In the oral history of Rockbrook there is an interesting story of the connection between Brevard’s oldest hotel, The Hume Hotel and Rockbrook. Legend says that the stones from the hotel ruins were used by Rockbrook’s engineer Royal Morrow in the construction of The Junior Lodge at RBC. While we can not authenticate the story, it seems possible that the stones could have easily been used due to the hotel’s proximity to the Rockbrook property. As you can see in the photo above, the ruins lie just below Dunns Rock, on the current Island Ford Road right across from main camp. Currently there is a house on the site, but there are a few remaining rocks left from the 1840’s hotel. At the time it was built, it was the first hotel in Transyvlania County. We may never know the real answer to the mystery, but we like to think of Rockbrook’s connection to such an important landmark. Check out this blog post from our archives for more information about the hotel.
While driving out to Rockbrook recently we spotted this amazing rainbow! If there was a pot of gold to be found, where better than to find it at RBC? I wonder where it would be? Maybe near the Junior Lodge, Castle Rock, Rockbrook Falls or Dunns Rock? Where do you think it would be? I think the hidden treasure of RBC is the treasure we carry in our hearts filled with the wonderful people, friendships and memories that we all share!
In the words of poet William Wordsworth: “My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky.”
The Transylvania County Historical Society has made an interesting find that ties the Rockbrook Camp property to the oldest Presbyterian church in the area. Local historians Keith Parker and Gene Baker now believe the “Mamre congregation” had its “Presbyterian Meeting house below the mouth of Dunn’s Creek” right across from the main entrance to Rockbrook. What’s phenomenal is that this church was in place in 1798. That’s the same year that the U.S. government officially obtained this land from the Cherokee! This means the property that would later become Rockbrook Camp (when Nancy Carrier’s father Henry Peck Clarke purchased it) was a thriving community more than 100 years before the camp was founded. This area, known as the Dunn’s Rock Township, was the third largest in the area when Transylvania County was formed in 1861.
Now take a look at this view of the French Broad River valley from the top of Dunn’s Rock. We’re not sure what year it was made (and whether it’s a colorized photograph or a painting based on a photograph; thanks to Roger Raxter for giving us a copy), but you can clearly see, along the bottom edge, the old “Dunn’s Rock Bridge” crossing the river. Right next to it, you can make out the red roof of what we think is that old Presbyterian meeting house from 1798. It was just south of where the bridge crossed the river. Like the church, this bridge is no longer there.
Such important history surrounding Rockbrook!