Asheville in Buncombe County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
icon; wife of F. Scott
Fitzgerald. On Mar. 10,
1948, died in Highland
Hospital fire, ¼ mi. S.
Erected 2010 by North Carolina Office of Archives and History. (Marker Number P-89.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Women.
Location. 35° 36.665′ N, 82° 33.981′ W. Marker is in Asheville, North Carolina, in Buncombe County. Marker is at the intersection of Broadway (State Highway 1791) and WT Weaver Blvd, on the right when traveling south on Broadway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Asheville NC 28801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Buncombe Turnpike (within shouting distance of this marker); The University of North Carolina at Asheville (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Asheville (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Asheville (approx. 0.4 miles away); Riverside Cemetery Richmond Pearson (approx. 0.7 miles away); 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery (approx. 0.7 miles away); Locke Craig (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Asheville.
Regarding Zelda Fitzgerald. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” The lines from The Great Gatsby are inscribed atop the burials in Rockville, Maryland, of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. In their day celebrities of the first order, they spent much of the 1930s in western North Carolina. She outlived him by eight years.
Daughter of an Alabama State Supreme Court justice, Zelda Sayre married Fitzgerald in 1919. The Great Gatsby appeared in 1925 and it was Fitzgerald himself who dubbed the 1920s the “Jazz Age.” Zelda, whom he called “America’s first flapper,” published a novel, Save the Last Waltz, in 1932. He was an alcoholic and, after 1936, she suffered from schizophrenia. To this day scholars debate the role each had in stifling the other’s creativity.
While staying at the Grove Park Inn in 1936, Zelda Fitzgerald entered Highland Hospital, an exclusive psychiatric clinic
and injection of horse blood into the spinal column. There Zelda, whose symptoms fluctuated, thrived, dedicating time to painting.
After her husband’s death in 1940, she returned to Highland Hospital for three extended stays, averaging six months. She swam, played tennis, went shopping, and regularly visited her mother in Alabama and at her summer home in Saluda. On March 10, 1948, fire swept from the facility’s kitchen through the dumbwaiter to all four floors. Of the twenty resident patients, nine perished. The others were led to safety. Fitzgerald, it is believed, likely died of
smoke inhalation but her remains were indentified by charred slippers. Reports conflict as to whether the doors were locked.
In 1944 Duke University acquired Highland Hospital which ceased operation in the 1980s. The remaining building now houses a diagnostic laboratory. (North Carolina Dept. of Cultural Resources)
Also see . . . Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. ...Shortly after finishing high school, she met F. Scott Fitzgerald at a dance. A whirlwind courtship ensued. ... (Submitted on May 21, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 7, 2018. It was originally submitted on May 21, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,733 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 22, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 4, 5. submitted on May 21, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 6, 7. submitted on January 10, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.