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County has an abundance of creeks, streams and rivers with shoals, cascades and
waterfalls.  All of this water has
brought not only people but industry to the area.  Mills were among the earliest local industries.  Corn, wheat, rye and other grains were ground
for both human and animal consumption. 
Water wheels turned machinery to cut lumber, make furniture, turn iron
ore into iron bars, card wool and later to generate electrical power.  A community that had a mill and a store was an
economic and social center.

There were mills throughout Transylvania
County.  Previous Picturing the Past articles have mentioned Morgan Mill and Whitmire
Mill in the Cherryfield area, a linsey-woolsey mill and an iron ore mill on the
Davidson River, McCall’s Mill in Balsam Grove and Summey’s Mill at Connestee

Breese Mill–the millrace ran parallel to Whitmire St.

and brought water from King Creek about a quarter of a mile away. 

There were two mills located on King Creek
just north of downtown Brevard.  The Brevard Roller Flour Mill, also
known as the Breese Mill, was built by William E. Breese in the late 1890s upstream
from present day Brevard College.  

Breese family home was located on the corner of what is today Caldwell and
Whitmire Streets.  Breese grew and milled
several different types of grain on his farm.  Like many other local mills, the Breese Mill on King Creek was
destroyed on July 16, 1916 by flood waters from successive hurricanes and
massive amounts of rainfall.  Later the
mill wheel was sold to the owners of Morgan Mill. 

The larger building on the left is the old King Mill built by Jonathan King.

Across the creek is Samuel King’s Mill.

King had built a mill further up King Creek many years earlier.  The original mill
ground wheat and corn.  When that mill was no longer operational his
son, Samuel Barnett King built a new mill across the creek.   It was used to mill lumber and to
manufacture furniture, along with other uses. 

Columbus King, son of Samuel, continued to operate the mill throughout his
entire lifetime.  A July 21, 1916 Sylvan Valley News article states that
the mill had been seriously damaged and the flume was nearly a total loss from the recent storms.  A second headline reads, “J.C. King Died Last
Tuesday.”  King, who had been ill for
some time, never knew that the family mill had been lost.  

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.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712