History Swannanoa Valley Museum

Museum Sponsors Tour of “Old Town” Swannanoa

Old photo of railroad in Swannanoa, NCIf you’re a relative newcomer to this area, you may not even realize that Swannanoa was once home to a thriving downtown, known to locals as “The Station.” The old downtown area was bordered by the Beacon Blanket mill and the railroad tracks, and was the center of activity for Swannanoa, and particularly for the many residents who lived in nearby Beacon Village. Swannanoa’s downtown included many cafes, grocery stores, a drug store, a bank, a movie theater, a five-and-dime, and other variety stores.

On Saturday, June 4, at 10 a.m., join the Swannanoa Valley Museum for a tour of the old downtown area and the historic buildings that were once a part of the mill town. Learn about the history of this area, and see what’s happening in the old downtown today. Cost of the tour is $20 for museum members; $30 for non-members. To register and get information about the tour meeting place, call 828-668-9566 or send an email to

Swannanoa Valley Museum

Swannanoa Valley Museum Reopens for the Season

Entrance to Swannanoa Valley MuseumThe Swannanoa Valley Museum, which reopened for the season on April 1, houses a unique collection of photos, artifacts and Swannanoa Valley Museum hands-on exhibits that explore and interpret the rich history of the Swannanoa Valley. Whether you’re an old-timer or are new to the area, put a visit to the museum on your “must do” list.

New exhibits this year include artifacts and stories from a historic community in the North Fork Valley that was displaced by the city of Asheville watershed. Over fifty families were removed from their land before the entire community was submerged under water.

The Swannanoa Valley Museum is housed in the former Black Mountain Fire House, designed and built in 1921 by Richard Sharp Smith, supervising architect at the Biltmore Estate. The museum is located at 223 W. State Street in Black Mountain, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Suggested donation is $5.

To read a recent Mountain Xpress article about the Swannanoa Valley Museum and its new 2015 exhibits, please click here. To visit the museum’s website, please click here.

Other Swannanoa News Swannanoa Valley Museum

Carved Quilt Depicts History of Swannanoa Valley

Carved Quilt About Swannanoa ValleyThe Western North Carolina Carvers Club recently presented a unique gift to the Swannanoa Valley Museum ~ a carved “quilt” with wooden squares that depict different aspects of the history and geography of the Swannanoa Valley, from the Beacon blankets to the iconic Montreat gate. The quilt was created at the suggestion of Dave Foster, a Carvers Club member and Black Mountain resident. To see the quilt, and other fascinating exhibits about the history of the Swannanoa Valley, vist the museum at 223 West State Street in Black Mountain, Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Recent News Swannanoa Valley Museum

Swannanoa Valley Museum Rolls Out Four New Exhibits

Swannanoa Valley MuseumThe Swannanoa Valley Museum opened for the 2014 season on April 12, and unveiled four brand-new exhibits:

  • ¬†African-American History and Culture: This exhibit explores slavery, segregation, and integration in the Swannanoa Valley Museum Swannanoa Valley, and the movers and shakers who fought for freedom and equality.
  • Hometown Teams: Through vintage uniforms, trophies, photographs, and other sports equipment, this exhibit celebrates the Valley’s athletes – featuring items from hometown heroes Brad Daugherty, Brad Johnson, Cliff Melton, Sammy Stewart, and Roy Williams.
  • Moonshine in the Mountains: Featuring a large, once-operational moonshine still, this exhibit explores the history of illegal distilling and what it meant for mountain families.
  • Sister City, Olympic Host: Krasnaya Polyana, a city just outside of Sochi, Russia, was the host of all the snow events at the 2014 Winter Olympics, but did you know that Krasnaya Polyana is also Black Mountain’s Sister City? On display are many artifacts from the sister cities project, as well as the 2014 Olympics.

These new offerings join the museum’s permanent (and recently expanded!) collection of fascinating artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibits exploring the rich history of the Swannanoa Valley.

The museum is located at 223 West State Street, in Black Mountain. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., through October 31. For more information, click here.