Valley Rewind: French Broad River, 1906
This ca. 1906 photograph shows stunning views of the French Broad River flowing through the city of Asheville from Richmond Hill. From its beginning in Transylvania County to the border of Tennessee, the French Broad River is about 70 miles in length in N.C. alone, making it the largest watercourse in Western North Carolina. One of the oldest rivers in the world, dating anywhere from 260-325 million years old, the French Broad has a very rich history. The Cherokee names for the French Broad River vary, but the most common was Tah-kee-os-tee, meaning ‘‘racing waters.’’ The English originally knew it as the Broad River — the way it was written on a 1766 "Map of Indian Nations." By 1776, however, the word ‘‘French’’ had been added following the French occupation of much of the territory west of the Blue Ridge. Today, you can enjoy the French Broad River in a multitude of ways including, but not limited to, tubing, fishing, or enjoying a meal at one of the many restaurants located on its waterfront.