The Transylvania Times -

By Marcy Thompson
Picturing The Past 

Architectural Surveys Provide Excellent Information


October 10, 2016

Structures surveyed included both small and large buildings on farms and in towns, such as the privy on the Looney Banther farm in the Whitewater section of the county and the former Brevard Lumber building on King Street in Brevard. (Courtesy photos)

JHPC (Joint Historical Preservation Commission) architectural survey files are an excellent source of information for historical structures in Transylvania County. Many of the photographs of homes and businesses used in Picturing the Past articles are from the countywide architectural survey taken between September 1990 and September 1991.

An outside consultant, along with local history experts, combed the county, identifying properties that were at least 50 years old and that retained their historic and architectural integrity.

After the survey was completed, an overview of the county's history from about 1820 to 1941 was published. It was divided into four periods defined by events that strongly affected the development, culture and architecture of the county. In addition, more than 50 local properties were added to a state-maintained study list identifying properties eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1995 the Transylvania County Joint Historic Preservation Commission began working on a book based on the survey data prepared by the consultant. "Transylvania: The Architectural History of a Mountain County" was published in 1998. It features more than 200 of the county's finest and most representative historic properties.

Files for all 489 properties are located in the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room at the Transylvania County Library. Nearly 1,500 images from these properties representing Balsam Grove, Brevard, Cedar Mountain, Lake Toxaway, Penrose, Pisgah Forest, Rosman and other areas of the county are now available online at Hundreds of images depicting farm buildings - barns, chicken houses, corn cribs, silos, smokehouses and spring houses - reflect the county's agricultural roots. Bridges, businesses, camps, cemeteries, churches, gauging stations, mills and residential homes are among the other structures included in the survey.

The property files also contain corresponding data with architectural descriptions, family names, historical background and locations. Interns from Rosman High School and Brevard College are currently working to scan this supporting information, which will then be added to the photographs on DigitalNC.

(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] or (828) 884-3151 ext. 242.)


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