Centennial Celebration This Saturday

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“It’s a family-friendly, free event from 11 to 5 p.m., and we really want everyone to come out to celebrate the history of Silvermont and enjoy the music,” said Carleen Dixon, Transylvania County Parks and Recreation Director.

Dixon said the live music includes a diverse lineup organized by local John Felty, owner of Mountain Song Productions.

“His (Felty’s) donation to the park was to coordinate the music and stage, so we’ve got Soul Magnetics, who are a soul/funk band, and then there is Clint Roberts, a younger guy out of Ashville who has a bluesy vibe,” Dixon said.

The schedule of performances include Lynn Goldsmith and the Jeter Mountain Band at 12 p.m., Cody Siniard at 1 p.m., Clint Roberts at 2:30 p.m. and Soul Magnetics at 4 p.m.

Dixon said there will also be food trucks, including Oskar Blues’ Chub Wagon, Amazing Pizza Company and Kiwi Gelato.

There will also be arts and crafts hosted by the Transylvania Youth Council and activities hosted by rangers from Gorges State Park.

“We will have a little of everything, face painting, and the balloon artist, Professor Whizzpop, for kids,” Dixon said.

She said after the music, they are going to wrap everything up with square dancing on the basketball court.

“If you grew up around here, you’d know that’s a tradition,” Dixon said. “We used to go there once a week with our families and square dance when we were kids.”

In the mansion itself, Dixon said the Friends of Silvermont, with whom the Transylvania County Parks and Recreation Department partnered to orchestrate the festival, will be dressed in period costumes on the second floor, and on the first floor, she said, there will be displays and pictures of Silvermont from the past to the present.


Dixon said there will not be any parking in the park itself, where the lot will be reserved for handicap accessible parking. She said her department has received approval with other locations, such as Comporium, a sponsor of the event, and Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church for festival parking.

[From April 24, 2017 Transylvania Times]

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Celebrate 100 Years of Silvermont


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Centennial Celebration Nears!

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DAR Honors Friend of Silvermont Gene Baker


At the March meeting, the Waightstill Avery Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution honored Eugene Rogers Baker for his outstanding volunteer service to Brevard and Transylvania County.  Many of his contributions were related to the Transylvania County Historical Society.  The Friends of Silvermont are especially proud of his contributions to Silvermont.

[From March 30, 2017 Transylvania Times…]

“The Silvermont Centennial Committee was formed in 2013 to restore the mansion to a vibrant community center and historic landmark. Baker was treasurer of that group.

Restoration of the windows was deemed to be the most pressing need, and Baker worked diligently to help raise funds towards this goal. Through the sponsorship of the Waightstill Avery Chapter NSDAR and with support from the Transylvania County Commissioners and the County Historical Society, the Silvermont Centennial Committee was awarded an NSDAR grant for $10,000 to apply toward repair and restoration of the 75 solid oak windows. This phase, as well as the replacement of the front porch, has been completed.

In keeping with the Silvermont Committee’s goal of developing a vibrant community center, the Bakers chose to donate funds for the planning and construction of a half-mile American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) certified loop trail around the eight acres of Silvermont. In conjunction with this, the Bakers also donated the funds to provide a resilient rubberized surface for an ADA toddler playground on the site.

Transylvania County has, indeed, been enriched by the service and commitment of Gene Baker. He has made us more aware of our heritage and, with this, has made our community a better place to live.”

For complete Transylvania Times story

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Centennial Celebration May 13 – Save the Date!

The SilveSilvermontCentennialLogoB&Wrmont Centennial will be celebrated on May 13, with a full day of music and fun activities at Silvermont Park.  The basketball court will become a stage for a multitude of area musicians to include:  Lynn Goldsmith & Jeter Mountain Band, Clint Richards, Soul Magnetica, and the Hog Town Squealers.

Activities on the grounds will include kids games, garden events, artists, crafts, nature walks and square dancing.

The house museum will be open and there will be displays of past-to-present throughout the house.

There will be lots of goodies available from food trucks as well.  Make sure to save the date, May 13, from 11am – 5pm, for a day of family fun at Silvermont!



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Thanks to Community Support – Halloween at Silvermont Park Was a Huge Success

PumpkinPatchSignThe second year for the “Lighted Pumpkin Patch & Revenge of the White Squirrels” event at Silvermont Park was a huge success, thanks to the support of Transylvania County residents and other visitors.  Over 2600 people visited the illuminated paths decorated with an extensive collection of carved pumpkin and other Halloween displays.  Kids of all ages enjoyed scouting for the hidden white squirrels along the trails, listening to the live music that was performed every evening, dining on goodies from the food trucks, visiting the first floor of the mansion and taking part in photo ops with a giant white squirrel!

The Pumpkin Patch fund-raising event ran for three weekends in October, and raised close to $14,000 for the Friends of Silvermont (FOS) fund to benefit Silvermont Park.  The Friends of Silvermont are community advocates for keeping Silvermont Park as a vibrant community center and historic landmark. The mission of FOS is to support and advise Transylvania County management in the renovation, enhancement and upkeep of the Silvermont mansion and surrounding park.

The event was possible through the contributions of over 100 volunteers, the Transylvania County Parks & Recreation Department, funding by the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority, and many helpful businesses.  Individuals from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the French Broad Garden Club, and the FOS provided the majority of volunteer efforts.

The initial unpacking of displays was a huge chore, requiring the relocation of the thousands of pumpkins and heavy displays from multiple storage locations to the Silvermont grounds.  Keystone Camp provided space for storage of many of the displays over the last year.  Participants from the Schenck Job Corps were vital to the moving process, as were members of the County Inmate Work Crew.

Volunteers spent hundreds of hours restoring the displays, planning the layout and logistics, and installing the many decorations and electrical cords required for illumination.  Thanks to County funding, new electrical outlets were available throughout the park, making the layout much more manageable this year.

During the event, volunteers worked the gates and parking lot, patrolled the trails, coordinated games, and managed the event.

New to the event this year, two food trucks provided warm drinks and others treats – many thanks to the Velvet Cup and Pauline’s Coffee Cart!

The live music of Ben Phan, Opus Vita, Alabama Headlights, Kevin Muehleisen, and Silvermont’s own Mountain Music group took turns entertaining the crowd from the steps of the mansion – thank you!

The Oskar Blues trolley transported appreciative visitors to Silvermont on several nights from neighboring parking lots and the Gallery Walk.

Other businesses that contributed to the success of the Pumpkin Patch include Ace Hardware, The Transylvania Times, Blue Ridge Quick Print, Allegra, and Keystone Camp.

The Silvermont mansion turns 100 years old in 2017 and plans are being made to celebrate the centennial.  Mark your calendars for May 13, 2017 when the primary celebration will be held!  The FOS encourages members of the community to provide continued support for Silvermont Park enhancement efforts by becoming a Friend of Silvermont.  To become a Friend, visit the FOS website at www.silvermont.org/membership/

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Silvermont Open for Twilight Tour

The second floor museum will be open during the Brevard Twilight Tour on December 3, from 5pm – 7pm.  It will be a great time to visit this historic site which will be decorated for the holidays.  The lovely silver Silvermont mansion Christmas ornaments will be Ornamentavailable for purchase. The  House Museum has been restored to reflect the era and lifestyle of Joseph Simpson Silversteen and his wife Elizabeth who built and moved into this 33-room colonial revival house in 1917.  Please note:  the museum is not  handicap  accessible due to its location on the second floor.

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