Swannanoa has a lot to offer

I’m very disappointed in your sparse coverage of Swannanoa in your “Spotlight on Small Towns” [Oct. 8, Xpress]. I was left wondering if Swannaoa boasts only the one business you mentioned and not much else going on.

Let’s see:

Neighborhood Gathering Spot: Lake Tomahawk Park in Black Mountain made it to your list, but missing were: Owen Park in Swannanoa with a beautiful river that truly runs through it, ball fields, trails and Owen Pool.

Also missing:

Coffeehouse: Moments Café & Patisserie.

Breakfast Restaurant: The Breakfast Shoppe.

Sweets/Dessert Place: Moments Café & Patisserie and Eye Scream Parlour.

Hairstyling Salon: Changes; Unique Hair Styling.

Lunch and Dinner places: In addition to Native Kitchen, Okie Dokies Smokehouse, LaBamba Burrito Express,  Athens Pizza, Chow Time Pizza and assorted fast-food places.

Neighborhood Gathering Spot: Eye Scream Parlour Music.

(Just some of the) Reasons to Live in Your Town:

1. Warren Wilson College (yes, it is in Swannanoa, despite an Asheville mailing address) and its many cultural and musical events.

2. Swannanoa River.

3. Welcome Table free weekly community lunches. Open to all.

4. Highway of Heroes and Blue Star Highway-designated route for processions taking fallen veterans to their final resting place at the Veteran Cemetery in Black Mountain.

5. Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS) at swannanoafans.org, a group of concerned and involved Swannanoans who organize the huge community yard sale and the yearly Swannanoa Sweep community cleanup; maintain a Giving Garden; and work on community improvement projects, like adding bus shelters along U.S. Highway 70.

6. Swannanoa library in Grovemont and adjoining park.

7. Asheville Christian Academy in Swannanoa named as one of Top 50 Christian schools by thebestschools.org.

8. Affordability. After the latest “gotta live there” craze (currently West Asheville) is totally saturated with more businesses, traffic nightmares and unaffordable homes (Asheville and Black Mountain already are), watch for Swannanoa to become the newest “darling,” with easy access to Interstate 40, undeveloped strips along U.S. Highway 70 for businesses, tucked-away neighborhoods and communities like Grovemont, Bee Tree, Beacon Village and more.

9. An involved community, rich in heritage.

Please take a second look or visit us at swannanoafans.org.

Valerie Taylor

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One thought on “Swannanoa has a lot to offer

  1. Valerie, thanks so much for your letter to the Mountain Xpress! You are 100% correct. There is so much more to Swannanoa. It is a beautiful, scenic and serene place to live. It is not congested with traffic nightmares like many other areas in Asheville and surrounding communities. Yet it is minutes from Asheville, Black Mountain and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    We have many wonderful businesses, local and others. A new crop of antique stores/malls has sprung up. If you are near Ingles in Swannanoa, you are in the heart of the business district. Within that area you will find our very popular Ace Hardware, the Post Office, Bank of America, Ingles Gas Express and Car Wash, PSA Pharmacy, Tolley Insurance, CFC Computer Repair and more. This stretch of US 70 is lined with well established businesses such as the Swannanoa Flower Shop, Redman’s Automotive Service, and too many others to name. I left out all the eating establishments which Valerie has already mentioned in her letter.

    Hiking opportunities abound, particularly on Warren Wilson College’s wonderful trail system. It runs miles and miles (30 in total) both along the Swannanoa River and up to the crest of Jones Mountain. If you hike their trails, please treat them with respect and follow the posted rules.

    Thanks to the wonderful community organizations such as Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS), Friends of the Swannanoa Library and the Swannanoa Community Council and our many wonderful churches, we have numerous community events throughout the year. There are free summer concerts at Groovin on Grovemont, community “clean sweep” events, church sponsored dinners, and more.

    As Valerie also mentioned, Swannanoa is rich in heritage. The first settlement in this valley was at Bee Tree Creek and the Swannanoa River. In the 1780’s pioneers come from Old Fort to establish homes and farms here. Buncombe County and Asheville were established a decade later. The amazing history of the area is far too much to relate here. A wonderful source of information is the Swannanoa Valley History Museum.

    I apologize to the many great businesses I have not mentioned. They also are far too many in number to list here.

    Indeed, Swannanoa has a lot to offer!

    Jo Anne Lorensen

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