JHPC (Joint Historical Preservation
Commission) architectural survey files are an excellent source of information
for historical structures in Transylvania County. Many of the photographs of homes and
businesses used in Picturing the Past
articles are from the countywide architectural survey taken between September 1990 and September 1991.
|Structures surveyed included both small and large buildings on farms and in town,
such as the privy (left) on the Looney Banther farm in the Whitewater section of the
county and the former Brevard Lumber building on King St. in Brevard.
An outside consultant, along with local history experts, combed the county identifying
properties that were at least 50 years old and that retained their historic and architectural integrity.
After the survey was completed an overview of
the county’s history from about 1820 to 1941 was published. It was divided into four periods defined by
events that strongly affected the development, culture, and architecture of the
county. In addition, more than 50 local
properties were added to a state-maintained study list identifying properties
eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
|Close-ups of architectural details are reflected in some images,
like this carved sunburst bracket support on the overhang of the
polygonal bay windows of the Fitzgerald Patton House located behind Bi-Lo.
In 1995 the Transylvania County Joint
Historic Preservation Commission began working on a book based on the survey
data prepared by the consultant. “Transylvania:
The Architectural History of a Mountain County” was published in 1998. It features over 200 of the county’s finest
and most representative historic properties.
|Exterior shots are included for all structures
as well as some interior shots (below), like Faith Chapel in Cedar Mountain.
Files for all 489 properties are
located in the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room at the Transylvania County
Library. Nearly 1,500 images from these properties representing Balsam
Grove, Brevard, Cedar Mountain, Lake Toxaway, Penrose, Pisgah Forest, Rosman
and other areas of the county are now available online at DigitalNC.org. Hundreds of images depicting farm
buildings—barns, chicken houses, corn cribs, silos, smokehouses, and spring
houses—reflect the county’s agricultural roots.
Bridges, businesses, camps, cemeteries, churches, gauging stations,
mills, and residential homes are among the other structures included in the
The property files also contain
corresponding data which architectural descriptions, family names,
historical background, and locations.
Interns from Rosman High School and Brevard College are currently
working to scan this supporting information which will then be added to the photographs
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.