A year ago last July, when the staff in the North Carolina Room first started the blog HeardTell, we posted about a new collection donated to us by Asheville residents Lynne and Jim Wilson. The collection is a gold mine containing seventeen 8 x 10 prints of houses that had been recently constructed in Asheville, circa 1926 to 1930. All of the photographs were taken by the well-known Asheville photographer, Herbert W. Pelton. The original binder was an old black ringed notebook and it also included some hand drawn basic floor plans.
We are guessing that the houses may all share the same architect or builder who had perhaps commissioned Pelton to photograph houses that he had designed or built. We have identified six of the houses in the collection, and all of them have been in the Lake View Park neighborhood. We have contacted the owners of these homes, and no one yet has known the architect of their home.
We still have a few unidentified houses to go. Do you recognize this house?
We do have one small lead. This will show you the depths librarians will stoop to try to find an answer. In the photo below, the gentleman holding his hat has nothing to do with this story. It is all about where he is standing which was at the entrance to 10 N. Pack Square (current location of the Akzona building/Biltmore Estate office building) which was the office to McKenzie Brickworks as well as the J.T. Bledsoe’s Real Estate office. Note the odd framed photo hanging on outside entrance.
Enlarging the framed photo of the house, it is most likely the same house as in this photo from Asheville Live and Invest in the Land of the Sky, published circa 1926-27. Note the garage in back and covered opened area to it, windows, chimney on right and pointed roof over front door.
So, it may be that J.T. Bledsoe is the missing link, the person who put these photographs together, and the person whose company built them. Bledsoe’s obituary of 1947 recalls “that Mr. Bledsoe, who was a developer and builder in Asheville for a number of years, as well as a real estate broker, had erected in the city alone more than 1,000 homes.”
Other houses in the collection that we still need identification for are:
In July 2013 we posted this photo of a house we have still not identified.
If you would like to view a PDF of all of the houses click on the above picture.
Post by Zoe Rhine, Librarian.