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A three-part Palladian window on the stair landing

allows for plenty of light in Silvermont’s large entrance hall.

The Silvermont
mansion on East Main Street was the home of Joseph and Elizabeth Silversteen
and their three daughters. 

As a young
couple, Joseph and Elizabeth Mount Silversteen moved to Transylvania County to begin
their life together.  Joseph, a Russian
immigrant, had trained and worked as a tanner in Pennsylvania.  He saw an opportunity in tanning and
lumbering in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  He started the Toxaway Tanning Company in the
town of Toxaway in 1902.  By the time he
began Gloucester Lumber Company in 1910 the town had been renamed Rosman.  Silversteen harvested timber from thousands
of acres in the western part of the county. 
The Silversteen family lived in Rosman for several years.

A baby grand Steinway piano was the central feature in the parlor.

In 1917
Silversteen’s Transylvania Tanning Company opened on the west side of Brevard.  Joseph Silversteen was also involved in other
business and community development ventures and was even a part owner of the
Franklin Hotel for a short time.  Mr. and
Mrs. Silversteen were active in numerous civic organizations.  Their work had a major effect on both the welfare
and the economy of the county.

In early
1917 the Silversteen family moved to their new home in Brevard.  Miriam was 12 years old, Dorothy was 11, and
Adelaide was 7 at the time.  Their new
home was over 10,000 square feet with 33 rooms, including seven bedrooms.  The National Register of Historic Places
inventory nomination form describes it as having “an intercom system with a
buzzer in every room so the family could ring the maid, an elevator, walk-in
closets in every room with automatic lights, seven fireplaces, 12-inch solid
concrete support walls, classic bathrooms with the typical pedestal sinks.”

The sitting room was to the right as guests entered.

Dorothy, the last family member, died in 1972 she willed Silvermont and the
surrounding 8 acres to the county “as a recreation and community center for the
benefit of the citizens of Transylvania County.”  In 2011, a House Museum reflecting the era
and lifestyle of the Silversteen family was created on the 2nd floor
through volunteer efforts.  The Silvermont
House Museum is open on the third Friday afternoon of each month.  It will be open Friday, April 21, 2:00-4:00

The dining room furniture, along with other Silversteen family pieces,

are showcased in the Silvermont House Museum.

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 828-884-1820.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712