|In an interview for a 1997 article Kersh told John Lanier
“The Boom Of 1899” was his personal favorite.
Earle Kersh had a 33 year career with
Life Magazine before retiring to Brevard in 1972. Kersh had begun his career as an office boy
for the magazine. He worked his way up
through the organization, ultimately becoming the art director.
Kersh was an amateur artist and from
1974-75 used this talent to create a series of illustrated short historical anecdotes for the Transylvania Times. The column, “Old Transylvania Times”, first appeared on November 25, 1974 on
the editorial page. Kersh had created 35
sketches which ran through March 1975. At
that time Kersh decided he did not want to take on the additional work and felt
that local history was being well represented in the newspaper.
Kersh’s sketches feature Native
Americans, early settlers and county leaders throughout Transylvania County’s history. They depict boarding houses, buffalo, bushwackers,
corn whiskey, country stores, stagecoaches, steamboats, and more.
In 1997 the Transylvania County Joint
Historical Preservation Commission (JHPC) published the columns in booklet
form. Kersh actually had to redraw the
sketches for the booklet as all of the originals had been lost. He used the old newspaper columns for this
but there are occasional variations between the newspaper version and those in
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] transylvaniacounty.org or 828-884-3151 X242.