Chicken Supper at 6pm - Music at 7pm.
Transylvania County has so many interesting people, places and things and as part of the celebration we would like to create a list of a 150 Things You May Not Know About Transylvania County. We have started our 150 Things list but need your help.
Do you have some tidbit or obscure fact about the county that not everyone knows? Is there an interesting person that has made some kind of contribution to the county, a rare flower or bird that lives in this county or anything else that should go on our list.
We would like to add at least 3 things to our list every week. If you have something you would like to add, please email it to email@example.com. Include your contact information and in the subject line please title it 150 Things.
150 Things You May Not Know About Transylvania County.
There are at least 105 named waterfalls (click here to download list) in Transylvania County. Some have been known by different names at different times. At least 10 have been known as “Mill Shoals” or have Mill Shoals as part of their name. Presumably a mill was located at each of these at some time in the past.
Adams, Kevin. North Carolina Waterfalls: A Hiking and Photograph Guide. Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, 2005.
Adams, Kevin. North Carolina Waterfalls: Where to Find Them How To Photograph Them. Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, 1994.
Boyd, Brian. Waterfalls of the Southern Appalachians, 2nd Ed. Clayton, GA: Fern Creek Press, 1993.
Regan, Neil. Great Waterfalls of North Carolina: A Guide for Hikers, Photographers, and Waterfall Enthusiasts. Boone, NC: Parkway Publishers, Inc., 2010.
Regan, Neil. Spectacular Waterfalls of North Carolina: A Guide for Discovery and Photography. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2008.
Tinsley, Jim Bob. The Land of Waterfalls, Transylvania County, North Carolina. Brevard, NC: Jim Bob and Dottie Tinsley, 198 8.
There are 94 marked graves in 27 cemeteries that date prior to the formation of Transylvania County on February 15, 1861 (click here to download list).
Monteith, Frankie. Transylvania County, N.C. Cemetery Survey. Brevard, NC: F. Monteith, 1984.
Since January 1, 1950 there have been 3 official tornadoes recorded in Transylvania County. A F1 tornado was reported at 4:00 pm on April 3, 1974.
A F2 tornado was reported at 9:30 pm on January 10, 1975.
A F0 tornado was reported at 2:00 pm on June 20, 1984.
The Tornado Project. http://www.tornadoproject.com/
Transylvania County covers 379 square miles. Over one third (136 square miles) of Transylvania County is National Forest land area.
The lowest elevation in Transylvania County is 1265 feet above sea level. The highest elevation is 6045 feet above sea level.
The average temperature in January is 37.9 F and in June it is 71.9 F. The average rainfall is 80" and the average snowfall is 6.2".
Base on 2008 information the population of Transylvania is County is 30,998, City of Brevard is 7,055 and Town of Rosman is 586.
The French Broad River is the third oldest river in the world. The river begins west of the Eastern Continental Divide, and therefore actually flows northwest through the Appalachian Mountains.
The first Europeans in what is today Transylvania County included explorers, trappers, traders and hunters. The first Europeans living here where considered "squatters" because they did not own or rent the land.
Surveyors and Land Speculators came to the area in the late 1700s. Most of these large landowners, including Charles McDowell, William Paxton, David Allison and Joseph Dodson never actually lived in what was to become Transylvania County.
There were not any Revolutionary War Service Grants given for Land that is in NC today. Land Grants were purchased, although at very low rates.
The first Land Grant toa resident settler in what is today Transylvania County was to James Davidson in 1783.
Early settlers to teh area came from Virginia, South Carolina and Pennsylvania. They were descendents of earlier immigrants from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland and other European countries, as well as slaves from Africa.
The fireplace hearth stone from early settler, Benjamin Davidson's home is in the narthex of the Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church today.
The Estatoe Path ran between Cherokee settlements in the mountains of WNC and Estatoe, S. C. passing through present day Transylvania County.
Early in the 1790's the local Militia Company was ordered to build a "wagon road" following near the estatoe path from the Swannanoa River to Mills River to the Davidson River.
In 1792, Lambert Clayton's Militia was ordered to build a road from the Catawba Trail (near Flat Rock) through Crab Creek and Little River to teh Estatoe Ford at the Davidson River. This was known as the Crab Creek Path.
The first known church in the county was a Presbyterian church known as Mamre. It was located in the Dunn's Rock area in 1798. The first minister was Samuel Davis.
Early Baptist churches included Cathey's Creek. New Prospect, Blue Ridge, Little River, East Fork and Macedonia.
John Gillespie settled in the East Fork area at the end of the eighteenth century. He was the first of three generations of rifle makers in the area. Early Gillespie Rifles were flintlocks, after 1825 they were percussion cap fired.
In the early 1800s NC and Georgia went to war over a 12 mile strip of land. This was known as the Walton Ware. The area was once known as Walton County, Georgia. Today it is part of Transylvania County.
Around 1815 Benjamin Allison built a 3-room Federal style home in the Davidson River area. After William Deaver purchased the home and property he doubled the size of the home and later added double proches. Today the Allison-Deaver House is the oldest standing frame home west of the Blue Ridge.
Davidson River Acadamy was the first school in the area in 1824. Students were taught classics, elementary reading, writing and algebra. Their parents paid tuition for them to receive an education.
Early mills ground corn, wheat, rye and other grains for both human and animal consumption. Water wheels also turned machinery to cut lumber, make furniture, turn iron ore into iron bars, card wool, produce corn whiskey, cider and fruit brandies and later to generate electricity.
In 1850 Charles Moore, James W. Patton and Thomas Miller contracted with George Shuford to build a forge and mill on the Davidson River. Iron ore was hauled from Boylston Creek to make iron bars, which were sent to Asheville to be made into goods. During the Civil War was operated by the Confederacy. It closed shortly after the Civil War.
Wedding in the Middle of the Road:
John Roads, age 30, of Henderson county married Nancy D. Puckerton, age 28, in Boyd Township December 8, 1872. Married by Justice of Peace, J.C. Owenby. Witnesses: B. H. West, J. R. Gray, and E. S. Galyon. The bride wanted to be married in Transylvania County, but the exact line separating the counties was not clear, so they decided to marry in the public road. Take note of the date. Blantyre was not yet named at the time.
Source: Registered at the Transylvania County Courthouse
Wedding on the Blantyre Bridge:
Evelyn Alexander of Brevard married Will Norman on the Blantyre Bridge on September 29, 1922. Married by Rev. C. E. Blythe. Witnesses: Mrs. Carle Blythe, Minnie Newton, and D. C. Blythe. Probably chose the bridge for the same reason as above.
Source: Registered at the Transylvania County Courthouse
The first post office in present day Transylvania County was Claytonville in 1806. The postmaster was Lambert Clayton. At the time this area was part of Buncombe County.
The first day of officials from the newly formed Transylvania County met was May 20, 1861 -- the same day NC ceded from the union.
Transylvania's first officials included: George orr, County Court Clerk; Robert Hamilton, Sheriff; James W. Clayton, Coroner; J.J. Wilson, Register; James Hamlin, Entry Taker; W. P. Poor, County Trustee; A. B. D. Allison, County Ranger; A. W. Beck, Standard Keeper; W. L. Love, County Solicitor.
Brevard was named for Ephriam Brevard, a Revolutionary War doctor from the Charlotte area. Brevard purportedly drafted and signed the Mecklenburg Declaration on May 20, 1775. This was a predecessor to the Declaration of Independence and the first declaration of independence from the crown of England.
Braxton Lankford, Leander Gash & Alexander England selected the site and donated the property for Transyvania's county seat, Brevard.
Brevard originally had a town square. Broad Street ended at the town square and did not continue down "Jail House Hill".
Early Sanborn Fire Insurance maps show that the Fire Department and Street Department were located beside the courthouse in the middle of what is now North Broad Street.
The first Transylvania County courthouse was a two-story wooden structure on the northwest corner of the town square. It was constructed by George Clayton and Ephriam England. In 1881 the current brick courthouse was completed on the northeast corner of the town square.
The courthouse tower originally had stars on the faces. As early as 1911 there was an effort to raise money for clocks by showing moving pictures at the courthouse. Although the clocks did not actually replace the stars until 1984.
On June 23, 1874 the Corps of Army Engineers were authorized to survey the French Broad River in hopes of making it navigable by steamboat. The Mountain Lily steamboat traveled between KIng's Bridge in Henderson County and Wilson's Bridge in Transylvania County in the ealry 1880s. Her run was short-lived when a heavy rain storm tore her loose from her mooring and marooned her on a sand bar near King's Bridge.
The Transylvania Pioneer was Transylvanaia County's first newspaper in 1887-1888. The publisher left town when "hoodlums" ransacked the office. Newspapers to follow included The French Broad Voice, The Western North Carolina Republican, The Transylvania Hustle, The Brevard Hustle, The Sylvan Valley News, The Brevard News and The Transylvania Times.
The railroad reached Brevard in 1894. Brevard's original depot burned in November 1913. A nearly identical structure replaced in in July 1914. Passenger service ended in 1968. The depot was torn down in 1981.
The McMinn building, built by Nathan McMinn, was the first commercial brick building in Brevard. It is proably the building withthe least amount of interior changes in downtown Brevard. This is largely due to the fact that McMinn family descendants still own the building.
The Franklin Hotel, which stood where Brevard-Davidson Rive Presbyterian Church is today, was built by J. Frances Hayes in exchange for Brevard extending the railraod to Lake Toxaway. Hayes also built Toxaway Inn.
From 1905-19-11 money invested in Transylvania Schools rose from $5,542 to $32,807 under the leadership of Superintendent T. C. Henderson. Eleven schools were built, including the first high school in Brevard.
Brevard Cotton Mill was built in 1906 by a group of Brevard businessmen on Whitmire St. They made industrial yarn and had as many as 50 employees in their heyday. In the 1920s the name was changed to Sapphire Cotton Mill and owned by Charles & Joe Pickelsimer. From th 1930s until 1960 when it closed, the mill was known as Pisgah Mill and owned by E. W. Montgomery.
The dam at the Cascade Power Company on Little River was completed in 1909. It provided power for the Brevard Cotton Mill, Brevard Power & Light and an Etowah brick plant.
George Hudgins lived at and operated the Cascade Power Company for over 44 years. He only left the plant for more than 3 hours at a time twice during that time.
Logging operationrs were run throughout Transylvania County by Joseph Silversteen, Louis Carr, Carl Moltz and Eugene Shaffer. Shaffer's operation logged the rugged area south of Rosman from 1901 until about 1917.
In the early 1900s Brevard Power & Light provided free power to the city, churches, widows and the poor. For those who did pay for their power the meter reader would read the meter once a month, then hold office on the bench outside the barber shop where customers stopped by to pay their bill.
Joseph Silversteen's businesses included Toxaway Tanning Company, Gloucester Lumber Company, Rosman Tanning & Extract and the Gloucester Company Store in Rosman and Transylvania Tanning in Brevard.
Louis carr purchased the timber rights of nealry 70,000 acres in what is now the Pisgah National Forest from George Vanderbilt in 1912. He built a logging, lumbering and railroad empire in Pisgah Forest with 500+ employees. It closed down in 1957.
Motz Lumber operated from 1916 until the late 1930s. It was unique in that they harvested hemlock trees for a profit, something no one logging company in the South was able to do.
Brevard Tanning operated ouf of Pisgah Forest from 1903-1911. They process the tanning from chestnut trees to tanneries.
In the early 1900s Rosman suffered froma an identity crisis with multiple name changes. Finally in 1904, Joseph Silversteen settled the matter by selecting Rosman as the town name using the names of two of his business associates, Joseph Rosenthal and MorrisOrmansky.
The French Broad Camp for Boys on the French Broa River near the Wilson Bridge on the Greenville Highway was the first summer camp in Transylvania County. It opened in 1913.
The Weeks Act of 1911 lead to protection of the eastern watersheds from further development and exploitation, began the long-term effort to replant and restore the eastern forests. The Pisgah National Forest was created in 1916.
Calvert Prison Camp was built north of Rosman, in the Calvert area, in the 1930s.
In the 1930's CCC camps were located Balsam Grove, at John's Rock and where Blue Ridge Community College is today. They did some logging, planted trees and built roads, bridges and fire lookout tower in the Pisgah National Forest.
WPA projects in the county included road construction, running the library and a sewing room, building Pisgah Forest Elementary School (Davidson River School today), the rock wall at Brevard College, the Brevard Golf Club (Hickory House on Country Club Rd.), and the mural that originally hung in the old Post Office and is now in the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room at the Transylvania County Library.
Lyday Memorial Hospital was founded by Dr. Newland & Dr. Cunningham in the Norwood House on Probart Street in 1933.
Before Ecusta was built the Davidson River was rerouted to provide more direst access to the plant.
The first Bookmobile service was January 15, 1940.