In early 1916 Jerome Moltz and his sons began purchasing
property in upper Transylvania County with the intention of building a lumber
operation and large band saw mill. After
the Lake Toxaway dam failed in August 1916 Moltz acquired property from the Toxaway
Company as well. They had survey work
done for logging rail lines from Lake Toxaway into Jackson County.
By 1918 the Moltz Lumber Company had 7000 acres and 15 miles
of logging railroad (Moltz leased additional rail from Southern Railway) north
and west of Lake Toxaway. The saw mill
was built within ¾ of a mile of the Southern Railway Line in Lake Toxaway. The mill cut 50,000 feet of hemlock and
30,000 feet of hardwood a day. They
harvested timber around Cold Mountain, Big Green Mountain, Greenland Creek and
Panthertown Creek. They also had a rail
line heading northeast to the North Fork of the French Broad River then back
into Jackson County to the Tuckaseegee River.
leans on front truck of a Shay Engine delivering
to the mill at Lake Toxaway.
Moltz’s success was in making hemlock harvesting profitable.
They hired contractors to cut the
hemlocks. The contractors would measure,
grade and sort the logs, then stack them near the rail lines. Only the top quality logs were sold for
lumber. Lower quality logs were sold to
Champion Fiber in Canton for pulpwood.
Moltz kept their overhead low and earned a reputation for uniform grade
Moltz Lumber Company operated for until September 1929. The saw mill was dismantled in 1941 and the
limber rights were sold to Carr Lumber Company in January 1942.
Jerome Moltz was a lumber manufacturer from Williamsport,
Pennsylvania. He had six sons and one
daughter. At least four of his sons were
also involved in the lumber industry.
Carl Moltz, born in 1893, was the fourth son of Jerome and May
Moltz. In 1930 Carl Moltz married Lucy
Carl and Lucy Moltz lived in her home, known as
Hillmont. The house had been built on
the shore of Lake Toxaway in 1915. The Swiss
mountain style house had six levels, plus a separate library, stables and a
swimming pool. They lived there
until Carl’s death in 1961 when Lucy moved to a smaller house nearby. Lucy Armstrong Moltz lived to see the Lake
Toxaway dam rebuilt and the lake restored.
Today Hillmont is known as the Greystone Inn.
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.