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Thomas Wolfe Memorial – Old Kentucky Home Boarding House


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In August of 1998 Asheville awoke to a sad morning with the news of the burning of the Old Kentucky Home that was the Thomas Wolfe Memorial in downtown. The fire was ruled an arson and extensively damaged the building and furnishings. The arsonist was never caught as I recall, however the building was restored and reopened in the public in 2004. The house has been used as the Thomas Wolfe memorial since 1949. There is a visitors center with audiovisual exhibits on Thomas Wolfe’s life and writings. Guided tours are available.


My favorite thing about the Thomas Wolfe House was the “day in May 1916″, it looks as though it’s moved to June and is called “In the Good ole Summertime 1916″. It’s basically a living history experience where volunteers portray different personalities that you might have found at a boarding house in 1916. It’s probably been 15-20 years since I’ve been, but I remember it as a fantastic immersive tour. How many times have you toured a historic site and wondered what it would be like if the residents were still at home? That’s the kind of experience you get from this living history event.

The cost for admission to the “Good ol’ Summertime 1916″ is $6, normal admission is just $1 adults and 50 cents for students.

You can find out more at The Thomas Wolfe Memorial website. If you’re visiting Asheville you ought to add this to your list of items to do. If you live in the area, make the time to stop by and see it.

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