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Price-Deavor House, 1990

The Deavor family were early settlers in Transylvania County and so had many descendants who settled in the area. Many historic houses in our community have a connection to the Deavors. The house highlighted in this article is known as the Price-Deavor House on the corner of West Main Street and Oaklawn Avenue.

This historic home has unusual features that make it stand out from the surrounding neighborhood. The gambrel roof is reminiscent of a barn and a large front porch with chamfered posts wraps around one side of the house. The exterior brickwork is an excellent example of the era, with striped patterning accented by yellow bricks among the red, which is credited to T.B. Crary.

Truman Bishop “T.B.” Crary was a brick mason well-known in the county who created the Brevard Brick Company, which produced many of the bricks used in the early construction efforts in western North Carolina. Brevard Brick Company operated out of a bygone storefront of Crary’s Grocery that T.B. and wife Edna ran on Main Street.

Crary brothers: Truman, William & Oliver, brick masons

The brick kiln was in the back half of the building and kept it quite warm while firing bricks. Some notable buildings that utilized Crary’s bricks in their construction and which Crary may have constructed are the Hendersonville courthouse and the Asheville Masonic Temple. T.B. and his brothers William and Oliver are known to have constructed many houses in the area.

Another notable part of the house’s construction is that it was built by contractor and cabinetmaker Felix Norton, who had his home and workshop on West Probart Street. Some of his finer cabinetry can be seen in the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, which has an ornate altar that was created by Norton.

Felix Norton, cabinetmaker and contractor

The house bears the name Price-Deavor from the naming convention created by the 1990/1991 architectural survey completed in Transylvania County which also led to the publication of the book, “Transylvania: The Architectural History of A Mountain County” by Laura Phillips and Deborah Thompson. This book would often acknowledge the families who built a house and/or lived in it the longest in the names.

A story associated with this house is that it was built for the Price family in 1920 who traded it with James P. Deavor II (who went by J.P.) and family with a nearby home on Probart Street. The Price-Deavor House’s name reflects the idea that it was built by or for the Price family but was lived in by the Deavors for an extended length of time. However, deed research does not back up this story. There is no record of the Price family living there or having it built. What can be seen is that the original land sale was from Delia Gash to T.B. Crary, and then Crary to J.P. Deavor and wife Susan Lockwood Porcher Deavor in 1920, presumably after the house was built.

J.P. Deavor and son

The story about house-swapping may have been inspired by the fact J.P. Deavor and family did move from one house to the other according to Census records. On the 1920 Census this branch of the Deavor family is in a home on Probart Street very near the Price-Deavor House, but on the 1930 Census they are on West Main Street in what is now known as the Price-Deavor House. There is no record of the Price family ever living on either West Main Street or Probart Street.

The Price-Deavor House was on a piece of property that appears to have been subdivided in 1926, with that portion of land sold to lumberman Louis Carr’s son F. Brown Carr and another man named Coleman Zagar, then later sold to Grace Piercy who owned the nearby Pierce-Moore Hotel. The Price-Deavor house was occupied by members of the Deavor family at least into the mid-1960s and a shed addition was added to the back of the house during this time as well. The home has changed owners many times since the Deavors sold it and is currently being renovated not only to preserve its historic value, but also update it for modern use.

Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. This article was written by Local History Librarian Laura Sperry. Sources available upon request. For more information, comments, or suggestions, contact NC Room staff at [email protected] or 828-884-1820. 

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212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712