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Main house at the Transylvania County Home, 1917-1943.

Transylvania County has a long history of helping provide
for those who are unable to care for themselves.  Early minutes of the Transylvania Court of
Pleas and Quarter sessions state that the Sheriff was responsible for
collecting “poor tax” to be distributed by the wardens of the poor.

Beginning in 1888 there are references to a “Poor House”,
“County Home” and “Home for the aged and infirm” in the minutes of the
Transylvania County Commissioners.  All
refer to the same institution.  On
February 9, 1888 the county purchased S.J. Tinsley’s 80-acre farm located west
of Brevard for the purpose of housing those in need.  Housing consisted of four one-room cabins
with fireplaces and a caretaker’s cabin. 

The minutes also contain records of purchases of food and
supplies, caretaker contracts, occasional audits and references to individual
inmates.  The last caretaker of this
property was W. A. Brown who received $7 per month, per pauper.  Brown provided firewood, food and minimal

In 1917 the county sold this property and moved the County
Home a few mi

les further west.  It was
located across the old highway from Cathey’s Creek Baptist Church.  There was more space here to house those in
need.   The main house had eleven bedrooms.  A second house had five bedrooms and two smaller
houses had four and two bedrooms. 

In the late 1930s and early 1940s Transylvania County was
operating in a financial deficit.  In an
effort to reduce expenses and generated revenue the County Home was closed and
the property sold.  On September 7, 1943
Charles R. Ziegler purchased it for $15,000.

In 1977 Hwy 64 was widen and realigned between Brevard and
Rosman.  It cut through the property that
had once been the County Home.  Today
only one of the original buildings and some graves remain.

Marker at Cathey’s Creek Baptist Church Cemetery

The pauper’s cemetery originally belonged to the county.  It was on the northern side of the property
near the Cathey’s Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.  On September 16, 1933 the county deeded the
cemetery to the church for $1.00. 

The Cathey’s Creek Community Center recently erected a
monument in memory of the people from the County Home buried in the cemetery.  They hav

e also compiled a new book with
information about everyone buried at Cathey’s Creek Baptist Church.  They hope to have the book complete and
available soon.

To learn more about the County Home visit the library blog
at or check out Ed Comer’s booklet, Transylvania
County Home History
available at the library.

Aerial photo showing layout of County Home in Selica Community, 1917-1943.

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.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712