The Transylvania Times -

History And Architecture Of J.R. Zachary House

Picturing The Past  


Last updated 2/10/2020 at 2:40pm

This 1990 photograph of the Zachary House from the Transylvania County architectural survey shows the once majestic home in its declining years. (Courtesy photo)

As the population of Brevard grew in the early 1900s, the town expanded beyond the original 50 acres bordered by Probart, Morgan, Rice and England streets. A 1910 survey by A.L. Hardin shows the town limits as a circle one half mile from the courthouse.

Newspapers articles in the Sylvan Valley News tell of numerous new streets being laid out and the expansion of town water lines. Several accounts mention the home of J.R. Zachary on Maple Street. In early 1908 new streets were built through Zachary's property. One running from Broad to Maple was named Zachary Avenue. This appears to be present day Miner Street.

John Zachary was a descendant of the large Zachary family that had settled in the Cashier's area of Jackson County. Numerous members of the family would move to Transylvania County and Brevard over the years. John was a lumber and wood dealer. He and his wife, Ophelia, built a two-story frame house with elements of late Victorian-, Queen Anne-, Colonial Revival- and Craftsman-style architecture. The exterior featured multiple gables with many decorative details. The interior of the 10-room home contained detailed woodwork, including an open-string stair with turned balusters, a molded handrail and ornately carved square newel with an urn finial.

After John Zachary's death in 1921, his brother Ralph purchased the home. Ralph and Carrie Zachary made many improvements to the house and surrounding property. The old porch was removed and a wide, wraparound porch and extending porte cochere were added.

Ralph Zachary was active in business and politics. He served in the State Legislature and later on the Board of Alderman for the Town of Brevard. He died in 1928.

Mrs. Zachary rented rooms to summer visitors and later divided the home into apartments. She sold the home to her son John in 1940 but continued to live there until her death in 1949. John Zachary sold the property to Frank and Claire Bridges in 1956.

The house, which was located at the intersection of present day Maple and Turnpike, had not been lived in for several decades before it was pulled down a few years ago.

(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 local history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments, or suggestions, contact Marcy at or call (828) 884-1820.)


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