Swannanoa Valley Museum opens April 14; lots of activities planned for Spring

The Swannanoa Valley Museum opens April 14, and has lots of activities planned for Spring. Here’s the info via the museum’s email newsletter:

Museum Opens for the Season, Saturday, April 14th!

Our newest exhibit, “Beans, Butter, & Bacon: Early General Stores in the Swannanoa Valley” will open Saturday, April 14th at 10:00am, our first day open in 2012.

When the railroad came through the Swannanoa Valley in the late 1800s, it brought new residents and tourists. To cater to the needs of a growing population who paid more in cash than in trade, grocery stores began to pop up near the railroad stations. This new exhibit will feature original items from W.J. Parks’ General Store across from the Swannanoa train station and the Blue Ridge Grocery and Soda Shop in Black Mountain.

Come celebrate the opening of this new exhibit and see the other changes and updates we made this winter from 10:00am – 5:00pm on Saturday, April 14th.

Want to visit the museum for free on opening day? Participate in the bi-annual Swannanoa Sweep and receive one free admission to the Swannanoa Valley Museum after the clean-up on April 14th. (For details see below.)

Explore Grovemont on Our Spring Historic Home Tour

Join the Museum on Sunday, April 1st for our newest Historic Home Tour. This spring we will explore the world of E.W. Grove, the man behind several of Asheville’s most impressive landmarks–the Grove Park Inn, Grove Arcade, and Battery Park Hotel.

Our tour will begin in Grovemont, America’s first planned community. It was E.W. Grove’s dream to build a community much like the town where his grandparent’s lived in England. We will visit the town square as well as several houses originally built by E.W. Grove.

We will also be view the outside of the old Alexander Inn, which operated from 1818 until 1930 and acted as a stagecoach stop on the old wagon road.

We will then visit Grove’s nearby Lake Eden property. It was here that Grove envisioned a resort for the residents of Grovemont. (The Lake Eden property later became Black Mountain College and is now Camp Rockmont for Boys.) Here we will see several original E.W. Grove buildings and how they have been used over the last century.

Before heading to the Red Rocker Inn for a up-scale country dinner (included), we will drive past the Grove Stone and Sand Quarry, which Grove built to supply rock for his many projects in western North Carolina.

Meet at the Red Rocker Inn, 136 N. Dougherty St. at 2:00pm.

Cost: $55 for members and $65 for nonmembers and includes dinner.

Reservations are required. Reserve your spot online or by calling 828-669-9566.

Join us on our Sunset Photography Hike to Potato Knob

Summer sunsets in the mountains are beautiful to behold and fun to photograph. Join us on Saturday, April 14 for a hike and dinner high atop Mount Mitchell, followed by a visit to the Begley cabin to view and (hopefully) photograph the sunset.

Meet in the parking lot of Black Mountain Savings Bank, 200 E. State Street at 2:30 pm to carpool to Mount Mitchell.

Bring your camera, a sweater, rain gear, a flashlight, dinner, drinks, and a folding chair. Your gear will be carried in a 4WD vehicle to the site.

Difficulty Rating: Easy

Cost: $20 for Museum members; $30 for non-members.

Reservations are required. Register online or by calling 669-9566.

Participate in the Swannanoa Sweep and receive FREE entry to the museum on our Opening Day!

Come help your Friends and Neighbors in Swannanoa clean up Swannanoa’s streets on Saturday, April 14th from 9:00am until noon.

Swannanoa Sweep-Community Clean volunteers will be at the Ingles Parking lot in Swannanoa near Bank of America. There will be a big sign indicating their location. Gloves, vests and bags are provided. They will meet rain or shine.

The Swannanoa Sweep began in 2007 with 70 volunteers. Each spring and fall the Sweep has grown. Twice a year the Sweep averages about 30 volunteers and collects about 100 bags of trash and various other things–sinks, tires, mattresses, and windows.

To participate, there is no need to register, simply show up at the meeting location between 9:00am and noon and the coordinators will give you instructions. Come to the museum after you have helped with the clean up and receive one free admission!

Volunteer Opportunity: Museum Seeking Docents

Docents are the lifeblood of any museum. They are the hosts, the greeters, the smiling faces that welcome visitors, the all-important ambassadors of the museum.

The SVM is fortunate to have many dedicated and experienced docents, but new volunteers are needed as well.

Interested? Give our new Docent Coordinator, Elizabeth Acree, a call for more information. 691-4544.

Our Sponsor

Since the days when the buffalo and elk roamed the age-old migration routes between the piedmont and mountains of North Carolina, our Valley has been celebrated for its broad, fertile river plain, incredible geographic beauty and yes, a rich history of wildlife.

In fact, before our earliest settlers crossed the Eastern Continental Divide in the 1780s, the Swannanoa Valley with its abundant wildlife was a prized hunting ground used by the Cherokees and neighboring Catawba tribes.

Later, near the end of the eighteenth century, many of the world′s leading botanists and geographers traveled to our Valley and surrounding mountains. They declared the environment to be home to the most unique and diverse flora and fauna that they had ever studied.

Well, today those of us who reside here can easily understand what was in the hearts and minds of those earliest inhabitants, explorers, and pioneers. We are so fortunate to call the upper Swannanoa Valley and the encircling Swannanoa Rim our home.

As Black Mountain′s oldest continuing business (since 1908) and its only locally owned community bank, we are very proud to be the sponsor of the Swannanoa Valley Museum′s e-newsletter.

M. Wendell Begley, President
Black Mountain Savings Bank

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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