From the Richmond Dispatch, 7/26/1864, p.1, c 5
Tournament at Ashland – has Advantages as a Place of Resort, etc. – a few days since the inhabitants of this delightful little village and the adjoining neighborhood were enlivened by the exhibition of a tournament which was gotten up by the young men of that section. The successful knight on the occasion was Mr Edgar Thompson, the telegraph operator at Ashland; but, on account of the same success having attended his equestrian performances on several similar occasions, he waived the right to choose the queen in favor of a young Confederate Captain who was a guest and participant at the tournament. Among the concourse of pretty girls who were present the Captain felt considerable embarrassment in selecting his queen but finally conferred the distinction upon Miss Rosa Brown, who was crowned amid the smiles and approbation of all who witnessed it. After the tilting match was over, the gay party adjourned to the hotel, where refreshments were bounteously served up, and then terpsichorean enjoyments were kept up till the “wee small hours.”
Notwithstanding the recent visits to Ashland which have been made by the Yankee troops, and the depredations by fire and robbery which they have perpetrated upon its citizens, there is still a cheerfulness and thriftiness in the appearance of every person and everything that you see, which is pleasing to behold. The cottages are generally of the better order and surrounded as they nearly all are by beautiful shade trees, and flower gardens in front, it is impossible to conceive of a more pleasant place to sojourn during the spring and summer months. There are two little churches, in which services are held every Sabbath by some denomination, any of whom are permitted to occupy their pulpits; besides a Masonic hall, pleasure gardens, etc., and it is also in contemplation among the young ladies and gentlemen of the place to organize a Thespian corps. Of an afternoon, as the sun begins to decline in the west, the finely graveled walks, which extend from one end of the village to the other, are crowded with gay promenading parties of young girls and elderly matrons, which healthy amusement is generally indulged in till the twinkling stars in the heavens show forth in all their brilliancy.
About the hotel it is needless to say much, as all who have been its guest are enthusiastic in sounding its praise. The handsome edifice was put up at a time when every material for the construction of a first-class cottage hotel could be obtained, and neither pains nor expense were spared by the enterprising projector of the place. Under the management of Mr. John Perry, nothing is left undone to make the time spent there by his guest agreeable and comfortable. His table is as well supplied as any other hotel in the South, while the sleeping accommodations are of a character which never tail to ensure sound slumbers and pleasant dreams. Mr. P himself is affable and attentive, and his servants are well trained; in fact, nothing is left undone to make his customers enjoy themselves. Not unfrequently a fine band of cotillon music is employed by him, when his ballroom is thrown open to all in the village who wish to indulge in the innocent pastime of “tripping the light fantastic toe.”
Trains leave this city for Ashland twice a day, so that parties can visit that place without much interruption from business. A trip there is recommended.