May is Preservation Month—a good time to visit one of Transylvania
County’s historic properties open to the public. These sites include the
Allison-Deaver House, McGaha Chapel, Silvermont Mansion and the Cradle of
|The main living area of the Deaver portion of the Allison-Deaver House
features a table made of wood harvested on the property, as well as
items from Deaver family descendants.
near the entrance to the Pisgah National Forest the historic Allison-Deaver
House, owned and maintained by the Transylvania County Historical Society,
provides visitors with look at two eras of the House’s history. The oldest
section of the two-story wood-frame home was constructed in 1815 by Benjamin
Allison. The rooms on this side of the home reflect the life of settlers in the
early 1800s. William Deaver purchased the house and property in 1830. Prior to the Civil War, he enlarged the home
and added a double front porch. The rooms on the Deaver side of the home are
furnished to show a more prosperous lifestyle in the mid-to-late 1800s. The
Allison-Deaver House is open Saturday and Sunday afternoons through
Transylvania County Historical Society also owns the historic McGaha
Chapel. The Chapel, completed in 1872, was a bridge to healing
the divide caused by family members and friends fighting on opposite sides
during the Civil War. Visit the Historical Society’s
for upcoming events at both sites.
|This room in the 2nd Floor House Museum at Silvermont
represents Joseph Silversteen’s office
Silvermont, a 33-room Colonial Revival mansion on East Main
Street in Brevard, was the home of the Silversteen family. The 8-acre park, operated by Transylvania
County Parks and Recreation includes a playground, walking trail and picnic
area. The 2nd Floor House
Museum showcases the family, their impact on the local economy and role in society.
Operated by the Transylvania Heritage
Museum, the 2nd Floor House Museum is open on Thursday evenings and
Friday afternoons throughout the summer. The Friends of Silvermont also provide
support in the preservation, renovation and upkeep of the mansion and grounds.
Cradle of Forestry, located in Pisgah National Forest, commemorates America’s
first forestry school. The Biltmore Forest School was founded by Dr. Carl
Schenck in 1898 on the vast property owned by George Vanderbilt. This heritage
site offers opportunities to explore interpretive trails and interactive exhibits.
The Biltmore Campus Trail winds passed a one-room schoolhouse, a general store, cabins, a blacksmith shop and a
garden where visitors experience the lives of the first forestry students and
the families who lived in the area in the early 1900s.
Next week Picturing the Past will feature the
Transylvania Heritage Museum and the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas
both located in downtown Brevard.
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