“I taught my daughter to play basketball on the Silvermont courts. Throughout her elementary and middle school years we had so much fun working on skills and playing games of 21, we would laugh and compete and come home dead tired.
A few years later, my beautiful daughter walked across those same courts in her prom dress. We were making her prom photo at the gazebo. And I thought, isn’t it funny how things change.
Silvermont has so many uses and is central to our lives in ways we may not even realize at the time. It is a treasure worth preserving.”
Chair, Transylvania County
Board of Commissioners
“Growing up on Park Avenue gave me a lot of opportunity to be at Silvermont.
As a child and teenager it was a popular place to gather due to its safe and welcoming venue. Now as an adult with children, I still find it to be a place of choice.
As mayor of Brevard, I see it as a place we can be proud of because of its history, beauty and potential.
We need to keep it that way by taking care of it now.”
Mayor of Brevard
“Silvermont was and is a fixture in my life experience in Brevard. As a kid, it was a place for me and my friends to ride bikes, to play tennis with my family, and pickup basketball after school and on holidays – all memories I treasure.
As a parent, I watched my kids learn to ride their bikes there and continue to go there because of the Park’s accessibility and proximity to town. Silvermont provides the only recreation space in town for kids and families.
And with the cultural offerings hosted at the mansion, Silvermont Park is a unique and important part of our community.
It deserves our care so that our kids and grandkids can have Silvermont memories they treasure.”
Mountain Song Productions
“As a local kid who was raised and grew up in the 50s and 60s on Wilson Drive almost next door to the Silvermont Estate, I always considered it a very important place and it held a fascination for all us neighborhood kids.
The woods behind the home were where all of us neighborhood kids played and learned more about the outdoors, fort building and fighting off the imaginary bad guys than on the city streets. This was way before the development was built behind it. At that time it was all woods around the home and gardens, and a great place to play.
We were all fascinated by the mystique of the home as we did not know if we were supposed to be near it as it was such a grand home, although no one ever ran us off. However we still kept our distance.
My first visit to the home where I was able to go inside was after it was donated to the county and I was even more impressed with the grandeur of the home and grounds.
As time passed, it has always been a local landmark for directions, a major gathering place for social functions such as weddings, receptions, political events, and generally a great place for our citizens to use.
I am proud that we have made it a priority to maintain and improve the facility. The future plans for updating not only the home but also the grounds will make it even more valuable to our community and a place we can all be proud of.
I encourage all of our citizens to stop by and take a look at what has been going on at Silvermont and get involved in helping make it an even more important facility for our community by not only donating your time but also your help financially is greatly appreciated.”
Transylvania County Commission, Vice Chairman
“Silvermont, then hidden behind heavy, ornate iron gates, a hemlock hedge and surrounding woods seemed like another world in our young minds. Walking the stone wall and peering through the trees was about as close as we dared trespass. Mr. Silversteen’s European attire — dapper topcoat, tall boots and horned rimmed glasses — set him apart. Perhaps it was his demeanor, his charm, or the thin silver dime he sometimes slipped into our hands that distinguished him most to us as children.
Adelaide, the Silversteens’ youngest daughter, and her husband, Bill Hill, returned to Brevard in the mid- 1950s to celebrity status — she a famous singer, and both respected musicians and world travelers. As seen through adolescent eyes, her long, dark fur coat and flowery hat only added to the mystique.
On Sundays they sat near the front at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church where our family also attended. Their place reserved simply by a pew cushion. Mary recounts a Sunday service when the organist was away and her mother volunteered her as the substitute: I was very nervous and had hit several wrong keys when Adelaide stood up and leaned over the pew to see who was playing the organ!
The lovely triple stained glass windows behind the altar at St. Philip’s were donated by the Silversteens in 1957 in memory of Adelaide’s mother, Elizabeth.
Mac remembers barely surviving diction lessons with her, reading from her prepared tests and being graded on enunciation, form, tempo, etc.: The fact that our mother and Adelaide were lifelong friends probably saved us both from too much scrutiny.
Bill Hill would eventually become a pillar of the church, guiding the finances of the parish for several decades. Mac recalls: I learned to appreciate him more as a young adult during my tenure as Junior Warden, where my respect for his charity grew. At times of true financial need, Bill always seemed to find a way for the church to meet that need. Sometimes, I suspect, from his own pocket.
The gift of Silvermont and its surrounding property to the people of Transylvania County speaks volumes to the Silversteens’ love for Brevard and its citizens. Restoration of this historic home is a way to honor their legacy and create a gathering place for all. Please consider joining us (as Adelaide’s husband, Bill Hill did) by reaching into your pocket to support this unique community asset.”
Mac Morrow, Brevard Mayor Pro Tem
Mary Morrow Rose
“So many special times are linked with Silvermont! Of course, our children played there often when they were younger. Now grandchildren play tennis there.
But it goes even further. I remember wonderful fund-raisers for various causes that were held on the beautiful porch. Elegant suppers prepared by loving hands and served beautifully.
When I was involved with Brevard Little Theater, we stored costumes on the third floor and spent lots of time sorting and selecting and sweated buckets in the summer. At that time, much of the original furniture was still in the house and it was like a time machine. And now the beautiful house museum offers a glimpse of the early days of the mansion and its’ family. Silvermont is a happy place and the walls echo with laughter and memories for our family.”
Cocoon Interior Design
“Summer of 1993, Annette, and I pulled our truck and camper into the Silvermont parking lot. Our kids were 5 and 7, had been in the truck all day. It was late on a Sunday afternoon, middle of July. We let the kids out to ride their bikes, and burn some energy. We were just passing through on a journey to somewhere. We noticed some kids playing basketball, black kids, white kids, and latino lids, together. If this is the south, let us be part of it. Annette said this was it. She wanted to live in this neighborhood. We stayed in a campground in Etowah, and looked for a house. Out of the blue, a house came up for sale on Parkview, we moved in in October, and we are still here, tho we left the house on Parkview in 2003.
Silvermont was the lure. And we took it hook, line, and sinker!”
Kevin and Annette Glenn
“I will always remember “My Silvermont” as the giant slide, the wood forts, the swan swings , the basketball courts and the giant concrete animals. Of course most of these park features are no longer here but the memories live on. My sister and I would walk to the park from my parents business in town to shoot some hoops and meet up with friends. This is where most of my skills were honed for church league basketball.
Some of my fondest memories include special events that were held at Silvermont: my sister and I “showing” our dogs in one of the annual dog shows, me running my first official 1 mile run that started and finished in Silvermont, attending many dances that took place on the basketball courts where we perfected our clogging skills, and of course I could never forget the annual Halloween Costume Contest where my sister won first place for her frightening costume of the headless horseman.
I still to this day spend time in Silvermont and can’t wait to see how the future of the park will unfold for the community. “
Director, Transylvania County Department of Parks & Recreation
On July 17, 1986 the Festival of the Arts held an antique auto show and a dog show at Silvermont. We had just moved into our summer cottage in the Lake Toxaway area the year before and our daughters enjoyed showing off our doberman, Chelsey, that day at the show. Now, many years later, we are fortunate to live just down the street from Silvermont, where we frequently walk our dog and follow the progress of the beautiful vegetable and woodland Master Gardener’s gardens behind the mansion.