Driving down W. Blue Ridge Rd. today, you will notice that we currently reside in the “old stone” building, right across from the East Flat Rock Post Office. Though our paint colors and furniture do not look as though we are in the 1920’s, there is evidence of the beautiful and timeless architecture all around us, most impressively, is the Bank Vault from 1926, that still stands fully intact! The following information was obtained by http://hendersonheritage.com/east-flat-rock/. We hope you appreciate the history of East Flat Rock and the surrounding towns just as we do!
Perry H. Walker began development of a town around the mill and the train depot in the early 1900s. Eventually, he purchased about 300 acres and sold the land to local residents who moved from outlying areas into the new community.
In 1914, the community had the textile mill, a school, a lumber plant, six stores, a post office, a restaurant, barber shop, meat market, cannery, churches, three boarding houses and a bicycle shop, with a population of about 600 residents. By the 1920s, there was a bank, a drug store, and three restaurants. The community was one of the first areas in the county to have electricity with the building of the textile mill in 1907.
In 1926, East Flat Rock incorporated as a town. At the time it was the second incorporated town in Henderson County, after Hendersonville. Historically it was the third, after Saluda. But Saluda was annexed to Polk County in 1903. Carroll Pickens Rogers was the first mayor. The new city paved the streets and brought in water lines. Then the Depression hit, and it took more than 20 years of taxation for residents to pay off the indebtedness for the water lines and paved roads.
In 1950, most of the residents worked in the textile mill or had farms. The indebtedness was paid and they no longer wanted to pay the municipal taxes. Residents voted to dissolve the incorporation.
Remnants of the town still stand. The Stepp & Walker Store was built in 1898 and later housed the Mother Earth News. It currently stands abandoned. The stone building that housed the First Bank and Trust, built in 1923, still stands, and is currently the location of our Realty company, RE/MAX Mountain Living. The Hill’s General Store building, operated by Charles F. Hill for more than 50 years, was built in 1925 and still stands. Many of these buildings, including the school, were built by the Jones and Justus Builders Co., whose families lived in the community.
The home built in 1906 by Perry H. Walker next to the Stepp & Walker Store still stands, as does the Silas Jones house built in 1905, the Hix Jones house built in 1907, and several others.
Here are a few of the gems that were left behind, and make our building so special!