The Transylvania Times -

By Marcy Thompson
Picturing The Past 

Shaffer Ran Rosman Logging Business


December 12, 2016

The Shaffer home near Eastatoe Falls.

Shaffer Lumber was an unincorporated sole-proprietorship logging business owned and operated by Eugene A. Shaffer. Shaffer moved his young family to Rosman from Pennsylvania in 1910 to log the rugged area south of town.

He leased iron rails from Southern Railway and a 30-foot wide right-of-way from local property owners to build a rail line from Rosman across the French Broad River, past Shipman Fields, and then across the Middle Fork. The line continued to a flat where he built a sawmill at the present location of the Red Lion Inn. A spur along Shoal Creek reached as far as Eastatoe Falls.

A large wooden flume was constructed to move logs down the mountain to the falls. The logs shot off the end of the flume and ended up at to bottom of the falls. From there they were loaded onto rail cars and transported to the sawmill.

The logging operation and sawmill employed a crew of around 40 men. A small village, known as Shaffer's Camp, housed many of the employees and their families. Today this is the Middle Fork community.

The Shaffer family home, a one-and-one half story craftsman-style house, was within sight of Eastatoe Falls. The house was more elaborate than the typical homes of the area. It had four large peaked gable dormers, a large front porch, and a fieldstone foundation and front steps. The interior included a huge stone fireplace, molded ceiling beams, hall transoms, beveled leaded glass windows, and egg-and scalloped lintel molding. There was also a carriage house, a horse barn, and a corn crib on the property.

Eastatoe Falls on Shoal Creek.

In 1917 Shaffer sold his home and holdings, pulled up the railroad tracks and returned to Pennsylvania where he bought a power plant. Eugene Shaffer died in Williamsport, Pa. in 1958.

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


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