The Transylvania Times -

By Marcy Thompson
Picturing The Past 

Alligator Rock, Church Are Gloucester Landmarks

 

Macedonia Baptist Church

Early settlers in the valleys and mountains in the Gloucester area of what was to become Transylvania County had to travel 10 or more miles to attend church services at Cathey's Creek Baptist Church. On today's roads it takes half an hour or more to travel those miles, so imagine making the trip in the early 1800s.

By the 1840s there were several families interested in establishing a church closer to home. They petitioned the Cathey's Creek church to form their own congregation. On July 6, 1844 they held their first service in the Gloucester school and selected the name Macedonia for their church.

The little congregation grew and soon constructed a church of split-logs. Around 1900 the current Macedonia Baptist Church was built. It is a typical white wooden country church with a gable roof, windows down both sides and a small belfry.

In the early 1900s Joseph Silversteen's Gloucester Lumber Company logged thousands of acres in the area west of Rosman and North of Highway 64. In 1923 he gave property to build a schoolhouse for the children in the area around Macedonia Baptist Church. The large, three-room school was built by Jim Anders, Herbert Anders, Bill Anders and Kencie Meece. It served the community for over 30 years until being closed in 1956. The school and community became known as Silversteen and the name remains today.

Alligator Rock on Hwy 215. (Photo Courtesy of Bob Cole)

Many of the men in the community worked in the Gloucester Lumber logging camps to help support their families. Later they became independent truckers hauling logs to Canton several days a week. In her history of the Silversteen Community Rowena McCall Ashe tells this story, "In the Gloucester community (as it was called back then) all the truck owners only had one tag for all their trucks. When they would haul a load to Canton they always stopped on the way down 215 and got the tag from the top of Alligator Rock. When they returned they would stop and put it back in its hiding place so the next trucker the next day could use it. Times were hard and they all stuck together doing what they could to provide for their families."

(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 marcy. thompson@transylvania county. org or 828-884-3151 ext. 242.)

 
 

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