It is said that in the olden days in Asheville, you didn’t need a holiday to throw a big party. So imagine what this 1914 New Year’s Eve ball and dinner party, hosted by Mrs. Alice Thomas Connally in the ballroom of the Manor must have been like! Mistletoe hangs from the ceiling above the arches of garland decoration.
Mrs. Alice Thomas Connally came as a young woman to Asheville in 1865 from Richmond when she married John Kerr Connally. They built their home, which they called Fernihurst on a knoll overlooking the Swannanoa River, and later the Biltmore Estate. Mr. Connally died in 1904. Alice Connally then became one of the heaviest property owners in Asheville. In 1915 she sold the top of Mt. Mitchell to the state. But also, she was a “woman whose charities covered a wide field, and she devoted much of her time and means to alleviating the sufferings of the poor and unfortunate.” She died just three years later, in October 1917.