Grayline Trolley buses then transported the guests to three additional locations, that have been significant to Asheville’s history: The Gan Shan Station on Charlotte Street, the Historic Jones Cabin on the Biltmore Estate and the beautifully restored Manor on Charlotte Street. The attendees at each location were greeted with music and gourmet items. At the Gan Shan Station Johnny Greene impersonated the King of Rock, Elvis Presley, and sang many of Elvis’ iconic tunes. Many of the guests undoubtedly remembered hearing Love me Tender or Can’t Help Falling in Love years ago. They could then dance their heart away under the tent next to this PSABC Griffin Award winning service station. Asheville born and raised Chef Patrick O’Cain, as the Gan Shan host, added his culinary flair to the evening with a 1950’s inspired menu.
“All aboard” an awaiting trolly to go to the next stop, a log cabin on the Biltmore Estate. Guests walked into this historic farmhouse, now the Sporting Clays Clubhouse, to hear strumming bluegrass music by Slim Chance & The Can’t Hardly Play Boys. They then received samples of Troy & Sons moonshine, country ham biscuits and homemade moon pies, all generously catered by the Biltmore. “The Jones House was built somewhere between 1879 and 1889, probably by Merritt Roberts, a farmer who sold the land to George Vanderbilt’s agent in 1901,” said Bill Alexander, Landscape and Forest Historian for the Biltmore Estate. The restoration project was completed last December and received the 2015 Griffin Award from The Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County in the Adaptive Re-Use category.
Greeters at the Manor include R-L volunteers Priscilla Lloyd and Kieta Osteen-Cochrane and Jack Krolak .
Guests then concluded the evening at The Manor in Albemarle Park, which in 1898 William Greene Raoul built with guest cottages for summer visitors to the area. In 1991 the Manor was purchased and retrofitted by Jim and Pam Turner as luxury apartments and is considered to be one of Asheville premier apartment complexes. One of the most outstanding units in the Manor is the “Grace Kelly Suite ”as it was occupied by Grace Kelly when she was in Asheville filming the movie, “The Swan.” The sounds of soulful 30’s jazz musician, Simone Bernhardt, greeted the guests as they entered the dining room. Of course more light refreshments were served, and in addition a silent auction with sign-up clipboards was displayed nearby with both small (antique silver spoon) and large items (a headboard made from a fireplace mantlepiece) to purchase. From there the trolleys took the guests back to the Grove Arcade.
This evening fundraiser was a huge success, raising over $25,000 for the PSABC. A portion of the proceeds from this event is going toward the stabilization of the famed Thomas Wolfe Log Cabin in Oteen. Now in city ownership, the cabin has become deteriorated and nearly suffered roof collapse. Much appreciation and thanks must be given to the co-chairs Cynthia Watson and Shelley Pereda and the incredible number of volunteers and organizers, who gave their time, energy and items to make this fundraiser such a success. In fact, guests were so enthusiastic about the evening that requests for advanced ticket sales for the next festive “traveling gala” were made. Please visit www.PSABC.org to learn more about the many activities of the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County, to make a donation, participate in the activities, and/or become a member. Their preservation efforts ensures that important historic properties in Asheville and Buncombe County are not destroyed, but preserved for future generations to use and enjoy.
All photos courtesy of PSABC.