Photo courtesy of Swannanoa Valley Museum.
Activities & Interests
Swannanoa Valley Museum
The Swannanoa Valley Museum in Black Mountain, North Carolina has been a pathway for animals and mankind since earliest times. Its collection reflects the history of Western North Carolina, from early Cherokee times through the mid-20th century, interpreted through exhibits specifically from the Swannanoa Valley, which lies to the east of Asheville.
The Swannanoa Valley has been a patahway for people for more than 12,000 years, according to archaeological evidence. Prior to the Revolutionary War, it was hunting ground for both the Cherokee and Catawba Indians.
General Rutherford's 1776 expedition brought more than 2,000 soldiers along the pathway through the valley as they followed the Swannanoa River westward in pursuit of the Cherokee. After the Revolutionary War, the new State of North Carolina opened the land west of the Swannanoa Gap to immigrant settlement, starting a new phase of American history as settlers crossed the Blue Ridge and began the great Westward Expansion along the pathway of the Swannanoa Valley.
Exhibits in the museum include photos and artifacts which depict the lives of these early pioneers and their descendants, as well as the development and growth of towns in the valley. The museum sponsors numerous guided hikes and walks, heritage tours, and special programs and events of historical or environmental interest.
The museum is housed in the old Black Mountain firehouse building, which is part of the Black Mountain Downtown Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hours of Operation
Open April through October.
Tuesday - Friday: 10 am - 5 pm
Saturday: Noon - 4 pm
Sunday & Monday: Closed
Call ahead for appointments for group tours and to make reservations for hikes, adult field trips, and other special events.
Adults: $2; Members, students, and children are free.
Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.
The Swannanoa Valley Museum in located in downtown Black Mountain, NC.
Swannanoa Valley Museum
223 West State Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
- Black Mountain (1 mile)
Before the railroad arrived in town, Black Mountain was known as "Grey Eagle,"
- Historic Carson House (6 miles)
The Historic Carson House in Pleasant Gardens, NC was built in 1793 and was home to the Carson family until well after the Civil War.
- Craggy Gardens (7 miles)
Craggy Gardens is one of the most dramatic viewpoints on the Blue Ridge Parkway.