The Transylvania Times -

Cedar Mountain News

 

Last updated 3/4/2020 at 3:42pm

A lot of work was done in the 1950s to improve telephone coverage in the county.

Pancake Breakfast

There will be a pancake breakfast Saturday, March 14, at the Cedar Mountain fire station. The menu will be pancakes (choc chip, blueberry and plain) and sausage, juice, milk and coffee. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Donations will be gladly accepted.

Cedar Mountain History

By Patty Stahl

The Transylvania Times' Feb. 7, 1957, headline proclaimed in bold capital letters, DuPont Will Build Plant. The article reported, "Simultaneously with the announcement by DuPont that construction of a silicon plant at Buck Forest would be started immediately are statements from the local telephone company and the Brevard branch of Duke Power that work is underway to give power, lights and telephone service in that area in the immediate future."

A new road into the plant site from U.S. 276 in Cedar Mountain was also planned and completed.

Cedar Mountain residents did not have telephone service and were excited to hear the news of construction of the telephone cable. In 1955, the telephone committees of Dunn's Rock and Cedar Mountain had met to work on securing telephone service, seeking the possibility of help from the Rural Electrification Act of 1938 or the REA. In 1949 the Act was extended to allow loans to telephone companies wishing to connect lines with rural areas. Charles Pickelsimer Jr. in January of 1957, addressed residents at the Cedar Mountain Community Center. Help arrived from the REA in 1957, as reported in the following article.

Excerpts From The

Transylvania Times,

July 4, 1957, Article

Local Telephone Company Granted 638,000 REA Loan, Program Given

The Citizens Telephone Company, of Brevard, has been granted a REA (Rural Electrification Act) loan of $638,000, Charles Pickelsimer Jr., manager of Citizens Telephone Company, announced today. This money will be used to add 445 rural telephones and to improve existing service. Mr. Pickelsimer says the business plans to begin a door-to-door canvas to determine how many people desire telephones. Mr. Pickelsimer reports that he expects the project to take six months to one year to complete. The local telephone company expects to build a new cable from Brevard to Cedar Mountain. Today the local company has some 2,200 telephones as compared with 700 in 1950. In 1951 the manual service was converted to dial here. C.W. Pickelsimer Sr. is president of the company.

The 1957 Cedar Mountain scrapbook displayed the photo of a lineman working along the highway in Cedar Mountain, along with these comments: "This is probably the most exciting scene along our highway these past few weeks. Cedar Mountain will soon be in touch with the outside world via telephones, thanks to the DuPont Plant being erected in our community. Most families are planning on having phones installed in their homes, and.... pity that poor operator on the first day the phones are installed in Cedar Mountain."

There had been limited telephone service in Cedar Mountain before these new lines were installed in 1957. The Sylvan Valley News of 1898 reported that a line had been extended to Cedar Mountain and that the Caesar's Head Hotel would connect to it. In 1912, James Hagood, the manager of the Caesar's Head Hotel, was in Brevard checking on repairs that were being made to the phone at King's Livery. This phone was used to communicate with the hotel concerning transportation for the guests, according to the Sylvan Valley News. In 1921 Herschel Garren, a Cedar Mountain merchant and stockholder in the new Citizens Telephone Company, proposed building a new line from Cedar Mountain to Brevard and extending it to Caesar's Head. The Brevard Telephone Company and the Cherryfield Company had operated prior to the Citizens Company. In 1938 the CCC would build a warden fire tower on Rich Mountain and a telephone line to connect with the Brevard line.

The lines that carried the telephone service to the Cedar Mountain homes in the late 1950s, with the coming of the DuPont Plant, were party lines. No operator was needed for local calls, but the line was shared with several of your neighbors. The telephone companies issued party line etiquette about the amount of time spent on the phone and listening in on your neighbor's conversations. Telephone directories would now include the Cedar Mountain families. Copies of theses directories from the 1940s and into the 1970s are available at the library. In the early 1970s a Cedar Mountain telephone exchange operation was built on U.S. 276, near the current Cedar Mountain House. This exchange eliminated the need for party lines and, according to the Cedar Mountain scrapbook, "All the residents in the community have private lines." Now as to community wide cell coverage in Cedar Mountain today? Not yet – but that's a story for another day.

Christine's Corner

March is the time I make my New Year's resolutions, or should I say it is when I finally get around to acting on them? As I wind down from physical therapy I am able to increase the number of days I attend the workout classes at the Family Life Center and, perhaps, will increase my hours at Work Out Anytime in Brevard. I'll get my taxes done, start looking into getting a new furnace, replace several burned-out light bulbs (finally), find some summer clothes I know I won't wear and get them ready to donate next month.

I'll make plans around taking my 5-year-old grandson to spring soccer practices, take my pups for short walks one at a time and use any extra time painting gourd birdhouses to offer prior to Mother's Day in May. And if we end up with a ton of snow, delaying some of my March plans, I will get an early start to spring cleaning! Yes, March is a busy month for me; planning, acting on, while at the same time reflecting on the good days I enjoyed during a relatively mild winter. Life is good.

Around The House

By Linda Young

I took my two kitty kids to the vet last week. They both were treated for ear mites. Little Buddy weighed in at 18.64 pounds and Nozee at 8.75 pounds. The assistants were kind enough to carry Buddy in and out for me. It was a tussle to get him loaded, but when I got home I let them out of their carriers and they walked to the door. So much easier.

Scam

Foreign sounding voice: "You have won $1.5 million from Publishers Clearing House." I never entered the contest and told him so. He said I had won with my phone number. I should have led him on to hear the whole scam but he says, "Mam, do you know what a raffle is?" I'm still laughing.

Thank you for reading The Cedar Mountain News. Your contributions are encouraged and welcome. We'd love to hear what's going on if you would like to share. Email your news or any questions to cedarmountainnews@gmail.com by Monday evening.

Thanks also to those who caught the Easter date error. Unless you celebrate the Greek Orthodox Easter on April 19, mark your calendars for April 12.

 
 

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