Monday, June 26, 2017

Carney Recorded Much of DuPont's History

Carney beside the stone chimney of a former home site
within DuPont State Recreational Forest.
One of the document collections in the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room at the Transylvania County Library looks at the history of the area that is today DuPont State Recreational Forest.

The late John Carney was an active member of Friends of DuPont Forest.  Carney spent countless hours exploring home and grave sites in the forest, interviewing past landowners and descendants, and researching deeds and other records.  He worked diligently to put it all together to create a sense of place.

Significant places once located in the area include the Buck Forest Hotel, the Cox family hunting lodge, Summit Camps, and of course, the DuPont Plant.  Among the families with roots in the forest are Micajah and Anna Hightower Thomas, Clinton and Sallie Shipman Moore, Isaac and Jane Shipman Heath, James and Melinda Shipman Sentelle, John and Margaret Hinz Hooker, and many others.

The Thomas Family Cemetery and other old graveyards give
evidence of past lives in the forest.
The collection contains newspapers articles from 1999-2013 covering the proposed Cliffs Community and efforts to protect the area from development, the State’s condemnation of the property, and the creation of DuPont State Recreational Forest.  Also included are the Heritage Resources Evaluation of the Big Rock Trail, Bridal Veil, and Long Rock Petroglyphs from 2011 and Jon Strom’s 2006 Brevard College Senior Project on the petroglyphs.  In addition there are correspondences, newsletters, maps, and photographs.

View from the Cox family lodge
across from High Falls.
Carney passed away on May 15, 2012.  After storing his research material for a few years Friends of DuPont Forest donated it to the North Carolina Room at the Library.  Through this generous donation Carney’s legacy lives on and some of the history of DuPont State Recreational Forest is available for all.
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, June 19, 2017

Library Houses Silversteen Family Collection

Examples of documents in the Silversteen Family Collection 
include sheet music with words by Adelaide Van Wey
and music by Brevard native, Donald Lee Moore.
Picturing the Past typically features photographs from the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room collection at the Transylvania County Library.  In addition to photographs the North Carolina Room has books, microfilm, oral histories, postcards, periodicals, newsletters, scrapbooks, and archival files.

Over the next few weeks some of the larger document collections will be featured in this column.  Although these materials are not available online, patrons are invited to view them in the North Carolina Room.  The items have been organized and indexed through many hours of work by staff and volunteers.  In some cases the materials have also been scanned. 

They include the Silversteen Family Collection, Friends of DuPont Forest information, Horsepasture River Conservation materials, early Lake Toxaway land development records, scrapbooks from local communities and organizations, and more.

The Silversteen family was fundamental to enterprise and the civic arena in Transylvania County during the early part of the 20th century.  The Silversteen Family Collection contains property deeds, legal papers, stock certificates, newspaper articles, handwritten notes, correspondence, awards, honors, certificates, programs, research notes, photographs, invitations, speech notes, and reports related to family members and their entrepreneurial and civic activities.

One of the numerous business documents in the
Silversteen Family Collections.
Other related collections pertain to the formation of the town of Rosman, Joseph Silversteen’s businesses (Gloucester Lumber, Rosman Tanning and Extract, Toxaway Tanning), organizations (Daughters of the American Revolution, Red Cross), the professional achievements of Adelaide Van Wey as a performer, and the construction of their Brevard residence, Silvermont.  Contemporary content includes information on the restoration of Silvermont and the Silvermont House Museum.

As Silvermont celebrates its 100th anniversary during 2017 this is perfect opportunity to learn more about a family that was instrumental in the economic development of Transylvania County.  Visit the North Carolina Room at the Library to research, browse, or view photographs.

The Silvermont House Museum, located at 364 E. Main St., consists of nine rooms on the second floor.  Rooms are set-up to reflect the Silversteen’s life and home.  It is open on the third Friday of each month, March to October, between the hours of 2 pm – 4 pm.  Special tours can be arranged by contacting the Transylvania County Parks & Recreation Department at 828-884-3156.

As the Chairman of the American Red Cross Civilian Relief for
Transylvania County Mrs. Silversteen assisted family members of
local soldiers during WWI.
The Transylvania Heritage Museum is currently hosting “The Silversteen Legacy” exhibit, telling the story of the Silversteen family and their involvement in Transylvania County.  The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm.  It is located at 189 W. Main St.

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, June 12, 2017

Thomas Ward Had First News Stand


News stands are another piece of a by-gone era.  Throughout the early and mid-1900s most business districts had at least one news stand.  These small shops sold newspapers, magazines, comic books, paperback books, cigarettes, tobacco, cigars, school supplies, greeting cards, candy, and drinks.

One of the earliest and longest operating news stands in Brevard was Ward’s.  Thomas Ward had a barber shop on W. Main St. where West Main Barber Shop is located today.  A late 1920s photograph shows a news rack hanging on the outside of the shop.  Ward’s wife, Bessie is listed on the 1930 census as a teacher, in 1940 she is listed as a news stand sales lady.  Thomas Ward had died in January 1936.

The one-story store front on the far right was the home of Ward's Barber shop.
The front window is flanked by a news rack on the left
and a barber pole on the right.
The earliest advertisement found for Ward’s News Stand was in Brevard College’s student paper, The Clarion, in January 1936.  The first telephone directory listing for Ward’s News Stand was in 1955.  By that time they had moved to 5 West Main Street.  Ward’s was in business until 1974. 

The Ward’s had two daughters, Juanita and Virginia, neither of whom married.  Both worked in the news stand with their mother and both died before their mother.  Bessie Ward lived to the age of 102.  She passed away in 1987.

Jones' News Stand window and outside rack display
many of the the items they sold.

Another longtime news stand was owned and operated Roy and Ruth Jones.  Jones opened his first news stand on E. Main beside the Aethelwold Hotel in 1946.  After five years he moved to 6 S. Broad St., just around the corner from Ward’s, where the business remained until 1966.  In 1967 Jones News Stand moved to 30 W. Main.  When Roy Jones died in 1969 Ruth continues to run the news stand.

In 1972 Ruth Jones and her brother-in-law, Jack Gravely, purchased Mack Allison’s Hardware Store and joined in business.  They relocated for the last time to 16 W. Main, across the street from Ward’s.  In addition to hardware and news stand items they carried sporting goods.  Jones’ son, Jim, managed the sporting good department.

In an April 5, 1973 Transylvania Times article, Cal Carpenter described the business as “sort of local ‘teen center’ and an unofficial information bureau for many Transylvanians and out-of-town-visitors.”  As Ruth Jones explained they regularly received inquiries for local information, hometown newspapers, sports scores, and even local television scheduling.

Other downtown Brevard news stands included Tinsley’s, Mull’s, and “Peavine” Price’s in the 1940s, Clark’s in the early 1950s, Grogan’s from 1953-1973, and Messer’s from 1974-1993.

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, June 5, 2017

Bus Service Connected Nearby Cities

In May 1921 it was announced that Red Bus Line would operate between Brevard, Hendersonville, and Asheville.  They offered four trips daily making it possible for businessmen to leave Brevard in the morning, conduct business in Hendersonville or Asheville and return that evening.  It also meant tourists who arrived in Hendersonville later in the day could come directly to Brevard without spending the night in Hendersonville.

The first bus left Brevard at 7:30 am, arriving in Hendersonville at 9:00 and Asheville at 10:30.  The last trip of the day left Hendersonville at 7:30 pm and arrived in Brevard at 9:00 pm.  They also offered daily sight-seeing tours to Chimney Rock in Henderson County.

WWII draftees waiting to board a bus.
 A June 4, 1920 newspaper editorial indicated that local leaders were unhappy with the passenger service that Southern Railway was providing at the time and encouraged readers to use the new bus service.  It stated, “The time has come when the steam railroads have not the monopoly of passenger transportation, and it is well that the management of the Southern Railway realize that they have competitors.”  However bus service in the first few years was somewhat irregular, often only operating during the summer tourist season.

In 1926 a new Union Bus terminal opened in the Kilpatrick Building on West Main St.  The building included an office, separate waiting rooms for ladies and gentlemen, and enough space to drive the bus inside in inclement weather.  Busses to both Hendersonville and Greenville, as well as local taxis used the facility.

A bus waits for passengers on Broad St. beside the McMinn Building.
V.B. (Bunyon) McGaha owned the first bus line between Greenville and Brevard.  In 1926 the Hudson Touring Car bus line operated by McGaha and McCrary ran two busses between Brevard and Greenville daily.  A bus would leave from each point at 9:00 am and then make the return trip at 4:00 pm.


The bus station operated out of the back of Macfie Drug Store in the McMinn Building on the corner of Main and Broad streets for many years from the 1940s.

In September 1948 a new Union Bus Station opened at 230 North Caldwell Street.  The new building was constructed by R.P. Kilpatrick.  The 1875 square foot building included a ticket booth, waiting rooms, concession stand, baggage rooms, rest rooms, and a taxi stand.  The business was owned by John Ford and operated by Ashe Macfie and Ralph Morris.  Ralph Smith was the ticket taker.  Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hunter operated the Terminal Grill.  


The sign for Safety Cab and the bus Station confirms their location on
West Jordan St. in the back of the building facing Broad St.
The bus station closed in 1958, however long-time local residents remember a later bus stop being located on West Jordan St.

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, May 29, 2017

Taxi Cabs Offered Sightseeing Tours


An article in the June 11, 1920 Brevard News announced, “The Brevard Taxi Line which is a motor transportation service for carrying anyone anywhere they want to go at any time, has placed its office on Main St. in close proximity to the Court House Square.”  Peter Verdery was the manager.

About the same time Jim Bromfield operated a taxi stand with five Fords on Whitmire Street near the depot.  A.H. King later bought Bromfield’s business and moved it to W. Main St.

Siniard's Taxi Stand on E. Main St.
beside the current Humane Society Thrift Shop, August 1955.
From left:  Eck Simms, Luther Woods, Hale Siniard, unknown
Hale Siniard started his taxi service in a Model-T in 1921.  In a 1948 interview Siniard stated that in the early days a trip to Caesar’s Head took the entire day.  Going to Asheville or Hendersonville and back was a two-day venture.  Siniard averaged about 300 miles a week in the 1920s, by 1948 it was over 1000 miles per week.  He drove folks anywhere they needed or wanted to go, including three trips to California.  He would regularly take Dr. Lyday “for a ride” that would last a few days.  During the 43 years Siniard operated Star Taxi he mainly drove Packards.  After Siniard retired Star Taxi continued under different ownership until 1975.
Corn's Taxi operated from the Times Arcade alley on W. Main St.

Mack Corn began his taxi company in the early 1940s.  At a time when gas was rationed taxis were the main way to get around town.  The cars did not have radios so drivers would return to the taxi stand after dropping someone off to get information for their next fare.  A typical trip cost less than a dollar.  Corn, who mainly drove Pontiacs, had a fleet as large as six vehicles at one point.  Corn’s Taxi operated until 1963.

Edward Killian was the first African-American to operate a taxi company in Brevard.  Killian’s Cabs was in business throughout the 1950s.

During the mid-1900s there were a number of other taxi cab companies that operated in Transylvania County.  Safety Cab was located on W. Jordan St. from 1942 until 1978.  City Cabs and Brevard Cab Service were long-time businesses.  Others that ran for briefer periods were Bailey’s Taxi, Martin Taxi, Parton Taxi, Red Bird Taxi, Thomas Cabs, and Veterans’ Cab.  In addition to short trips around town and longer trips out-of-town many offered sightseeing tours.

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.