|This map shows the townships and bordering counties in
both North Carolina and South Carolina.
Over the last few weeks Picturing the Past has been
looking at the history of Transylvania County through each of its township. Leading to the questions of, what is a
township and what is it significance?
When the North Carolina government was restructured
following the Civil War the state experimented with township government. Under this system counties were subdivided
into townships with their own elected officials who held limited governmental
powers. Although this form of governing
only lasted a couple of years, townships did continue to hold responsibility
for road construction and maintenance within their district. Today townships are used primarily to provide
boundary lines in the county for tax-listings, census districts and voting
Brevard is the largest and most populated township in
Transylvania County. It covers over 63
square miles. The southern boundary of
the township follows on or near the French Broad River from Barclay Road almost
to the confluence with the Little River.
The township runs northward to Haywood County with portions of the Blue Ridge
Parkway in Transylvania County. It
is bordered by Boyd Township on the east and Cathey’s Creek and Gloucester
townships on the west.
The 2010 population was over 11,000 but the residents all
live in the southern portion of township in and around the City of Brevard and
the Pisgah Forest community.
Approximately two-thirds of the land area is located in the Pisgah
|The English Chapel has been an active church since 1860. The early
building was also used as a school for families in that part of Brevard
Township prior to the creation of the Pisgah National Forest.
In the 1800s, before George Vanderbilt purchased large
tracts of land, there were a number of families that settled along the Davidson
River and surrounding areas. Occasional rock foundations or chimney remnants,
patches of garden flowers such as daffodils and several small cemeteries give
evidence of homesteads and small communities that once existed.
Water-powered mills once operated on the Davidson River. Iron ore was hauled
from Boylston Creek to make iron bars at the Davidson River Iron Works. The bars were then sent to Asheville to be made into goods. During the Civil War the mill was operated by the Confederacy. The
Cagle family operated a grist mill and later manufactured linsey-woolsey fabric
near Sycamore Flats on the river.
In 1912 Louis Carr acquired nearly 70,000 acres from Mount
Pisgah to Pisgah Forest from Vanderbilt. He ran over 100 miles of
standard gauge railroad to transport the timber to his mill in Pisgah Forest. The old rail line beds are often visible to
hikers in the national forest.
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]