|Train at Toxaway (Rosman) Depot|
train rolled into Toxaway on the Transylvania Railroad Company’s newly extended
line from Brevard on September 1, 1900.
Two years later the railroad would reach Lake Toxaway and the Toxaway
Inn. On February 20, 1905 Toxaway was officially
renamed Rosman to avoid confusion with Lake Toxaway.
23-year-old Joseph Silversteen had arrived in the area and began building his
logging and lumber empire. The April 25,
1902 Sylvan Valley News mentioned
that work was underway on the new tannery in Toxaway (Rosman). After establishing Toxaway Tanning Company,
Silversteen built Gloucester Lumber Company and Rosman Tanning & Extract
Plant in Rosman.
|Rosman’s 5-room schoolhouse.|
Silversteen’s businesses expanded so did the town population. Soon
there were nearly 500 residents.
Silversteen, along with his wife Elizabeth, would play an important role
in the town of Rosman’s development.
Silversteen worked to improve the school by raising money for supplies and
pushing for a new public school building.
The Silversteens donated property for the construction of a 5-room wooden
school to include elementary through high school students.
|1927 (left) and 1919 brick schools in Rosman.|
As the town and surrounding community grew more space was
needed. In 1919 the first
brick school was constructed for $25,000.
The high school became accredited in 1923. In 1925 school buses helped bring in even
more students and once again there was a need for additional space. In 1927 a second brick school was built.
Although those two early buildings are
now gone, the school was remodeled and expanded several times over the
following decades. All students were
educated on the same campus until Rosman Elementary opened in the fall of 1975.
school remains the heart of Rosman.
During the 2015-16 school year they have been celebrating 100 years of
public education at Rosman Schools.
On May 20-21,
Rosman High School will present Thornton Wilder’s three-act play, “Our Town.” The play celebrates life in small town
America through the daily life of ordinary citizens from 1901-1913.
Peeples and the Rosman High thespians invite everyone to their adaption of
Wilder’s work from a time when their town was growing and transitioning
from a small settlement to an industrial town.
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.