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Asheville, named after North Carolina Governor Samuel Ashe, was incorporated as a town in 1797. Previously, the area had been settled primarily by Irish immigrants after the Revolutionary War. Before it was incorporated, the settlement was known as Morristown. The city was largely isolated because of its location in the mountains. This changed in the 1880s when the city was connected to the rest of civilization by means of railroads.
Around this time, George Washington Vanderbilt II build his country estate, Biltmore, patterned after French chateaux. At 175,000 square feet, it is known as the largest private home in the United States. It is still owned by the family, who operate it as a museum.
The 1920s and 30s were a prosperous time for Asheville. Many buildings and residential subdivisions were built during this period. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, two large natural attractions, were developed in the 1930s. With them came a booming tourism industry, and Asheville's reputation as a destination for seekers of natural beauty.
Today, Asheville is a desirable place to live and work because of its strong health care and educational facilities, reliable job market, mild climate, and pristine setting.