In the early 1900s Pisgah Forest had businesses located on
both sides of the Davidson River. On
the west side Louis Carr built a saw mill and lumber yard for his logging
had come to the U.S. from Italy as a youth.
He worked a variety of jobs and saved his money until he got into the
railroad and timber business in West Virginia.
Carr Lumber Yard, 1941. Pisgah Forest Depot on left.
In 1912 he purchased nearly 70,000 acres from Mount Pisgah to Pisgah
Forest from George Vanderbilt. Carr also
owned and operated over 100 miles of standard gauge railroad to transport the
timber to his saw mill. He had a double
band saw, a planeing mill, a flooring plant, and a dry kiln. Customers included Biltmore Hardwood Flooring
and numerous furniture plants in North Carolina.
over 500 employees Carr Lumber was the largest employer in Transylvania County
until 1949. In addition Carr operated a large
timber company in New Mexico from the late 1920s until 1945. Carr Lumber in Pisgah Forest closed in 1957,
four years after Louie Carr’s death.
Carr Lumber employees at Company Store.
information about Carr Lumber can be found in Heritage of Transylvania
County, Volume 2 and Volume 3, Logging Railroads of the Blue
Ridge and Smoky Mountains by Tom Fetters and A Man Named Luigi by
Frank Carr, Jr.
A swinging bridge over the Davidson River
provided easy access for Carr Lumber employees to Hedrick’s Store on the east
side of the river. The old Davidson
River Presbyterian Church and the old Pisgah Forest School were also located on
the east side of the Davidson River.
Hedrick had operated a general store in a sawmill town in West Virginia in the
early 1900s. When the mill closed he
decided to move to another sawmill town.
During a trip to western North Carolina he visited Carr Lumber and
Pisgah Forest. Hedrick liked what he
saw, purchased property across the river from Carr Lumber and soon moved his
business and family here.
Hedrick’s early 3-story store in Pisgah
Pictured from left: Sunday, Howard, Lorena, Tina and Ada Hedrick.
original store was 3-stories and had 30-rooms, including apartments. That building was completely destroyed by
fire on Thanksgiving Day, 1930. Hedrick
rebuilt a smaller store nearby. Local
mill workers, farmers and school children kept the store busy. The Hedrick family also had living quarters
at the store.
a 1972 article by Cal Carpenter, Lorena Hedrick stated that penny candy was a
hot item with school children. “The
children brought their pennies to buy candy.
They used to bring hen eggs, too, and we bought them for whatever they
were worth at the time so the children could buy candy with the money.”
Hedrick continued to run the business after Howard’s death in 1952. Hedrick’s
closed around 1973.
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 828-884-3151 X242.