N. Highland, Asheville, and Dr. Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic
by Brian Gross, Communications Committee
I recently stumbled across a 9-month-old post about a house for sale at 811 N. Highland. Built in 1911, 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and a carriage house. It’s said to have belonged to a St. Louis doctor, Dr. Edwin Wiley Grove. Dr. Grove was a self-made millionaire most famous for “Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic”, which contained quinine but without the bitter taste. Some sources claim that by 1890 more Grove’s tonic was sold than Coca-Cola.
Dr. Grove’s tonic riches enabled him to buy real estate. Here in our ‘hood, in 1912, he developed what is now Atkins Park (the three “Saint” streets east of N. Highland). Originally “St. Louis Park” (Grove lived in St. Louis), he changed it to Atkins Park to honor a family friend and mentor, Col. Atkins – a man who had served both in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as the Confederate Congress.
In northwest Atlanta along what was until recently Bankhead Highway, Grove developed the streetcar suburb of “Fortified Hills”, later renamed Grove Park, where the now hard-scrabble streets are named after Grove’s daughters.
Grove was active in developing hotels in Asheville, North Carolina. You may have been to the beautiful Grove Park Inn, dedicated by Williams Jennings Bryan and where seven presidents have slept. Connecting the historical dots can lead you to some unexpected places!