|Drawing showing the Shaffer rail line headed south off
the main line in Rosman and the “Y” where engines
was an unincorporated sole-proprietorship logging business owned and operated
by Eugene A. Shaffer. Shaffer moved his
young family to Rosman from Pennsylvania in 1910 to log the rugged area south
He leased iron
rails from Southern Railway and a 30-foot wide right-of-way from local property
owners to build a rail line from Rosman across the French Broad River, past
Shipman Fields, and then across the Middle Fork. The line continued to a flat where he built a
saw mill at the present location of the Red Lion Inn. A spur along Shoal Creek reached as far as
|Eastatoe Falls on Shoal Creek.|
A large wooden
flume was constructed to move logs down the mountain to the falls. The logs shot off the end of the flume and
ended up at to bottom of the falls. From
there they were loaded onto rail cars and transported to the saw mill.
operation and sawmill employed a crew of around 40 men. A small village, known as Shaffer’s Camp,
housed many of the employees and their families. Today this is the Middle Fork community.
|The Shaffer home near Eastatoe Falls.|
family home, a one-and-one half story craftsman-style house, was within sight
of Eastatoe Falls. The house was more elaborate
than the typical homes of the area. It
had four large peaked gable dormers, a large front porch, and a fieldstone
foundation and front steps. The interior
included a huge stone fireplace, moulded ceiling beams, hall transoms, beveled
leaded glass windows, and egg-and scalloped lintel molding. There was also a carriage house, a horse
barn, and a corn crib on the property.
In 1917 Shaffer sold his home and holdings, pulled up the railroad tracks
and returned to Pennsylvania where he bought a power plant. Eugene Shaffer died in Williamsport,
Pennsylvania in 1958.
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.