week Picturing the Past featured the businesses of James Bromfield. Bromfield was born on May 7, 1877 in
Kentucky. He came to Brevard as a young
man and by 1906 had established Bromfield Fuel Company.
married Marion Plaster of Virginia in 1907.
Mrs. Bromfield’s father was a prominent physician in Loudoun County,
Virginia. Her younger sister, Lucy married
Brevard attorney, Robert L. Gash several years later.
|Jim Bromfield (on right) with children, George and Sherrill, circa 1911.|
notice in the July 31, 1908 Sylvan Valley News read, “Certain warm hearted sympathizers
with J.S. Bromfield Thursday morning performed the ancient and honorable
ceremony of burning his hat at the depot.
This solemn rite was observed on the reception of intelligence of a
birth in Mr. Bromfield’s family.” The Bromfield’s
daughter, Marion Sherrill was born on July 27, 1908. A son, George Mason joined the family on
February 18, 1910.
1909 Bromfield purchased a lot on the corner of Railroad Ave and Poor St. where
he built a home for his growing family. Poor Street, which was named for early Brevard
shopkeeper Probart Poor, was renamed with the more appealing name of Probart
later the same year.
|Marion Bromfield, with children Sherrill and George,
years later Bromfield purchased ten acres located between St. Philip’s Episcopal
Church and Silvermont from Arthur Boardman.
built a large, one-story stone home with a walk-out basement. Porches on each end of the home have arched
openings and heavy square corner posts.
The north side forms a porte-cochere, while the south side is a sitting
The house sat well
back on the property and had a long driveway that is partially Woodside Drive
today. The stone pillars and entrance
gate were added at a much later date. The
home and surrounding property was sold in the early 1960s. The house was used as a nursing home for a
short time until Cecil and Elizabeth Hill purchased it in 1964. Today
the Bromfield’s home is a bed-and-breakfast, the Bromfield Inn.
1950 Bromfield gifted St. Philip’s Episcopal Church a lot between the church
and Old Town/King cemetery for a new rectory for the church. The Bromfields were long time members of St.
Philip’s Episcopal Church and are buried at St.-Paul’s-in-the-Valley
Cemetery. James Bromfield died on
October 16, 1952 and Mrs. Bromfield died April 13, 1960.
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