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Picturing the Past Local History Blog

Photographs as a Gateway to the Past

Creating the regular Picturing the Past column is a source of learning, amusement, and fascination as myself and staff in the NC Room of Transylvania County Library delve into the

Corn Family Preachers

The Corn Family has a long history in Transylvania County, as well as neighboring counties. It is said that more Baptist preachers have descended from their first American ancestor than

Goodwill Motor Company Building

The original Goodwill Motor Company Building, currently the location of 3Oak and Platt Home, was constructed in June 1945 by business partners W.C. Burrell, V.H. Fricks, and W.L. Baughn. The

Mining in Transylvania County

When early European settlers came to the area that is now Transylvania County, they were intensely interested in the vast natural resources that could potentially be hidden in the mountains.

Ye Ole Chatterbox after 1955

Remembering “The Chatterbox”

On October 10, 1946, an ad appeared in the Transylvania Times announcing the opening of The Chatterbox, across the street from Brevard High School, offering Drive-In service from 11:00 am-11:15

Nancy Barnum Clarke Carrier – Community Builder

Nancy Barnum Clarke, a great-granddaughter of P.T. Barnum, was born on February 6, 1889 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Soon her family moved to Eastover, South Carolina and lived at the “Goodwill

“Good News” by Pietro Lazzari

The Transylvania County Library is the home of an interesting work of art with a storied past. The mural “Good News” hangs in the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room (on

Varner’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain

An iconic part of Transylvania County history is Varner’s Drug Store, which opened in December 1940 in the building that was at that time the Waltermire Hotel. Many now know

Swat the Fly!

While researching an unrelated topic, my colleague pulled up the May 18, 1917, edition of the “Brevard News.” She showed it to me, and we were both immediately very curious.

C.R. Riddle Painting “Facing the Rising Sun”

The last in the Mary C. Jenkins Cultural and Community Center historical artifacts in this series is the painting “Facing the Rising Sun” by C.R. Riddle. Clarence Ralph Riddle, who friends

conference table

The Mary C. Jenkins Center Sweetgum Table

With their new construction, the Mary C. Jenkins Community and Cultural Center commissioned the creation of a beautiful Sweetgum wood conference table that now graces the larger conference room in

Robert “Doog” Siniard: Fur Trapper and Trader

In Brevard’s “Sylvan Valley News” between 1911 and 1913, there were semi-frequent mentions of Robert Siniard passing through parts of the county buying fur. This was Robert G. “Dougan” Siniard,

The Crochet of Nancy Lavada Miller Fisher

Appalachian people have always been self-reliant and have developed a thriving craft culture from the skillful creation of items they needed to survive and thrive. Skills like weaving, quilting, knitting,

Remembering Pool Halls

Anyone over the age of fifty remembers pool halls, once found in most towns and cities throughout the U.S., and universally regarded as dens of moral corruption.  These smoke-filled rooms,

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