From The Museum A New Commodity: Timber
Last updated 11/15/2021 at 2:04pm
Editor's note: The following was provided by the Transylvania Heritage Museum.
With the arrival of the railroad, Transylvania County discovered a new commodity to sell: timber. Captains of industry, such as Joseph Silversteen, Carl Moltz and Louis Carr, came to the county and employed thousands of its citizens to harvest the primeval forest.
Young families, especially, were enticed by the lure of cash money for a day's work.
It was a way to get ahead by making an honest living, so they packed up and moved their families to the logging camps.
The irony was living conditions became more primitive in the tough shacks thrown together for their shelter.
Much of the pay went to the company commissary in exchange for food and clothing, but those who handled their finances well could save and improve their lifestyle. This article was written by Yvonne McCall Dickson as part of the Transylvania Heritage Museum's 2009 Exhibit Living Off the Land.
Yvonne's grandfather was a teamster for Carr Lumber Company and her mother, Mamie Bumgarner, grew up in lumber camps.