The Transylvania Times -

Picturing The Past: Brevard Incorporated 150 Years Ago, Brevard, NC


January 1, 2018

Early stores on West Main, late 1800s.

This year marks the 150th year of the City of Brevard. Although the site was selected, surveyed and laid out in 1861, the town, as it was then, was not incorporated until 1868.

When Transylvania County was established in 1861, a supplemental act was passed for the creation of the county seat. Rather than locating the courthouse at one of the existing communities, it stated that a new town would be established. The town was to be named Brevard and located within five miles of W.P. Poor's store.

James L. Siniard, Joshua Bryant, George Orr, Francis Johnstone, Joseph Hamilton and Alec Henry were appointed to select and acquire property for the new town. After determining the exact site, a deed was drawn up from L.S. Gash, B.C. Lankford and Alexander England to James W. Killian, chair of the Court of Pleas and Quarters, for Transylvania County on June 8, 1861, giving the county ownership of the property.

Killian, Poor and Charles Patton were appointed to lay off lots within the site. They were to designate lots for public use, including a public square in the center. All other lots were made available for public sale. The funds raised from the sale of the lots were to be used for the construction of a courthouse and jail.

The primary street coming into town from the North was named Caldwell for B.C. (Braxton Caldwell) Lankford, who was known as Caldwell by family and friends. Other north-south streets were England, Gaston, Johnstone (now Johnson) and Rice. Broad Street began at the town square and ran south out of town.

Main Street was the primary east-west avenue. The other east-west streets were Jordan, Morgan and Poor.

Poor Street's name was later changed to Probart for W.P. (William Probart) Poor. In its early days, the town consisted of a few wood-frame buildings.

Often the business or store operated out of the main level and the family lived on the second floor or in the back of the building.

L.S. Gash owned a store that was operated by his wife's uncle, W.P. Poor.

The store was located on the current site of the Red House on Probart Street. In 1912 it was completely rebuilt and is unrecognizable as the former store. The England family had a large home nearby on the west side of town and the Lankford family built a home on the east side of town on Rice Street.

First map of the Town of Brevard, 1868.

Over the next several weeks, Picturing the Past will continue the story of Brevard's development through the years. The Jan. 16, 2018, Bag Lunch program at the library will showcase the evolution and growth of downtown Brevard through photographs.

(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] org or (828) 884-1820.)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2017