The Transylvania Times -

Picturing The Past: Book Offers Picture Of Connestee And Carson Creek Area


October 15, 2018

The Batson family at their home in present day Connestee Falls. Back row are Fred and Maggie Hogsed Batson; and daughters Mayo and Corrine. From left to right on the front row are son, Milton; daughter, Bonnie; and son, Russell. (Courtesy photos)

In the preface of his book, "Shadows of the Past: Return to Reba," Ed Comer wrote, "Long before the Connestee Falls community existed, its land held pockets of hardy souls that built their homes here, tilled its rocky slopes, raised families and generally went about their lives in an independent and self-sufficient manner."

In 2007, work on a Hiking trail revealed traces of earlier residents within the current Connestee Falls community. The discovery prompted Comer to research who these residents had been and to learn more about their lives. Comer provides an overview of early settlement, the construction of roads and even the dream of a rail line through what is today a gated residential community in the Dunn's Rock and Eastatoe townships of Transylvania County. He tells of the little community of Reba, which officially existed as a post office from 1898 to 1907. The Bagwell, Batson, Beasley, Clark, Garren, Hubbard and Raines families all lived in the area that also included Carson Creek Church and Carson Creek School.

The initial home site uncovered turned out to be the remains of a cabin belonging to Thomas M. Beasley. A collapsed stone chimney, a couple of logs that had likely been support beams, foundation posts and hundreds of nails helped determine the location and size of the cabin.

Beginning in the early 1800s, the Beasley family lived in the East Fork area on and off, with occasional moves to Pickens County, S.C. Alston Beasley, father of Thomas, was a partner in a silver mine located near the present day Blue Ridge Parkway in Transylvania County beginning in 1834.

At his death, the property went to Thomas and was eventually sold in two parts in 1912 and 1915.

Research on the Beasley site led to the discovery of what remained of the Fred Batson place. An intact stacked stone chimney, debris of the collapsed cabin and other artifacts of a past life were all discovered.

Fred Batson was the third generation of his family to live in the Carson Creek area. Batson moved his family to a small farm near Island Ford Road in Dunn's Rock by 1925.

Carson Creek School

"Shadows of the Past" offers a picture of the Connestee and Carson Creek area from the late 1800s into the mid-1900s. It is available to be checked out at the Transylvania County Library.

(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.thomp son@transylvaniacounty. org or (828) 884-1820.)


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