JUNE 9, 1889

The article will have to stand for itself, as we know nothing more about the work-house. You would have thought mopping up the jail house would have been justice enough.  The thought was to post this article along with a photograph of the City Hall.  But what City Hall?

The city of Asheville was incorporated in 1797 but the first City Hall building built for this purpose was not until 1892.  This had never occurred to us before mention was made in this 1889 article about the work house being built behind the city hall.  “Where was the city hall then, and what did it look like?”

Scrolling through the microfilm about a month later there is mention on July 13, 1889 that, “The second floor of the Wolfe building, South Court Square, has been splendidly fitted up and will in future be used as the city hall, council chamber and mayor’s office” as well as a “prisoner’s dock.”  They then said that the “new hall is a decided improvement over the old rat trap in rear of the court house.”

The Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for 1888 sure enough show the city hall in a small building at the rear of the (1876-1903) courthouse, which was the county’s sixth courthouse, but who is counting.  A city building was a long time coming.

The “Wolfe building” refers to W.O. Wolfe’s marble and granite monument shop located at 22 S. Court Square.  W.O. Wolfe (1851-1922) was the father of author Thomas Wolfe.  The building was razed in 1923 to make way for the Jackson Building on the same site.


Post by Zoe Rhine

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