|R Henry Scadin photographed the scenic Sapphire Valley and its resorts
for the Toxaway Company to use in publicity.
One of the
larger document collections in the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room at the
Transylvania County Library consists of Toxaway Company land records.
In the late 1800s
northern investors saw opportunities to purchase land for mining, timber, and
development in Western North Carolina. A
group of prosperous Pennsylvania businessmen created the Toxaway Company to buy
thousands of acres in the Sapphire Valley region of Transylvania and Jackson
counties. The company title was granted
on January 4, 1896.
saw that the true value of the property was in creating luxurious mountain
resorts for the wealthy tourists drawn to the area for its pure air and water, mild
climate, scenic landscapes, and outdoor adventures. In 1896 they built the Fairfield Inn on
Fairfield Lake. A year later they
constructed Sapphire Inn. Both inns were
built on lakes on property purchased from the Sapphire Valley Mining Company.
|The Fairfield Inn on Fairfield Lake|
In 1902 an
agreement was made by the Toxaway Company for development in the Toxaway River Basin. The plan included timber manufacturing, mining
large deposits of corundum, and constructing a man-made lake and modern hotel. The five-story Toxaway Inn opened on Lake
Toxaway in August 1903.
|The Sapphire Inn burned in 1906.|
Company Land Records Collection consists of legal documents related to land
acquisition and efforts to verify land ownership so the Toxaway Company could purchase
property. Documents include land grants,
deeds, and supporting documentation from at least 73 families, Fairfield
Mining, Sapphire Valley Mining Company, and the Western North Carolina Mining
and Improvement Company. There are also
numerous correspondences and information on court cases. The earliest material dates to George
Lattimer’s 1796 land grant from the State of North Carolina.
Toxaway” by Jan Plemmons provides additional information on the Toxaway Company
and the development of the Lake Toxaway area.
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.