Students enjoy history lessons at Allison Deaver House | Community

Sophomores from Pisgah Forest Elementary spent time at the Allison Deaver House last week cracking beans, shelling corn and learning what life was like in Transylvania County 200 years ago.

“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” said Rebecca Suddeth, director and program coordinator of the Transylvania Heritage Museum. “When Melony Hipps contacted me to bring the classes to Silvermont and I couldn’t find the necessary volunteers, I called Marjorie Lillard, president of the Transylvania County Historical Society, and asked if they would accept to partner with us to host a program at the Allison. Deaver House instead.”

Before COVID, classes had visited Silvermont, the 1917 colonial revival mansion in downtown Brevard. These field trips focused on the lives of the Silversteen family and the impact Silversteen Industries has had on Transylvania’s economy. Students learned about leather making and notebooks, table manners, etiquette and were able to sing along with Adelaide Silversteen in the music room.

The program at Allison Deaver House was similarly structured, with small groups of students rotating through various activity stations. They learned about farm life, household chores, cooking, and the amount of work it takes to clothe a family. They heard stories, played old games and went on a treasure hunt.

“It was a remarkable experience for our students to see and compare how people live now and then in our area,” said Claire O’Connor.

“The Allison Deaver House is a great little pocket of history in our backyard,” added Jenny Victory.

“We want to see Pisgah Forest Elementary back here next spring,” Lillard said. “And the invitation is open to all other educators – public schools, private schools, home schools and scout groups. Let us know when you want to come.”

“Spring is the perfect time to visit the Allison Deaver House,” Suddeth said. “Fall is a great time to visit Silvermont. These two historic properties offer unique experiences that all educators should take advantage of.”

To schedule a student group visit to Silvermont or the Allison Deaver House, contact Rebecca Suddeth at [email protected]. To schedule a personal tour of the Allison Deaver House, visit

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