Help us Solve a Rockbrook History Mystery…

Rockbrooks Founder Nancy Carrier with her dog Peggy
Nancy Carrier and Peggy on The Rockbrook House lawn

As part of our continuing efforts to document the history of Rockbrook and its founders,  we have been doing some genealogical research on camp founder Nancy Carrier and her famous Great- Grandfather P.T. Barnum.   We have explored some fascinating genealogy books and websites and have also visited the Transylvania County Courthouse and Library.  We will soon be blogging a more detailed story of their  lives, but we need your help in unraveling some of the story.

Those of you who were campers and counselors during Mrs. Carrier’s time at camp can add a lot of detail to the story.  We are particularly interested in any information that you remember about her children, Henry and Helen.  We would also love to hear any recollections you have on her daughter in law Helen, who directed the camp. Your stories, photos and memories will assist us in painting a more accurate picture of Mrs. Carrier and Rockbrook.  Please let us know if you have anything to add!

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  1. Sarah Stroh
    10 years ago

    Ohhh I so wish Granny Jane was alive for all your research. Humph she loved talking about Rockbrook. All of Jane Raoul Bingham and Kathleen Raoul letters and Pictures are at Emory in Files. I will try if I can to pull up information with the key words of rockbrook or search the picture archive.

    Oh to be a kid again….can I go back to camp say for a month or two.

  2. Henry N. Carrier, III
    7 years ago

    The mystery is solved! Hello, my name is Henry N. Carrier, III, Nancy Carrier’s grandson. As a little boy, I spent many a happy day at Rockbrook taking swimming and riding lessons from doting campers. Unfortunately, when I reached about thirteen, Grandmother Carrier discouraged my hanging around the camp for some reason!

    My father attended Darlington School and went on to graduate from UNC, phi beta kappa before W.W. II. (He was inducted into phi delta theta fraternity.)

    When the war broke out, he became a Marine pilot with the rank, eventually, of major, stationed in the Philippines, where he flew old DC-3 hospital planes mostly. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

    Following the war, he lived in Florida, near Orlando, with his wife, Helen, and their two children, Henry, III, and younger Michael. Sad to say, while preparing for reassignment to Korea, his plane crashed near Jacksonville, where he was killed instantly. He’s buried in the Episcopal cemetery down the highway from Rockbrook.

    My mother, Helen, eventually became director of the camp along with her close friend Ellen Hume Jervey from Charleston, S.C. In the meantime, she remarried and lived in Charlotte, N.C., until her untimely death from cancer.

    Upon her death, I lived with my aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Smith, in Forsyth, Georgia. I eventually moved with the family to Mississippi where I attended Ole Miss, earning both an M.A. and doctorate. In 1968, I began a career teaching at Brevard Community College in Florida, where I finally retired in 2002.

    I currently live in Oviedo, Florida, with my spouse, Sharon, and my two children, Chelsea, who now attends Mount Holyoke College, and a son, Nathan, who will be attending Centre College in Kentucky next year. My two daughters from a previous marriage, Caroline and Andrea, attended Rockbrook for many years as campers.

    Chelsea, also a former camper, is employed as a counselor this summer at Rockbrook!