Transylvania County, North Carolina

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Transylvania County, North Carolina
File:Courthouse, Brevard, NC.jpg
Transylvania County Courthouse
Seal of Transylvania County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Transylvania County
Location in the U.S. state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1861
Named for The Transylvania Company
Seat Brevard
Largest city Brevard
 • Total 381 sq mi (987 km2)
 • Land 379 sq mi (982 km2)
 • Water 2.0 sq mi (5 km2), 0.5%
 • (2010) 33,090
 • Density 87/sq mi (34/km²)
Congressional district 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Transylvania County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 33,090.[1] Its county seat is Brevard.[2]

Transylvania County comprises the Brevard, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Asheville-Brevard, NC Combined Statistical Area.


Founded in 1861, the county's name is derived from the colonial Transylvania Company[citation needed] and has Latin origins: trans ("across") and silva ("woods").[3]

Prior to the early twentieth century, an overwhelming majority of Transylvania County’s residents subsisted through agriculture, often growing basic staples such as potatoes and cabbage.[3]

In the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the "Ecustas" acted as the county’s official baseball team, taking their mascot from the mythical, fire-breathing beast of Cherokee legend said to reside in the caves of the surrounding wilderness.[3]

Beginning in the early twentieth century with Joseph Silverstein’s tannery, a manufacturing economy began to emerge in the county relying on timber and related products harvested from the Pisgah (later “National”) Forest. In the 1930s, Harry Strauss, an enterprising businessman opened a paper mill in the heart of the Pisgah, providing manufacturing jobs to hundreds of local residents. During the peak industrial years of the 1950s, DuPont located one of its factories in the county.[3]

In the following decades, Brevard College and its namesake town each grew at an unprecedented rate, giving rise to a new period of cultural indulgence. It was during this period that the Brevard Music Festival began to attract bluegrass musicians and enthusiasts from around the country to Transylvania County.[3]

Since the later part of the twentieth century, Transylvania County has experienced a rapid decline in economic prosperity, as most of the manufacturing operations that once operated there have since left the United States for more favorable business conditions in East Asia. Since that time, the county has worked to reshape its economy around the growing Appalachian summer and winter tourism industry.[3]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 381 square miles (990 km2), of which 379 square miles (980 km2) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.5%) is water.[4]

There are over 250 waterfalls in the county. Receiving over 90 inches of rain annually, Transylvania County is the wettest county in the state. This is contrasted with Buncombe County, which is thirty miles northeast of Transylvania County receiving the lowest precipitation. The Blue Ridge Parkway traverses through parts of the county, affording spectacular views of the Appalachian Mountains, which reach over 6,000 feet (1,800 m) elevation in the county. The highest point, Chestnut Knob, 6,025 feet (1,836 m), lies northwest of the county seat Brevard.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Major highways


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 3,536
1880 5,340 51.0%
1890 5,881 10.1%
1900 6,620 12.6%
1910 7,191 8.6%
1920 9,303 29.4%
1930 9,589 3.1%
1940 12,241 27.7%
1950 15,194 24.1%
1960 16,372 7.8%
1970 19,713 20.4%
1980 23,417 18.8%
1990 25,520 9.0%
2000 29,334 14.9%
2010 33,090 12.8%
Est. 2014 33,045 [5] −0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 29,334 people, 12,320 households, and 8,660 families residing in the county. The population density was 78 people per square mile (30/km²). There were 15,553 housing units at an average density of 41 per square mile (16/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.67% White, 4.21% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. 1.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,320 households out of which 25.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.60% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.70% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.74.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.40% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 23.10% from 25 to 44, 26.90% from 45 to 64, and 21.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 92.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,587, and the median income for a family was $45,579. Males had a median income of $31,743 versus $21,191 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,767. About 6.60% of families and 9.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.80% of those under age 18 and 7.00% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government

Transylvania County has a council-manager form of government, with a five-member Board of Commissioners elected at large. The Commissioners hire and supervise a separate County Manager. The current County Manager is Jaime Laughter. The current members of the Board of Commissioners are Mike Hawkins (chairman), Larry Chapman (vice-chairman), Jason Chappell, Page Lemel, and Kelvin Phillips.

Transylvania County is a member of the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of governments.

The current mayor of Brevard is Jimmy Harris.


Transylvania Regional Hospital (TRH), was formed in 1933 with the mission to serve the health care needs of this community. A 94-bed facility, fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), Transylvania Regional Hospital offers comprehensive services through more than 120 active, consulting and courtesy physicians representing a full spectrum of specialties.

Points of interest


File:Map of Transylvania County North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels.PNG
Map of Transylvania County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels




  • Boyd
  • Brevard
  • Cathey's Creek
  • Dunn's Rock
  • Eastatoe
  • Gloucester
  • Hogback
  • Little River

Unincorporated communities

  • Balsam Grove
  • Cathey's Creek
  • Cedar Mountain
  • Connestee Falls
  • Dunn's Rock
  • Eastatoe
  • Gloucester
  • Lake Toxaway
  • Little River
  • Penrose
  • Pisgah Forest
  • Quebec
  • Sapphire

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 30, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5
  4. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 20, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 20, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 20, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved January 20, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2

External links

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