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Weaverville, North Carolina

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Historic homes of Western North Carolina authors open for tours

As you compile your Asheville maps and attractions list, be sure to highlight the Thomas Wolfe Memorial (http://www.wolfememorial.com). Widely known as a major literary figure of the 20th Century, Thomas Wolfe made Asheville famous—and many of its residents at the time angry—with his autobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel. The book portrayed his family and Victorian childhood home, The Old Kentucky Home. The one-time boarding house on North Market Street in the heart of downtown Asheville is now an historic landmark and open to the public year round for tours as part of the Memorial's programs.

But Wolfe's house is not the only place in the Asheville area where history buffs and literature fans can see where famous authors lived. Any good visitors guide to Asheville, NC, should include regional attractions across the region in places like Flat Rock, where you'll find the Carl Sandburg Home (http://www.nps.gov/carl). Sandburg is associated widely with Chicago and the Midwest but moved in 1945 to Flat Rock at the request of his wife, Paula. She raised champion dairy goats and the climate in Western North Carolina meant a longer browsing season for the animals. As a National Historic Site of the National Park Service, the Carl Sandburg Home is open to the public year round for daily tours. This is a great side trip option that has enriched many vacations in Asheville, NC.

Final resting places
One of the most interesting Asheville tourist sites is near downtown in Montford Area Historic District (http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/asheville/mon.htm), visitors can see the final resting place of Thomas Wolfe and the author William Sidney Porter (better known as O. Henry) and many other prominent figures at the historic Riverside Cemetery (http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/asheville/riv.htm) along Birch Street off Pearson Drive.

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