present portions of its documentary film about the rise and fall of the Beacon
Blanket Mill at the Bee Tree Fire Station Community room Saturday, June 6, from
1 til 3pm. There will be a panel discussion with former Beacon employees led by
Dr Roxanne Newton and a presentation of original songs about Swannanoa and the
village by local songwriter Bert Brown.
Back When series of plays at the Black Mountain
Center for the Arts is led by Jerry
Pope and Rebecca Williams.
taken by the loyalty the Beacon employees, even after the mill had burned down,”
Williams said. “We included many Beacon stories in the plays, but felt there was
a bigger story to be told. The detail and scope we wanted to present called for
a documentary.” “This film will
really be about the idea of community as it has changed over the years,”
Williams added. “Most of the folks who worked at Beacon started out as farmers,
then became factory workers, and now live in the post-industrial economy. It’s
the history of America right here in our little town.”
wanted to show the community what they’ve done so far and get some feedback. To
this end, Dr Newton, director of the Humanities and Fine Arts Division at
Mitchell Community College, will lead a
public discussion of issues raised in the as yet un-named film. Five former
Beacon workers will tell stories and give their input.
Lawrence Brown, will present just a few of the many songs he composed for the
Way Back When plays, including the
popular “Swannanoa, Where are You Going.”
North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the
National Endowment for the Humanities. It is also supported by Swannanoa Valley
Museum, Swannanoa Pride Community Coalition, The University of North Carolina-
Ramsey Library – Special Collections, and Warren Wilson College. For more
information, call Serpent Child Ensemble at 686-3922.