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Warm Springs Hotel Daybook, 1879


The Warm Springs Hotel was established in Buncombe, later Madison County, around 1832. Until destroyed by a fire in 1884, the hotel was one of North Carolina's main summer resorts. It was located in the community of Warm Springs (renamed Hot Springs in 1886), in the Appalachian Mountains of western Madison County near the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek. The town and resort derived their name from the natural thermal springs in the area, which had long drawn travelers seeking relief from their ailments.A daybook, for the year 1879, January 25 - October 17, recording daily receipts and expenditures of the hotel as they occurred. During this period of time, the hotel was ... (more below)

Title

Warm Springs Hotel Daybook, 1879

Collection Number

PC.AB.510.2

Date(s)

1879

Language

English

Physical Description
Daybook, 1 volume, 578 pages less pages overwritten and cut
Physical Description
Linear feet
0.10
Abstract

The Warm Springs Hotel was established in Buncombe, later Madison County, around 1832. Until destroyed by a fire in 1884, the hotel was one of North Carolina's main summer resorts. It was located in the community of Warm Springs (renamed Hot Springs in 1886), in the Appalachian Mountains of western Madison County near the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek. The town and resort derived their name from the natural thermal springs in the area, which had long drawn travelers seeking relief from their ailments.

A daybook, for the year 1879, January 25 - October 17, recording daily receipts and expenditures of the hotel as they occurred. During this period of time, the hotel was under the proprietorship of Dr. William H. Howerton, a physician who in 1862 had served briefly as captain of Company H, 37th Regt., North Carolina Troops. Following the Civil War, Dr. Howerton became active in Republican Party politics and successfully stood for election to the office of Secretary of State on the Republican ticket in 1872. Upon completion of his term of office, early in 1877, Dr. Howerton left Raleigh for Warm Springs and remained until around in end of 1882.

Creator

Warm Springs Hotel

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


Available for research.


Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.


Processed by Fran Tracy-Walls

Encoded by Fran Tracy-Walls, May 2009; additional encoding by Lea Walker, October 2016


Warm Springs, N.C., was a community located in Appalachian Mountains of western Madison County (formerly Buncombe County) near the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek. It drew its name from the natural thermal springs in the area. Since the early 1800s or before, the locale had been a destination for travelers seeking relief from their ailments. The most well known of the hotels and guest houses in the area was the Warm Springs Hotel.

The hotel was originally owned by Philip Hale Neilson, followed by James W. and John E. Patton from 1832 until the end of the Civil War. The facility had over 300 rooms and its dining room could accommodate around 600 diners. In 1866 James H. Rumbough purchased the hotel along with the entire town and springs. In its heyday in the 19th century, Warm Springs Hotel was considered one of North Carolina's main summer resorts, boasting a ballroom that was the second largest in the state. The arrival of the train to Warm Springs further contributed to the influx of tourists and the potential expansion of resort accomodations. While this hotel burned in 1884, Rumbough did build within two years a successor, the Mountain Park Hotel. Also in 1886 the name of the town was changed to Hot Springs when springs of higher temperatures were discovered.

During the dates of this daybook 1879, Jan. 25 - Oct. 17, 1879) the hotel was under the management of Dr. William H. Howerton (Feb. 9, 1831- Aug. 15, 1885). Dr. Howerton, after qualifying as a physician, opened in the 1850s a medical practice at Richlands, Onslow County, where he met and married Amanda Koonce. Moving to Rowan County prior to the Civil War, he served briefly as captain of Company H, 37th Regt., North Carolina Troops, in 1862. Following the war, Dr. Howerton became active in Republican Party politics and successfully. stood for election to the office of Secretary of State on the Republican ticket in 1872. Upon completion of his term of office, early in 1877, Dr. Howerton left Raleigh for Warm Springs (now Hot Springs), Madison County, where he began operation of the Warm Springs Hotel. In November, 1882, Dr. Howerton negotiated for proprietorship of the Swannanoa Hotel in Asheville, and switched his operation from Warm Springs to Asheville in mid December, 1882. Finding it difficult to make payments toward purchase of the Asheville property, Dr. Howerton was obliged in October, 1883, to enter into a contract of trust with the former proprietors of the Swannanoa Hotel (see Buncombe County Deed Book 45, pages 114-131 for an inventory of the hotel's furnishings).In 1885, Howerton took charge of the Ocean House Hotel at Morehead City, dying suddenly of a paralytic stroke at the height of the season on August 15, 1885, and was buried in Bayview Cemetery.

1866 Warm Springs Hotel purchased by James H. Rumbough 1877 Upon completion of term of office as Secretary of State, Dr. Howerton left Raleigh for Warm Springs (now Hot Springs) to operate the Warm Springs Hotel in Madison County. 1880, October Completion of the Western North Carolina Rail Road. 1880 Completion and opening of the Swannanoa Hotel on South Main Street, now College, in Asheville. 1882, November Dr. Howerton negotiated for the proprietorship of the Swannanoa Hotel. 1882, mid-December Dr. Howerton switched operation of the Warms Springs Hotel to that of the Swannanoa Hotel. 1884 The Warm Springs Hotel in Madison County burned. 1885 Dr. Howerton took charge of the Ocean House Hotel at Morehead City. 1885, August 15 At the height of the season Dr. Howerton died suddenly of a paralytic stroke.

[Identification of item], PC.AB.510.2, Warm Springs Hotel Daybook, 1879, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Probable transfer to N.C. State Archives custody from Western Office, North Carolina Division of Archives and History, ca. 1992.


Finding aids for other account books in this collection are located at the following links:

 Warm Springs Hotel-Swannanoa Hotel Daybook, 1882-1883

 Warm Springs Hotel Guest Arrivals and Departures, 1880

 Warm Springs Hotel Ledger of Accounts, 1881


This daybook, for the year 1879, January 25 - October 17, records daily receipts and expenditures of the hotel as they occur. Each entry is recorded so as to show on the left the name of the account in the ledger that is to be debited, and on the right the name of the account to be credited in the ledger. The descriptive phrase for the transaction is reported on the line just below the names of the two accounts. The sum that is to be posted as a debit and as a credit in the two accounts is reported in the right margin of the pages.

Of the daybook's 578 pages, the first 92 have had newspaper clippings mounted over the manuscript entries; page 548-552 have been razored out.


  • Account books
  • Hot Springs (N.C.)
  • Hotel management
  • Mineral Waters--Therapeutic use--North Carolina--Madison County
  • Resorts--North Carolina--Madison County
  • Warm Springs (N.C.)
  • Madison County (N.C.)