Friends of Silvermont will be rededicating the Transylvania County Walk of History on Saturday, June 17th at 1:00 PM. For those who are not familiar, the Walk of History is a portion of the walking path at Silvermont Park that runs between the parking lot and the E. Main St. boundary. Originally completed and dedicated in 2009, the Walk has many species of native trees and plants with a large sign that describes their importance and connections to Transylvania County during different historical periods.
Over the past 14 years, the Walk had fallen into a state of disrepair with many of the tree signs lost or damaged. The recent paving of the path also displaced the large sign, some of the tree signs, and even some of the plants they described. The Walk needed to be renewed or abandoned and the area cleaned up.
While the Walk of History represents the history of Transylvania County, it also represents the history of the Friends of Silvermont (FOS) organization. From our inception in 1981, FOS has been driven to first save Silvermont Mansion from demolition and then to maintain and improve the mansion and grounds for the citizens of Transylvania County. We have been fortunate to have hardworking and generous activist volunteers driving many of the major improvements at the park, both in FOS and partner organizations. One of these activist volunteers, Jane Shiley, was the motivating force behind the original development and installation of the Walk. In honor of Jane and the many others who have devoted so much time, energy and money to Silvermont Park over the years, FOS began planning the renewal of the walk shortly after the path was paved by the County.
Over the last two months, we have replaced the old wooden tree signs with new weather- and squirrel-resistant aluminum signs. These signs have QR codes enabling people to link to web pages at the FOS website (silvermont.org) that provide more information about the trees and shrubs, such as their historical uses, their roles in the environment, and associated folklore. The large sign describing the Walk has been refurbished and will be reinstalled at Silvermont Park this week.
The rededication ceremony Saturday will be in honor of Jane Shiley’s vision and passion for the park and the many others who have helped maintain and improve the unique and special place that is Silvermont Park and Mansion. The public is welcome to join us as we take a moment to remember our past and look forward to many more improvements in the future.