The historic Allison-Deaver House, located at 2753 Asheville Highway in Pisgah Forest, closes for the season on Oct. 19, but the trails and gardens are open to the public at any time. In 1815, when most mountain dwellings were log cabins, Benjamin Allison of Maryland built a two-story frame house based on the design of row houses in England and the East Coast. Allison, who had 11 children and perhaps needed more space for his family, sold the little house to William and Mary Patton Deaver in 1830. By 1840, the house had more than doubled in size, and by 1860 the Charleston-inspired double porches had been added. The Deaver home and its 5,117 acres in scattered locations reflected the prosperity achievable in the mountain economy. But in 1987, the by-then derelict house was scheduled for demolition in favor of being used for a shopping center. Alarmed that this local historic touchstone would be lost, the Transylvania County Historical Society was formed to raise the funds to purchase, stabilize and restore it. Today, the Allison-Deaver House is the oldest standing frame house in western North Carolina. It is designated a Local Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places and the N.C. Civil War Trail. Many of the original architectural features are intact and the furnishings, many from the Deaver family, reflect the different eras of ownership. For more information, go to www.tchistoricalsociety.com or call (828) 884-5137.
The McGaha Chapel
The Transylvania County Historical Society also oversees the McGaha Chapel in Cedar Mountain. It is the county’s oldest surviving church building. Completed in 1872 during the difficult Reconstruction period following the Civil War, it was built by a group of rural neighbors who sought to help bring together and heal the tensions of divided loyalties surrounding the war that had torn apart families and friends. Sitting on a knoll just off Halley Cove Road, the chapel served the community for more than 50 years. Now carefully preserved, it is used for weddings, community sings, special tours and occasional worship services. To see the chapel, travel seven miles from Brevard along U. S. 276 South to Halley Cove Road. For more information about all local activities, go to www.transylvaniaexplorer.com.