Monday, April 24, 2017

New Building consolidated Times' Operations







Transylvania Times modern facility on North Broad St., 1966.
In 1966 The Transylvania Times renovated the former McCrary Auto on N. Broad St. for their new facility.  The large marquee on the front of McCrary Auto was removed.   The new façade had double plate glass windows and a glass door surrounded by black porcelain panels with aluminum trim giving it a sleek modern appearance.  A new sign with time and temperature greeted motorists coming into and leaving the downtown area on North Broad Street. 

Henry Henderson (seated) enters characters on the linotype machine 
while Joe Freeman, who was also a linotype operator, looks on.
The facility allowed the newspaper to have their offices and printing operation in one location.  Transylvania Times owner, Ed Anderson had purchased the old McCrary Auto building in the 1950s.  In 1962 printing operations were updated and relocated to the lower level of the McCrary building.

The new Goss Comet press could print four, six or eight-pages at a rate of over 3000 per hour.  It also folded the newspapers.  The improved the quality of the Goss Comet allowed for more news stories, more pictures, and improved advertisements.  The previous press had been a hand fed four-page flatbed.

Up until this time the newspaper, which Anderson purchased in 1941, was located in the Times Arcade alley.  Anderson was the publisher until his death in 1958.  At that time, Mrs. Anderson took over as publisher.  Ed Anderson’s brother, John, served as editor from 1941 until he passed away in 1974. 

In 1975 Stella Anderson Trapp, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Anderson, joined the family business.  In 1977 Don and Stella Trapp took over as co-editors of The Transylvania Times. Today Sean and Leigh Trapp are the third generation of the family run business.

Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library.  Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs.  For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at marcy.thompson@transylvaniacounty.org or 828-884-1820.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Silversteen Home Stands Test of time

A three-part Palladian window on the stair landing
allows for plenty of light in Silvermont's large entrance hall.
The Silvermont mansion on East Main Street was the home of Joseph and Elizabeth Silversteen and their three daughters. 

As a young couple, Joseph and Elizabeth Mount Silversteen moved to Transylvania County to begin their life together.  Joseph, a Russian immigrant, had trained and worked as a tanner in Pennsylvania.  He saw an opportunity in tanning and lumbering in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  He started the Toxaway Tanning Company in the town of Toxaway in 1902.  By the time he began Gloucester Lumber Company in 1910 the town had been renamed Rosman.  Silversteen harvested timber from thousands of acres in the western part of the county.  The Silversteen family lived in Rosman for several years.

A baby grand Steinway piano was the central feature in the parlor.
In 1917 Silversteen’s Transylvania Tanning Company opened on the west side of Brevard.  Joseph Silversteen was also involved in other business and community development ventures and was even a part owner of the Franklin Hotel for a short time.  Mr. and Mrs. Silversteen were active in numerous civic organizations.  Their work had a major effect on both the welfare and the economy of the county.

In early 1917 the Silversteen family moved to their new home in Brevard.  Miriam was 12 years old, Dorothy was 11, and Adelaide was 7 at the time.  Their new home was over 10,000 square feet with 33 rooms, including seven bedrooms.  The National Register of Historic Places inventory nomination form describes it as having “an intercom system with a buzzer in every room so the family could ring the maid, an elevator, walk-in closets in every room with automatic lights, seven fireplaces, 12-inch solid concrete support walls, classic bathrooms with the typical pedestal sinks.”

The sitting room was to the right as guests entered.
When Dorothy, the last family member, died in 1972 she willed Silvermont and the surrounding 8 acres to the county “as a recreation and community center for the benefit of the citizens of Transylvania County.”  In 2011, a House Museum reflecting the era and lifestyle of the Silversteen family was created on the 2nd floor through volunteer efforts.  The Silvermont House Museum is open on the third Friday afternoon of each month.  It will be open Friday, April 21, 2:00-4:00 pm.





The dining room furniture, along with other Silversteen family pieces,
are showcased in the Silvermont House Museum.
Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library.  Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs.  For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at marcy.thompson@transylvaniacounty.org or 828-884-1820.



Monday, April 10, 2017

Brevard Businesses Were Quite Varied



A 1955 Brevard laundromat.
For the past several weeks Picturing the Past has been featuring photographs from inside some of Brevard’s businesses.  Drug stores, restaurants, barber and beauty shops, department stores, furniture stores, and jewelry shops have all been covered.  There are a few photographs that don’t fit any one type of business but that should not be left out so this week’s photographs are a mix.

In the mid-1900s laundromats became a vital part of every community.  Staffed laundry businesses offered washing, drying, and folding service.  Self-service laundries provided coin-operated washers and dryers for the customers’ use.  Transylvania County has had numerous laundromats through the years.  The photograph here is dated 1955.  Citizen’s Telephone directories for 1955 listed five laundromats—Brevard Laundry & Coal Company on Whitmire St., Micy’s Laundry on King St., Nu Way Cleaners on N. Caldwell St., Superior Cleaners of W. Main St., and The Launderette on S. Broad St.

Tankersley Florist.
The next photograph is inside Tankersley’s Florist shop on West Main St.  Quay and Etta Tankersley began their floral business in the old Clayton Hotel on the northwest corner of Main and Caldwell streets in 1939.  When the Clayton Hotel was turned down they moved into the one-story brick building beside it.  Over the years they would move two more times, each time just one door west of their previous shop.  The Tankersleys officially retired in 1966 when their daughter and son-in-law, Marie and Herbert Henson, purchased the business.  In 1970 the Hensons added a gift shop and sold candles, crystal, china, and pottery along with fresh and artificial flowers and wreaths.  Tankersley’s Florist closed in 1999.

Jeannette and Pat Austin at Austin's Studio.
This week’s last photograph is Jeanette and Pat Austin inside Austin’s Studio on E. Main St.  The Austin family owned and operated Austin’s Studio in Brevard for 73 years.  The Austins donated hundreds of photographs and negatives to the archives to serve as a historical record of Transylvania County.  They have been preserved and scanned for current and future generations to enjoy. 

Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library.  Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs.  For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at marcy.thompson@transylvaniacounty.org or 828-884-1820.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Aethelwold and Franklin Were Top Hotels


In the first decade of the 20th century Brevard had two large hotels, plus numerous small hotels and boarding houses. 

John McMinn built the Aethelwold Hotel on the corner of Main and Broad streets around 1900.  It could accommodate close to 100 guests and offered all the modern services with a café, grocer, barber shop, and other amenities on the main floor.  The rooms were large and sunny and afforded a view of the town and the mountains beyond. 

The main entrance to the Waltermire Hotel Lobby
was on the west side of the building from Broad Street.
The hotel reportedly cost over $30,000 to construct.  After McMinn died in 1918 his heirs sold the property at auction to Thomas W. Whitmire for $22,550.  Whitmire renamed it the Waltermire Hotel in memory of his son Walter, who died in 1919. 

Whitmire served as Brevard’s mayor three different times for a total of 14 years.  He owned several different businesses including a dry goods store, a grocery, and Whitmire Motor Company in both Asheville and Brevard.    Whitmire also had a connection to Brevard’s other large hotel, the Franklin.

The spacious lobby of the Franklin Hotel
offered comfortable seating areas for guests.
The Franklin Hotel, built by J. Frances Hays about 1900 on East Main St., was surrounding by an expansive lawn, acres of trees, a bridal path, and a small lake.  The large Y shaped building included a 20-foot wide veranda where guests could enjoy the cool summer evenings.  The hotel occupancy was approximately 150.  It had 60 rooms, most with private baths. 

In 1909 Hays sold the hotel and 80 acres to the Franklin Park Improvement Company for about $35,000.  Thomas W. Whitmire was one of the partners in this company.  They laid out lots and streets and began the development of the area around the hotel.  In 1911 they sold the Franklin Hotel and eight and a half acres to new owners.

A few homes were constructed on the reminder of the property at that time but it was not until the mid-1940s that the Franklin St. area really began to develop.  In 1945 it was reported that development would begin on “about 80 acres in the hotel grounds, and every purchaser of a lot for $500 will be required to build on same within two years and no residence is to cost less than $2000.”  The development company consisted of four of the five original Franklin Park Improvement Company members including Whitmire, A.J. Hilt, C.H. Robinson, and F.J. Robinson.

Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library.  Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs.  For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at marcy.thompson@transylvaniacounty.org or 828-884-1820.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Brevard Jewelry Stores also Sold Eye Glasses



Frank Clement and Thelma Ashworth inside Clement Jewelry.
Brevard has been the home of a number of jewelry shops since the early 1900s.  The earliest mention of a jewelry shop in the Sylvan Valley News was for Hawkin's Jewelry Store in 1903.  The 1900 Federal Census lists David Hawkins, 30 years old, as a watch repairer in Brevard.  By 1910 Hawkins was operating a jewelry store in McKinney, TX.  He would return to the southeast and spend the rest of his career in Toccoa, GA.

The 1900 census also listed 20-year-old C.B. "Charley" McFee as a watch repairer in Brevard.  McFee ran a jewelry store for many years.  His obituary states that he was "a jeweler and leading merchant of Brevard from 1898 until the early 1940s when he retired."

MeFee's Jewlers, 1953.
According the Sylvan Valley News and census information P.R. "Pennie" Ayres also operated a jewelry and watch repair shop in Brevard in 1910.  Ayres sold his business to Frank D. Clement of Elizabeth City, NC in 1913.

Clement soon built a new 2-story brick shop that included a movie theater on the corner of Main and Caldwell.  In addition to the jewelry business, Clement also had a photo shop.  His sons, Verne and Ted, ran the Clemson Theater.  Frank Clement retired from the jewelry business in 1936.  He and Verne built and operated the Co-Ed Theater beside Clemson Theater.  They sold both theaters in 1942.

Brevard Jewelers, 1956.
During the mid-1900s there were three jewelry stores in Brevard--Baker's Jewelers, Brevard Jewelers, and Parson's Jewelry.  Austin Baker owned and operated his store on Jordan St. for 30 years.  Alma Cox operated Brevard Jewelers & Gift Shop in the Aethelwold building from 1953 until 1991.

Parson’s Jewelry was located in the Aethelwold prior to Brevard Jewelers.  They moved to W. Main St. for a few years before Jack Parson's built a new store on E. Main St. beside the courthouse and library in the late 1950s.  Arthur and Pamela Love purchased Parson's Jewelry in August 1972.  

In addition to selling and repairing jewelry and watches early jewelers were sometimes a town's optometrist and sold eye glasses.  Jewelry stores often carry fine china, crystal, cut glass, sterling, pewter, copper, and bridal and baby gifts as well.

Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library.  Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs.  For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at marcy.thompson@transylvaniacounty.org or 828-884-1820.