Asheville metro manufacturing employment grew by 1,400 jobs in the fourth quarter, the sector’s strongest performance in over two decades. Buncombe unemployment continued to be the lowest in the state, but area wages trailed state and national averages.
On Feb. 15, 1925, The Asheville Citizen proclaimed that Swannanoa had entered “the first stages of a boom.”
“Beacon was Swannanoa,” says Anne Chesky Smith, director of Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center. “Everything that was in Swannanoa was entangled in Beacon,
The contaminated former site of the Beacon Manufacturing Co. in Swannanoa has stood vacant since a massive fire destroyed the plant in 2003. The property’s owners are asking state regulators for permission to redevelop the site, and the public has until Sept. 29 to submit comments on the proposal.
“The subjects of our mountain kingdom were grateful, for these industries provided jobs and wages for thousands who’d struggled as hardscrabble farmers, miners and lumbermen.”