History Miscellaneous

Swannanoa History Comes Alive at Free Community Event

Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS) invites the community to celebrate the history of Swannanoa with a free event at the Bee Tree Fire Station on Tuesday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. Audience members will hear lively presentations from ten Warren Wilson College students who will present projects based on oral histories with Swannanoa residents.

Warren Wilson Class On SwannanoaThe student projects cover a wide range of topics – America’s first planned community, Grovemont; growing up in Beacon Village; downtown Swannanoa then and now; the Swannanoa Bank and Trust Company past and future; music and how it can create connections; square dancing; the VA Hospital nurse’s quarters on Riceville Road; the old Chemtronics plant in Swannanoa that manufactured chemical warfare agents; Hispanic culture in the Valley; and Roseland Gardens, the popular African-American juke joint in Black Mountain.  Whether you’re a long-time resident with memories of Swannanoa’s earlier days or a relative newcomer who wants to learn more about Valley history, this program will have something for everyone.

The student projects grew out of a class at Warren Wilson College that was taught this spring by Anne Chesky, director of the Swannanoa Valley Museum. The course focused on community in the Swannanoa Valley and on Valley history.  Students toured downtown Swannanoa, Beacon Village, Grovemont, Riceville, Black Mountain, and Black Mountain College.

As part of the class, the students were required to collect a series of oral histories on a topic that related to the Swannanoa Valley, and create a final project to share with the community. The projects range from storyboards to podcasts, and from comic books to mini documentaries. Each presentation will last approximately five minutes, and all attendees will have an opportunity to talk with the students and view their projects up close after the presentations. Time will also be set aside so that those who attend the presentation can share their own Swannanoa stories.

For more information, call 581-9848.