The Allison-Deaver House in Pisgah Forest, near Brevard on N.C. 280, is North Carolina's oldest known standing frame house west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. See it for yourself: It is maintained and operated by the Transylvania County Historical Society.
From Charlotte to Pisgah Forest is approximately 126 miles, about a 2 1/2-hour drive, one way.
To see and do
Built in 1815 by Benjamin Allison, the earliest section of the house was a modest two-story Federal-style dwelling with 1,100 square feet. In 1830, Allison sold his house and property to land speculator, merchant and farmer William Deaver. Around 1840, Deaver dramatically altered the appearance of the home by attaching a Greek Revival addition that doubled its size; he also placed a distinctive double porch across the entire front.
The Allison-Deaver House never underwent any major modernization in the years that followed. Plumbing and heating were not added, nor were closets. As a result, you see working fireplaces, original paneling, molding and trim, and original paint finishes. Costumed docents provide guided tours of all first- and second-floor rooms and the attic.
The Allison-Deaver House is one of the stops along the North Carolina Civil War Trail.
During the closing months of the war, a case of mistaken identity cost Deaver his life.
Two of his sons, James and Robert, had enlisted in the Confederate army. James Deaver gained the rank of captain. Stationed in Hendersonville, he was responsible for procuring food and supplies for Confederate troops and for dealing with deserters, renegades and bushwhackers in the area.
One day in early 1865, Capt. Deaver, while in pursuit of some deserters, took advantage of his proximity to home and paid a brief visit to his family. Some of the men he was after, having learned where Deaver was, attempted an ambush. But by the time they arrived at the house, James Deaver had already left.
When the men called out for "Captain Deaver" to come to the door, it was William Deaver - who had been a captain in the Buncombe County militia many years earlier - who answered. Before anyone realized it was the father standing on the porch, shots were fired and William Deaver fell, mortally wounded.