The Transylvania Times -

By Marcy Thompson
Picturing The Past 

Early Doctors Resided On West Probart


Home of Dr. Mitchell and Essie King.

This week Picturing the Past is returning to West Probart Street for a look at the homes of two of Brevard's early doctors, Dr. Mitchell King and Dr. Charles Hunt, located on the North side of the street beyond Railroad Avenue.

Mitchell Malachi King was born in what is today Transylvania County in 1852 to Samuel and Charlotte King. He attended medical school in Louisville, Ky. and Atlanta, Ga., graduating in 1878. His first practice was in Pickens County, S.C.. Within a few years King had married and moved back to Brevard. The Kings, along with their only son, lived in a small one-story cottage on West Probart.

After Essie King's death, King remarried. Mitchell and Cordelia King had three more children and soon built a larger home next door to the cottage. This house is a two-story Victorian with a two-tier wrap porch on the front and east sides. The home had a mix of exterior finishes, including weather-board siding, beaded-board gable-end sheathing, patterned wood shingles, stained-glass windows and decorative corner brackets.

King's father, and later his brother, operated King's Mill. King, his brothers and some cousins also ran a gold mine on King's Creek in the early 1900s. Dr. King died March 4, 1923.

Charles Washington Hunt was born in Wake County in 1854. He graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Baltimore in 1880 and soon came to Brevard. For a short time he practiced medicine in Asheville and Greenville, S.C. before settling permanently in Brevard.

In addition to being a doctor, Hunt was a strong promoter of Transylvania County as a destination for summer residents and tourists.

The Hunt Cottages, operated by Hunt's wife, Henrietta, were popular with summer visitors. Early tourism brochures advertised the Hunt Cottages as being conveniently located, just five minutes walk from the depot and downtown. A large lawn with walkways and shade trees surrounded the modern cottages, which had electricity and telephones. Fresh home-grown vegetables, poultry, eggs, butter and milk were included at meals. The Hunt Cottages could accommodate about 50 guests. Rates were $7-10 per week.

Hunt was also responsible for the first Pisgah National Forest entrance gate which was constructed as a memorial to Tran-sylvania's World War I soldiers. Hunt died July 20, 1924.

Postcard of Hunt Cottages on West Probart Street.

Numerous other cottages were located along the west end of Probart Street and its side streets. In contrast to the homes on the east end, which were larger and mainly inhabited by year-round residents, most of these houses were small and served as summer residences.

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


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