Despite its multi-faceted economy of today, Asheville has had a turbulent economic past characterized by explosive booms, crushing busts, and long-term malaise in the years after the Great Depression. Over the last century, many factors contributed to Asheville's revival and current economic security.
One of the most visible was the arrival of the Blue Ridge Parkway after the 1930s, a development that its most prominent supporters argued would revive related tourism and hospitality industries, which had boomed in the 1920s and crashed during the Great Depression. But was it the most significant? To what degree did the Blue Ridge Parkway contribute to Asheville's post-Depression recovery?
This story will explore the history of Asheville, largely through the lens of its relationship to the Blue Ridge Parkway, allowing the reader to entertain these questions by considering the information and primary resources provided.