|Hattie Kitchen, dressed for the 1961 Centennial|
Although it looks like it could be from more than a century ago, this portrait of Hattie Kitchen was taken in 1961 by local photographer Pat Austin to celebrate Transylvania County’s Centennial. Hattie was born on April 9, 1886 to Montville Justus Glazener and Matilda Jane Whitmire Glazener. One of ten children, she grew up in Rosman and married Alvoid Osborne Kitchen on February 3, 1906. They had one daughter, Reba, who was born in 1910.
Hattie’s family has a long history of residency in Transylvania County, tracing their ancestry back to John Glazener/Johan Glasner who immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1752. One of John’s sons, Hattie’s great-great-grandfather George, and his family were the first Glazeners to settle in Transylvania County.
Hattie was a lifelong resident of Transylvania County and lived in the same house on Franklin Drive (now Franklin Street) for over 40 years. She was well-known to many in roles such as her service to the Chamber of Commerce. She attended the Epworth School (which later transitioned to the Brevard Institute and then Brevard College) and was the secretary of her very active alumni group. In the late 1960s she became a member of the artist/crafter cooperative known as “8-Crafters,” showcasing her quilts in their annual juried shows and selling them in the group’s summer shop on Highway 276.
In a 1977 Transylvania Times interview, Hattie describes her love of dancing and of associating with young folks as often as possible to keep herself feeling young. She was easy to spot driving around in her midnight blue Mustang with a white vinyl top, proving that age is mindset more than anything else.
In her aging years, Hattie was respected as a community elder, which is evident with honors such as her selection as the Grand Marshal of the Brevard Christmas Parade in 1981. At the time of her passing in January 1983, she was the oldest member of Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church. Hattie’s legacy lives on with her descendants who still live in Transylvania County.
Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. This article was written by Local History Librarian Laura Gardner. For more information, comments, or suggestions, contact NC Room staff at [email protected] or 828-884-1820.