The Friends of Silvermont:
In 1981, a group of concerned citizens joined forces to stop the Silvermont mansion, in a state of disrepair, from being demolished. The group then formed the Friends of Silvermont and have continued to advocate for Silvermont, helping to clean, repair and restore the mansion, and initiating its placement on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2011, a House Museum on the second floor was restored to reflect the era and lifestyle of the Silversteen family.
Still seeing much opportunity to enhance the Silvermont mansion and grounds, a group of citizens who represented organizations that work and play at Silvermont formed the Silvermont Strategic Planning Team in January 2012. Their purpose was to create a unified leadership team to develop and implement short-term and long-term goals for Silvermont Park.
Groups represented on the strategic team included: Friends of Silvermont, Second Floor Museum, Master Gardeners, French Broad Garden Club, Transylvania County Historical Society, local business people, Silvermont Opportunity Center, Transylvania County Cooperative Extension Service and Parks and Recreation Department, tennis programs and parents of young children. (Committee Members)
Silvermont Park is a vibrant community center and historic landmark valued by residents and visitors of all ages for its beauty, history, recreation, education, music and special events.
The group wanted to inject some new life into the park, make needed repairs on the house and grounds, and bring new assets to the park such as childrens’ playgrounds, a new basketball court and community gathering plaza.
After 18 months of work (CommitteeHistory), identifying needs and opportunities at the park, the group presented a 4-year, $2.2 million strategic plan to the Transylvania County Commissioners. (Executive Summary)
The commissioners accepted the plan and released $200,000 from the Silvermont Reserve Fund to begin the first phase of work at the park. (See the mansion and grounds plans.)
The Silvermont Centennial Campaign:
With the completion of the plan and County funding, the group was renamed the Silvermont Centennial Committee. Work began to raise funds for implementation of the plan in time for the 2017 centennial of the mansion.
It will take widespread community support to accomplish all the goals in the plan for the mansion and grounds. We hope you will be part of this exciting project called the Silvermont Centennial Campaign. Donate here.
The New Friends of Silvermont:
As of January 2016, windows have been replaced throughout the mansion, exterior repairs completed, an ADA-accessible trail built throughout the park, and a new children’s playground installed. Restoration work on the interior of the mansion has now begun.
In June of 2015, the Silvermont Centennial Committee and the Friends of Silvermont elected to combine forces under the Friends of Silvermont umbrella. The combined membership will continue to support the implementation of the strategic plan and the Silvermont Centennial Campaign. Their mission:
The Friends of Silvermont (“FOS”) 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.
Objectives – The mission will be accomplished through:
- Fundraising toward short- and long-term goals from donors and activities;
- Representing various community users of Silvermont mansion and park;
- Developing and advocating short- and long-term goals based on community input;
- Developing and implementing community events and activities; and
- Overseeing the Silvermont Centennial and other campaigns.