Hortense Roberts Pattison of Asheville was the inspiration for the character of Sheba in Thomas Wolfe's LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL. One of Wolfe's early teachers, Pattison first read his work in 1911. She died at the age of eighty-seven.
Unflattering portrayals of locals in writings such as Look Homeward, Angel, was a roadblock on the journey toward Wolfe’s native son level recognition. It was also after Wolfe’s death that his childhood home, pictured, became a major tourist attraction.