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2018 marks the 150th year of the town of Brevard.  Although the site was selected, surveyed, and
laid out in 1861 the town was not incorporated until 1868.

When Transylvania County was established in 1861 a
supplemental act was passed for the creation of the county seat.  Rather than locating the court house at one
of the existing communities it stated that a new town would be
established.  The town was to be named
Brevard and located within five miles of W.P. Poor’s store.

James L. Siniard, Joshua Bryant, George Orr, Francis Johnstone,
Joseph Hamilton, and Alec Henry were appointed to select and acquire property
for the new town.  After determining the
exact site a deed was drawn up from L.S. Gash, B.C. Lankford, and Alexander
England to James W. Killian, Chair of the Court of Pleas and Quarters for
Transylvania County on June 8, 1861 giving the county ownership of the

First map of the Town of Brevard, 1868.

Killian, Poor,
and Charles Patton were appointed to lay off lots within the site. They were to
designate lots for public use, including a public square in the center.   All
other lots were made available for public sale. 
The funds raised from the sale of the lots was to be used for the
construction of a court house and jail.

The primary
street coming into town from the north was named Caldwell for B.C. (Braxton
Caldwell) Lankford, who was known as Caldwell by family and friends.  Other
north-south streets were England, Gaston, Johnstone (now Johnson) and
Rice.  Broad Street began at the town
square and ran south out of town.

Main Street was
the primary east-west avenue.  The
other east-west streets were Jordan, Morgan, and Poor.  Poor Street’s name was later changed to
Probart for W.P. (William Probart) Poor.

Early stores on West Main, late 1800s.

In its early days the town consisted of a few wood-frame buildings.  Often the business or store operated out of
the main level and the family lived on the second floor or the in the back of
the building.  L.S. Gash own a store that
was operated by his wife’s uncle, W.P. Poor. 
The store was located on the current site of the Red House on Probart
St.  In 1912 it was completely rebuilt
and is unrecognizable as the former store.

The England
family had a large home nearby on the west side of town and the Lankford family
built a home on the east side of town on Rice St. 

Over the next
several week’s Picturing the Past will continue the story of Brevard’s
development through the years.  The
January 16, 2018 Bag Lunch program at the Library will showcase the evolution
and growth of downtown Brevard through photographs.

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 [email protected]
or 828-884-1820.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712