The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) announced that the organization will be donating $10,000 to the Transylvania County Historical Society to support the Silvermont Centennial Committee’s effort to repair and refinish the windows of Silvermont. Funding for this project was made possible through the sponsorship of the Waightstill Avery Chapter, NSDAR, located in Brevard.
Built in 1917 by local industrialist Joseph Silversteen, Silvermont was bequeathed to Transylvania County in the 1970s and in the 1980s was saved from demolition by the Friends of Silvermont. For many years since, it has been used as a community center and, more recently, also contains a museum. Time and lack of sufficient care has led to some deterioration.
The vision of the Silvermont Centennial Committee, in preparation for celebrating Silvermont’s 100th birthday in 2017, is to make Silvermont a vibrant community center and historic landmark valued by residents and visitors of all ages for its beauty, history, recreation, music and special events.
The condition of the windows of Silvermont was raised as one of many areas identified by detailed analyses of the mansion and grounds needing attention to fulfill the committee’s vision. The original 75 solid oak existing windows are in need of repairs and adjustments to be weather tight, enhance the appearance of the mansion and improve the thermal comfort of the interior.
Molly Tartt, Regent of the Waightstill Avery Chapter of NSDAR, said, “I was honored to write the sponsorship letter for the grant written by the Transylvania County Historical Society to apply for the Silvermont Window Repair Project. Our DAR chapter saw that the Silvermont mansion was in desperate need of window repair and felt that this project would enhance the beauty of the mansion and was necessary for the thermal comfort of our senior citizens and county residents. Our chapter was so excited when the news came that the grant had been approved. The legacy of this great family survives today with all the activities that take place at Silvermont on a daily basis.”
One of the conditions for the grant process was that the Silvermont Centennial Committee have matching funds in hand. The Friends of Silvermont graciously donated $10,000 to fulfill that match. The Transylvania County Board of County Commissioners have agreed to cover the additional costs related to the project.
“We are grateful for the support of the Waightstill Avery Chapter of NSDAR, the Transylvania County Historical Society, Friends of Silvermont and Transylvania County,” said Jeannie Falknor, co-chair for the Silvermont Centennial Committee. “Their support is a reflection of widespread interest in caring for the Silvermont mansion.”
The NSDAR grants program was started in 2010. Funding is awarded to support projects in local communities which promote the organization’s mission areas of historic preservation, education and patriotism.
The NSDAR receives hundreds of grant applications each year, making competition high for the funding through the nonprofit organization. Interested groups must be sponsored by a local DAR chapter, submit a copy of their public charity 501(c)3 IRS documentation and include a narrative describing the need and urgency of the project, as well as planned activities and benefits to the community which will result from the grant.
The NSDAR was founded in 1890 to promote patriotism, preserve American history and support better education for our nation’s children. Its members are descended from patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With 178,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations.
For more information, contact Molly Tartt at (828) 883-2757 (DAR) or Gene Baker at (828) 884-4198 (TCHS).