Shadows of the Past is a focused Transylvania County history that examines the Batson and Beasley families of Western North Carolina, those things that they influenced or that influenced them.
This history examines the Batson and Beasley families of Western North Carolina, those things that they influenced or that influenced them. Long before the Connestee Falls, North Carolina community existed, its land held pockets of hardy souls that built their homes here, tilled its rocky slopes, raised families and generally went about their lives in an independent and self sufficient manner. It is easy for us, ensconced in our modern, automobiles to drive by and ignore the shadows of their past, discount the importance of their contributions and generally ignore their very existence. The early inhabitants of this area were largely of limited financial means, self sufficient and isolated. Consequentially, they didn't leave a large footprint of their passing. By this I mean that there are few public records to be discovered and even less oral history.The land within what is now the Connestee Falls community was parceled out by the state in a series of land grants dating from the 1840s through the 1880s. The Beasley and Batson families were among the land grant recipients. Over the years, the land was divided and sold many times, resulting in ever-smaller holdings. Starting in the 1920s the trend reversed, with the consolidation of land into ever-larger tracts. Much of the land that is now Connestee Falls had been consolidated by 1943. The usage of the land shifted from subsistence farming towards land speculation and even hunting and fishing clubs. This shift generally coincided with the proliferation of the automobile, the improvement and paving of the county's roads, the introduction of electricity, and by and large parallels the national shift from rural to urban lifestyles.I sincerely hope that this document will, in some small way, honor those who lived here before us by recording a glimpse into their history before it is lost forever.
In 1861, forty-four year old William Asbury (Asbel) Batson moved from Greenville County, South Carolina to what is now Connestee Falls, North Carolina with his new bride and second of three wives, forty-four old Letty Lance and at least six of his nine children. By moving to the mountainous backwoods of Transylvania County, not only did Asbel get a step mother for his six minor children but he also removed his family from the mainstream of the civil war and into relative seclusion.
For additional information, see: Shadows-of-the-past