Friday, March 29, 2019

Will Tannery Be Rebuilt in Brevard? Yes, Bigger and Better than Before, March 28, 1919

From The Brevard News, March 28, 1919

Work of Rebuilding the Tannery Begun

A little less than three years ago the people of this country were amazed to know that Brevard was to become the seat of one of the greatest industrial plants in the south. Less than five weeks ago they were overwhelmed with consternation when the tannery was reduced to ashes in a few hours. In a very few weeks from now the same people will see the same tannery rise like magic from the ashes of February 19th.

The main building of the new tannery will be built by the same plan followed in the construction of the building which was destroyed. The new one, however, will be much larger in every detail than the first. It will be 800 feet long by 80 feet wide and two stories high. The roof will be made of dark red slate. The finishing department is on the second floor while the vats are on the lower floor. There are to be more than 1,000 of these, each with a capacity of over 4,000 gallons. The output of the enterprise will thus be greatly increased. New machinery of the most modern invention will be installed. In this particular the new tannery will have a slight advantage over the old one, in that machinery of the type used in tanneries has been greatly improved within the past year and a number of changes in equipment which were being planned by the local tanning company had not been made previous to the fire because of the rush of work incident to filling large government orders. Now, however, the Transylvania Tannery will have the latest equipment in every department.

A large force of carpenters are employed on the building and the work is being pushed forward as rapidly as possible.


March 21, 1919

A Petition for Transylvania Tannery

We, the wood and bark men and the employees at and in said plant, and the business men of Brevard, sadly deplore the great loss to the Laborers, on account employment, for depression in business generally, and for the financial loss to our company. Do not only extend our sympathy, but promise our co-operation both by good will and encouragement for the rebuilding of said plant and hope the same will be in active operation at the earliest date possible.

Signed by over 250 Citizens.


From the Brevard News, March 21, 1919

Speaks Highly of Mr. Silversteen

Editor Brevard News:

In last week’s issue of the News appeared Mr. Galloway’s article knocking the Tannery and Mr. Silverstein.

I cannot see how anyone could have the cheek to write such an article against Mr. Silverstein.
It is true that it did take some of the skilled labor out of the kitchens and from the wash tubs for a short while, but they received three times as much for their services there as they did while cooking and washing, and I think there is about as much honor in tanning as in washing. Of course I guess it went pretty hard with some to have to pay Mr. Bromfield for their washing instead of getting some colored woman to do it for about nothing.

I have in the past worked for Mr. Silverstein about eight years and I never worked for as good a man in many ways. I never knew him to misrepresent anything, and when he promised anything you surely will get it. I understand that the work of rebuilding has begun, so hurrah for Mr. Silverstein and the Tannery. So Mr. Galloway lets you and I go and get a job at the Tannery and all be good fellows together, and perhaps Mr. Silverstein will put up a grindstone and you may have an axe to grind some day and a double bitted one too.

Best wishes to Mr. Silverstein, the Tannery and the News.

--C.P. Hogsed


From the editorial page of the Brevard News, Friday, March 21, 1919

“A Difference of Opinion”

The Asheville Times of last Sunday carries an editorial in regard to the tannery at this place, which is in part as follows:

“When the plant was originally erected progressive business men of Brevard contributed enough money to buy a site for the plant at a cost of something like $6,500, and now that the original plant has been totally destroyed it has been hinted around that unless there is additional financial encouragement from the residents of the town the plant may be moved to another town.

“And therein lies the trouble. Many of the business men have expressed a willingness to again contribute a reasonable amount in order to retain the plant, but this opinion is by no means universal, some of the opponents of the measure have expressed themselves of the opinion that the town should not only refuse to again contribute to the rebuilding but should take steps to prevent the plant being re-established within smelling distance of the town at all.

“A resident of Transylvania dearly loves a fight, and since the proposition under discussion has two sides to it the people in the upper French Broad valley are not disposed to pass the matter by without strenuously insisting upon carrying their point. The outcome of the discussion will be watched with interest.”

We think the Times has been misinformed, as we have not heard any hints for additional financial aid. In fact we do not believe the management of the Transylvania Tanning Company would accept any financial aid. As we understand it what they want is simply to ascertain the pleasure of the people, and when the Times speaks of “opposition to the tannery” a grave injustice is done to the progressive spirit of the people of this county.

When the tannery was built the people of this county pledged their loyal support to the enterprise and the progressive citizens of Transylvania have no idea of going back on their pledge. They stand ready to back up the promises they have made.

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