September 9, 2020



If you are short on pocket change you can pick up at least $1.87 just a short walk from Applewood Manor.  Provided that is, that you are not afraid of the dead! Eight-tenths of a mile from the Manor is the historic Riverside Cemetery.  Inside the Cemetery, up a steep hill, is an unpretentious gravestone. The name carved on the stone is faded from years of exposure to the mountain air. The name is William Sydney Porter, known to short story lovers everywhere as O. Henry. And scattered across the stone and spilling over onto the grass is loose change—thrown there by visitors to the gravesite to make sure there is at least $1.87 on the stone. That is the amount Della had left after paying her bills in O. Henry’s famous story, The Gift of the Magi.

The fact that O. Henry is buried here is somewhat of a mystery since New York was his city.  That is where he got his inspiration and did his writing. However, the train made travel between the two cities rather routine. Asheville was the home of his second wife, Sara Coleman. The two were estranged but often visited between the two cities.  The famed short story author died at 47. His wife, Sara, lived until age ninety-one and is buried beside him. 

Asheville has been called many things—weirdest, happiest, quirkiest place in America, Santa Fe of the East, New Age Capital of the World, Paris of the South, Beer City USA, Most Haunted, Sky City and others. It has many secrets, mysteries, and legends—some factual, some alleged, some exaggerated and some just plain lies.


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O HENRY, The Applewood Manor

62 Cumberland Circle, Asheville, NC 28801 | 828-254-2244 | contact@applewoodmanor.com

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