The earliest of the true artists of photography to discover Highlands was John Bundy, who arrived from Indiana in August, 1883, to live with Joshua Hadley in the recently vacated Dimick house on East Main. For the next two months, beginning with a photograph of Highlands House, he took views of the new village and its surroundings-including street scenes; the mountains of Satulah, Fodderstack, and Whiteside; and Glen and Cullasaja (Dry) Falls. These he put on exhibition for the public at Henry Bascom's store.
Bundy's successor in Highlands was R. Henry Scadin, a 25-year-old photographer and fruit grower who came to North Carolina with his wife Kate in 1886 after living in Michigan and Vermont. He kept meticulous diaries of his life from 1886 to 1921, which Kate and his son Dewey continued until five years after his death in Vermont in 1923.
With the eye of a genuine artist, he photographed the local scenery and people near the present towns of Brevard, Tryon, Saluda, Sapphire, and Asheville, extending as far west as Highlands. Since 1989, the University of North Carolina at Asheville has collected 1,200 of his glass plate negatives, covering 1889-1920, in its D. H. Ramsey Special Collection, including 43 manuscripts of his own diaries and five of his wife's and son's.
Over 50 of these photographs focus on Highlands and vicinity. He captured sights of Whiteside Cove and Whiteside Mountain, Shortoff and Satulah mountains, Horse Cove, Glen Falls, Dry Falls, and Lower Cullasaja Falls that few photographers since have been able to surpass for their perspective and composition as well as graphic detail. In 1897 he put together some "combination views" for a booklet of Highlands and made his photographs available through stores in town.
Many of Scadin's subsequent Highlands scenes he photographed during 1897 and 1898, despite frequent colds and periods of homesickness that left him physically debilitated and mentally depressed. Beginning in 1907 he converted a number of his photos into hand-colored postcards. He added street scenes and panoramic views in 1910.
By 1913 poor health had begun to take its toll. Accustomed to walking between Highlands and Whiteside Cove, Horse Cove, Franklin, and Sapphire, Scadin complained at age fifty-two that the treks had become very tiring. "I will have to give up such tramps before long as I find them very hard for me to do now," he lamented in his diary. He moved for his health from Amherst, Massachusetts, to Dana, N.C. And receiving no further orders for Highlands cards, he destroyed the glass negatives rather than transport them with him.
His most productive period on the Highlands plateau spanned sixteen years from 1896 to 1912, and many of his masterpieces are still circulated today as copies of those originals that once sold as individual pictures, postcards, booklets, and calendars.
John Bundy took this photo of Main Street Highlands looking east from the 3rd Street intersection ca. 1884. To the right are T. Baxter White's home and post office, John Arthur's home through the trees, Annie Dimick's Cheap Cash Store, and C. L. Martin's Meat Market. Two well-dressed men in top hats stand out from a crowd of men. Baxter Wilson's store is on the left. Not visible are Highlands Inn on the far left and Central House on the far right.
This photo of Whiteside Mountain, as seen from the Bowery, is framed by 2 trees in sepia by Henry Scadin. It was taken ca. 1910. Whiteside's cliffs, ca. 1,800 feet, are the highest east of the Rockies.
Lower Sugar Fork Falls, 1898, was later called lower Cullasaja Falls. Barak Wright stands left of center with his wife Maggie on his right. After his first wife, Virginia, died, he married Margaret Louise "Maggie" Phillips, Jan. 18, 1888. [To see them both, click the Zoom button above] Photo by Henry Scadin.
Mill Creek Bridge and pond, built in 1886 over John Jay Smill's mill dam at north 4th Street. Satulah Mountain stands in the background. Will Cleaveland's planing mill and office and Alexander "Alex" P. Alexander's home (later William Sullivan's), which was completed in 1909, are on the left. On the right is the first Highlands School, built in 1878 by Arthur House and replaced in 1919 by the Town Clock School on the hill. Photo by Henry Scadin in 1912.
Main Street Highlands, looking east, in 1910. T. Baxter White's post office and home are on the right. On the left are Hiram Paul's dry goods store, Sinle Hood's quarters, W. T. Potts' livery stable, William B. Cleaveland's grocery, H. M. Bascom's hardware store, and Highlands House (now Highlands Inn). Photo by Henry Scadin.
Photographer Henry Scadin took this photo of Glen Falls in dark sepia. Originally named Ahmihcahlahlagah (also called Omakaluka or Oumekeloke) Falls over Overflow Creek, it was renamed by Jonathan Heacock (pronounced Hay-cock) Glen Falls, after a lovely waterfall in his home state of Pennsylvania.
Photographer John Bundy took this photo of Central House in 1883. One of Highlands' first boarding houses, it was built n 1878 and is now on the National Register. Owner Joseph Halleck replaced the wire fence in front with a picket fence in 1884. The building was owned by John Norton before it passed to David Norton in 1888, Rev. W. T. Potts in 1905, the Edwards family in 1913, and has been Madison's Restaurant of Old Edwards Inn and Spa since 2004.
This hand-colored photo of Highlands Falls was made by photographer R. Henry Scadin in 1898. Once a short side trip from the Kelsey Trail, the Falls are today near the 16th hole of the Highlands Falls Country Club.