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Picturing the Past Local History Blog

The Franklin Hotel

The Franklin Hotel opened in Brevard in July 1900.  J. Frances Hayes and his business partners had purchased the Hendersonville-Brevard Railway Telegraph and Telephone Company, renamed it Transylvania Railroad Company,

Boarding House and Hotels Through the Years

Tourism brochures dating from around 1907 through 1929 invite “vacationists” to relax in the small-town comforts of Brevard and Transylvania County.  Although there were several larger hotels including the Aethelwold

The Red House of West Probart Street

Picturing the past: The Red House of West Probart Street By Marcy Thompson In honor of Preservation Month this May, we will run a series of reprinted articles about historic

Buck Forest Hotel in Cedar Mountain

In her 1876 novel, The Land of the Sky, Christian Reid promotes the mountains of western North Carolina for adventure travelers.  Reid is speaking of the French Broad and Little

Boxing in Brevard

Imagine walking in downtown Brevard in the early evening and you hear the faint, distant sounds of a voice intoning “And in this corner, at 140 pounds…” Casual strollers could


Those who remember days gone by in Brevard are sure to think fondly on Burgerland. Its iconic sign, so recognizable to locals, was a mainstay for decades, even as ownership

Construction of North Broad Street

When Brevard was created as a county seat in 1861, the town founders mapped out what the donated land on top of the hill would look like. Some may be

Thomas Edison’s Visit to Transylvania County

At the turn of the century, industry and innovation in America were exploding. High-profile industrialists became like celebrities, marketing their personas as much as their products. As part of this

T.W. Whitmire: Early Brevard Entrepreneur

One of the most interesting of the early residents of Brevard was Thomas Whitfield Whitmire, also known as T.W., or Whit.  T.W. is an exemplar of the small-town “main street”

The White Squirrels of Brevard

The unofficial mascot of Brevard, the white squirrel, is a novelty that many visitors initially think is a hoax. Surprise and delight result when a white squirrel is spotted for

Annie Jean Gash

The Gash family has deep roots in Transylvania County, and one prominent Gash who had an impact on her community was Annie Jean Gash. A native of Transylvania County, she

The Early 20th Century Roller-Skating Craze

During the late 1870’s, a roller-skating craze spread throughout Europe and the United States, primarily the result of new technologies allowing the mass production of skates.  The fad blazed intensely

Fly Fishing in Transylvania County

Fly fishing has been an angling technique for hundreds of years. Like many activities with this lengthy of a history, time has refined and perfected the techniques into a nuanced

Wilkie Johnstone and Mt. Hermon Academy, Part 2

Mt. Hermon Academy in Brevard was originally intended to be an all-girls boarding school, with plans to add boys’ dormitories and programs that never came to fruition. The school was

Wilkie Johnstone: Pioneering Educator, Part 1

Many readers are familiar with the development of the Rosenwald School in the African American community. Fewer may know about the pioneering educators who worked tirelessly to create and staff

Red Cross Aquatic School at Camp Carolina, Transylvania Times, June 28, 1962

The Red Cross Aquatic School

Near the very end of the 19th century, a young man graduated high school in Rhode Island and got his first job as a reporter with the “Providence Evening and

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

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