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Hall was born in Brevard to D.C. and Etta Gash Hall on January 17, 1916. Hall
was educated at Rosenwald School. He moved to Washington D.C. where he earned
both a B.S. and M.A. in education. Hall taught social studies in the public
school system for many years.

Nathaniel Hall, pictured here with his sister Selena Robinson, received the

Transylvania County Historical Society’s 2004 Preservation Award for his

account of community heritage and other writings.

the Transylvania County began preparing for its Centennial celebration Mary Jane
McCrary asked Hall to write a history of the African American people of the
county. Written in 1961, Nathaniel Hall’s book “The Colored People of
Transylvania County” remains an excellent sources for the years of 1861-1961. Because
of the lack of written records much of the information comes from personal
interviews conducted by the author. Written material used included letters,
newspaper articles and tax records.

provides information on schools, churches and cemeteries. He also covers social
and community life, ranging from secret societies like the Independent Order of
the Odd Fellows established in 1898 to the community center conceived by Mary
B. Kilgore in the early 1940s. Baseball teams, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops,
bands, a library, a nursery and kindergarten, a swimming pool all played
important roles in creating the community as well.

the early and mid-1900s African-American businesses in the Carver St. and Mills
Avenue area included a barber shop, beauty shop, boarding houses, cafés, grocery
stores and a taxi stand. In addition to the importance of place Hall covers the
people of the community, including teachers, preachers and businessmen and
women, as well as those active in the military and politics. He also talks
about the relationship between the black and white communities through the

1960 the Transylvania Citizen’s Improvement Organization (TCIO) was organized
to improve and promote educational, political, economic and civic opportunities
for African Americans in Brevard and Transylvania County.  Their first goal was integration of the
school system. In 2000 the group published “Reflections: TCIO Celebrates 40
Years of Community Service” highlighting community achievements and featuring numerous

2003 Hall published a biography on the life of his sister, Selena
Robinson.  The book begins with the story
of the Hall family growing up in the Rosenwald community in the early 1900s.  It continues with Selena’s adult life—her marriage,
family and role in the community.  Selena
was active in church, readily offered help to all and became a community

books are available at the Transylvania County Library, although “The Colored
People of Transylvania County” is only available in the North Carolina
Reference collection.

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 828-884-1820.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712