Andrews Geyser, Old Fort

#3 of 8 in Things to do in Old Fort
Andrews Geyser is a man-made fountain in Old Fort, North Carolina in McDowell County. The fountain is named for Colonel Alexander Boyd Andrews, a North Carolina native who was the Vice President of the Southern Railway Company and one of the men responsible for the construction of the railroad between Old Fort and Asheville, North Carolina, in the late 19th century. The fountain was constructed in 1885 with a dual purpose: it was a feature of the Round Knob Hotel, and a tribute to the approximately 120 men who died building the railroad through this particularly treacherous stretch of land, that culminates with the crossing of the Eastern Continental Divide through the Swannanoa Tunnel. The fountain was said to be eye-catching for railroad passengers ascending the 13 miles of track and seven tunnels that peaks at the top of Swannanoa Gap because it could be seen several times along the route.
The Round Knob Hotel burned to the ground in 1903, and the fountain fell into disrepair. In 1911, George Fisher Baker, a wealthy New York financier and philanthropist who had been friends with Colonel Andrews, funded its restoration. The Southern Railway Company did not grant continuation of the easement for the fountain at that time, so a new, five-sided basin was constructed about 70 yards across Mill Creek, and the piping and nozzle were moved (to the fountain's current location). The town of Old Fort was given rights to the basin and the pipe that carries the water, and the fountain was formally named Andrews Geyser.
The town of Old Fort continues to use Andrews Geyser and the surrounding area as a public park. Andrews Geyser underwent extensive restoration again in the 1970s, and was rededicated on May 6, 1976. Signs at the park describe Mr. Fisher's role in the early 20th century and the role of Old Fort's private citizens in the 1970s in keeping the fountain running.
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Andrews Geyser Reviews
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63 reviews
  • We stopped here on our way home from camping . It was a cool place with lots of history and the geyser was cool to see  more »
  • Visited on a Thursday ... had area to myself... geyser is shooting high and the gentle mist created moves over the grassy grounds in waves as the wind blows. Neat stone "chair" that I enjoyed sitting in even at my age! Informative and interesting historical plaques.... peaceful with no one else there.
  • Interesting location, definitely off-the-beaten-path. Unique valley that offers some interesting sound acoustics as trains pass through. My Paranormal and Weird News Podcast, CreepGeeks, recently did an episode and video regarding the weird construction and layout of the Geyser with it's accompanying stone structures (they are laid out in a very specific method). Would like to come back later in the evening and see if the "vibe" changes.

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