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Brevard, North Carolina is located in the southwestern region of the state and is the county seat for Transylvania County. A small mountain city with a population of around 8,000 set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Just 27 miles from Asheville, this friendly and beautiful little city manages to do something most other cities simply can’t. It combines the love and beauty of the great out of doors, with a surprising rich cultural environment. Visitors to Brevard are surprised at the variety of culture and nature that this special city offers.
Brief History of Brevard
Brevard was originally settled in the early 1800s by the Scots-Irish who found that the lush green valleys, densely forested Mountains, and beautiful waterfalls reminded them of their beloved Highlands and the beautiful Emerald Isle from which they came. They settled here to farm the land and begin to build a community that would later become the beautiful city of Brevard.
The city got his name from one of its most prominent citizens, Ephraim Brevard, was a teacher and surgeon and a real American hero. Dr. Brevard drafted the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence declaring independence from British rule months before the rest of the country was ready to declare their independence. He then became a colonel and served in the war. He was taken prisoner at the fall of Charleston where he became ill and rumor has it he was cared for by Andrew Jackson’s mother. He would later die of illness from his time spent in the prisoner-of-war camp. A statue stands in front of Brevard City Hall in dedication to this man that the city is named after.
One of the reasons why people love living in Transylvania County is because of its moderate climate. Brevard enjoys plenty of sunshine with approximately 208 days of the year given to sunny days. The summer days are warm and while the city does get some snow storms, they are mild compared to those in the northern part of the state. It is often possible to take long hikes even in January and February.
A Place for People Who Love the Great Out-of-Doors
Brevard has long been known as a place for people who love the great out-of-doors. In fact, it has been named one of the best places for parents to raise “outdoor kids.” The moderate temperature combined with the natural beauty of Transylvania County and Brevard itself makes it the ideal spot for a wide variety of outdoor sports.
Water lovers come here to enjoy some of the best natural waterslides in the world. They love to take in the beauty of the over 200 waterfalls that surround the city, which has earned Brevard the nickname “Land of the Waterfalls.” They relish whitewater rafting, fishing and swimming in the pristine waters. Perhaps the most famous waterfall the Brevard area is “Triple Falls” located in nearby DuPont State Forest. This is the waterfall that was featured in a scene from the hit movie “The Hunger Games.” There are many other interesting and beautiful waterfalls for locals and visitors alike to enjoy.
Brevard is located near many state and national forests, including DuPont State Forest and Pisgah National Forest. There is plenty of hiking trails and campgrounds available for those who really enjoy communing with nature. Both mountain and road biking are a big part of life in Brevard. It holds three major bike races each year, as well as a number of other fun community festivals and events.
Culture and Entertainment
While enjoying time in the great out-doors is a major pastime for both visitors and residents of this charming North Carolina city, there is a strong cultural environment as well. Music has been a huge part of Brevard as far back as anyone can remember, and the Brevard Music Festival has been held here for well over 70 years. In addition to this festival, Brevard College’s Paul Porter Center for the Performing Arts offers operas, musicals, jazz, bluegrass and classical music for everyone to enjoy as well.
Of course with all the natural beauty surrounding Brevard it should come as no surprise to anyone that there are a good number of local artists living in this small city and there are a variety of galleries and studios that people can visit to see and even purchase local works.
The community is made up of families, young single workers, and retirees. In fact, many retirees find Brevard the ideal place to retire to if they want to stay active and enjoy great weather. Nineteen percent of the households in Brevard are made up of single people aged 65 years and older. However, unlike many communities, the blending of the younger residents and those in their golden years is effortless, and every group socializes with one another easily and happily. Living accommodations consists mainly of single family dwellings, condos and apartment buildings.
The town itself is well maintained and keeps its small town and friendly atmosphere because people are proud and happy to live here and it shows. Visitors find Brevard charming and well-maintained and the people extremely friendly. Visitors have a choice of staying in one of the city’s four charming hotels, or at one of the nearby campgrounds. Residents of the community go out of their way to make all visitors feel welcome and inform them of the activities that are here to enjoy.
Many of the residents here work in local shops or eateries and some travel out of town (normally 20 minutes away) for jobs outside the city. Unemployment is high, but lower than the average unemployment rate for the rest of North Carolina.
Being a smaller community, Brevard North Carolina schools are somewhat small and well maintained. Children attend one of four schools. The elementary school has about five hundred students and caters to children from preschool to fifth grade. The Middle school caters to children grades 6-8 and the high school serves children in grades 9 through 12. There is also the Brevard Academy which serves children in grades Kindergarten through Eighth.
There is also Brevard College, which is a private United Methodist liberal arts college that offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Music degrees. It has a wonderful performing arts program. The college also sports a nationally-recognized climbing team, and a dynamic cycling team that competes all over the southwest. Brevard is proud of their school district and their college. Attending events at the schools is a part of life for this small community.
When it comes to home, auto and health insurance the city is well represented. Health insurance is important to people in this city, as they want to stay healthy to enjoy all the wonderful things this city has to offer. And they want to stay protected too. Luckily, WNC Health Insurance is here to serve the residents of Brevard NC with a wide variety of health care insurance plans to meet their needs.
There are a number of different clinics in and around Brevard, including pediatric, senior citizen, podiatry, and other specialization clinics. There also 15 hospitals near Brevard, making it possible for residents of this community to receive the medical care they need when they need it.
Festivals and Special Events
Like every small town or city, Brevard loves it festivals and celebrates with good old fashioned fun from the Halloween Festival complete with a pumpkin roll, to the White Squirrel Festival celebrated in May with two days of live music, arts and craft vendors, and a soap box derby.
There is also an international film festival put on by the college, as well as a number of music festivals, the “Assault on the Carolinas” road race and other special festivals and events that are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
Life in Brevard is somewhat laid back, but never boring. While there may not be a plethora of large shopping malls, rowdy night clubs, or the exciting night life of big cities, this city has its own form of amusements. From that lunch-time stroll next to a flowing creek, to concerts at the college and the park, to a number of family friendly festivals – Brevard is a fun town! People work hard, but Brevard is place where they take the time to smell the roses. The residents are a combination of ancestors of the original settlers, transplants looking for a higher quality of life, and retirees who simply want to enjoy their golden years. Many would never choose to live anywhere else, as they feel they have the best of all worlds here among the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beautiful forests, scenic waterfalls, and a lifestyle that is filled with the splendor of nature, music and art, and good down home country values.