The Transylvania Times -

Dunn's Rock News


May 30, 2019

Recollections Of A Dunn’s Rock Native

Freda Jones Shepherd seems like a neighbor, even though it’s been over 60 years since she lived in Dunn’s Rock. She was born in 1939 next door to what’s now the Rockbrook Riding Center on Greenville Highway, in a white house on the banks of Dunn’s Creek.

The daughter of Claude and Bonnie Batson Jones, Freda had one younger brother, Vernon, who is now deceased. Her mother was born around Connestee Falls, and her father was from Cedar Mountain. Her first cousin is Dunn’s Rock neighbor, S.K. “Bud” Jones.

Freda is named for her maternal grandfather, Fred Batson, who built the house next door to the one her family occupied. When he died, Freda’s family moved in with her grandmother in the house next door. Freda attended the Connestee School for two years, until it closed and students were transported into Brevard for elementary school.

Now a resident of Glen Cannon, Freda said Dunn’s Rock was a safe place to grown up. She recalls that “everyone acted like your parent” and there was a sense of community unity. Her social life centered around Carr’s Hill Baptist Church and the Dunn’s Rock Community Center.

After church on Sundays, she and her friends would take hikes up to Dunn’s Rock. She also enjoyed playing baseball in a cow pasture on Island Ford Road and attending box suppers, talent shows and game nights at the community center.

As girls, Freda and Barbara Cantrell Wilson would play house along the banks of Dunn’s Creek. Nancy Carrier, the owner of nearby Rockbrook Camp for Girls, often observed the girls at play. When Barbara got engaged, Nancy hosted a party for her at Rockbrook House, telling the now young women, “you’ll get to play real house now.”

Living across the street from Powell’s Store, Freda said she was a regular at the establishment. Leuellan Powell, the proprietor, had a Blue Horse notebook in which he would notate her family’s charges. At the end of the week, her father would go by and settle up. She loved getting push-up popsicles and penny candy – especially bubble gum – which Powell kept in a glass jar on the counter. The school bus stopped right at the store, and kids getting off the bus were also frequent customers. Freda said that in the afternoons women in the community would gather at Powell’s Store for a “Coke.”

When she was in high school in the late 1950s, her family moved to a farm on Solomon Jones Road in Cedar Mountain. It wasn’t until then that her family got their first telephone. She said that the only folks who lived near her in Dunn’s Rock who had phones were Nancy Carrier and the Eben Morrow family.

Freda lived in Cedar Mountain until she married Max Shepherd of the Bethel Community in Haywood County. The couple met on a blind date set up by an Army buddy. After marrying, Max and Freda lived in Asheville while Max finished college.

After graduation, Max’s work with Burlington Industries took them all over North Carolina and Virginia, before they retired in Brevard in 2004. They had a son, Michael, who died of a brain tumor at age 5, and a daughter, Stephanie, who now lives in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Max passed away this February after living many years with Parkinson’s Disease.

Before she married, Freda worked at DuPont on the switchboard. In addition to this work, she did hair at night. When she got engaged, her father encouraged her to save her earnings to purchase a bedroom set from Dunn’s Rock woodworker Walter Cantrell, saying “you’ll have it for the rest of your life.”

Cantrell delivered the beautiful walnut set in his red delivery truck to the Shepherd’s garage apartment on Patton Avenue in Asheville. It was the first of many moves that the bedroom set made. As her father predicted, Freda still has the set and treasures it, just one of the many mementoes and memories of her time in Dunn’s Rock.

Duckpond At Dusk

The 15th season of Duckpond at Dusk commences this Saturday, June 1, with its first “mini-fest.” It will feature local favorites like Nikki Tally and her family band, The Trapp Brothers, members of Pretty Little Goat Band, Unpaid Bill and others. Music will begin at 6 p.m., and the pizza oven will be fired up at 5 p.m. Bring toppings, especially cheese, to go with the dough and sauce, which will be provided. The purpose of the mini-fest is to raise money for operating costs for this popular local music venue. Donations can be sent to The Duckpond Pottery, 1840 Greenville Highway, Brevard, NC 28712.

The season’s opening concert of Duckpond at Dusk will be Saturday, June 15, with Charles Humphreys’ Songs From the Road Band.

Community Center News

Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 20, the next Dunn’s Rock Community Center’s dinner and program. It will feature Yvonne McCall-Dickson, who will speak on Cherokee history. For information on renting the community center, contact Janet Robertson at 883-2678. Let me know your Dunn’s Rock news at

The Lightshow Has Begun

Fireflies are lighting up the tops of the tallest trees, and a lone blue ghost firefly is haunting the darkest corner of our property on Dunn’s Creek. I hope he finds some friends soon.


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