The first issue of The Negro Motorist Green Book was published in 1937. At that time, it was a 15-page guide to make traveling safer in the state of New York for Black tourists. 

The Green Book included safety checklists and driving do’s and don’ts as well as advertisements for repair shops, restaurants, beauty parlors, and hotels that were vetted for Black travelers. The 1940 edition was the first to include Asheville businesses. It featured two hotels—The Savoy Hotel and the Booker T. Washington Hotel (later renamed James-Keys Hotel)—as well as Butler’s Beauty Shop, Wilkin’s Garage, Wilson’s Barber Shop, Wilson’s Tavern, and The Palace Grille.

By 1957, Mrs. S. Foster’s Tourist Home at 88 Clingman Avenue was listed in the renamed Negro Travelers’ Green Book as a safe space for Black travelers to stay overnight.

Laura Jo Foster, a member of the Ladies’ Auxiliary for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, offered her home to tourists through the Green Book until she died in 1967. After she died, the home remained a hub for the community, hosting meetings of the Asheville City Federation of Negro Women’s Club from 1969 to 1980. Today, the home continues to be a private, single-family residence.

The Do Drop In Barber Shop at 4 Eagle Street was added to the Green Book in 1960 and was known as the place for the “best haircut in town.” That same year, Hendersonville, North Carolina—a town 20 miles south of Asheville—had its first listing in the Green Book. Hollis T. and Ozzie M. Landrum operated the Landina Guest House at 710 1st Avenue West which was advertised as “rooms with private bath (and) meals that satisfy.” The house still stands today.

The final edition of the Green Book was published in 1967 and included international destinations such as Europe, Asia, Mexico, and several Caribbean destinations.