Back on the summit of Paris Mountain

Today, I went back to the summit on Paris Mountain to find some stone steps. In On the summit of Paris Mountain, Tom commented:
Right after you turn onto Tower Road, just at the first bend there is an old set of stone steps. I think this is part of the grounds for the Altamont Hotel.
Tower Road didn't go up to the summit as it does now, as this snippet from the 1935 USGS quad map over Paris Mountain confirms.

Snippet from 1935 USGS map

Tower Road was extended to the summit sometime between the 1935 USGS map and this 1959 USGS quad map.

Snippet from 1959 USGS quad map

Visitors must have reached the hotel some other way. Those steps may have been on a path providing one way to reach the hotel.

I didn't notice those steps off Tower Road the first time when I went up in my car because those tight turns demand attention. I went back today once the clouds thinned enough for the sun to peek out. Sure enough, at the first bend is an old set of stone steps.

Steps to path
Steps at first bend on Tower Road

I followed the faint path in hopes of finding more ruins, and sure enough I found a second set of steps.

Well covered second set of steps
Apparently, I was on the right path, so to speak, so I kept going. Further along, inside a brier path patch I found what's left of a bed of bricks.

Brick path
Bricks in front of third set of steps
Just a few more feet down the path but still inside the brier patch, I encountered a third set of steps, well covered with leaves and thickets.

<Stone rubble
Third set of steps
Unfortunately, beyond the third set of steps, the path became too faint to follow.

Stone wall
That's all folks

So I detoured over to the nearby road which also appears to be quite old. Could that road also have been used to reach the hotel?
Stone wall on the roadside
I followed the road up the side the mountain until it too became indistinct when it gets near an old rusty fence.

Old fence
Rusty fence posts
This road appears to be used these days only to maintain a Duke Power right-of-way. Was it used to access the hotel? I've searched this property's and neighboring property's plat surveys and unfortunately none I've found show the hotel or a road leading to it. So I can't be sure.

Too late for my earlier story, I found a newspaper article worth quoting. The July 7, 1893 The News and Courier has a letter by W. E. Johnstone disputing something said about the Altamont Hotel. In the letter, he provides a nice description of the interior of the  hotel.
The rooms are large and airy and could not be better ventilated and are all plastered, painted, etc. There is pure spring water and bath rooms on each floor throughout the house. ... There are nine hundred feet of gallery for the pleasure of the guests, one hundred of whom can be accommodated. 


  • On the Mountaintop from the July 7, 1893 The News and Courier. A letter to the editor by W. E. Johnstone


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