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Smithsonian traveling exhibit, Hometown Teams, is now up at the Library.  As part of the Museum on Main Street program
the goal is to bring the Smithsonian to small towns across America and to
connect local history and resources with the communities across the
nation.  While the exhibit is here Picturing the Past will be featuring
stories of how sports have shaped Transylvania County.

Tennis at the Franklin Hotel in Brevard.

Although the
exhibit features traditional sports and their impact on American culture it
purposefully does not define sports.  In
Transylvania County recreational sports and activities have played an important
role since the late 1800s.   Early advertisements and tourism brochures
urged city dwellers to enjoy the outdoor life in “Nature’s Playground.” 

Thousands of
visitors came for clean mountain air and water and the cool summer climate.  They took full advantage of the leisurely
lifestyle and recreational activities offered at exclusive mountain resorts and
homey boarding houses where the emphasis was on health and relaxation. 

Inn on Lake Fairfield was actually in Jackson County but visitors travelled
through Brevard and Transylvania County to reach the resort.  Fairfield offered swimming, boating, fishing
and horseback riding.  The last standing
of the famed resorts, Fairfield Inn burned in 1986.

Sapphire Inn
on Lake Sapphire provided boating, fishing and horseback riding for its
guests.  The Sapphire Inn was destroyed
by fire on July 25, 1906.

A day on Lake Toxaway.

The most
developed of the mountain resorts in terms of recreational offerings was
Toxaway Inn on Lake Toxaway.  In addition
to boating, fishing, horseback riding and swimming, Toxaway Inn had a golf
course and tennis courts.  The Toxaway
Inn closed after the dam burst on August 13, 1916 draining Lake Toxaway.

Toxaway Inn was torn down in 1947, Lake Toxaway was revived by Reginald
Heinitsh, Sr. in the early 1960s.  Today
Lake Toxaway offers boating, fishing, swimming, golf, tennis and croquet to
residents and visitors.

With the
creation of the Pisgah National Forest in 1916 thousands of acres in Transylvania
County truly did become a natural playground for those with less financial
means as well as the wealthy.  In 1938
the Pisgah Forest Highway (Hwy 276) was built and construction on the Blue
Ridge Parkway from Mount Pisgah to Beech Gap began in 1939 expanding access to
recreational opportunities throughout the Pisgah National Forest.

Enjoying a bike outing.

Transylvania County’s natural playground provides an outdoor gym for residents
and visitors in its forests, rivers and parks. Bracken Preserve, DuPont State
Recreational Forest, Gorges State Park, Pisgah and Nantahala National Forest
and the French Broad River and its tributaries offer mountain and road biking,
boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, rock climbing
and swimming.

County truly is a place for both competitive and recreational sports.  Next week Picturing
the Past
will feature sports at Rosman High School.

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