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Stillwell moved to Hendersonville as a young man in the early 1900s.  In January 1904 he invested in property near
Laurel Park.  Over the next few years he
studied architecture at Cornell University and travelled throughout Europe.  By 1913 Stillwell had returned to
Hendersonville and begun his long career in architecture.

went on to design many large fashionable homes in Henderson, Buncombe, Polk,
and Transylvania counties.   He built his reputation on adapting the Tudor,
Colonial, Georgian, and Neoclassical revival styles popular in the early 20th
century.  Stillwell was known for high
quality work in both design and building construction.

Thomas Shipman’s house was located

where Shepard Square condominiums are today.

A number of
Stillwell’s architectural drawings from 1913 through the mid-1950s are
preserved at the Henderson County Library. 
William Mitchell’s book, “Building as History:  The Architecture of Erle Stillwell” is a
catalogue of those drawings.  It includes
the Brevard homes of Thomas Shipman, Randall Everett, and Don Jenkins.

Shipman got his start as a teacher and was a manager with the Toxaway Company
but was best known as a banker.  He
worked his way from cashier to president of Brevard Banking.  Mitchell identifies the Shipman House
drawings as among Stillwell’s earliest work. 
A Sylvan Valley News real estate advertisement from March 1912
identifies it on S. Broad St. (now Country Club Rd.) and lists Shipman’s Main
St. home for sale.

The home of Randall Everett was located on the northwest corner of

S. Broad and Morgan streets where First Citizen’s Bank is today.

The drawings
and blueprints for Randall Everett’s home are dated July 1924.  Mitchell states the “floor plan was typically
symmetrical, with a central stair hall, living room on one side, and dining
room and kitchen on the other.”  Everett
was a businessman, who also owned and operated Everett Farm from
1917-1930.  He served as director of
Brevard Banking and later the Federal Savings and Loan.

The eight
working drawings of Don Jenkins’ home on Maple St. were probably drawn by
William O’Cain who worked for Stillwell. 
The exterior of Jenkins’ home is typical brick ranch style but Mitchell
describes the interior as “stunning finish is work—paneling of vertical maple
board with over-scaled maple crown moldings.” 
The drawings are dated January 1949. 
It is the only of one of these homes that is still standing.

In addition
to houses, Stillwell designed many commercial buildings during this time.  Drawings for two downtown Brevard businesses
are included in the collection.  Next
week’s Picturing the Past will continue
with Stillwell’s story by featuring these buildings.

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 828-884-1820

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712