several years ago.”
February 1932: Arrest warrant issued for Postmaster. Charles E Boone is wanted for embezzlement.
February 5, 1932 Asheville Citizen article: “Alleged to have embezzled approximately $3000, Charles E Boone, postmaster at Blue Ridge, was being sought yesterday…”
February 6, 1932 Asheville Citizen follow-up article about Charles E Boone. Maggie C Allison is named temporary postmaster (named as Mrs. William Allison in article)
April 5, 1932 Asheville Citizen article about number of people applying for the Postmaster position to replace Charles E Boone.
May 21, 1932 Asheville Citizen article: “Judge E Yates Webb in United States district court yesterday sentenced Charles E Boon, former postmaster at Blue Ridge, to serve three years in the federal penitentiary for violation of the postal laws and regulations.”
September 11, 1932 Asheville Citizen Times article about the application process and timeline to fill the Postmaster vacancy left by Charles E Boone.
(Note: Maggie C Allison would be named the next postmaster.)
February 1932: Olympic Winter Games held in Lake Placid, NY
July-August 1932: Olympic Summer Games held in Los Angeles, CA
January 1933: 20th Amendment to the Constitution ratified: Presidential / Congressional Terms
1933: Franklin D Roosevelt becomes President
1933: Construction at Blue Ridge:
May 14, 1933 Asheville Citizen Times runs article about the opening of the 1933 season. In the list of changes for the 1933 season includes changing the meal plans and rates. The article mentions: “Guests have the choice of eating in the cafeteria, which is now being installed in the dining hall under the supervision of JP Parker, of Black Mountain, the buildings and grounds superintendent…”
June 1933: Opening of final season as “Blue Ridge Association”
May 14, 1933 Asheville Citizen Times runs article about the opening of the 1933 season. The article lists several changes. “A new Blue Ridge with rates and improved accommodations to meet changing times, but with the same healthful, intellectual, and religious atmosphere as heretofore, will welcome hundreds of guests and delegates to 19 different conferences and institutes…” The article lists the conferences and mentions 75 students from the YMCA Graduate School. The article also states: “In line with demands made by the financial crisis, room and board rates and cottage rentals have been reduced some 35%...” Other changes include changes to the meal plans and rates. “Another feature of the new Blue Ridge…is offering a free summer nature-study, handicraft, and play-guidance program for children of guests and youth coming to Blue Ridge…” Camp Blue Ridge has been “suspended for the 1933 season.” The Blue Ridge summer staff has 80 (40 men, 20 women, 20 administrators) (Note: article does not directly mention financial problems or Black Mountain College starting in September 1933.)
August 14, 1933: Blue Ridge College, Inc. is registered by Weatherford, HW Sanders, and JJ Ray (all have direct connections to the YMCA Graduate School). Notable in the incorporation, is the new organization may “confer all such degrees and marks of literary distinction” and will have 21-member executive committee, three-fourths of which must be approved by the Board of Directors of the YMCA Graduate School.
August 16, 1933 Asheville Citizen, article states according to Weatherford they “intend to establish a liberal arts college in the Blue Ridge mountains near Asheville...the new college will have no corporate connection with Blue Ridge Association, which owns and operates the YMCA conference assembly grounds and resort….do not yet know where the new college will be established…” (The article does not mention Black Mountain College, the financial troubles of Blue Ridge Association, or the YMCA Graduate School—other than to tie the three registered agents to the Graduate School.)
September - December 1933: Foreclosure sale, Purchase back, Transfer
September 2, 1933, Asheville Citizen: announcement of “…a foreclosure sale of buildings and land of the Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conferences and Training, at Blue Ridge, near Black Mountain, will be held October 2, 1933 at the courthouse…” Nashville and American Trust is the trustee.
October 2, 1933: Blue Ridge property sold at the Buncombe County Court House door to General American Life Insurance Company of St. Louis, MO for $45,000 (details in December 21, 1933 deed)
October 3, 1933, Asheville Citizen: “The General American Life Insurance Company yesterday purchased the Blue Ridge assembly grounds and buildings for $45,000. A foreclosure sale brought about the change in ownership. The sale is subject to confirmation of superior court and the bid may be raised within the 10-day period prescribed by law.” The foreclosure is for default of bonds.
Within 10 days of October 2, 1933: YMCA Graduate School increases bid by 5%. Sale and bids re-opened and new auction date set for November 20, 1933. (details in December 21, 1933 deed)
October 18, 1933 Asheville Citizen reports “The YMCA Graduate School as raised the $45,000 bid of the General American Life Insurance Company…necessitating the trustees to re-sell the property at foreclosure….”
November 20, 1933: Second auction at the door of the Buncombe County Court House. The winning bid was $47,000 by George H Wright and RR Williams (acting as agents for the YMCA Graduate School). (details in December 21, 1933 deed)
Within 10 days of November 20, 1933: No higher bids submitted, the winning $47,000 bid is final. Final price paid would be $47,500. (details in December 21, 1933 deed)
November 22, 1933 Asheville Citizen: “The YMCA Graduate School has purchased the YMCA assembly grounds at Blue Ridge for $47,500, the sale having been made in foreclosure to George H Wright and Robert R Williams, Asheville attorneys, who acted as agents for the purchaser…”
December 16, 1933, Asheville Citizen: “The YMCA assembly grounds at Blue Ridge, near Black Mountain, will be operated in the future by the Blue Ridge College, Inc., which recently purchased the property at foreclosure sale, it was announced yesterday. The formal transfer of property will be made within a few days….”
December 21, 1933: Nashville and American Trust to Blue Ridge College, Inc.
December 21, 1933: Blue Ridge College, Inc. to YMCA Graduate School. Life and Casualty Insurance Company (PM Estes, trustee) is note holder of $60,000. Payment is over 5 years.
December 21, 1933 Deed: Blue Ridge Association to Blue Ridge College, Inc. – “Methodist Colony Company” property (not listed as one of the 9 tracts in previous deeds).
June 10, 1934, Asheville Citizen Times: In an article on the various conference centers in the Asheville / Black Mountain area, describes Blue Ridge as the “seat of interdenominational liberalism in the south”. Also in the article “Until last fall, Blue Ridge was operated by the Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conference and Training. Due to the default of bonds at the time, the property was sold at foreclosure and Blue Ridge College, Inc., a subsidiary of the YMCA Graduate School, purchased the property. Dr. Weatherford is president. Blue Ridge is the summer home of the YMCA Graduate School… Black Mountain College, Inc., a new experimental liberal arts college, was established there the past academic year. Lee School for Boys and Camp Blue Ridge for Boys were held there until several years ago.”
December 7, 1938: Life and Casualty Insurance Company agrees to payment extension. $25,360 of the $60,000 has been repaid. Balance is now past due. Terms extend payment January 1943.
October 1933: University of North Carolina loans Blue Ridge money
October 24, 1933 UNC Tar Heel reports the University YMCA will loan “Blue Ridge Association $1,000 to prevent the Blue Ridge property from being sold at auction for non-payment of taxes” in exchange for exclusive use of a cottage.
March 31, 1934 Tar Heel, the amount is reduced to $500 for a 5-year cottage lease.
1933: Black Mountain College starts at Blue Ridge
August 25, 1933 Orlando Morning Sentinel: “Rollins College’s corps of ousted faculty members…have incorporated a new college at Black Mountain, NC” “The college has been incorporated under the name of Black Mountain College and is 18 miles from Asheville. Organizers have leased 1600 acres, known as the Blue Ridge conference grounds…”
August 28, 1933 Boston Globe: “The Secretary of State of North Carolina has granted a charter to Black Mountain College, a new coeducational institution which will be conducted in the buildings of the Blue Ridge Association near Black Mountain, NC beginning Sept 25 next.”
April 5, 1936 Asheville Citizen Times runs article and photos of Black Mountain College at Blue Ridge.
1933 Lease, 1934 Lease, June 5, 1936 Lease
December 1933: 21st Amendment to the Constitution ratified: 18th Amendment Repealed
September 1934: High Windy Fire Tower lease. Blue Ridge enters into a 30 year lease with the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development so the state can build a fire tower at High Windy. In 1964 the Fire Tower land was sold to the state with a clause that if a fire tower is not maintained, the land reverts back to Blue Ridge.
June 9, 1934: First joint YWCA-YMCA Student Conference at Blue Ridge
June 9, 1934 Asheville Citizen article about upcoming “joint YMCA and YWCA Student Conference…This marks the first time these two groups have been brought to Blue Ridge at the same time.” 200 are expected for the joint conference.
August 21, 1934 Asheville Citizen: in an end-of-season article it mentions: “more than 400 collegians from18 southern states and 4 foreign nations attended the first annual joint conference under the direction of Claude Nelson, of Nashville, TN, Southern Secretary of the organization…”
May 15, 1938 Chapel Hill NC Tar Heel article about the Student Conference states the first joint conference was in 1930, but newspaper articles at the time indicate separate YMCA and YWCA conferences.
(Note: Blue Ridge Voice, volume 2 number 7, April 1921 lists the YWCA and YMCA conference with separate dates: YWCA June 3-13 and YMCA June 14-23.)
July 1934: Quote from July 15, 1934 Asheville Citizen Times: In an article promoting Blue Ridge as a vacation destination: “To those who love the great outdoors, Blue Ridge has unrivaled advantages to offer. Miles of well-marked mountain trails winding through forests and rhododendron, laurel, and fragrant ferns have an irresistible appeal to the hiker or horseback rider…Cool crystal mountain springs feed a large concrete swimming pool just to the north of Lee Hall…Laurel Lake offers swimming and boating facilities…mountain streams furnish opportunities to fisherman…A playground, equipped with seesaws, giant strides, swings, and sand piles, a kindergarten conducted by an experienced teacher and story hour for the older boys and girls…” “…two well equipped buildings where comfortable rooms with or without baths…18 conveniently located cottages, equipped for housekeeping…meals may be taken either in the Blue Ridge dining room or cafeteria.” “The Blue Ridge farms and orchards furnish fresh fruits and vegetables for the table.” “…easily reached over a network of hard surfaced roads. First class garage facilities and accommodations for chauffeurs and nurses are available…”
August 1935: First Blue Ridge Staff “P.W.” Alumni Reunion. Previous “alumni dinners” and “alumni events” were held as part of the YMCA Graduate School special events and graduation ceremonies.
August 27, 1931 Nashville Tennessean: “The YMCA Graduate School will have its Founder’s Day exercises May 1 and 2. The faculty and students will have an alumni banquet Friday night, May 1, in the Susie Gray Auditorium of the YMCA Graduate School building.”
August 3, 1934 Asheville Citizen article: “Alumni of the YMCA Graduate School, Nashville, TN, and Blue Ridge, held their annual dinner here Wednesday night in the private dining room of the Robert E Lee Hall. More than 45 alumni and their wives attended…”
April 12, 1935 University of Kentucky Kentucky Kernel: “Southern college men and women from all southern and southwestern colleges will celebrate the 24th anniversary of Blue Ridge…from August 25-31, with at least 500 former Blue Ridge staff workers present.”
August 25, 1935 Asheville Citizen Times article about the staff reunion. Article mentions it is “popularly known as the ‘P.W. Reunion’ from the title ‘P.W.’ given each member of the working staff…” (Poor Working Girls and Poor Working Boys)
January 1936 YMCA Graduate School Bulletin mentions the upcoming staff reunion: “A reunion of former staff. The use of college men and women who do the work in our buildings has always given Blue Ridge service with a distinctive flavor. These hundreds of former students will join in a great reunion at Blue Ridge, August 21-28. They will be guests in the rooms at Blue Ridge, and meals are most reasonable in the cafeteria. If you are a former ‘P.W.’ don’t miss this great occasion.”
August 16, 1936 Asheville Citizen Times article: “Blue Ridge is celebrating its 25 years of existence (from the first conference in 1912), beginning Friday with the second annual P.W. Reunion, which was begun last year by a number of interested former members of the staff here.”
August 23, 1936 Asheville Citizen Times: brief article about reunion: “The annual reunion of former members of Blue Ridge summer staffs began here last night. There are 2,000 former staff members and a large number have come back for the reunion…”
June 2, 1946 Asheville Citizen Times article listing the 1946 upcoming conferences includes “Blue Ridge P.W. Reunion” at the end of August.
December 29, 1946 Ashville Citizen Times article listing the 1947 summer conferences (as of December 1946) include “P.W. Reunion” in August with estimated attendance of 75.
January 1936: Quote from YMCA Graduate School Bulletin, Jan 1936: “Located in the heart of the most rugged section of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it is the ideal vacation spot of North Carolina, the summer playground of the South. The estate covers sixteen hundred acres of virgin forest, with crystal-clear streams and hillside gorgeous with masses of rhododendron, azalea and mountain laurel. On our grounds are tennis courts, volley ball courts, and beautiful lake for swimming, boating, and fishing, and miles of shady woodland trails of horseback riding and hiking. Every convenience is available-comfortable rooms with or without private baths, cozy housekeeping cottages, efficiency apartments, and an abundance of excellent food. Also in the Bulletin: “A reunion of former staff. The use of college men and women who do the work in our buildings has always given Blue Ridge service with a distinctive flavor. These hundreds of former students will join in a great reunion at Blue Ridge, August 21-28. They will be guests in the rooms at Blue Ridge, and meals are most reasonable in the cafeteria. If you are a former ‘P.W.’ don’t miss this great occasion.”
July 1936: The YMCA Graduate School of Nashville (formally the Southern YMCA College) closes. Nashville location closes, summer sessions continue at Blue Ridge.
July 3, 1936 Nashville Tennessean reports the Nashville building transferred by deed to Vanderbilt University who held a $167,000 mortgage and the library and furnishings were sold to Fisk University for $20,000.
May 6, 1937: Hindenburg explodes in Manchester Township, NJ
1937: Construction at Blue Ridge:
June 13, 1937 Asheville Citizen Times: in an article about the 1937 season, it mentions: “Rooms with bath have been refurnished with new and comfortable beds…” (does not mention which building). The article also mentions “Blue Ridge has its own US Post Office (Blue Ridge). It was long distance telephone and telegraph connections.”
1937: Black Mountain College purchases Lake Eden property. BMC operates Lake Eden as Hotel for few years, Leaves Blue Ridge 1941, College closes 1956.
May 2, 1937 Asheville Citizen Times article: “Purchase of the Lake Eden properties by Black Mountain College and plans to develop a camps on the 700-acre tract were announced yesterday…” “The school will remain in its present quarters through next year, since the institution has a lease on the YMCA property until the summer of 1938…”
June 25, 1937 Asheville Citizen brief article: “Title to the 700-acre Lake Eden properties near Black Mountain was transferred yesterday to Black Mountain College…”
May 19, 1938 Asheville Citizen article: “Lake Eden, owned by Black Mountain College, will be operated for the first time by the college as a hotel from June 15 to September 6.” Black Mountain College students have been volunteering to get the property ready.
March 15, 1939 Asheville Citizen article: “Preliminary preparations for construction of a new educational plant at Lake Eden, and the permanent establishment of Black Mountain College there by 1940 are under way…” The article also announces fundraising campaign.
May 10, 1941 Asheville Citizen article about Robert Wunsh, rector of BMC, speaking at the Lions Club of Black Mountain. He “gave a report of the building operations of the college (at Lake Edan). He told of the way in the college community, consisting of faculty members and their families and the student body, had reacted last fall to the news that the plant of Blue Ridge Association would not be available for the continued use of the college after this spring…”
May 25, 1941 Asheville Citizen Times: “With tractor and trailer, two trucks of its own, and a truck loaned by the local Chevrolet company, Black Mountain College is moving from Blue Ridge, its rented quarters for the first 8 years of its existence, to Lake Eden, its own site five miles across the valley.” The article details the items being moved, including the stage in the dining hall, radiators, furnaces, chimneys, looms, architecture shop, print shop, pianos, library, and personal belongings.
August 10, 1942 Asheville Citizen article about the Black Mountain College farming program. “Black Mountain College continues to expand its farm program, begun modestly when the institution was housed at Blue Ridge, enlarged considerably when the institution moved to Lake Eden, enlarged still further after America entered the war.” “74 acres of crops are now under cultivation, most at Lake Eden. Some, however are rented land nearby and at Blue Ridge. Four stacks of oats have bene harvested from Blue Ridge planting…”
February 3, 1956 Asheville Citizen article: “Camp Rockmount, a new boy’s camp, will be operated this summer on 205 acres on former Black Mountain College property. Lake Eden is included in the property.” The article also states: “Lake Rockmount, new name for the former Lake Eden…”
September 27, 1957 Asheville Citizen article: “Title to 282 acres of Black Mountain College, which has been closed, was taken today by Eden Rock Park, Inc. (operators of Camp Rockmount).” This includes the 205 acres that had been leased plus an additional 77 acres. The article states: “The college, which moved to Lake Eden in 1938, once owned some 600 acres, but 300 acres were sold as farm land about 3 years ago…”
Postcard of Lake Eden:
June 1937: Yale University gives credit for summer courses taught at Blue Ridge
June 20, 1937 Asheville Citizen Times article: “Affiliated with Yale Divinity School for the first time in history, the summer session of the Blue Ridge training school entered the first week of activity yesterday.” In previous years, course credit was issued by the YMCA Graduate School of Nashville. When the YMCA Graduate School closed in July 1936, Vanderbilt University gave credit for the summer 1936.
June 12, 1941 Asheville Citizen article: “The summer quarter of the YMCA Graduate School…opened its 1941 season at Blue Ridge Wednesday.” “There is a working relationship with the Yale Divinity School by which a number of the ablest students receive winter scholarships. At present there are a dozen Blue Ridge students at Yale Divinity School on such scholarships.”
November 1937: Quote from Blue Ridge Bulletin, Nov 1937: “Today Blue Ridge is a large institution, one interest of which is the summer quarter of the YMCA graduate school. Sixteen hundred acres and fifty-five buildings provide accommodations for guests, students, and faculty. This outlay, together with its plants for supplying heat, electricity, and water, a lake of four and one-half acres, a swimming pool, and gymnasium with athletic equipments…”
1938: Construction at Blue Ridge:
July 5, 1938 Asheville Citizen article: “The Blue Ridge players presented ‘The Challenges of the Cross’ in the new open air Rhododendron Theater here Sunday night before a large crowd who sat and stood on the grassy slopes above the stage…” .
August 7, 1938 Asheville Citizen Times article about “Blue Ridge drama week” states: “Bascom Lamar Lunsford, founder and director of the Mountain Dances and Folk Song festival of Ashville…will speak Friday night at the dedication of the new Rhododendron Theater. Dr. WD Weatherford…also will be one of the guest speakers, and a guest performance by the Appalachian State Teachers’ College playcrafters…”
1938: Cragmore School for Girls attempted (school would never officially open). Miss. Willa R Young, head of school.
August 7, 1938 Asheville Citizen Times article: “…Plans are being made for the establishment if a high grade preparatory school for girls on the Blue Ridge grounds.” The article mentions that Black Mountain College is currently leasing the buildings, “but will move within the next year or so…” (Article does not name the girls school as “Cragmore.”)
April 12, 1939 Asheville Citizen article: “Plans to open a school for girls at Blue Ridge in September 1940 were announced…” “The institution to be known as Cragmore, will occupy the Robert E Lee assembly hall and surrounding buildings now leased to Black Mountain College. Enrollment for the first year will be limited to 60.”
July 19, 1939 Evening Telegram (Rocky Mount, NC) in News Briefs section runs: “Blue Ridge, July 19 – (AP) – The advisory committee of Cragmore preparatory school for girls here, will meet here Sunday.”
August 10, 1938 Asheville Citizen: “An executive committee for Cragmore, the new preparatory school for girls was announced yesterday. The school will open its first season at Blue Ridge in September 1940.”
July 9, 1940 Asheville Citizen article: “Cragmore, preparatory school for girls, will open here on September 23, 1941, instead of 1940…”
April 1, 1941 Asheville Citizen article: “Cragmore, preparatory school for girls, will not open as planned for its initial session in September 1941…”
1939: World War II starts
1939: Regional Transportation
-Black Mountain roads
March 10, 1939 Asheville Citizen: brief article about road work: “Improvement of a half-mile of the Blue Ridge Road between the end of Vance Avenue-Blue ridge concrete road, near Black Mountain Inn and Highway No. 70, was started Tuesday…”
June 13, 1939 (postmark date): Last postmarked card to use the word Association. apc657b02
July 8-10, 1939: Fellowship of Reconciliation Conference at Blue Ridge Inter-racial conference
July 9, 1939 Jackson Sun: brief announcement of attendee traveling to the Fellowship of Reconciliation conference
(Note: need more documentation on this conference.)
1939: Quote from July 23, 1939 Asheville Citizen Times. Full-page article with photos of Blue Ridge. The property is described as: “Lee Hass is one of only 56 buildings at Blue Ridge. These include a combined cafeteria and dining hall, several cottages, a gymnasium, laundry, an academic hall, hotel, dormitory, and library…Each building is painted cool, clean white and topped with a red roof.” The article also describes the founding of Blue Ridge (no tree story), the “Poor Working” summer staff, YMCA Graduate School and Student Presidents’ Training.
January 1940: $125,000 campaign started
January 18, 1940 Asheville Citizen article announces plans for a $125,000 campaign, “to raise a fund that will enable the organization to extinguish its present debt and make certain improvements….” “Total indebtedness is slightly less than $50,000…” The article mentions a new brochure. Detailed improvements include: “additions to the chlorination plant and water supply (required by State Board of Health)…steel trusses for Lee Hall lobby…rebuilding 6 public bathrooms…painting of 4 large buildings and cottages…reroofing 7 large buildings…plumbing repairs…kitchen equipment, stoves, etc. ....new furnishing…new 100-horsepower boiler and stoker and boiler house…library building (fireproofing and books)…roads…” The article also notes: “During the depression years, the income was so reduced that repairs and equipment could not be kept to standard…”
August 1940: Regional Flooding
August 14, 1940 Asheville Citizen: multiple articles on area flooding
August 16, 1940 Asheville Citizen: brief article about Blue Ridge after the flood, “…no serious damage…” “When the power system in Black Mountain area broke down, guests at Blue Ridge were supplied with electricity from the power unit here on the grounds. The main road to Black Mountain has been repaired, so that it is no longer necessary to go on the dirt road that was put into use during the emergency.”
August 1940: Weatherford “Far Horizons” home at Blue Ridge completed. Before completion, the Weatherfords lived in the “Lynwood” cottage.
June 29, 1921, Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conference and Training sells Weatherford 18.46 acres
August 1, 1933 Asheville Citizen: article about Genevieve Morrow and DR Folger being “quietly married here (Blue Ridge) Friday afternoon in the summer home of Dr. and Mrs. WD Weatherford”. The ceremony was “…performed in the living room of the cottage…” (the cottage was not named).
August 25, 1933 Asheville Citizen: In an article about end of season concert, it mentions: “…The graduating students will be the guests of Dr. and Mrs. Weatherford at dinner Saturday evening in their cottage, ‘Lynwood,’ on the Blue Ridge grounds.”
July 9, 1936 Asheville Citizen: Very brief article about Mrs. Weatherford hosting a party at their house, “Lynwood”.
August 23, 1936 Asheville Citizen Times: In brief article about the staff reunion, it mentions: “Today’s program included a lecture by Dr. WD Weatherford and a reception at Dr. and Mrs. Weatherford’s cabin.” (cabin not named in article)
September 12, 1938, Blue Ridge College, Inc. sells Weatherford 14.23 acres “more or less”
June 2, 1939 Asheville Citizen Times: in an article about the 48th wedding anniversary of Dr. and Mrs. HS Mitchell being celebrated at Blue Ridge it mentions coffee being served at the Weatherford’s house following dinner (location or cottage not named in article)
August 25, 1940, Asheville Citizen Times article details the “open house at the new home of Dr. and Mrs. WD Weatherford…for students, staff, and guest of Blue Ridge.” The home is described: “Perched on top of the mountain overlooking the beautiful Swannanoa Valley, the new home affords an exceptions mountain view. It is built of logs and stone taken from the woods surrounding Blue Ridge and has been in the process of construction for some time.” The article also states: “The Weatherfords will live in the home every summer while Blue Ridge is open for the season and the rest of the year when they are not at their home in Nashville, Tenn.” (The article does not refer to the cabin as “Far Horizons.”)
July 7, 1942 Asheville Citizen: Sara Katherine Langston and James Warren Hudspeth are married at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Weatherford at Blue Ridge.
November 25, 1951 Asheville Citizen Times article about wedding that Weatherford officiates, he is described as “Dr. WD Weatherford of ‘Far Horizons,’ Blue Ridge…”
April 4, 2019 Black Mountain News runs article about a “Spring Tea” benefit program held at “Far Horizons” by Julia Weatherford (granddaughter). The article includes history of “Far Horizons” construction.
1941: United States enters World War II after Japan bombs Pearl Harbor
August 13, 1941 (postmark date): First postmarked card to identify the auditorium as College Hall apcn451b02
September 1942: Last mention of YMCA Graduate School at Blue Ridge.
September 2, 1942 Asheville Citizen: article about the end of the season states “Blue Ridge is also the home of the YMCA Graduate School…” (Note: In 1943, Weatherford agrees to transfer the property to the YMCAs of the Southern Region; Blue Ridge does not open in the summer of 1943; the Graduate School is not mentioned in any 1944 articles about Blue Ridge conferences.)
1943: Early version of the ZIP Code is used. This is a two digit number between the city and state to indicate a postal zone within a city. Several cards starting in 1943 show numbers between the city and state.
1943: Blue Ridge College, Inc. faces serious financial strains.
June 1943: Blue Ridge does not open for summer. No conferences held at Blue Ridge because the war.
June 6, 1943 Asheville Citizen Times: “Blue Ridge will not operate as a conference center this summer because of transportation and other problems arising from the war…” “The step was taken as a patriotic move to prevent further congestion on travel facilities and because the rationing of gasoline.” Some cottages will be available for guests.
1943: Weatherford agrees to transfer the property to the YMCAs of the Southern Region under a new organization “Blue Ridge Assembly.”
August 1943: Weatherford retires after 37 years with Blue Ridge
August 22, 1943 Asheville Citizen Times: “Announcement of the retirement of Dr. WD Weatherford, leader in the establishment of Blue Ridge conference center and its active director for 37 years, together with the transfer of its management and operation from Blue Ridge College to the Blue Ridge Assembly, a corporation representing the Southern Area Council of the YMCAs was made here yesterday.”
December 22, 1943: Blue Ridge Assembly, Inc. is registered. Transition of property from Blue Ridge College, Inc. to Blue Ridge Assembly, Inc. The listed incorporators are: Dan W Glover, Hubert C Jarvis, and CE Morgan. The charter states the new organization “being organized to immediately take over, under contact and by deed, the property in Buncombe County, NC known as ‘Blue Ridge’ and now owned by Blue Ridge College, Inc.…” The new organization will assume and pay off all previous debts. (amended July 12, 1947 and March 4, 1971 and June 10, 1985)
January 8, 1944 Asheville Citizen article: “The Blue Ridge conference center…is to be remodeled and again placed in the service of the YMCA. It was announced here yesterday by the incorporators of the new organization...” “To be known as Blue Ridge Assembly, the conference center is being returned to the YMCA service for the 10 Southern states…The place has had 10 years of inactivity as a YMCA assembly and training center.” (referring to the years the property was held by the legal entity Blue Ridge College, Inc.) The article continues “a campaign is well under to raise $150,000 with which to pay off an indebtedness of $70,000 and to do repairs estimated to cost $70,000…” “Returning of the Blue Ridge properties to the YMCA is the result of a conference held at Montreat last summer, at which time an agreement was entered into by the representatives of the YMCA in 10 Southern states and Dr. Weatherford…”
January 13, 1944 Asheville Citizen: “A permanent board to control the Blue Ridge Assembly…will be elected at the area council meeting in Atlanta, February 17, 18, 19…”
January 22, 1944: Legal transfer of all Blue Ridge property and debts from Blue Ridge College, Inc. to Blue Ridge Assembly, Inc. (The document was signed January 22, 1944 but not filed until August 16, 1944.)
January 23, 1944 Asheville Citizen Times reports Blue Ridge Assembly Executive Committee meeting on January 22, 1944. Plans for $150,000 campaign to pay debts and make repairs are made. AL Mayer is identified in photo as acting manager and article states that Charles M Gray has been named manager for the 1944 season. The article states “a legal permanent organization for Blue Ridge will be setup on Friday, February 18 at a special meeting of the representatives of the YMCA’s in 10 states in Atlanta”. The article also states: “The assembly...was recently returned to the YMCA of 10 Southern states after 10 years of inactivity…” (referring to the years the property was held by the legal entity Blue Ridge College, Inc.).
February 16, 1944 Asheville Citizen: Article announcing meeting in Atlanta, “The Blue Ridge plant, formally the YMCA assembly grounds, in recent years has been operated as Blue Ridge College, under the direction of Dr. Weatherford. Control now has been returned to the YMCA, and the Atlanta meeting will name the members of a permanent board of control to operate it. Under the new set-up, the board will be elected by representatives of the local associations in 10 Southern states, the group making up the area council.”
February 21, 1944 Asheville Citizen: At a meeting in Atlanta, the Blue Ridge Assembly, Inc. new permanent board is named: T Walker Lewis, president; D Hiden Ramsey, first vice-president; CR Underwood, second vice-president; Edgar S Lopspeich, secretary; James C Shelor, treasurer.
April 27, 1944 Asheville Citizen: Under control of Blue Ridge Assembly, Inc., “a complete rehabilitation of the property at Blue Ridge is in progress… The kitchen is being rebuilt and equipment is being purchased for the kitchen and Dining room, roofs of all the buildings are being repaired, buildings are being painted, plumbing is being repaired, mattresses are being rebuilt, the road to the assembly grounds is under repair, the tennis courts are being rebuilt, and the heading system, the hot water system, and the laundry equipment are being repaired.” A $150,000 campaign has started—half for debts and half for repairs.
August 16, 1944 Asheville Citizen: During a meeting of the Board, “the deed was turned over to the Blue Ridge Assembly.” (The official transfer is dated January 22, 1944, but not filed until August 16, 1944.) The article states $70,000 has been raised since October, leaving $80,000 to be raised. T Walker Lewis is quoted: “The Young Men’s Christian Associations of the 10 Southern States have taken over Blue Ridge as of today….We have operated Blue Ridge for the first season under the YMCA management very successfully though we have been handicapped on account of gas rationing, the war, and the polio epidemic.”
1940s: Polio (infantile paralysis) epidemic in North Carolina. (1944 and 1948 were peak years.)
June 1944: Blue Ridge resumes summer operations, but some conferences cancelled or moved because of Polio epidemic
May 26, 1944 Asheville Citizen Times: Article about the upcoming Southern Conference on Human Relations in Industry to be held in July at Blue Ridge.
June 4, 1944 Asheville Citizen Times: article about the start of the summer season. The first conference is the Southern Student YMCA-YWCA Conference on June 13.
July 21, 1944 Statesville Daily Record: runs paragraph about The Institute of the North Carolina Education Association scheduled for August 7-10 at Blue Ridge “has been cancelled at the suggestion of Dr. Carl V Reynolds, state health officer.”
July 21, 1944 Jackson Sun: runs a brief article about the Southern Farm Bureau Training School: “Because of the infantile paralysis epidemic, the Southern Farm Bureau Training school will be held at Alabama Polytechnic Institution at Auburn, AL, rather than Blue Ridge Assembly at Black Mountain, NC…”
July 23, 1944 Asheville Citizen Times article about Blue Ridge opening for tourists after it is announced the Federal Government will be taking over four of Asheville’s largest hotels as the Asheville Redistribution Center.
July 30, 1944 Asheville Citizen Times: article about upcoming conferences, “All YMCA conferences scheduled for Blue Ridge during August will be held as planned…”
August 6, 1944 Asheville Citizen Times: article about Blue Ridge Board meeting (Gov. J Melville Broughton speaking) taking place at Blue Ridge. Article mentions Board meeting is “to be held concurrently with…a conference of secretaries of the southern associations and of Hi-Y leaders of the south.” No mention of the polio epidemic.
August 5, 1948 Evening Telegram (Rocky Mount NC): “The annual Southern Hi-Y Congress, scheduled for August 15-21 at Blue Ridge, NC has been cancelled because of poliomyelitis in that state…”
August 1944: Federal Government takes over operation of four hotels in Asheville.
July 23, 1944 Asheville Citizen Times: “The federal government is taking over four of Asheville’s five large hotels and the basement of the city auditorium for operation as a redistribution center for soldiers who have returned from combat duty…” “The hotels included in the project are Gove Park Inn, the Battery Park, the George Vanderbilt, and the Asheville-Biltmore.” The project is known as the Asheville Redistribution Center. In a separate article in the same edition, Blue Ridge announces it has “In view of the fact that several Asheville hotels will be closed to tourist since they are to be used by the Army…” Blue Ridge has “decided to open the facilities of the center to tourists for the reminder of the season…” The Blue Ridge grounds normally close at the end of August may remain open longer based on demand. Blue Ridge runs advertisements in newspaper classified section under “Hotels” (July 24, 1944 Asheville Citizen)
1945: Harry Truman becomes President
July 1945: Blue Ridge limited summer operations (only open July and August). Conferences limited to 50.
April 7, 1945 Asheville Citizen: “The operations committee of Blue Ridge Association, Inc. (sic) at a meeting yesterday in the YMCA here, decided against operating the Southern YMCA assembly grounds at Blue Ridge in June. At a meeting April 16 in the ‘Y’ the group will decide if the assembly grounds will be operated during July and August.”
April 29, 1945 Asheville Citizen: “Blue Ridge…which usually open June 1, will be open from July 1 to September 1 this year. Article includes short list of conferences and the note “In compliance with the Order of Defense Transportation ruling, the conference will be limited to groups of not more than 50 persons at a time.”
June 30, 1945 Asheville Citizen: “Blue Ridge…will open Sunday…” Article includes short list of conferences and the note “In compliance with the Order of Defense Transportation ruling, the conference will be limited to groups of not more than 50 persons at a time.”
August 12, 1945 Asheville Citizen Times article about the Southern YMCA Summer School opening (August 12-18). “The summer school will be held on a restricted basis in compliance with the office of defense transportation regulations and the first 50 men registering will make up the school.”
May 14, 1953 Asheville Citizen article about the retirement of HW Sanders, it mentions: “Because of rationing the assembly operated for only two months in the summer of 1946 (sic)…” (NOTE: 1945?)
1945: Cold War begins
August 6-9 1945: US detonates nuclear weapons over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan
1945: World War II ends
1945: United Nations starts
1945: “Black Mountain News” newspaper started
1946: E Segar Jackson named executive secretary.
January 1, 1946 The Jackson Sun announcement that following his discharge from the Army, Jackson has accepted the position at Blue Ridge. He will start about February 1, 1946.
1946-1953: Seventh-Day Adventists Carolina Camp Meetings held at Blue Ridge Meetings held outside of “regular summer season.” Thousands attend the 1950-52 conferences. Before the 1946 meeting, Seventh-Day Adventists had a few earlier conferences.
June 26, 1935 Southern Tidings includes information on the Youth Conference to be held July 4-8.
November 22, 1936 Asheville Citizen Times: article announces “a national convention of the leading educators of the denomination (Seventh-Day Adventists) will be had at the Blue Ridge Assembly grounds next August (1937).”
August 14, 1946 Southern Tidings includes “Seven Camp Meeting Facts” about the upcoming Carolina Camp Meeting September 4-10.
May 28, 1947 Southern Tidings list the Carolina Camp Meeting as May 22 – June 1.
September 15, 1948 Asheville Citizen Times: article listing the 1949 conferences include “Carolina Conference of 7th-Day Adventists”
June 1, 1949 Asheville Citizen: runs photo from the 1949 Annual Camp Meeting of the Carolina Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventists. The caption says 700 attended the conference.
June 5, 1950 Asheville Citizen: article about the end of the 1950 conference, “More than 2,000 persons crowded the Blue Ridge Assembly grounds Saturday for the closing services of the meeting. The large three-pole tent was crowded to capacity and more were on the outside than could be seated in the tent.”
May 27, 1951 Asheville Citizen Times: article about the start of the 1951 conference, “Some 2,500 Adventists are expected to attend the annual camp meeting of the Carolinas Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists…” “A large five-pole tent has been pitched in front of Lee Hall that will seat some 2,000 people…”
June 8, 1951 Asheville Citizen article about the start of the 1951 season mentions: “Unofficially, Blue Ridge’s season opened May 24 with the Carolina Conference of the Seventh Day Adventists. This, however, was a camp-style session, since the Assembly’s full summer staff won’t swing into action until Friday.”
May 21, 1952 Greenville News article: “Seventh-Day Adventists churches throughout North and South Carolina are being notified by conference officials that the 21st Biennial Conference session will be held in conjunction with the annual Camp Meeting scheduled for May 25-31 at Blue Ridge, NC…” “More than 3000 members and session delegates are expected to attend the seven-day meeting…”
April 1, 1953 Southern Tidings announcement about the 1953 Carolina Camp Meeting at Blue Ridge (form says 1952, but newsletter is dated 1953), including form to reserve room. Room types listed: Lee (with or without bath), Abbott Hall (private bath or connecting bath), Asheville Hall (with or without bath), Martha Washington Hall (front or back wings).
May 26, 1952 Asheville Citizen: article during the 1952 conference, “…nearly 2,000 people…gathered under the huge six-pole tent pitched at Blue Ridge Assembly to accommodate the Seventh-Day Adventists and friends who came to the opening Camp Meeting service…”
June 30, 1954 Southern Tidings includes brief article about not having Camp Meeting at Blue Ridge because of conflicting dates with the General Conference. The article states “…for the past several years we have been renting the Blue Ridge Assembly grounds at the period just before their regular summer season…”
July 13, 1954 Robesonian (Lumberton NC): brief announcement of regional Camp Meetings in Hendersonville and Asheboro, “…they will replace the annual 10-day meeting usually held at Blue Ridge.”
1946: John R Mott awarded Nobel Peace Prize (shared prize with Emily Balch)
November 11, 1946 Miami Daily News runs article about the 1946 Nobel Prize winners
December 19, 1946 Orlando Sentinel runs brief article about Mott returning from Nobel Prize ceremony.
May 28, 1948 (postmark date): First postmarked card to use the word Assembly. Aerial view of Blue Ridge shows roofs of main buildings are green and a few red roofs of cottages. apcbm07a02. Shown are: Abbott Hall, College Hall, Lee Hall, (old) Dining Room, Asheville Hall, Gym, and several cottages.
1948: Professional land survey conducted at Blue Ridge.
1950: Korean War starts
1951: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Modernization of some Lee Hall rooms
June 8, 1951 Asheville Citizen in an article about the opening of the season: “Conference delegates and summer guests will find more room for parking and several rooms modernized in Lee Hall….grading and graveling of lots near the main building has doubled the parking space, making room for 500 additional automobiles.”
February 1951: 22nd Amendment to the Constitution ratified: Presidential Term Limits
1951: Quote from July 8, 1951 Greenville News, description of the property: “Centered closely around Lee Hall are perhaps two score buildings, the more important being Lee Hall itself, headquarters and largest hotel; Martha Washington, residence for girls; Abbott Hall, guest house for speakers; College Hall, Hobbs Library, Asheville Hall, and the gymnasium. There are also a dozen or so cottages built with college YMCA funds. The Assembly owns its water and lighting facilities, a beautiful lake, baseball and tennis grounds, and other facilities for sports and recreation”
1951: Blue Ridge Encampment for Churches of Christ starts using Blue Ridge. (Name later changed to Blue Ridge Family Encampment then Blue Ridge Encampment.) The conference would run continually until ending in 2014.
1951: AT&T implements the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). This new telephone number system has a three-digit area code plus seven-digit phone number. NANP was developed in 1947 but not implemented until 1951. The area code for all of North Carolina is 704. Blue Ridge’s old phone number was: 9-8422. The old phone number was still in use in 1960s. x11-bcarlton1961-01. (July 24, 1944 Asheville Citizen, classified ad under “Hotel” lists the phone number for Blue Ridge as “Black Mountain 3641”.)
1952: Blue Ridge celebrates 40 years (starting at 1912 opening season).
June 1, 1952 Asheville Citizen Times article highlights start of 1952 season (“enters its 41st season”). Improvements over the past 7 years (after the YMCA took ownership in 1943 and a few seasons of limited operation) include: “hard surfacing roads on the grounds, improving equipment, remodeling rooms and items.”
July 27, 1952 Asheville Citizen Times highlights 40 years; article mentions: 18 summer cottages, gymnasium (for basketball, square dancing, gymnastics, roller skating), swimming pool (“fed by sparkling mountain stream”), lake, shuffle board, horseshoe course, tennis courts, “The Dell” (a forest ‘auditorium’ equipped with a rostrum and wooden benches).
July 16, 1952 (postmark date): Aerial view of Blue Ridge show red roofs on the main buildings, except for College Hall, which is green. apcbm19b01. Shown are: Abbott Hall, College Hall, Lee Hall, (old) Dining Hall, Gym, Asheville, and a small building where Blue Ridge Center now stands.
August 1952: Tennis stars put on exhibition at Blue Ridge. Gardnar Mulloy, Art Larson, Tony Vincent, and Charles Stearnes play.
August 14, 1952 Asheville Citizen runs brief article about Gardnar Mulloy, Art Larson, Tony Vincent, and Charles Stearnes playing exhibition games at Blue Ridge. A separate article explains the four are visiting Mulloy’s father, RB Mulloy, who is vacationing at Blue Ridge. (Note: Gardnar Mulloy would later build and have the tennis courts named for him at Blue Ridge.)
1952: Henry T Ware appointed Executive Secretary (replacing ES Jackson).
September 5, 1952 Asheville Citizen runs brief article about ES Jackson resigning.
1953: Dwight Eisenhower becomes President
1953: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Improvements at the Lake
-Improvements in College Hall
May 31, 1953 Asheville Citizen Times: In article about the upcoming conferences, it includes: “The lake area has been beautified, new piers have been built, and sand beaches enlarged and improved. Visitors and guests at Blue Ridge this summer will find many changes at College Hall. Opera seats and venetian blinds have been installed and stage drapes added.”
May 1953: Herbert W Sanders retires after 34 years with Blue Ridge
August 23, 1947 Asheville Citizen article about end of 1947 season mentions: “In the final meeting of the YMCA secretaries and general board meeting, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert W Sanders were paid a high tribute of appreciation for their 29 years of service at Blue Ridge Assembly. Dr. WD Weatherford made a speech in behalf of the assembly and presented Mr. and Mrs. Sanders with a plaque to commemorate the occasion.”
May 14, 1953 Asheville Citizen article about HW Sanders retirement. Sanders started with Blue Ridge in January 1919 as the bookkeeper. In 1921 he became the business manager. In 1946 he becomes resident manager. From 1919 to 1936, he spent summers at Blue Ridge and winters in Nashville, TN with the YMCA Graduate School. HW Sanders is listed as one of the incorporators of Blue Ridge College, Inc. in 1933.
August 20, 1971 Asheville Citizen: in an article about the dedication of Blue Ridge Center, it mentions: “…On the program will be Dr. Willis D Weatherford, Jr., president of Berea (KY) College, who will dedicate a plaque honoring Herbert W Sanders, former resident manager…”
August 2, 1953: Asheville’s first TV station, WISE-TV, starts broadcasting.
1953: Korean War ends (Congress extended the war period to 1955 to define a period of benefit eligibility because of uneasy peace negotiations after 1953).
May 17, 1954: Brown vs Board of Education decided by Supreme Court
October 1954: Last of debts cancelled
October 9. 1954 Asheville Citizen runs photo with caption “The last debt of the Blue Ridge Assembly was formally canceled yesterday as the canceled note for $4,000 was presented to the executive committee of the Southern YMCA Assembly’s board of directors.”
1956: Regional Transportation
Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 (National Interstate and Defense Highways Act). Interstate 40 (I-40) was included in the planning. From 1958-1992 construction of the North Carolina parts of I-40 in various locations and phases was completed. The section of I-40 with Black Mountain exits was completed in the early 1970s.
1956: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Abernathy Memorial Drive (paving of main road)
April 4, 1957 Asheville Citizen Times: in same article announcing Robert H Spiro, Jr. as Executive Secretary: “The main road serving the mountainside assembly was dedicated as Abernathy Memorial Drive and a plaque installed at the assembly entrance. The memorial honors MA Abernathy, of Shreveport, LA, a former member of the board who died in November 1955…The funds for paving the road, which was done last spring, were provided by a donor who preferred to remain anonymous.”
1956: Blue Ridge celebrates 50 years (starting at 1906 Weatherford purchase of property)
April 15, 1956 Asheville Citizen Times article says celebration will be on June 24, 1956 in College Hall.
April 25, 1956 Asheville Citizen article: Weatherford is presented “a scroll bearing the citation for his service…” Frank Porter Graham was the keynote speaker.
1956: Weatherford Memorial Park is dedicated.
1957: Robert H Spiro, Jr. appointed Executive Secretary (replacing Henry T Ware).
1957: Plans for $1.5 million Capital Campaign
April 4, 1957 Asheville Citizen Times, in same article announcing Robert H Spiro, Jr as executive director: “…the Board reviewed and reiterated plans for a capital fund campaign for modernization of the assembly…The tentative goal for the fund drive is $1,500,000. The money will be used to rebuild Robert E Lee Hall, the main building for housing guests; and for modernizing the other major buildings…Architects’ plans have been developed on a tentative basis and approved”
October 4, 1957: USSR launches Sputnik, the world’s first satellite
October 4, 1957: Julia Weatherford dies (1889-1957). She is buried in the Weatherford Memorial Park at Blue Ridge.
January 31, 1958: US launches Explorer 1, the first US satellite
August 12, 1958 (postmark date): Last post card postmarked Blue Ridge NC apcn451a02
August 23, 1958: Billy Graham visits Blue Ridge
August 24, 1958 Ashville Citizen Times: article about Billy Graham speaking to the Blue Ridge staff.
1958: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Repairs to: Abbott Hall, Lee Hall, Kitchen, Swimming Pool
October 4, 1958 Asheville Citizen article about the end of the season: “…Repairs and improvements are under way now at the assembly: Abbott Hall is being completely decorated. Asheville Hall is being painted. Some rooms in Lee Hall, the main residence building, and the kitchen are being modernized. The swimming pool has been repaired…Dan River Mills of Danville, VA has donated 1000 new bedsheets to the assembly.”
January 1959: Alaska admitted to the Union
August 1959: Hawaii admitted to the Union
February 1960: Olympic Winter Games held in Squaw Valley, CA
1960: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Improvements to: Lee Hall, Asheville Hall, Cottages
February 26, 1960 Asheville Citizen: “Three buildings and 11 cottages at Blue Ridge Assembly are getting extensive improvements now…Some improvements will have been made to all the institution’s 40 buildings by the time the 1960 conference season opens in June.” Improvements listed in article: Lee Hall – main lobby renovated, new drapes and venetian blinds, 11 rooms repainted/rewired/floors refinished; Asheville Hall – “being renovated completely.” (Third building not named, cottages not named or improvements described.) Article describes Asheville Hall: “a residential building which can accommodate 110 guests and also contains an auditorium and classrooms…”
1961: John F Kennedy becomes President
March 1961: 23rd Amendment to the Constitution ratified: Presidential Vote for District of Columbia
May 5, 1961: Alan Shepard becomes first American in space
1961: US becomes involved in the Vietnam Conflict
1961: Construction on Berlin Wall starts
1961: James W Gladden appointed President (replacing Robert H Spiro, Jr. – title change)
January 28, 1961 Anniston Star in an article about “Blue Ridge Night” Gladden is introduced as “…the new Blue Ridge Assembly president…” “He will assume his new position in July of this year after resigning as a sociology professor at the University of Kentucky.”
June 21, 1961 Asheville Citizen runs announcement.
June 7, 1961: Regional Transportation
-Asheville Regional Airport
Asheville Regional Airport opens (The new airport was approved on January 15, 1951. Asheville, Hendersonville, and Henderson County operated a joint airport before the Asheville Regional Airport was built.)
June 29, 1961 (postmark date): First postmarked card to use “Owned and operated by the YMCAs of the 10 Southeastern States” ck044823
February 12, 1962: John Glenn becomes first American to orbit the Earth
1962: Cuban Missile Crisis
1962: Charles R Younts appointed Acting President (replacing James W Gladden).
May 31, 1962 Asheville Citizen article about start of 1962 summer season includes this at the end: “Charles R Younts, retired executive of the Plantation Pipe Line and formally chairman of the Board of Directors of Blue Ridge Assembly, will serve as acting president during the summer. He replaces Dr. James W Gladden who is returning to the University of Kentucky Friday.”
July 2, 1963 Asheville Citizen article about Limbert’s speech at the YMCA Secretaries conference mentions: “Charles Younts, acting president for Blue Ridge Assembly, welcomed the group and introduced Dr. Limbert as the newly elected president…”
1963: Lyndon Johnson becomes President
1963: Paul M Limbert appointed President (replacing James W Gladden, previous president, and Charles R Younts, acting president).
June 30, 1962 Asheville Citizen Times article about the Southern Region Association of YMCA Secretaries, “It was recently announced that Dr. Limbert will become president of Blue Ridge Assembly as of Sept. 1, 1963.”
July 2, 1963 Asheville Citizen article about Limbert’s speech at the YMCA Secretaries conference mentions: “Charles Younts, acting president for Blue Ridge Assembly, welcomed the group and introduced Dr. Limbert as the newly elected president…”
July 4, 1963 Asheville Citizen article about a board meeting of the Southern Regional Association of YMCA Secretaries, Limbert is identified as the “incoming president of Blue Ridge Association.”
1963::Ware Cottage built.
July 1963: US Post Office begins use of the five-digit ZIP Code. Use of the ZIP Code was mandatory in 1967.
October 1963: US Post Office publishes two-letter abbreviations for states.
January 1964: 24th Amendment to the Constitution ratified: Poll Tax Barred
1964: Civil Rights Act of 1964
1964: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-One Cottage (not identified in article)
-Northcott Fields (new sports fields)
-Plans for Ware Pavilion and Swimming Pool announced
August 30, 1964 Asheville Citizen Times: Article describes construction projects: “One new cottage was built (not named in article) and another reconstructed (not named in article). Five new sports fields were built this year, designated as Northcott Fields because of the contribution to their construction made by JC Northcott of Gove Stone and Sand Company of Swannanoa, treasurer of the Blue Ridge Board…Ground will be broken for a large gymnasium…This will be named Ware Gymnasium (later changed to Pavilion) in recognition of a large contribution toward its building secured through William Ware of Miami…Detailed plan were presented also for an outdoor swimming pool…”
June 1964: Fellowship of Christian Athletes starts using Blue Ridge.
February 9, 1964 Asheville Citizen Times announces: “The first Southern conference of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been added to an already-crowded slate of activity at the YMCA conference and training center here…To accommodate this program, expanded sports facilities will be built, including a large sheltered gymnasium for inclement weather and evening activities…The directors…also decided to proceed with a new swimming pool to supplement the mountain lake…A year-round conference unit that will house 250 persons also is close to achievement…”
June 8, 1964 Asheville Citizen article on keynote speaker and the conference.
July 3, 1964: A plaque is placed at the base of the “Eureka” tree (left corner of Lee Hall). This is the tree Weatherford climbed in 1906.
July 5, 1964 Asheville Citizen TimesPhoto of the ceremony
1965: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Ware Pavilion: Made possible through gifts from the Ware Foundation of Philadelphia and Arthur H Lee and Charles A Hamilton of Anniston.
June 19, 1964 Asheville Citizen: In an article about Limbert’s speech at the Southern Area Council YMCA conference, it mentions: “Highlight of the morning’s activities will be the dedication of the $50,000 Ware Recreation Pavilion, newest building on the assembly grounds. The building was constructed with contributions from the Ware Foundation of Miami, FL and Arthur H Lee and Charles A Hamilton, Anniston, AL, industrialists.”
June 20, 1965 Asheville Citizen Times: photo of dedication of Ware Pavilion.
1965: Voting Rights Act of 1965
1966: Construction at Blue Ridge:
December 10, 1965 Greenville News article announcing $60,000 gift from the David Warner Foundation of Tuscaloosa, AL to build a new pool “...that is modern in every way…”. Paddock Pool Builders, Inc. from Atlanta will build the pool. Construction will start immediately so it will be ready for the 1966 season.
Summer 1966: Atlanta Falcons football team use Blue Ridge as summer training site
March 27, 1966 Asheville Citizen Times article announces Blue Ridge has been selected. Falcons to start July 2, 1966. The Blue Ridge football field will be re-sodded with turf from the property of Billy Graham’s radio station, players will stay in Asheville Hall, training room will be installed in the gymnasium, other improvement are being made.
April 29, 1966 Asheville Citizen runs photo of workers laying sod at Blue Ridge
1967: Major Expansion Project Plans and Construction:
-Replacement of Robert E Lee Hall (replacement plans later changed)
-Younts Hall (New male staff dorm dedicated August 19, 1967. Named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Charles R Younts of Atlanta. First used during the summer season of 1968)
-Water Supply System
December 11, 1966, Asheville Citizen Times runs article “New Lee Hall To Be Built at Blue Ridge” with details to replace Lee Hall with a new building to be called “Weatherford Great Hall”. Plans are for it to be an all-season building with Dining facilities, and meeting rooms. A campaign to raise $4.2 million to build the new building will be announced in January. Besides the new Lee Hall, the campaign included a new male staff dorm.
January 29, 1967 Asheville Citizen times article: “Plans for the new Robert E Lee Hall were approved unanimously by the Board of Directors…Reconstruction of the 55-year old building will take place on the same site…” The article also lists male dorm: “A higher priority was given to a small residence hall for the men of the summer collegiate staff. With increase of this section of the summer staff to 100 young men and women, the housing facilities have become quite inadequate. It is hoped that this dormitory can be completed by June.” The new Lee Hall and dorm are part of the $4.1 million capital campaign.
March 28, 1967 Asheville Citizen Times article detailing two projects. The first project is a new water supply system consisting of 5000 feet of ductile iron pipe. Work is being done by Hobson Construction Company of Asheville. Jordan, Jones, and Goulding of Atlanta are the engineers. Pipe was donated by the American Cast Iron Pipe Company of Birmingham. The second project is a new dorm for male summer staff, “to be known as Younts Hall”. Mr. and Mrs. Charles R Younts donated $50,000 and the Ware Foundation of Philadelphia donated $40,000 for the new dorm. Rondesics, Inc. of Atlanta has the contact for Younts Hall, costing $87,469.
May 30, 1967, Anniston Star article: Three-stage expansion program explained. Includes: Phase 1 (completed June 1966): modern swimming pool, pavilion, athletic fields. Phase 2: “re-building of Robert E Lee Hall,… new staff residence hall for men. Phase 3: remodeling older buildings, construction of more cottages, development of facilities for family camping. Phase 3 should be complete by 1980.
August 18, 1967 Asheville Citizen article: “A $100,000 dormitory for male college students will be dedicated Saturday (August 19, 1957) at 3pm. The new structure which will go into service during the 1968 conference season will be called Younts Hall in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Charles R Younts, of Atlanta, GA.” “Along with the dedication of a new dormitory for male college students (Younts Hall), the members of the Board will face major decisions in the principal project, that of replacing Robert E Lee Hall, central building on the grounds with a year round facility.”
January 15, 1967: Super Bowl I in Los Angeles, CA (Green Bay Packers vs Kansas City Chiefs)
February 1967: 25th Amendment to the Constitution ratified: Presidential Disability and Succession
July 1968: Frank M. “Scotty” Washburn appointed Executive Director (replacing Frank M Limbert – title change)
April 21, 1968 Asheville Citizen Times ran announcement.
1968: Fair Housing Act of 1968
1969: Richard Nixon becomes President
July 16, 1969: Apollo 11 launches with Lance Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins with sights on the moon
July 20, 1969: Lance Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to walk on the moon
September 1969: Lee Hall “Paul Grist Room” Dedication
September 7, 1969 Selma Times Journal: Paul M Grist is “honored for a ‘lifetime of service through the YMCA’ by the governing board of the (Blue Ridge) Assembly and the Blue Ridge Leaders School. A meeting room in Lee Hall…has been renamed the ‘Paul Grist Room’.” The article includes the Board Resolution.
October 24, 1969: First postmarked card to have a ZIP code in the TO address. apckbm02a02
1970: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Blue Ridge Center - BRC is built in several phases.
-Abbott Hall renovations
January 18, 1970 Asheville Citizen Times. Plans announced for $1.2 million year-round conference center that “will conclude accommodations for 134 persons; a complete dining and kitchen facility with facilities to serve the total summer conference enrollment of more than 800; a lobby and registration area; library and bookstore lounge; conference rooms and administrative offices”. The project will be done in phases. (“Blue Ridge Center” name is not used in the article.). The project also includes the renovation of Abbott Hall for year-round operation.
August 15, 1971 Asheville Citizen Times, August 20, 1971 and August 21, 1971 Asheville Citizen: Dedication of phase one of the Blue Ridge Center construction project. Phase one is the kitchen, dining room for 830 people, meeting rooms, lounge, and offices. This phase is $750,000. Construction will continue, with the total project costing $1.25 million.
May 31, 1974 Asheville Citizen: Blue Ridge receives $200,000 gift from an anonymous foundation to continue construction of Blue Ridge Center. Blue Ridge Center is two-thirds complete. Groundbreaking on the final phase will be late June.
June 20, 1974 Asheville Citizen runs photo of group: “Two officials of the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly broke ground recently for the final phase of the $1.6 million all-season conference center…”
1970: Blue Ridge becomes a year-round operation.
March 28, 1971 Asheville Citizen Times: Blue Ridge advertisement that shows the new Blue Ridge Center with Lee Hall in the background. The text includes: “The Assembly for the first time will begin operating as a year-round conference and training center with a summer capacity of 700 guests and a September through May capacity of 150 guests.”
February 21, 1970: Willis D Weatherford dies (1875-1970). He is buried next to Julia in Weatherford Memorial Park at Blue Ridge.
July 1970: Tokyo YMCA sends first group to Blue Ridge
April 1, 1980 Asheville Citizen in an article about Blue Ridge “seeking recognition as an International Program Center”, it mentions “…the first group of Japanese students came to Blue Ridge in July 1970…”
October 8, 1970 (postmark date): First postmarked card with Blue Ridge’s ZIP code printed on the card. apckbm14c01
1971: Conference on National Affairs (CONA) moves to Blue Ridge (YMCA High School Youth In Government, conference started in 1968 in Stone Mountain, GA)
July 7, 1974 Montgomery Advertiser: article includes brief history of CONA
July 1971: 26th Amendment to the Constitution ratified: Voting Age Set to 18 years
June 19, 1973 (postmark date): First postmarked card showing Blue Ridge Center. This is also the first postmarked card to use “Owned by the YMCAs of the Southeast Region.” (Slightly different wording from on November 1, 1962.) ck048361a01
1974: Gerald Ford becomes President
1974: Blue Ridge receives $200,000 gift from an anonymous foundation
May 31, 1974 Asheville Citizen: Blue Ridge receives $200,000 gift from an anonymous foundation to continue construction of Blue Ridge Center. Blue Ridge Center is two-thirds complete. Groundbreaking on the final phase will be late June.
1974: Blue Ridge recognized as an International YMCA because of its longstanding exchange program with YMCAs all over the world.
December 10, 2005 Asheville Citizen Times: brief article about International staff presentation at the Black Mountain library mentions: “In 1974, YMCA Blue Ridge as recognized as an International YMCA and was named an International YMCA Program Center in 1980…”
1975: Vietnam Conflict ends
1976: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Blue Ridge Center is complete.
1976: Walter F Mondale visits Blue Ridge (then vice-president candidate)
August 12, 1976 Asheville Citizen: “Democratic vice president nominee Walter F Mondale will arrive in Asheville Sunday to speak at a convention of the United Auto Workers (UAW) at Blue Ridge Assembly.”
(Jimmy Carter would be elected president with Walter Mondale vice-president.)
1977: Jimmy Carter becomes President
1978: Campaign and Major Development Plan Starts:
-Weatherford Hall (female staff dorm)
-Younts Service Center (maintenance and garage building)
-Recreational facilities and Trail Development
-Trail Shelters at High Top and High Windy
-Washburn Center (child-care/arts and crafts/meeting building)
October 27, 1978 Asheville Citizen article announces the first phase of a $5 million development program. The first phase will be the construction of a $1 million building that will be the new women’s staff summer resident hall and available to groups other times during the year. (This will become Weatherford Hall, but that name was not used in the article.)
January 31, 1979 Asheville Citizen article announces $4500 gift and details the development plan: “Included in six projects are a new young adult conference center-women's residence hall, to cost approximately $1 million; an 800-seat outdoor chapel-amphitheater, three staff resident homes, a service-garage-storage complex, additional recreational facilities, including tennis courts, shelters on High Top and High Windy, and trail development on the 1,600 acre mountain site.” The conference center-women’s dorm is under construction already. Construction on Blue Ridge Center was completed in 1976.
May 30, 1979 Asheville Citizen article announcing a series of gifts, totaling $25,000, the previous week “toward the cost of its $900,000 young adult conference center women’s residence hall.” The article also states: “The assembly is presently embarked on a regionwide campaign to raise $1,350,00 for six projects…So far, $560,000 has been reported in cash and pledges and the residence hall is under construction with J Bertram King as architect and HM Rice as contractor.”
January 18, 1981 Asheville Citizen Times article lists the 1980 highlights of Blue Ridge including: being recognized in the National Register of Historic Places (end of 1979), construction of Weatherford Hall, and funding for Whittington Amphitheater (referred it as a “facility”). The article details a gift from William B Fesperman, but does not name the project (Fesperman Shelter). The article also details long range $1.4 million project: “arts-crafts-child care center, permanent staff residence cottages, a service center, two additional tennis courts, trail development, an additional camping shelter at High Top, and a second endowment fund.”
March 8, 1981 Asheville Citizen Times runs article basically the same as the January 18, 1981 Asheville Citizen Times article, but names the project funded by William B Feperman as the “Fresperman Shelter” and uses the term “amphitheater” for the Whittington Amphitheater.
March 12, 1981 Asheville Citizen article announces $25,000 gift “to kick off its 75th anniversary building program campaign.” The article details projects: “The building program consists of a child development-arts-crafts-meeting room and recreation center,…three permanent staff residence buildings,…a service-center, including garage-repair and storage facility,…new tennis courts,…trail development,…and a second camping shelter at High Top.” Also “...expand its endowment program to a full $1 million…”
August 27, 1981 Asheville Citizen article announces $250,000 “challenge grant” as part of the “1980-85 development campaign”. The grant is specifically earmarked for maintenance fund. The article also lists the same projects as the March 12, 1981 Asheville Citizen article.
September 17, 1979: Blue Ridge listed on the National Register of Historic Sites (Blue Ridge Historic Assembly District).
January 18, 1981 Asheville Citizen Times article: “Following a three-year study of architectural and cultural heritage of the Assembly, Blue Ridge was officially recognized and entered in the National Register of Historic Places the of 1979”
August 7, 1981 Asheville Citizen article: As part of the 75th Anniversary Celebration, “…Lee Hall will have a bronze plaque installed…recognizing the cultural heritage and the Assembly. It was presented to the Assembly by the U.S. Department of Interior”
February 1980: Winter Olympic Games held in Lake Placid, NY
1980: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Weatherford Hall - Female staff move from Martha/George Washington Hall to Weatherford Hall during the summer. It is used by conferences during the non-summer months.
-Fesperman Shelter built on Carolina Loop trail
-John T and Maty M Fesperman Picnic Shelter at the Lake (need more information)
March 8, 1981 Asheville Citizen Times: another article about Blue Ridge highlights of the year mention: Weatherford Hall and “The Fesperman Shelter, an overnight camping facility on the bluff overlooking Blue Ridge, was completed. William B Fesperman, general director of the Asheville YMCA, had provided a lead gift of $4000 which was supplemented by $2000 contributed by the Assembly staff and $3000 by the Board” (1980)
July 18, 1981 Asheville Citizen Times: article about the Blue Ridge highlights of the year: “…The summer of 1981 has been designated as our Diamond Jubilee Celebration, with special events starting with the dedication of Weatherford Hall last Aug. 8…” (1980)
July 1980: Blue Ridge sends first group to Tokyo YMCA
April 1, 1980 Asheville Citizen article about Blue Ridge “seeking recognition as an International Program Center” mentions Blue Ridge “…will send four young men and women from the assembly’s college staff to Japan for the month of July to participate in an exchange program…”
January 18, 1981 Asheville Citizen Times article: “Blue Ridge Assembly recruits international student staff each summer. It has a partnership with the YMCA of Tokyo, and for the past 10 years, more than 200 young Japanese students have come and participated as members of our staff. In 1980, Blue Ridge consummated a two-way exchange and four American students went to Japan for a one-month stay in a work-study experience. These young people represented Blue Ridge Assembly at a YMCA Conference Center, located in the mountains of Japan and operated by the Tokyo YMCA.”
September 1980: Blue Ridge formally recognized as an International Program Center by the International Division of the YMCA of the USA. Blue Ridge is the first YMCA in the South to receive this honor.
April 1, 1980 Asheville Citizen article about Blue Ridge “seeking recognition as an International Program Center”.
January 18, 1981 Asheville Citizen Times article about the Blue Ridge highlights of the year: “In September of 1980, Blue Ridge Assembly was formally recognized by the International Division of the YMCA as an International Program Center, the first in the Southeast region...”
December 10, 2005 Asheville Citizen Times: brief article about International staff presentation at the Black Mountain library mentions: “In 1974, YMCA Blue Ridge as recognized as an International YMCA and was named an International YMCA Program Center in 1980…”
1981: Ronald Reagan becomes President
1981: Blue Ridge celebrates 75 years- “Diamond Jubilee”
March 8, 1981 Asheville Citizen Times article announces plans for the celebration and gives highlights of 1980.
1981: Construction at Blue Ridge:
August 7, 1981 Asheville Citizen article: As part of the 75th Anniversary Celebrations, the new 800-seat Whittington Amphitheater is dedicated. “The new amphitheater has been constructed in honor of the late Earie L Whittington, former general director of the Memphis, TN YMCA…”
1982: The term “Internet” is first used (then ARPAnet)
June 3, 1982: Barbara Bush speaks at Blue Ridge
June 4, 1982 Asheville Citizen: Barbara Bush, wife of (then) Vice-President George HW Bush, speaks at the National Affiliation for Literacy Advance conference at Blue Ridge.
October 1983: First commercial cellular phone system starts in Chicago.
1983: Blue Ridge establishes Maintenance Trust Fund
August 27, 1981 Asheville Citizen announces “$250,000 challenge grant” from “…a private philanthropic foundation that has requested the contribution be considered ‘an anonymous one’…” Grant requires $500,00 be raised first, of which the Board of Directors members have pledged $175,000. This is part of the
December 28, 1983 Greenville News article announces Blue Ridge has received a $250,000 gift from an anonymous “southeastern foundation”. As a condition of the grant, $500,000 had to be raised first. The proceeds from the new $750,000 Maintenance Trust Fund will be used for the care and preservation of buildings and program facilities. The $250,000 gift is the largest gift to date.
July-August 1984: Summer Olympic Games held in Los Angeles, CA
1985-1987: Blue Ridge Board of Directors – first woman president – Mary Ann McCarty
February 24, 1993 Simpson County News: article highlighting Mary Ann “Maggie” McCarty states: “Since 1976, Mrs. McCarty has been on the Board of Directors of the Blue Ridge Assembly Conference Center. She was the first woman president and first staff president to become president of the Board of Blue Ridge Assembly.” The obituary of McCarty in the June 11, 2015 Magee Courier (Magee, MS) states the same thing.
(Note: Neither article state what years she was president.)
November 11, 2010 Magee Courier, in an article about the naming of the McCarty Family Lodge, it states she was Board President 1985-1987.
1985: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Charles R. Younts Maintenance Service
1985: C Roger Hibbard appointed Executive Director (replacing Frank M “Scotty” Washburn)
May 26, 1985 Asheville Citizen Times runs announcement of in the Business People section.
1989: George HW Bush becomes President
1986: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Shelter (location not named, to be used for the YMCA Day Camp)
August 27, 1986 Asheville Citizen article: The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina awards Blue Ridge $1000 “to construct a shelter for use by the Asheville-Buncombe County YMCA Day camp held at the Assembly.”
July 22, 1989: Rosalynn Carter speaks at Blue Ridge
July 24, 1989 Asheville Citizen: Rosalynn Carter, wife of former President Jimmy Carter, speaks at the Blue Ridge Institute for Southern Community Service Executives.
1989: Berlin Wall falls
1989: Blue Ridge receives $150,000 gift for renovations of Asheville Hall from the Kresge Foundation, Troy, Michigan.
1990: Blue Ridge receives $100,000 gift for renovations of Asheville Hall from the Cannon Foundation, Concord. The Asheville Hall project is the last part of a $2 million building program.
July 5, 1990 Asheville Citizen: article about the gift
1991: Cold War ends with the collapse of the Soviet Union
May 1992: 27th Amendment to the Constitution ratified: Limiting Congressional Pay Increases
1993: William J Clinton becomes President
1993: “Vision 2000” campaign started
1993: WD Weatherford inducted into the YMCA Hall of Fame at Springfield College
1994: Alpine Tower built as the first element of the Camp Cousins Challenge Course
1995: Climbing Wall and Team Development Low rope Couse built.
1995: Blue Ridge receives $100,000 gift for restoration of Lee Hall from the Cannon Foundation, Concord.
March 28, 1995 Asheville Citizen: article about the gift
July-August 1996: Summer Olympic Games held in Atlanta, GA
1997: 3.5 mile Intermediate Bike Trail opens (Assembly purchases mountain bikes)
1997: Blue Ridge receives $400,000 grant for renovation of Lee Hall from Kresge Foundation
November 12, 1997 Asheville Citizen Times article details the $400,000 challenge grant, which requires Blue Ridge raise $1.6 million to complete the $4 million Vision 2000 Campaign by December 1, 1998. (A brief mention this grant was in October 25, 1997 Asheville Citizen Times, but the November 17 articles give more detail.)
1998: Blue Ridge Assembly registers the domain name: blueridgeassembly.org
1998: Area Code for western third of North Carolina changes to 828.
1999: The movie “28 Days” is filmed at Blue Ridge.
March 3, 1999 Asheville Citizen Times announces filming. Pre-production work starts in mid-March with shooting from mid-April to mid-May.
April 30, 1999 Asheville Citizen Times runs article about the shooting that is on-going.
May 9, 1999 Asheville Citizen Times runs several articles about the local impact of the move filming.
April 14, 2000 Asheville Citizen Times announces the opening of “28 Days” movie.
1999: Craft Shop expands to year-round service.
2000: The Diamond Extension (high ropes challenge course) is built.
2001: George W Bush becomes President
2001: Harry Brace Indoor Challenge Course constructed in Ware Pavilion (pavilion enclosed)
September 11, 2001: 9/11 attacks
February 2002: Winter Olympic Games held in Salt Lake City, UT
2003: Brian Hibbard paints Centennial Mural
2004: The first Family Lodge is built behind Lee Hall next to the Whittington Amphitheater.
2004: Woodland Archery Range established near lower field.
2005: Watts Family Odyssey Course built next to the Camp Cousins Challenge Course.
2005: New sand volleyball court built behind the Old Gym.
2005: “Eureka! A Century of YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly” centennial book published.
2006: Blue Ridge celebrates its Centennial.
August 6, 2005 Asheville Citizen Times article announces the upcoming anniversary and requests stories and memorabilia from alumni.
March 2, 2006 Black Mountain News: article with history and some celebration events, including a July 21 gathering at Weatherford’s Cabin hosted by Anne Weatherford (daughter-in-law).
October 5, 2006 Black Mountain News: Black Mountain Center for the Arts performs the original play “Way Back When: Around The Campfire” highlighting stories from Blue Ridge’s 100 years. The play will run for two weeks.
2006: Western Union discontinues telegraph service in the US. The last telegram ever would be in 2013 when India’s telegraph service stops.
October 6, 2006: Buncombe County NC proclaims October 6, 2006, “YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly Day”
2007: The second Family Lodge is built up from Whittington Amphitheater
2008: 18-Hold Disc Golf course built around lower field.
July 26, 2008: Fire in Abbott Hall laundry.
July 31, 2008 Black Mountain News: Black Mountain Fire Department responds to fire at Blue Ridge at 1:31am on July 26. The fire was in the laundry of Abbott Hall. The fire was contained quickly and no major damage. Some guests moved to Lee Hall.
2008: George and Martha Washington Hall are razed. The third Family Lodge built in its location (down the hill from Younts Hall).
2009: Barack Obama becomes President
December 2009: C Roger Hibbard retires after 33 years with Blue Ridge
2010: Kurt L Eckel appointed Chief Executive Officer (replacing C Roger Hibbard – title change).
March 4, 2010 Black Mountain News. runs announcement
2011: Construction at Blue Ridge:
2011: Family Lodge Dedication
November 11, 2010 Magee Courier: article about the naming of the McCarthy Family Lodge and the involvement of Mary Ann McCarty at Blue Ridge.
June 11, 2015 Magee Courier: Obituary of Mary Ann McCarty states: “In 2011 Mrs. McCarty’s support and contributions (to Blue Ridge) were further recognized when she was honored by Blue Ridge Assembly with the dedication of the McCarty Lodge.” (Note: obituary states 2011, but it was 2010 according to an article at that time.)
2015: Lee Hall renamed Eureka Hall
January 29, 2015 Black Mountain News article: “Balancing heritage with changing times, YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly was changed the name of its iconic Robert E Lee Hall to a name derived from the word its founder uttered when he first saw the forested acreage near Black Mountain over a century ago.” The article also explains “The hall will be named Eureka Hall for three years only, after which the new board will select its new name.”
2017: Donald Trump becomes President
2017: YMCAs of the Southeast Hall of Fame is established and housed in Eureka Hall.
2017: Melissa Bailey Logan appointed Chief Executive Officer (replacing Kurt Eckel)
Still filling in the blanks…..
____: Blue Ridge Farm (Black Mountain College had a farm; Orchard and other farms are mentioned in Blue Ridge articles and publications)
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 6 number 6, March 1925 includes photo of farm labeled “Our Own Garden” Same photo page repeats in Blue Ridge Voice, volume 7 number 2, November 1925
Letters between Weatherford and JJ King about apple orchard and revenue from sale of apples.
____: Conference Leadership and Parent Organizations switch (Former YMCA-sponsored conferences become independent, i.e.: Hi-Y Conference becomes Values Conference with Montgomery YMCA; Leaders School to Southern YMCA to Blue Ridge;
Industrial Conference incorporates as Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership (in Atlanta 1998-2005), becomes program of Auburn University
Blue Ridge Encampment, Inc.: 1958-06-26-19590216-BkC0021Pg0313
____: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Gardnar Mulloy Tennis Courts
May 8, 2008 Black Mountain News: in the obituary of Marcia Mulloy Wilson Pedersen, it states “Her father, Rob, a YMCA board member in Miami, was instrumental in bring athletics to Blue Ridge Assembly YMCA Conference Center and built the Gardnar Mulloy tennis courts there.”
____: Old Dining Hall behind Lee Hall razed (late 1980s)
____: College Hall renamed Heaton Hall
____: Tom and Pat Thraikill Auditorium in Heaton Hall dedicated
____: Construction at Blue Ridge:
____: Construction at Blue Ridge:
-Improvements to Heaton Hall and Eureka Hall (air conditioning installed)
____: Last mention of “Missionary Movement” Conference
June 9, 1932 Times Recorder (Zanesville, OH) – under church updates (last line), Missionary Education Movement conferences announced, Blue Ridge listed.
September 15, 1948 Asheville Citizen Times – conference not included in the 1949 conference list
____: Blue Ridge Staff – Distinguished Alumni Service Award – Mary Ann McCarty
February 24, 1993 Simpson County News: article highlighting Mary Ann “Maggie” McCarty states: “While on the Board of Blue Ridge Assembly, Mrs. McCarty was the second recipient of the distinguished alumni service award of the staff.” The obituary of McCarty in the June 11, 2015 Magee Courier (Magee, MS) states the same thing.
(Note: Neither article state what year she won the award.)
____: Last mention of “Southern Region Student YMCA-YWCA Conference”
June 12, 1955 Asheville Citizen Times and June 15, 1955 Asheville Citizen: run articles about the speakers during the Southern Region YMCA-YWCA Conference. June 15 article includes photo showing racial mix of conference.
August 30, 1959 Asheville Citizen Times article about the end of the season, mentions the summer “beginning with the YMCA-YWCA College Student Conference…”
March 24, 1960 Asheville Citizen article listing the 1960 conferences includes “YMCA-YWCA Student Conference”. The list of first time conferences include: “Southeastern Regional Conference of the YWCA.”
May 31, 1962 Asheville Citizen article about upcoming 1962 conferences: “will open its 51st summer season Tuesday with a five-day convention of college and university YMCAs and YWCAs of the Southern Region.”
____: Paul Grist Award and Whittington Award
____: Summer Conference Schedule Shift (1990s-early 2000s. To accommodate the shift by some states to start school earlier in the summer, late July or first week in August in some cases, youth conferences held toward the end of the summer season request to be moved to moved earlier in summer so there is not a school schedule conflict for the participants. This has an effect on adult conferences and non-YMCA youth conferences that were historically held earlier in the summer months.)
____: “Olympic Change Day” (same-day mountain turnover between major conferences)
July 15, 1921 Asheville Citizen: “No time is wasted in the conduct of the summer YMCA and YWCA conferences at Blue Ridge. Immediately after breakfast Friday morning, delegates to the Southern Community Conference of the YWCA, which closed Thursday night, will begin vacating the residence halls. At noon more than 500 YMCA secretaries and business men who serve on YMCA boards of directors will begin moving in to attend the YMCA Southern Summer School.”
___+_: Road Names: Lakey Gap Road renamed Blue Ridge Road (referenced in deed: 1972-10-12-19740701-Bk1102Pg0729: “…Lakey Gap Road, now known as Blue Ridge Road…”), naming of Blue Ridge Assembly Road (referenced in deed: 1972-05-05-19720505-Bk1060Pg0153 and 1980-09-10-19800911-Bk1253Pg0330: “…Blue Ridge Road (sometimes called Blue Ridge Assembly Road and sometimes called Assembly Drive)…”, naming of roads on Blue Ridge property
A few more dates…..
Locations for YMCA Southern Student Conference (summer)
According to newspaper article
1891: University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN
1892: University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN*
1893: University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN*
1894: University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN*
1895: no conference, no regional secretary*
1896: Bingham School, Asheville*^
1897: Bingham School, Asheville*^
1898: Bingham School, Asheville*^
1999: Bingham School, Asheville*^
1900: Bingham School, Asheville*^
1901: Asheville School, Asheville*^
1902: Asheville School^ June 13, 1902 Asheville Citizen
1903: Asheville School*^ June 19, 1903 Nashville American
1904: Haywood White Sulphur Springs, Waynesville^ May 29, 1904 Morning Post (Raleigh NC)
1905: Asheville School^ May 7, 1905 Atlanta Constitution
1906: Farm School, Swannanoa*^ June 16, 1906 Asheville Citizen
1909: Montreat*^ June 24, 1909 Christian Advocate
1910: Montreat*^ April 18, 1910 Asheville Citizen
1911: Montreat*^ (several articles listed in the timeline mention the 1911 conference at Montreat)
1912: Blue Ridge*^
^ = WDW Book (p 41) and ACandy2001 (p 75)
Newspaper articles used to confirm location when source locations conflict
Locations for YWCA Southern Student Conference (summer)
1895: Rogersville, TN*
1896-1911: Asheville Area*
1912: Blue Ridge*
1945-1951: not at Blue Ridge
1952: Blue Ridge
Source: Association Monthly 1913 page 329
Locations for Young People’s Missionary Movement Conferences (summer)
(renamed Missionary Education Movement Conference in 1912)
1903: Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga TN (first conference)
1904: Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga TN
1905: Kenilworth Inn, Asheville
1906: Kenilworth Inn, Asheville
1907: Kenilworth Inn, Asheville
1908: Kenilworth Inn, Asheville
1909: Montreat (Kenilworth Inn destroyed by fire)
1910: Normal and Collegiate Institute, Asheville
1911: Normal and Collegiate Institute, Asheville
1912: Blue Ridge
Pages: February 1912 page 270; August 1912 page 767
WD Weatherford books:
NOTE: Books and articles reflect the times they were written. Some language, used at the time, may no longer be acceptable. Language, writing styles, and terms used should be taken within historical context.
1907: Fundamental Religions Principals in Browning’s Poetry (Ph.D. thesis)
1907: College Problems
Volume 1 1907
Volume 2 1908 – contributor: “Every Secretary an Evangelistic Leader”
Volume 3 1909
1917: Report on Law and Order Conference (editor)
1920: Interracial Cooperation (editor)
1932: Survey of Negro Boy in Nashville (editor)
1934: Survey of Negro Boy Life in Nashville, TN (editor)
1934: Race Relations (co-author with Charles S Johnson)
1935: Life Sketch of James Brownson Dunwoody DeBow
1948: Analytical index of DeBows Review
1955: Pioneers of Destiny
1957: American Churches and the Negro
1962: Life and Religion in Southern Appalachia (co-authored with Earl DC Brewer)
1962: Studies in Christian Experience
1962: The Southern Appalachian Region: A Survey (editor – co-editor with Thomas R Ford)
[AU2]1900 Census Year
[AU3]1902 YMCA Southern Student Conference and 1902 YWCA Southern Student Conference
June 13, 1902 Asheville Citizen: “The ninth annual Summer Students’ Conference of YMCAs opens here today and will continue in session for 8 days. About 200 delegates are expected to be in attendance. The session will be held at the Asheville School…” The article mentions “the great Student Volunteer convention which was held in Toronto” and time each day being given the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Mission. The last paragraph states: “The YWCA of the Southern states convenes here tomorrow…in the chapel at the Normal and Collegiate Institute…” (Note: Weatherford not mentioned, the 1902 YMCA conference was before he become Southern Student Secretary; article does not mention current secretary / conference director)
June 21, 1902 Asheville Daily Gazette: runs list of people attending the 1902 YMCA Southern Student Conference. Weatherford is listed under “List of Secretaries, Speakers, and City Association Delegates”
June 24, 1902 Asheville Citizen runs separate articles about the ending of the YMCA and YWCA conferences. The YMCA article mentions HP Anderson “in charge of the conference.” The YWCA article mentions “Miss Price, who has lead the conference…”
[AU5]1904 YMCA Southern Student Conference
May 29, 1904 Morning Post (Raleigh NC): Article about the 1904 Southern Student YMCA Conference “to be held at Waynesville NC, June 10-19” “The conference delegates will be entertained at the Haywood White Sulphur Springs, special rates having been secured for delegates…”
[AU6] 1904: Montreat offered to Weatherford / YMCA:
According to the book “Montreat – Postcard History Series”: “The Montreat property was offered to Willis D Weatherford for the founding of a home for the YMCA around 1904. The offer was declined as Weatherford felt that Montreat would provide too many distractions to the young men coming for study and reflections since 30 (privately owned) homes had already been built in the community.” The Presbyterian Church would purchase the Montreat property in 1906. Montreat would be used for several YMCA conferences until Blue Ridge opened.
[AU7]1905 YMCA Southern Student Conference and 1905 YWCA Southern Student Conference
May 7, 1905 Atlanta Constitution: article about the YMCA Southern Student Conference meeting at the Asheville School July 17-25. “This will be the twelfth annual session of the Southern Student Conference held in and near Asheville…” The YWCA conference will be June 10-19 at the Normal and Collegiate Institute at Asheville. The article notes: “The conferences coming together make it possible to have present the most eminent speakers to college students in America…”
June 11, 1905 Morning Post (Raleigh NC): article about the YMCA Student Conference states it is at Kenilworth Inn (Asheville). (This same article appears in multiple newspapers.)
[AU8]1906 Carolina YMCAs Interstate Convention
March 9, 1906 Asheville Citizen: article about local delegates attending the third annual Interstate Convention in Charleston SC on March 23-26.
March 23, 1906 Albuquerque Citizen (Albuquerque NM): article about the Carolina Interstate Convention. Weatherford is listed in the attendees. (Same article runs in multiple papers.)
[AU9]1906 YMCA Southern Student Conference
June 16, 1906 Asheville Citizen: “The initial meeting of the Southern YMCA Students’ Conference last night at the Farm School with 200 delegates in attendance…” The article mentions Weatherford and IM Harper as being “in immediate charge of work…” (Article does not mention YWCA.)
[AU13]1906 Montreat tries for the 1907 YMCA Southern Student Conference
November 28, 1906 Charlotte News: article following a meeting between the Montreat Association and the YMCA: “…confer with members of the Southern Student Conference of the YMCA and with others of the Montreat Association regarding the holding of the Student Conference at Montreat next June (1907). The YMCA body has taken the matter under serious consideration.” Details of construction, new buildings, and improvements are included in the article. At the meeting were Weatherford, AL Phillips, FC Abbott, and others. The YPMM was also mentioned. (NOTE: The 1907 YMCA Conference was at the Farm School. The 1908-1911 YMCA Conferences would be at Montreat.)
[AU15] 1907: Weatherford as named “Executive Secretary / Director of Blue Ridge”:
January 1907 newspaper reports of the organizational meeting state Weatherford “presided” over the meeting. In articles he uses the title “international secretary of the YMCA” (or similar) (the position he holds with the YMCA), sometimes is referred to as the “one leading the charge” (usually listed with others), or “conference director” (specifically of YMCA men’s conference). It does not appear he is referred to as Blue Ridge Executive Secretary until May 31, 1916 Twin City Daily Sentinel article: “...WD Weatherford, of Nashville, international secretary of the YMCA and executive secretary of the Blue Ridge Association...”
[AU18]1907 YMCA Southern Student Conference and 1907 YWCA Southern Student Conference
June 14, 1907 Ashville Citizen runs articles about the YMCA and YMCA conferences being held at the same time in Asheville. The YWCA conference is at the Kenilworth Inn and the YMCA conference is at the Farm School.
[AU19]April 1908 Inter-racial meeting in Atlanta
Preface of Weatherford’s 1910 “Negro Life in the South” book: “During the month of April 1908, a company of seven men, four negroes and three white men, came together in the City of Atlanta to discuss the present race question, with special reference to what the college men of the South might do to better conditions…”
[AU20]1908 YMCA Southern Student Conference
June 17, 1908 Charlotte Observer: “The fourteenth annual session of the Southern Student Conference of the YMCA opened Monday night at Montreat…” “Delegates are in the Montreat hotels and the sessions of the conference are held in the church just opposite the hotels…”
[AU21] 1908: Early Use?
August 7, 1908 Charlotte News article on conferences in Black Mountain highlights the YMCA conference and the upcoming new conference grounds. The article states: “already the YMCA has had encampments there and delightful conferences” (unclear to the location being referenced). “It is hoped by another year to begin permanent buildings. These would include at first dormitories, an auditorium and Dining hall at a cost from $30,000 to $50,000.” Article mentions YMCA, YWCA, and YPMM.
[AU23]June 18, 1909 Blue Ridge Land Transaction – Board Meeting at Montreat
Approves two Deeds of Trust (both dated February 26, 1910) for a total of $4000: 1910-02-26-1910324-Bk0078Pg0388 (“Johnston Tract”) and 1910-02-26-1910324-Bk0078Pg0392 (“65 acres”). Both Deeds of Trust have “satisfaction” notes dated September 2, 1911. (Note: This meeting was during the 1909 YMCA Southern Student Conference at Montreat)
[AU25]1910 YMCA Southern Student Conference
April 19, 1910 Asheville Citizen, brief article announcing the YMCA Southern Student Conference will be at Montreat June 17-26.
May 30, 1910 Asheville Gazette News: Runs article about upcoming Southern Student Conference of the YMCA, June 17-26 at Montreat. The article mentions: “John R Mott, WD Weatherford, and WE Willis compose the executive secretaries in charge of this conference.” The list of speakers includes AL Phillips.
[AU26]1910 Blue Ridge “Brown Memorial Field”
April 25, 1909 Nashville Tennessean and April 29,1909 Raleigh Christian Advocate articles identify the University of Mississippi gift: “Recently $1000 has been received from the students of the University of Mississippi, given as a memorial to their student secretary, J Arthur Brown, who died in active service…”
June 5, 1910 Nashville Tennessean: in article with other donations, included is a donation from University of Mississippi $500 for field to be called “Brown Memorial Field”
(Note: no field was named after Brown.)
[AU27]1910 Property Taxes Due
August 16, 1910 Asheville Gazette News, August 30, 1910 Asheville Gazette News, and September 6, 1910 Asheville Gazette News run listings of properties to be sold for 1909 back real estate taxes. Two listings under Black Mountain for WD Weatherford – one for 71 acres and one for 67 acres. The public sale is scheduled for September 19, 1910.
(no other articles about sale)
[AU28]1911 Carolina YMCAs Interstate Convention and Interstate Committee
January 11, 1911 Greenville News: article about the Interstate Committee meeting in Greenville. This meeting is number 3 of 5 for the Committee (Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Columbia, Charleston).
January 13, 1911 Raleigh Times: article about the “…eighth annual interstate convention of the Carolina YMCA…” To be held in Raleigh, January 26-29, 1911.
[AU29]1911 YMCA Southern Student Conference and 1911 YWCA Southern Student Conference
June 13, 1911 Asheville Citizen: article about the YWCA Conference being held on the campus of the Normal and Collegiate Institute.
June 13, 1911 Charlotte Observer: brief article about speakers at the YWCA conference. Welthy B Honsinger spoke about missionary work in China and Weatherford spoke of Blue Ridge and the Rockefeller’s donation.
June 18, 1911 Sunday Citizen: article about the second day of the “19th annual Southern Students’ Conference of the YMCA”. The article does not name the location, but the byline is “Montreat”. (Other articles identify the location as Montreat.) A separate article the same page report the YWCA conference coming to a close, but does not give the location.
[AU31] 1912: Early Promotion and Additional Conferences:
February 14, 1912 Chicago Tribune article announces plans for the first world conference of the YMCA Boys’ Workers for May 10-24, 1913 (same announcement in a different paper had a typo of May 1912). Appears Blue Ridge was promoting itself early 1912 and trying to get conferences outside of the first Student YWCA, YMCA, and YPMM conferences. No subsequent articles of this conference happening at Blue Ridge in 1913 (another paper mentions it in a different location). Blue Ridge did host this conference in 1920.
[AU32]May 24 – June 2, 1912 First conference at Kings Mountain
May 27, 1912 Charlotte Observer: “The first student conference of colored YMCA is now in session in the chapel of Lincoln Academy at Kings Mountain, having convened last Friday night for a 10 days meeting…” Weatherford is listed as one of the speakers.
KingsMountain-1912-1913: Conference pamphlets. 1912 pamphlet written after the 1912 conference, provides summary of conference; 1913 pamphlet written promoting the upcoming 1913 conference
[AU33]1912 Summer Staff:
May 28, 1912 Asheville Gazette News article: “One of the unique features in the running of the place will be that all the work necessary, except the cooking, will be done by college girls who have been interested in YWCA affairs during their college careers.” “The men in charge of the building for the summer are either YMCA secretaries or men actively engaged in some line of association work. RH Legate (Roy H), secretary of the association at Vanderbilt university, will be in charge of the Dining room and supplies.” The article also mentions “Mr. Berghold is in the city today buying supplies for the opening…” Note: In the June 23, 1912 Sunday Citizen, a full-page ad runs for Blue Ridge. Roy H Legate is listed as the contact for reservations. Subsequent ads list Legate as manager. In 1913 Legate is becomes the first Blue Ridge Postmaster. “Roy” becomes “Ray” in later newspaper ads and articles.
August 2, 1912 Charlotte Daily Observer articles states that DL Probert, general secretary of the local (Charlotte) YMCA, is returning after serving as register for several conferences at BR
July 5, 1931 Asheville Citizen Times article on the 25th Anniversary (from 1906 date), includes details on Blue Ridge history and the struggles of recruiting the first staff of 1912.
[AU34]1912 FC Abbott elected Blue Ridge Secretary-Treasurer
June 26, 1912 Evening Chronicle (Charlotte NC): runs article announcing FC Abbott was “just elected secretary and treasurer of Blue Ridge Association...” (Abbott would continue as treasurer until the re-organization in 1933. Abbott Hall would be named after him.)
[AU38] May 1913 Additional Conferences – “World Conference”:
February 14, 1912 Chicago Tribune article states the World Conference of YMCA Boys’ Workers was supposed to be held at BR May 10-24, 1913 – why is this conference not on the 1913 schedules? Why was it moved to a different location (also see note in February 1912).
[AU39]1913 “Songs of Southern Colleges and Old Southern Melodies” book
Songs-1913: Songbook published by the Southern Student Secretaries of the YMCA, copyright WD Weatherford includes “Conference Song 1913” (pg 78). The song mentions Lambuth, Brown, Poteat, Weatherford, Bovard, Roe, Taylor, and Speer.
[AU40]1913 Blue Ridge Cottages:
June 8, 1913 Sunday Citizen: In an article about the YWCA Conference, it mentions the overcrowding, use of tents, and: “Several cottages, not yet completed, were pressed into service.”
July 11, 1913 Charlotte Observer: In article about YWCA Conference, it mentions: “…In addition to accommodations in the hall (Robert E Lee Hall) and the tents, two outside cottages have been built by local associations, one by the Agnes Scott Association…” The second cottage is not identified in the article.
[AU41] 1914 Blue Ridge Cottages:
May 298, 1914 University of Georgia Red and Black article: "The University of Georgia delegation to the Blue Ridge Conference will occupy the private cottage owned by the Agnes Scott girls. A lette infrming us that our request for this cottage has been granted was received from the Nashville office a few days ago...This cottage was constructed by the Agnes Scott girles for use of their delegation to the YWCA Conference. It is situated just at the foot of High Top...and by the side of the mountain stream..."
September 24, 1914 University of North Carolina Tar Heel article states that UNC is being asked to “contribute three tenths of one percent toward a $200,000 plant” and to build a Carolina Cottage: “The State Normal and the University (UNC) are asked to contribute $1100 to erect a cottage…” The article also states that Queens College at Charlotte says they can raise $1000. A separate article about the cottage explains: “Last year 11 states sent representatives amounting to a total number of 2100 students…The great difficulty now at Black Mountain is the lack of sufficient buildings to accommodate the representatives that each year go there. To remedy this condition the Southern Colleges have taken it upon themselves to unite two together and build cottages…” The article mentions Washington and Lee – Randolph-Macon, Queens-Davison, and State Normal-UNC.
October 23, 1914 Yorkville Enquirer article states that Winthrop has completed a fundraiser which some of the funds will “provide half-share in in a cottage on the Blue Ridge Association grounds at Blue Ridge, NC. The students expect the cottage to be ready to receive the Winthrop delegation at Blue Ridge in June.”
October 1914 Wake Forest Student on page 290 during a Weatherford visit to the college he stated “…The students of Meredith and Wake Forest have subscribed conjointly the sum of $1000 for the purpose of erecting a cottage at the training school. The cottage will be large enough to accommodate all the delegates we may wish to send…” ;on page 606: “Arrangements were made for the reminder of the mondy ($160) to finish the Wake Forest-Meredith Cottage at Blue Ridge. The cottage will be ready for use this summer."
November 4, 1914 University of Georgia Red and Black, in the YMCA Notes section mentions: "...the Association is raising funds for building a Georgia cottage..." "...15 colleges and universities of the South will build cottages at the Summer YMCA conference during the year..."
November 1914 North American Student (PDF page 112): Guilford College NC has "recently raised $200 for the Blue Ridge Association"
[AU42] 1914 Summer Staff:
October 1914 North American Student (PDF page 57): “The women students employed at the Blue Ridge NC conference grounds during the summer, conducted Bible class for the men and women Negro helpers. In addition these students planned meetings each Sunday and also led the colored people in learning and singing their own songs”
[AU44]1915 Another Rockefeller Gift:
February 23, 1915 Winston Salem Journal newspaper listing Rockefeller Foundation 1914 gifts: “October 21, 1914: Blue Ridge Association as a contribution toward a total of $3,000 to meet expense of maintaining Social Service Summer School of the Association, payment to be made as follows: $1500 the coming summer; $1000 the next summer, and $500 the third summer; upon condition that in each of the said years a further sum shall be collected by the Association in cash sufficient with this gift to equal not less than $3,000.” This gift is also listed in the 1916 Rockefeller Foundation Annual Report (page 356).
[AU46] 1915 Blue Ridge Cottages:
January 1915 University of North Carolina The Alumni Review (page 111 of PDF): “Carolina and the State Normal at Greensboro have pledged themselves jointly to build a cottage on the Blue Ridge Conference grounds.”
January 1915, North American Student: (page 206 of PDF) Update from Winthrop Normal and Industrial College, Rock Hill, SC: “Early in October we undertook a campaign for $1200, $700 of which went to a foreign secretaryship and $500 of which gave us a half share in a cottage at Blue Ridge”
January 23, 1915 Durham Morning Harald runs one paragraph about the Trinity YMCA and YWCA raising funds to build a cottage. Future Article: March 10, 1917 Greensboro Daily News article states that Trinity has abandoned the plan for a cottage because of difficulty collecting the pledged money. Trinity had originally wanted to partner with Greensboro College for Women, but they rejected the plan. The 1917 article mentions Wake Forest-Meredith, University of North Carolina-State Normal and Industrial College agreements.
February 1915 North American Student: (page 257 of PDF) Unnamed College: “A state A&M college in the South has recently not only raised their part of the money necessary for a missionary on the field, and raised a god sum for Belgian relief, but has subscribed $500 for a cottage at the Blue Ridge Association grounds.” / (further down on page 257 of PDF) Unnamed College: “A small college of 210 students in the South has recently subscribed $865 to keep a former student in a tuberculosis sanatorium for the year; $500 for a Blue Ridge cottage, and a good amount for mission funds. In addition they have sent $400 for Belgian relief”
May 5, 1915 Davidson College The Davidsonian: brief article on page 5, "Work has started on the construction of the Davidson-Queens cottage at Blue Ridge and it will be completed in time for the YMCA Conference June 12-21..."
October 13, 1915 Presbyterian: Update from Randolph-Macon Woman's College: "The Committee of the YWCA are activally at work in the interest of the Randolph-Macon Cottage recently erected on the Blue Ridge Conference grounds..."
[AU48]1915 Charges Dropped in Post Office Robbery
July 15, 1915 Asheville Gazette News article: “At a preliminary hearing of AM Watson of Blue Ridge NC, charged with robbery of a store and postoffice at Blue Ridge October 2, 1914, United States Commissioner TD Shelton yesterday discharged the defendant from custody.” (No newspaper articles found from October 1914 about the robbery or arrest.)
[AU49]1916 Regional Transportation: Asheville-Black Mountain Trolley Service
February 25, 1916 Asheville Citizen: Article about establishing an electric trolley service between Asheville and Black Mountain. The article mentions Black Mountain “Great Music Festival” and similar proposal in 1907. (Note: Electric trolley service never materializes.)
[AU52] 1916 Blue Ridge Cottage:
May 6, 1916 Wake Forest NC Old Gold and Black: "Our Blue Ridge Cottage: There is not a cottage at Blue Ridge more desirable than the one shown above (article includes photo of cottage), which is jointly owned by the Wake Forest WMCA and Meredith YWCA. It is a handsome two story house with electric light and hold-and-cold water supply..." Description includes: 3 sleeping rooms upstairs, fireplace, 5 sleeping rooms and bathroom downstairs, full length porch, accommodates 20.
May 6, 1916 University of North Carolina The Tar Heel: article mentions the "State Normal-Carolina Cottage". The article states that "18 men already signed up for Blue Ridge and the cottae can hold a few more..."
May 19, 1915 Clemson Cottage The Tiger: runs a photo of the Clemson-Winthrop Cottage at Blue Ridge.
[AU54] 1916 “Weatherford Spring”:
May 19, 1916 Clemson College The Tiger runs a photo of “Weatherford Spring” “From the beautiful mountain springs and streams Blue Ridge gets her pure sparkling water."
July 1927 Blue Ridge Voice Daily Bulletin: Mention of “Weatherford Spring” in July 21, 1927 edition.
[AU55] June 24, 1916: Willis D Weatherford, Jr. is born in Biltmore NC.
[AU56] 1917 Blue Ridge Cottages:
March 27, 1917 University of South Carolina Gamecock: “The 11 cottages have been erected by the different colleges and universities. Clemson College and Winthrop have gone in together and built a cottage…Converse College is now challenging the University of South Carolina to raise half the amount for putting up a Converse-Carolina cottage…Besides the cottages there are tents that are well furnished and provide electric lights.”
March 27, 1917 University of Florida The Florida Alligator: runs of a photo of a cottage with this caption: “The picture shown above is a very good idea of the Florida Cottage at Blue Ridge Conference as it is planned by the YMCA of UF and FWC respectively. Our cottage will have more porch than the one in the photograph, but otherwise the two will be identical…” (The cottage in the photo is not identified.)
April 21, 1917 Florida State The Florida Flambeau: “It is of interest to friends of Blue Ridge that final arrangements have been made for the erection of two other college cottages. One cottage is being built by the YWCA of the State Women’s College of Florida (Florida State) the YMCA of University of Florida...” (The other cottage is not named). “Last year the Winthrop College had 29 delegates which filled the Winthrop-Clemson Cottage full to the doors. Converse Cottage has just sent in a check for $500 and the University of Virginia has joined them in order they may have a cottage at Blue Ridge.”
June 1, 1918 Florida State The Florida Flambeau: “The Florida Cottage, belonging to us (Florida State YWCA) and our brothers of the University (Univ of Florida YMCA), came into existence a year ago, receiving 13 Florida State College’s daughters at the conference last summer…”
June 25, 1917 Charlotte Observer article about the YMCA Student Conference states: “Eleven delightfully modern cottages and Robert E Lee Hall will have open doors…”
[AU57]1918 Regional Transportation: Orange Star Auto Line (Asheville)
March 30, 1918 Asheville Citizen: Orange Star run ad with list of stops, including Blue Ridge. Note: first Orange Star ad appears in early March 1918. Orange Star runs almost daily ads in the Asheville newspapers. Orange Star was sued in April 1919. Scott Dillingham (used car dealer) purchased all the company stock in September 1919 and ran ads to sell the assets. After September 1919, no mention of Orange Star again in the newspaper.
[AU58]1918 Blue Ridge Cottages
October 24, 1918 Rockingham Post Dispatch: Prints a letter from ZV Roberson after he attended the YMCA War Work School. In the letter he mentions: “…At first we were quartered in ‘Shorter-University of GA’ (cottage) then after the ‘flu’ attacked me we were moved to the cottage named ‘Ward-Belmont’.”
1918 Hollins College Student Handbook: Under YWCA Activities is listed Blue Ridge Conference: “Hollins has now a lovely cottage with Richmond Medical, beautifully located on the side of the mountain…” In the 1920 Hollins College Student Handbook, it changes to: “Hollins has now a lovely cottage with Virginia Medical College, beautifully located on the side of the mountain…”
[AU60]1919 Blue Ridge Staff (HW Sanders and JJ King):
1919 HW Sanders starts at Blue Ridge. His starting year is mentioned in the May 14, 1953 Asheville Citizen (article announcing his retirement).
1919 JJ King starts at Blue Ridge. Announcement is in the March 18, 1919 News and Observer. He resigns as secretary of the State College YMCA to join Blue Ridge.
August 23, 1920 Asheville Citizen lists Weatherford, Sanders, and King attending the funeral services for the mother of JP Parker. August 23, 1920 Charlotte Observer runs announcement of the death of Deborah A Parker (mother of JP Parker). Article includes “…James P Parker, is well-known to many Charlotteans who attend Blue Ridge, as he holds an important position with the management of Blue Ridge, having supervision of the entire plant (buildings and grounds) the year round…”
[AU61]1919 Inter-racial Post-War Conference in Atlanta GA
March 5, 1919 Trench and Camp (Camp Shelby, MS) and March 7, 1919 Southern Star (Dothan, AL) run almost identical articles about an inter-racial meeting held in Atlanta for post-war race relations. Both articles mention “…similar to the educational establishment maintained by the Young Men’s Christian Association at Blue Ridge NC…”
[AU62]1919 Post-War Conferences at Gammon Theological Seminary-Clark University
April 20, 1919 Atlanta Constitution: article at the post-war schools at Gammon Theological Seminary, “515 representative colored men from southeastern states…attended the schools…” “The program followed in the meetings was largely identical with the program mapped out for and followed by the Blue Ridge community school for whites…”
[AU64]1919 Missionary Education Movement Conference – change in parent organization:
June 18, 1919 Asheville Citizen: In an article about the conference: “Interchurch World Movement of North America at its southern conference at Blue Ridge…” “The former personnel of the missionary education movement will be largely in charge of the study program…This organization has given up to the large co-operative agencies all facilities for conferences it conducted in past summers. In like fashion, the layman’s missionary movement has turned over the services of its forces to strengthen this and the six similar meetings being held this summer in other parts of the country. The combining of these influences gives the study conferences a strength far past those of other years.”
June 20, 1919 Winston Salem Journal (Winston Salem SC) article about the upcoming Interchurch World Movement of North America conference and record attendance.
June 7, 1920 Atlanta Constitution: In an article about upcoming Missionary Education Movement conference: “Much interest is being manifested by the women of the local churches in the prominent part to be played by women in the forthcoming missionary educational conference to be held at Blue Ridge, NC…” “The Blue Ridge conference has been conducted annually and until last year was under the auspices of the missionary education movement. It has been taken over this year by the Interchurch World Movement…”
[AU65]July 17, 1919 Inter-racial Conference at Blue Ridge
Reported in EBurro1954 – but no newspaper articles can be found about a conference with this date. EBurro1954 footnote “Minutes of Inter-Racial Conference” in historical records. (Held at same time as June 1919 Southern Student Conference??)
[AU67]1920 Blue Ridge Cottages:
February 26, 1920 Charlotte Observer: Building of the “Colored Speakers’ Cottage”. “Dr. Morton of Tuskegee is booked as one of the first occupants of the cottage and one of the first speakers”. (article contains racial language and tone)
1920 Medical College of Virginia The X-Ray (annual): On page 155 mentions: “The College YMCA, through its members and friends, owns a beautiful cottage at Blue Ridge, NC at which place is located the home of the Southern College Blue Ridge Association.”
[AU69]1920 Commission on Inter-racial Cooperation
March 12, 1920 Dallas Express: “The Commission on Inter-racial Cooperation is an outgrowth of a conference which was held in Atlanta in 1919…” “Publications of the Commission include…’An Appeal to Christian People of the South’ adopted by the recent Church Leaders’ Conference at Blue Ridge NC…” (need to define “recent”)
[AU70]1920 Blue Ridge Promotional Films
June 23, 1920 Montgomery Advertiser: brief article: “A Blue Ridge conference film, setting forth in detail the great conference to be held at Blue Ridge NC, July 23 has been received in the city by the local YWCA workers and will be shown at various picture houses in the near future.”
[AU71]1921: Charles William Kent Memorial Bust
Blue Ridge Voice, volume 2 number 5, February 1921: Includes articles about Dr. Charles William Kent of the University of Virginia. Kent also severed on the Blue Ridge Executive Committee. His wife donated a bust which is in Lee Hall.
[AU72]1921 Regional Transportation: Red Bus Line
June 19, 1921 Sunday Citizen: brief announcement that Red Bus Line will start running Asheville-Black Mountain routes. “With the announcement of the asphalt road it is expected that the bus line will have a steady business.”
March 22, 1922 Asheville Citizen: In an article about the Black Mountain area, it mentions: “The Red Bus Line, operating regular schedules from Black Mountain to Asheville, plans to construct in time for the summer trade a large concrete garage, 40 x 140 feet, on Sutton Avenue, combining with it a waiting room along attractive lines.”
[AU76] 1921 Blue Ridge Cottages:
August 18, 1921 Roanoke News article includes narrative of hiking above Lee Hall. The article includes: “…At one place the trail opens up into what is called ‘Brown’s Pasture’,…another opening we found an orchard of young apple trees,…along another of these trails we found the Ernest Thompson Seaton cottage, built of split logs, a chimney at one end, an opening for a door, a paneless window and equipped with sleeping accommodations for eight people. This is located in the dead mountain forest just above RE Lee hall. Not far from this is a circular opening about 20 feet in diameter with railed seats around the entire circumference…”
October 1, 1921 Salam College The Salemite: runs two articles mentioning cottages at Blue Ridge. The first article mentions the Salem Girls stayed in the “Florida State Cottage”. In the second article about upcoming goals: “…Our goal: a delegation of 30 girls at Blue Ridge for the YWCA summer conference in June, with a cottage all our own…”
[AU78] 1922 Blue Ridge Summer Staff:
May 31, 1922 Asheville Citizen article about season opening: “The following members of the main staff and in the interest of Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conference and Training have arrived on the grounds: Dr. WD Weatherford, JJ King, manager, HW Sanders and WP Cunningham” (No mention of James P Parker who is listed as the Postmaster in 1922).