|Methodist Church and 5-room school in center at tree-line.|
The first school in the Rosman area was a subscription school at the old
Zion Church on the south side of the river.
Begun in the late-1850’s the school only operated for a few weeks each
year. Around 1900 the school was moved
to the larger Presbyterian (later Methodist) Church across the river.
Elizabeth Silversteen and other women in the community took active roles
in helping establish quality schools in Rosman.
Mrs. Silversteen petitioned the county for funds. The Rosman Literary Society, with Elizabeth
Silversteen as president, Lizzie Glazener, vice-president and Olivia Whitmire,
secretary held fundraisers to provide for the school. A March 5, 1909 Sylvan Valley News article states that a cake made by Mrs. A.O.
Kitchens sold for $140.70 at a box supper.
donated the property for the construction of a 5-room wooden school building. It included elementary through high school
students. However, Rosman’s booming
population quickly outgrew this school.
|Left: 1927 Rosman High School Right: 1919 Rosman School|
In 1919 the first brick school was
constructed for $25,000. The high school
became accredited in 1923. In 1925
school buses helped bring even more students to the Rosman School and once
again there was a need for additional space.
So another brick school was constructed
as the high school, grades 8-11, in 1927.
The lower grades remained in the original brick building.
Home Economics and Agriculture were
added to the curriculum in 1927. Beginning
in the 1930s students could get lunch from the school cafeteria. In
1949 business education classes were introduced. The first football team was organized in 1959
with Bill Cathey as head coach. Art and
band classes were added during the 1972-73 school year.
Rosman High School’s first annual was
published in 1948. Although in 1947 a
“homemade” annual was created. A copy of
that annual was recently donated to the library. The library has many additional RHS annuals
but a few years are missing. If you have
annuals you would be willing to donate to the Local History collection please
contact us. Annuals from 1948-1962 can
be viewed online at digitalnc.org.
Across from the school was the Southern Grill, owned by Wilma Moore from
the 1940’s through the early 1960’s. It
was a popular hang-out for students, where they could play their favorite music
on the jukebox and dance.
Over the year the Rosman School has
expanded and been remodeled many times. Students
in all grades were housed on the same location (although in separate buildings)
until Rosman Elementary opened in the fall of 1975 across the river. In 1975 the two original brick buildings were
Sources for this article included A History of…Estatoe
Ford, Jeptha, Toxaway, Estatoe…Rosman, North Carolina compiled by Rebecca
Suddeth and “Rosman High Through the Years” by Amber Broome, published in the Transylvania Times, December 27, 1999.
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.