In the late
1940s two groups, Western North
Carolina Associated Communities and Western North Carolina Community Development
efforts to assist small rural communities scattered through Western North
Carolina address a wide range of community needs.
Transylvania County’s rural neighborhoods began organizing through
community clubs in the early-to-mid 1950s.
Groups renovated old schoolhouses or built new buildings
to serve as community centers in Balsam Grove, Cathey’s Creek, Cedar Mountain,
Dunn’s Rock, Eastatoe, Lake Toxaway, Little River, Pisgah Forest, Quebec,
Sapphire-Whitewater, Seeoff, and Silversteen.
The goal was to strengthen
communities by bringing people together through educational, civic and social
activities. Educational opportunities
focused on agricultural improvements, home extension and 4-H clubs. Projects covered a wide range of topics
including infrastructure improvements, like paving roads, rural electrification
and expanding telephone service; housing and home improvements brought
renovations including indoor plumbing to older homes and also added new homes
to communities; and entrepreneur opportunities centered on boosting family
incomes by using the resources available to them.
|The Dunn’s Rock Community Roadside Market had nine stalls for the sale
of produce, preserves, flowers, furniture and other goods, 1955.
In 1955 the Dunn’s Rock Community
Club decided to build and operate a curb market for the purpose of allowing
community members to earn extra income through the sale of fresh vegetables and
fruit, baked goods, dairy products, canned goods, flowers and a wide variety of
handcrafts. The market was constructed
near Mill Hill Grocery and operated on Saturday mornings from July 2 through
October 8. Gross sales their first year
were $1157.35, with 5% going to the community center for expenses.
|Large wooden panels folded down on the Cedar Mountain Community Market
building providing trays for produce and goods on market days, 1958.
The following summer the
Cedar Mountain Community Club built a small cement block and wood building near
their community center to serve as the community market center. Market times were Tuesday and Friday mornings
for a total of 21 days during the summer in 1956. Total sales were $1375 with a portion going
back to the community center fund. Other
community clubs operated curb markets starting in the mid-1950s as well.
Each community was required
to complete an annual summary reporting development within their
community. Categories included Better
Family Living, Community Programs, Youth Programs and Family Income
Development. Over the next few weeks
Picturing the Past will look at some of the activities and projects Transylvania
County community’s undertook.
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