Valley Rewind: Andrews Geyser, 1947
As the weather continues to warm up in the Valley, many of us are heading outside to explore the attractions Western North Carolina has to offer. This ca. 1947 photograph from the Swannanoa Valley Museum's David Rozzell Collection features one spot that should be added to your sightseeing list - Andrews Geyser in Old Fort. The geyser, which is a massive artificial fountain, was created as a dramatic tourist attraction during the early years of the Western North Carolina Railroad around 1885. Passengers of the WNCR thoroughly enjoyed gazing at the man-made geyser as they made their journey crossing the Eastern Continental Divide. However, after a fire destroyed the hotel located next to the fountain in 1903, Andrew's Geyser fell into disrepair. In 1911, New York banker and philanthropist George Fisher Baker rescued it and had it redesigned and moved across Mill Creek. At that time it was named in honor of his friend and Southern Railroad’s vice president, Alexander Boyd Andrews. In 1975, Andrews Geyser was deeded by Southern Railway to the town of Old Fort, which restored and rededicated it a year later. It is now part of a town park.