Weaverville, North Carolina
Sometimes one must depend on the kindness of strangers. Weaver College catalogs and yearbooks are available on Internet Archive, courtesy of Brevard College, showing buildings, faculty, students, organizations, and teams. What I needed was a sense of the remains of campus. Then I talked by phone with Jan Lawrence, director of the local museum. Not only was she willing to take photos of the buildings as they stand today, but she also had Weaver College connections. Her grandmother had attended Weaver College and another ancestor was the Montraville Weaver who had given his name to the town as well as donating the land on which Weaver College stood.
Weaver College began as Weaverville School, a neighborhood school operated by the Sons of Temperance. In 1854 a new building, called Temperance Hall, was erected for the school. When that building burned in 1872, local residents erected a brick building and had the school chartered as a four-year college. In 1885, the school became the property of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Weaver College described itself as an “ideal gateway to the responsibilities of university, business or home life.” In 1912 it became a Junior college, and its curriculum was such that its graduates were admitted to the junior class at four-year universities without examination.
The 1928 Mountaineer, the school yearbook, shows a very small student body—seventy academic students in the college, seven preparatory students, and fourteen commercial students. The vast majority of students were from North Carolina. Nevertheless, these students had opportunities for participation in a full range of college activities. Almost all students were members of one of the four literary societies—Mnemosynean, Delphian, Euterpean or Cliosophic. They also had a dramatics club, a debate council, and a regular student newspaper. In some years, there was a full range of instrumental and vocal music available. As a Methodist school, Weaver sponsored an Epworth League, a YMCA Cabinet, a Ministerial Board, and a Life Services Board to encourage spiritual growth and service. In addition, students were divided into regional groups, with social clubs created for each group.
In 1934 the Methodists determined to combine three small junior colleges in western North Carolina, The result was that Weaver and Rutherford College, were combined with the Brevard Institute, the new entity to occupy the campus at Brevard. This entity exists today as Brevard College.
Bricks and Mortar
The Weaver College Main Building was built on land donated by Montraville Weaver. Completed in 1874, it served as the administration/classroom building for the school. An annex was added in 1895. The campus also included brick dormitories for both men and women.
Team name: Early yearbooks refer to the team as the Blue Giants; later ones as the GoldenTornado
Colors: Black and Gold
Despite a low enrollment, Weaver College fielded strong sports teams in football, basketball, baseball and tennis. Weaver also sponsored women’s teams in basketball and tennis
Weaver played intercollegiate football yearly between 1920 and 1933. Weaver’s schedules included four-year schools, junior varsities, two-year schools, independent teams, and even a few high schools or academies. Common opponents included Mars Hill, Wingate, Rutherford, Lees-McRae, Tusculum, and Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute.
In both 1927 and 1928, Weaver featured unbeaten teams which were declared State Junior College Champions. The 1928 team allowed only three touchdowns all season in compiling a 9-0 record.
1920 Women’s tennis team (Mountaineer, <archive.org/stream/mountaineer1920weav#page/91/mode/1up>) accessed 10-27-2017
Skinner Hall (above left), the men’s dormitory built in 1922, and Crutchfield Hall (above right), the women’s dormitory built in 1908, still stand, all that remain of a once-vibrant campus. (Photos courtesy of Jan Lawrence).