In May, a community celebration was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the Silvermont mansion in downtown Brevard.
The Silvermont mansion, built in 1917 and now on the National Register of Historic Places, was the home of industrialist and philanthropist Joseph Silversteen and his family. In 1902,
The Silversteen family came to Transylvania County, where Silversteen started tanning and lumber companies. The mansion and 8 acres that surround it were willed to the county in 1972. It has been a county park and a hub of regular activity ever since.
The mansion’s second floor museum allows visitors to step back in time and imagine how the Silversteen family lived. It is open from 2 to 4 p.m. on the third Friday of each month, March through October. Call (828) 884-3156 for guided tours.
Every Thursday, the mansion hosts “Mountain Music,” starting at 7:30 p.m. This free event features area musicians. During the week, the Silvermont Opportunity Center on the first floor holds classes and activities for those 60 and older. Call (828) 884-3166 for more information.
Much is happening on the park grounds, as well, where tennis courts, basketball courts, picnic areas, a new playground, trails and gardens are open to the public.
The ADA-accessible trail through the park starts at the front of the property, where the “Walk of History” leads you past representative trees with signage connecting the trees to periods of Transylvania County history. Walkers, joggers, youngsters in strollers and wheelchair users can follow the trail through woodlands, a beautiful conifer garden, picnic spots and recreation areas.
The Transylvania County Extension Service Master Gardeners maintain demonstration gardens behind the mansion: a vegetable and herb “Learning Garden;” a Woodland Garden, focused on native plants appropriate for local landscapes; and a Pollinator Garden full of blooms, bees and butterflies.
You often can find Master Gardeners in the gardens to answer questions. Repairs to the mansion have been under way since 2013.
The front porch and columns have been redone and painted. Windows throughout the mansion have been replaced and there are plans for a new basketball court, a community gathering plaza, additional picnic tables and benches, and more.
For more information on Silvermont and the ongoing plans, go to www.silver mont.org, where there also is information on how to make a tax-deductible donation towards park improvements, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on park usage, visit https://tcpr.recdesk.com/recdeskportal.