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Story and photo courtesy of Swannanoa Valley Museum.
The first post office in the Swannanoa Valley was a one-room cabin that also housed a trading post and commissary in the yard of the Alexander Inn and stagecoach stop. George C. Alexander, who, along with his family, completed the Alexander Inn in 1820, was postmaster of Swannanoa from 1826 to 1861. The Swannanoa Post Office continued to be operated out of the Alexander Inn location until May of 1891. In the 1880s, another post office began operation at Cooper’s Station – the railroad station at modern-day Swannanoa. In July of 1891, Cooper’s Station reorganized to become the Swannanoa Station, with Emma Davidson serving as postmaster. In the above photograph from the James Parks Photograph Collection of the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, a train approaches the Swannanoa Station in the early 1900s.
Editors’s Note: The original Alexander Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, still stands on Old US 70 as the oldest continuously lived-in structure by the same family in Buncombe County. And, still sitting in the front yard, is the old dismounting stone used by visitors arriving at the inn via stagecoach. Cooper’s Station, originally located in the old downtown area of Swannanoa, is no longer standing.