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Asheville Citizen News Article

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CWTnewsarticle Transcription of an article from the November 30, 1921 – Asheville Citizen (by Don Casada). See below:

A number of interesting and unusual industries have located in Swain County, but probably the most unique of all is the Bryson City Pump Works. They manufacture several side lines, such as wood pump tubing, tanners liquor logs, and miscellaneous wood trimmings, but the chief product is solid bored colonial porch columns.

The uniqueness lies in the fact that this is the only concern in the United States making columns from solid logs. Poplar logs from all parts of Western North Carolina are shipped to Bryson, where they are bored the entire length for lightness, strength, and to prevent splitting. Next the bark is turned off by semi-automatic lathes, wood trimmers finishing trimming and shaping the shafts in hand lathes. Next they are painted with white metallic paint and air seasoned for three months, sandpapered, smoothed and given a second coat of paint before crating.

Mr. Shank, the president of the concern, has been in the business for 40 years, half of which time has been spent in Bryson City, and no little amount of the city’s progress is traceable to his work. He and the men with him pride themselves in the quality of their work, and the columns manufactured at Bryson are in demand for homes over Carolina and as far north as Massachusetts.


CWTworkerswithcolumns Bryson City Pump Works, 1910. Photo from Swain County Heritage (book)

Photo IDs: (L-R): Thurman Medford, unknown, unknown, Charlie Wall, John Barnes, John Wall, Jeremiah Shank, Louis Cunningham, Lum Medford, Ansel Hall, Bob Abbott, Cloyt Thomas, John Millsaps, Mark Brendle, and ? Estes.


Examples of Swain County homes with colonial porch columns.
(Photos by Don Casada)
house1house2house3

Written By

Melissa Vaughn, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionMelissa VaughnCounty Extension Administrative Assistant Call Melissa Email Melissa N.C. Cooperative Extension, Swain County Center
Page Last Updated: 7 years ago
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