The Transylvania Times -

By Marcy Thompson
Picturing The Past 

Photographer Scadin Helped Boost Tourism And Business


Last updated 10/14/2013 at 9:58am

The family of David and Rachel Louisa Henderson Miller at their new house. Left to right: David, Ethel, Noah, Alvin (born 1898) and Louisa.

Brevard and Transylvania County have been fortunate to have several professional photographers through the years. In the late 1800s and early 1900s R. Henry Scadin and E. Hiram Glover began photographing the area. In 1916, Joe Wilde came to Transylvania County and began photographing people and scenes connected to the logging and lumber industry. Then in 1925, William Austin moved to Brevard and set up a photography shop.

The next four columns of “Picturing the Past” will feature each of these photographers who provide us a historical glimpse back at life in Brevard and Transylvania County.

Born in Michigan in 1861, Rupert Henry Scadin was living in the Hogback Township of Transylvania County with his wife and young son in 1900. He listed his occupation as photography. Scadin’s wife, Kate, was a painter. She would hand-color many of Henry’s photographs which were made into postcards and sold to tourists.

While in Transylvania County the Scadin family lived in the Sapphire area. Many of his photographs feature Toxaway Inn, Fairfield Inn, and Sapphire Inn. In his diaries Scadin makes references such as, “Did up photos for Mr. Hays, and made out a bill for the Toxaway Co.”

J. Frances Hayes came to Western North Carolina for the business opportunities. He was instrumental in helping bring tourism and business to Transyl-vania County. He built Toxaway Inn, Fairfield Inn, Sapphire Inn and the Franklin Hotel in Brevard. Many of the early photographs of these four businesses were taken by Henry Scadin for advertising purposes.

In addition to photography, Scadin also kept an orchid at the family’s Sapphire home and later in the Dana area.

For about 20 years Scadin documented the rural life of Western North Carolina through photography and his meticulously kept diaries.

The Scadin family seemed to move around between Michigan, Ver-mont, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Florida but was continually drawn back to the mountains of Western North Carolina. After Henry’s death in 1923, Kate and son, Dewey continued to keep diaries for several years.

Forty-three diaries and 1,200 glass plates are part of the UNC-A Ramsey Library R. Henry Scadin Collection. The diaries and some of the photographs can be viewed online.

R. Henry Scadin

Scadin’s diaries are full of references to Hiram Glover. Scadin and Glover were obviously good friends and often worked together. Glover will be featured in next week’s article.

(Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the N.C. 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 or (828) 884-3151 ext. 242.)


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