You can’t go to Asheville without a visit to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the boyhood home of one of our best known 20th century writers. The memorial is the site of the boarding house that Wolfe’s mother once ran and which figures so prominently in his classic, Look Homeward Angel. If you read the book, you will want to visit the memorial. If you haven’t read the book, once you visit here you will want to do so.
The boarding house became a memorial to Wolfe, 11 years after he died in 1938, and today is a North Carolina State Historical Site. Ironic when you consider that Wolfe didn’t go home for eight years (between 1929 and 1937) because reaction to his book in his hometown was so strong and so negative. (It was banned from the library.)
A visitor center right behind the boarding house has exhibits from the house and Wolfe’s New York City apartment. If you are really a Thomas Wolfe aficionado, travel to Hendersonville, where you can see the Angel Statue which Wolfe writes about in Look Homeward Angel.It’s in Oakdale Cemetery, on U.S. Highway 64 west, heading out of Hendersonville. You can see the statue from the road.