The legendary Cloudland Hotel was built atop Roan Mountain in 1885, garnering its name from the fact that clouds, almost 75 percent of the time, enshrouded the mountain. Union General John T. Wilder, who had moved to Tennessee after his tenure in the Civil War, built the enormous structure as a haven for flatlanders with health issues such as hay-fever. The mountain also provided a respite from the relentless heat of the summer months off the mountain, not to mention the chance to enjoy the majestic rhododendron gardens of which the mountain is still famous today. The 166-room structure was not the first lodge to be built atop the Roan. In 1877, Wilder had constructed a twenty-room refuge for those who were looking for the cleaner air the higher elevations offered. However, the imposing three-story lodge became the place of legend. Literature from the era touted the fact that 100 mountaintop peaks could be viewed without leaving the porches of the hotel. And the Cloudland was one of the few places in the world in which you can actually see your shadow in the fog. “The air is full of electricity, with its health-giving influence…There are no snakes, no mosquitoes, and none of the little pests that crawl in the night and fly in the noonday.” Charles Dudley Warner, while writing about the comfortable accommodations at the Cloudland, also said “it (the hotel) rocked like a ship on at sea when the wind blew.” This, in part, would ultimately lead to the to the grand old hotel’s demise. One of the more humorous legends from the hotel besides the fact that there was supposedly only one bathroom for the entire hotel, was the white line drawn down the middle of the dining room floor. The building sat on the North Carolina-Tennessee state line. Alcohol was legally served on the Tennessee side, but not in North Carolina. If you were caught indulging in Mitchell County, it was said that the sheriff would be there waiting for you. Maintenance of the massive structure on the harsh, high elevation, North Carolina mountaintop became too much of a strain and the hotel was abandoned in 1910. Wind, snow, and rain quickly took their toll and by 1915 the hotel was falling to the ground. Today, little remains of the hotel other than a forest service marker providing information about the hotel’s glorious heyday.