Happy 100th to the House that Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic Built.
A cornucopia of anecdotes in the Citizen-Times (hat tip, John L. Robinson) points out that the Grove Park Inn prevented Asheville from becoming tuberculosis sanitarium to the nation, gave refuge to Warren G. Harding during the Teapot Dome Scandal and even served as a POW camp (!) during World War II.
“The Louisville Courier-Journal… by no means confines itself to the narrow bounds of Kentucky. Hear it fight North Carolina’s battles:
” ‘Each time the President goes on one of these golf-hunting trips of his to Indian River in Florida, newspapers report that: “President Harding is passing through North Carolina.” Why is it that the President persists in “passing through” the Old North State? Why is it that he doesn’t stop off there?’ ”
— Time magazine, March 17, 1923 (In Time’s third issue, it makes this second-hand first mention of North Carolina.)
So did Warren G. Harding ever alight in North Carolina? If not, Harding is the only president since Chester Alan Arthur not to pay the state at least a token visit — campaigning, vacationing or (in the case of Benjamin Harrison) serving in Sherman’s army.