Hogback is one of eight townships in Transylvania
County. It covers approximately 60
square miles in the southwestern potion of the county. The area is bordered by Jackson County to the
west and Oconee County, South Carolina to the south.
to Mrs. H.D. Lee, who compiled a brief history of Hogback for Transylvania
County’s Centennial in 1961, the first permanent settlers came into the area
from South Carolina in the 1840s. They called the area Hogback because
Mount Toxaway reminded them of Hogback Mountain in Greenville County. The
1870 federal census lists just 46 households with 113 male and 129
female residents in the entire township.
in the rugged mountainous area included the Bohaney section west of the
Thompson River and the Auger Hole are located between the Horsepasture and
|Henry Scadin was an early photographer in the Hogback region.
Although the family is unidentified this Scadin photo labeled
“A Mountain Home” is representative of the settlers throughout the area.
people who made their homes here were hardy and self-sufficient. They hunted, fished, raised hogs, and farmed. They grew squash, corn, and other vegetables. Fruit trees, mainly apple and peach, were grown. In the low areas along the Toxaway River
sugar cane was raised. However, hauling
fresh crops to market was nearly impossible so sugar cane became molasses,
apples and peaches were turned into brandy, and corn made into moonshine. In addition to being easier to transport
these products had a higher cash value.
residents gather galax, ginseng, and mountain laurel and collected honey from
bee gums to sell. There were also some small
mining operations in the area, chiefly for lead, corundum, mica, clay,
feldspar, and lime.
the beginning of the 20th century Hogback Township experienced an
economic boom. The rail line was
extended from Rosman making the area much more accessible, the Toxaway River
was dammed creating Lake Toxaway, and the exclusive Toxaway Inn was constructed. This brought income producing jobs to the
area through construction and then the tourism industry. In addition Joseph Silversteen, Carl Moltz,
and other brought lumbering jobs to the area in the early and mid-1900s.
population of Hogback Township steadily grew, reaching 206 households with 939
residents by the time of the 1940 U.S. Census.
Most of the growth was in the upper portion of the township along Hwy 64
and around Lake Toxaway though. Even
after the dam broke and the inn closed in 1916 that portion of the township
Boyanee and Auger Hole regions continued to be sparsely populated. Beginning in the 1940s Duke Power and
Crescent Resources acquired much of the area.
This would lead to the creation of Lake Jocasse at the junction of the
Toxaway and Whitewater rivers in 1973. Today
the southern portion of Hogback Township includes Gorges State Park, the
federally designated Wild and Scenic Horsepasture River, the Toxaway Game
Lands, and national forest lands.
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]