During the first two decades of the 20th century the
community of Rosman experienced rapid development with the extension of the
railroad from Brevard and the growth of Silversteen’s tanning and logging industries. Other businesses in the town included a bank;
a hotel; a movie house; general, grocery, drug, furniture, and feed stores; and
a couple of barber shops.
|Rosman’s first brick school house (right) was built as a high school in 1921.
It served as the grade school after the new high school (left)
was built a few years later.
This resulted in a population boom in Rosman and the
surrounding area. Although a multi-room
school had been built in 1908 and the tenth grade was added in 1913 there was a
growing need for separate high school in the community as enrollment hit record
numbers. Still it was not until 1921 that the Board of
Education ran a notice to contractors “for the construction of a two-story
brick schoolhouse with all modern conveniences in Rosman.”
On March 15, 1921 the people of Rosman overwhelming voted
in favor of a $15,000 bond to supplement $10,000 already voted for to build and
equip a new high school. J.M. Kilpatrick
was awarded the contract and construction was to be completed by December
31. Insurance documents describe the
building as a 4300 square foot, two-story brick building with a basement.
The first day of school in the new building was January
30, 1922. A February 17, 1922 Brevard
News article announced, “The new building is comfortable and surroundings
pleasant, but every room is filled almost to capacity on the first day.”
|Spike Dumville’s photograph shows Rosman High & Middle Schools
at the same location today.
Just four years later, Hendersonville architect Erle
Stillwell was commissioned to design a new high school for the town. The building was a typical symmetrical
two-story brick building with a one-story auditorium centered on the back side.
Six wooden pilasters gave the front a
classical appearance. It was 13,000
square feet and served as Rosman’s high school through May 1975.
The earlier high school became the elementary school in
1927. In 1948 Stillwell designed alterations
and an addition to the building. It was used
as the elementary school through May 1975 and then for an additional year as
the high school while the current high school was constructed.
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]