In the early 1900s when the railroad and Joseph Silversteen’s
tannery and then lumber company came to Toxaway (later Rosman), the little
village quickly grew into a thriving town.


According to the 1916-1945 Sanborn Maps the population held
steady at about 750.  This number likely
included residents outside of the city limits. 
The Federal Census lists the following population numbers for
Rosman:   145 (1910), 527 (1920), 484 (1930),
529 (1940), 535 (1950), 419 (1960), 407 (1970), 512 (1980), 385 (1990), 490 (2000)
and 576 (2010).

1924 Sanborn, Toxaway Tanning

Businesses identified on the Sanborn Maps include general,
grocery, drug and feed stores, a barber, a movie theater, furniture and auto
shops and J.R. Meece’s Dimension (Woodworking) Mill. 

The 1916 and 1924 maps show the Rosman Hotel on Broad Street
south of the depot.  Sanborn Maps of
Rosman, as well as Brevard and Pisgah Forest are available through NCLive.  The Library owns a copy of the 1924 Sanborn
Map.  Color scans of the Rosman section
can be seen at

Burley White’s Store

Business directories from 1902 to 1958 list various general
stores operators through the years, including: 
 M.J. Glazener, W.L. Carmichael,
W.B. Henderson, L. Young, H. Cook, O.L. Erwin, C.B. Glazener, W.E. Shipman,
Burley B. White, J.W. Glazener, L.M. Glazener, L. P. Owens, E.T. Patterson,
R.K. Powell, D.H. Winchester, D.L. Glazener, J.W. Owens, Dewey Burton and Mrs.
Wilma Moore. 

As the logging, lumber and tannery business declined new
businesses came to Rosman in the early 1960s. 

In 1961 Mitchell-Bissell announced it would construct a
manufacturing plant outside of town on Highway 64.   Originally they made machine parts for
textile companies but through the years their customer base has expanded and
shifted to other industries.  Today,
known as M-B Industries the plant was recognized in 2009 as Transylvania
County’s Manufacturer of the Year. 

First Union National Bank (later First Union) operated a
branch in Rosman from about 1962-1987. On October 26, 1964 at 10:45 a.m. two
local men held up the bank, taking approximately $6000.  Rowell Bosse, the bank manager, was the only
person in the bank at the time.  The
North Carolina Room at the Transylvania County Library is named for Bosse.  Both men were arrested and served time in
prison for the robbery. 

On April 29, 1966 Bosse was again the only person in the
Rosman branch of the First Union Bank when it was robbed of $8868. 

American Thread, 1964

In 1964 the American Thread Company constructed a large
modern plant to manufacture cotton thread for clothing on the outskirts of
Rosman across from the old Calvert Prison. 
In its heyday over 300 people worked at the plant.  In August 1991 American Thread became Coats
America.  By 2003 as more and more
clothing was being made outside of the U.S. it was no longer cost efficient for
Coats America to operate here.  On
September 30, 2003 the plant shut down. 

In December 2006 Excelsior Packaging purchased the property
to make plastic packaging for microwavable food products.

1924 Sanborn Map, central Rosman
1924 Sanborn Map, east Rosman

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