From the earliest settler
days to the 21st century, the Weaver and Rhoades families have continued to
leave a positive mark on our community. Their legacy abounds in familiar
place names across the county.
Dorothea Johnston Weaver Rhoades
The town of
in central Buncombe County, was previously known as Pine Cabin, Salem Camp
Ground, Reems Creek and Elkwood. The town's name was changed to Weaverville
in 1873, in honor of Rev. Montraville Weaver, great uncle of W.T. Weaver.
W.T. Weaver Power Company, founded in
1900 by Captain William Trotter (W.T.) Weaver, began operation in 1904 on
the French Broad River. It flourished, and through a series of changes, became today's
Weaver Park off Merrimon Avenue, a popular spot for youth sports and
neighborhood recreation, was created through a
land donation to the City of Asheville by Dorothea and Verne Rhoades Sr.,
who lived nearby. The 6.6 acre park features a lighted baseball field,
concession stand, basketball court, playground, tennis courts and picnic
W.T. Weaver Boulevard was
created as an access road to the new campus of Asheville-Biltmore College (now UNC
Asheville), thanks to a 1961 property right of way provided by Dorothea and
Verne Rhoades Sr. The road was named in
honor of Dorothea's father, W.T. Weaver.
Verne Rhoades Sr.
Rhoades Hall, one
of two original buildings on campus, is situated next to the
library on the University's main Quadrangle. The building was completed in
1961 and was named in honor of Verne Rhoades Sr. in 1967. It was formally
dedicated during commencement in June 1971.
The Dorothea Weaver Rhoades Scholarship Fund was established in 1977
as a memorial to Verne Rhoades Sr., W.T. Weaver and William Johnston.
Finally, tucked into a quiet corner of the city near UNC Asheville, are
several especially fitting symbols of the legacy of Verne Rhoades Sr., one
of the first scientific foresters in Western North Carolina.
Gardens at Asheville are home to two Carolina hemlocks planted in his memory
by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, whose headquarters sit on land donated by
him and his wife. The timber cruisers, who worked with Verne Sr. on the Great
Smoky Mountains National Park Project, planted two red spruce trees in the
garden in his memory. And in 1971, the Verne Rhoades Memorial Bridge,
which spans Glenn Creek near the entrance to the garden, was dedicated.