Page 1



get the WHO, HOW,

in Black Mountain... Contents WHEN

Calendar of Events

pages 2 & 4

HOW Black Mountain’s name Local Tailgate Market Green Vacationing History Lesson

pages 6 & 7 pages 12 & 14 pages 18 & 19 pages 24 & 25

WHO Listen to the locals Famous Locals

pages 8 & 9 pages 15 & 28

WHAT Heritage Center Sourwood Festival Art in Bloom

pages 10 & 11 pages 16 & 17 pages 20 & 21

WHERE Fresco Center for the Arts

pages 22 & 23 pages 26 & 27

This guide is produced semi-annually by

P.O. Box 9 • Black Mountain, NC 28711 828.669.8727 • fax 828.669.8619


elcome to Black Mountain and the surrounding Swannanoa Valley. Regardless of what brings you here - relaxation, shopping, dining, or outdoor activities - you will be greeted with beautiful scenery, peaceful days, and friendly people. This special publication of the Black Mountain News was created to assist you while you are in town. A calendar of events for the spring and summer seasons will help you plan your activities. We encourage you to visit the local businesses that have advertised in this tour guide. They offer one-of-akind treasures that are unique to this area. Be sure and visit the Black Mountain - Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce while in town, located at 201 East State Street in Black Mountain, (828) 669-2300. And for a complete and updated listing of this week’s events and happenings, pick up a copy of the Black Mountain News. Enjoy your stay!

On the Cover Cover photos by Gordon Schuit, Joye Ardyn Durham, and Perrin Todd.




2010 Spring & Summer Events in the Swannanoa Valley

Through April 28- Chris Milk Art Show

May 15 - 5th Annual Garden Show & Sale

April 17 - Trillium Festival

May 28 – June 23- Paintings by Sabrina Cabada

April 30 – May 26 Paintings by Tif McDonald

Juried arts and crafts festival in downtown Black Mountain. Vendor fee - no attendance fee.The Old Depot Association, (828) 669-6583,

Studio 103 Fine Art Gallery, (828) 357-8327,

8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Festival with door prizes, live music, bake sale, cake walks, rummage sales, perennial plants, trees, and shrubs. Refreshments available. Unitarian Universalist Church, (828) 669-8050, Studio 103 Fine Art Gallery, (828) 357-8327,

May 1-2 - East of Asheville Studio Tour

Free, self-guided tour. 20 artists in 23 studios in Black Mountain, Swannanoa, East Asheville and Fairview. Black Mountain Studios, (828) 686-1011,

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. downtown on Sutton Ave. Plant vendors, food, and more. Black Mountain Beautification Committee, (828) 460-7976 Artist reception 5-8 p.m. Studio 103 Fine Art Gallery, (828) 357-8327,

June 5-6 - Black Mountain Arts and Crafts Show

June 17 - Park Rhythms – every Thursday through Aug. 5

Free Concert 7 - 9 p.m. at Lake Tomahawk. Food available. Black Mountain Recreation and Parks, (828) 669-2052,

June 17 - 20 - 4th Annual ART IN BLOOM

May 6 -9 - Lake Eden Arts Festival

See page 20 for details. Black Mountain Center for the Arts, (828) 669-0930,

May 13 - Taste of Black Mountain

5-8 p.m. Artist reception on June 25. Studio 103, (828) 357-8327,

L.E.A.F. at Camp Rockmont. Tickets sold online in advance. Contact: L.E.A.F.(828) 686-8742, 5 – 7 p.m. Sample delights from local restaurants at White Horse Black Mountain. Chamber of Commerce, (828) 669-2300,

June 25 through July 21 - Fred Feldman

July 3 - Montreat Parade

Community celebration. Free to public. Contact: Town of Montreat, (828) 669-8002

See EVENTS on page 4


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2010 Spring & Summer Events in the Swannanoa Valley

July 4 - July 4th Celebration

Downtown fireworks, street dance, food, and fun. No admission fee. Black Mountain Recreation and Parks, (828) 669-8610,

July 30- August 25 - Rebecca D’Angelo Photography

5-8 p.m. Artist reception on July 30. Studio 103, (828) 357-8327,

July 31 - The Lake Tomahawk Criterium

1 p.m. - Seven races around Lake Tomahawk. Beginning with junior races and ending with men’s professional. WNC Grand Prix Cycling Events, (828) 7772523,

August 13 - Sourwood Idol Contest

Singers compete for cash prizes. Free. Black Mountain - Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce, (828) 669-2300,

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August 14-15 - Sourwood Festival

Alcohol-free street festival with arts, crafts, food, games, music, and more. See page 16 for more details. Vendor fee - No attendance fee. Black Mountain - Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce, (828) 669-2300,

August 27 – September 22- Paintings by Moni Hill

5-8pm Artist reception on August 27, Studio 103, (828) 357-8327,




What’s in a name? By Gretchen Howard Contributing Writer


rea shop and innkeepers are frequently asked by visitors, “How did Black Mountain and Swannanoa get their names?” Jill Jones, director of the Swannanoa Valley Museum, has some answers.

See NAME on page 7 “Before 1893, the Black Mountain area was known as Grey Eagle,” Jones said. “No one knows for sure why. Some say it was the name of a Cherokee chief, but there is no proof. When the railroad came through the valley in 1879-80, they built a station here and called it Black Mountain after the nearby mountain range of the same name. When the town incorporated in 1893, it changed its name from

The Black Mountain range, which led to the name of the town - Black Mountain.

Photo by Wendell Begley



Name, cont’d

Grey Eagle to Black Mountain.” The early pioneers who settled here called the area “Dark Mountain,” and later called it “Black Mountain” from the black appearance of the dark green balsam, spruce, and fir trees on the mountaintops. The Black Mountain range of mountains borders the town to the north and is a part of the Blue Ridge range. “How Swannanoa got its name is a bit unclear, and there are several opinions,” Jones said. “The foremost is that it comes from the Cherokee ‘suwali nanni,’ which means something like “pathway to the Saura,” a tribe that lived to the east near present day Mount Airy. Others say it is a variation on the Shawnee tribal name because they frequented this area. I’ve also heard it means ‘beautiful river’ and ‘beautiful valley.’” The Swannanoa Valley Museum has served the Western North Carolina community since 1989 as Buncombe County’s primary museum of general local history. With a unique collection of photos and artifacts from the Swannanoa Valley, the museum is an interesting place to learn about the area’s heritage. Visit the Swannanoa Valley Museum at 223 W. State Street in downtown Black Mountain. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday noon - 5 p.m. and Sunday 2 - 5 p.m. Admission is $2. Museum members and kids under 12 are free. 828-669-9566,

Image provided by the Swannanoa Valley Museum This postcard shows travelers arriving and departing at the Black Mountain Train Depot.



Listen to the locals

By Gretchen Howard Contributing Writer ave you ever visited a town and wished you had the “inside scoop” on what to do and where to go? Wondered what the locals like best about living there? Well here you have it - favorite things about the Swannanoa Valley straight from the people who live here.


“If you do nothing else while in Black Mountain, you must (in no particular order) have lunch at Veranda Café, enjoy a wine tasting at the Merry Wine Market, explore a trail in Montreat, and enjoy a cold one and a live band at Pisgah Brewing Company.” Corey Atherton Creston Community/

“I love An Apple a Day Depot and Morning Glory Café. I think Pisgah Brewing Company is about one of the coolest drinking holes I’ve ever been in, and that includes holes all over the world and in some of America’s

See LOCALS on page 9 biggest cities. I love that dogs are so welcome here and everyone knows Lakota by name and has a treat for him at their shops.” Rebecca D’Angelo Rebecca D’Angelo Photography/

“One of my favorite things about Black Mountain is all the great restaurants in Cheshire Village. The Morning Glory Cafe offers great breakfasts, the Blackbird has great dinners and the Artisan is a wonderful wine and coffee bar.” Janice Kennedy “This town, quaint and quirky, is one that I have loved from my very first afternoon sitting on My Father’s Pizza patio during one of those perfect fall days. I have lived here now for 12 years but continue to find new things I love about it. Some of my favorites are...hiking Lookout Trail in Montreat, freshly roasted coffee from Dynamite Roasting Co., Hungarian mushroom soup at the Veranda,



Locals, cont’d

dinner at the delicious Blackbird, Thursday nights in the summer at Park Rhythms, music in the open air at White Horse Black Mountain.” Heidi King Greybeard Realty guest services/

“I like the people who place a high value on their history, music, art, and lovely natural scenery; I appreciate the opportunities Swannanoa provides to prosper while preserving those views and values. Warren Wilson College’s summer classical music series is one of my favorites.” Janet Burhoe-Jones Swannanoa Business Association

“Black Mountain is a terrific little community in which to live, and I love sharing my town with visiting friends and family. Of course, being an E.A.S.T. of Asheville artist, I would recommend the spring studio tour the first weekend in May. It’s a great way to meet very creative people and learn about how they do what they do, while exploring the area. And lunch is always on the itinerary – the fish tacos at Morning Glory Café are yummy.” Lynette Miller

...Black Mountain is a very cosmopolitan city all dressed up like a little mountain village.

Scott Counce, The Merry Wine Market

“My family loves Berliner Kindle and the Veranda for lunch. Camino’s is a great spot for afternoon beers on the patio. Plus, music at the lake in the summertime (Park Rhythms), White Horse Black Mountain for bands and movies, and the pool!” Paige Knoll



Heritage Center celebrates 400th anniversary of King James Bible; the bi-centennial impact of Presbyterian missionaries to China

By Ron Vinson Contributing Writer rom the 14th century through today’s events, the Presbyterian Heritage Center at Montreat will be displaying a wide variety of exhibits this year; including a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible.


400th Celebration of the King James Version In 1611, the King James Bible was published to a very modest public reaction. It was just another English translation compiled by six committees (then called companies) of 47 preachers and scholars. It would take over

See 400th on page 11 50 years to begin to gain Exhibits include: widespread usage. • No Turning Back: Missions to On May 22, the PresAfrica (until mid-June) byterian Heritage Center • Private Land in a Public Place: in Montreat unveils “The Early Development of Word: History of the EngMontreat lish Language Bible,” an • Calvin & Presbyterians exhibit featuring rare 16th (until mid-May) and 17th first and early • Land of the Southern Cross: edition Bibles, including Brazilian Missions the King James (1611), • The Word: History of the Geneva (1567), The BishEnglish Language Bible ops’ Bible (1568) and The (opens May 22) Great Bible (1540). The • Religion, Rebellions & exhibit shows translations Revival: China/Taiwan from the Wyclif (1382) Missions (opens July 3) manuscript Bible through modern day printed versions, including several worked on here in the Swannanoa Valley.

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400th, cont’d

Widely-known Bible verses will be displayed in different translations along with the Bible’s influence on families, politics, and art. For several of his plays, Shakespeare used phrasings and verbal images from the Geneva Bible, widely popular from the 1560s through the late 1700s. Politically, the 18 inaugural addresses of U.S. Presidents prior to 1864 specifically mentioned the Bible only once. Lincoln’s second inaugural address mentioned the Bible four times. Photo provided by the Presbyterian Children read primers Heritage Center in the 18th and 19th The title page from the 1611 first edition centuries that often of the King James Version of the Bible. referred to the Bible The Bible will be on display at the PHC in late spring through the summer. and young people played with Noah’s Ark wood toys as part of their education. Come see the rare Bibles and learn about their impact on American life over the centuries. The Central Country or Land of the Dragon On July 3, the Presbyterian Heritage Center opens its year-long exhibit – “Religion, Rebellions & Revival: American Presbyterian Missions to China & Taiwan.” This exhibit explores the trials and tribulations of the missionary efforts from 1807 to the present, as well as the many connections between Montreat, Black Mountain, and China. The exhibit will include special children activity days this summer with details to be announced on the PHC web site –




Black Mountain Tailgate Market

See FOOD on page 14

Where Does Your Food Come From? By Gretchen Howard Contributing Writer


very Saturday May through October, there’s something special going on in Black Mountain - the Black Mountain Tailgate Market. Now in its sixteenth year, the market is located behind First Baptist Church off of Montreat Road and features fresh foods from local farmers and a variety of artisans and bakers. It is a community event where neighbors socialize over a cup of coffee and kids play together amongst the tent. The Black Mountain Tailgate Market will begin this year on May 8. The Black Mountain Tailgate Market is a producer-only market, meaning every product must be grown or handmade by the vendor. The market features organic vendors of fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, cheeses, pasture raised organic meats and, new last year, fresh seafood Photo by Meredith Leigh McKissick While visiting the Swannanoa Valley, be sure to visit the Black Mountain from the North Carolina coast. There are also activities Tailgate Market, held every Saturday from May - October.

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Food, cont’d

market and available each Saturday. “Buying food from local farmers gives a whole new meaning to our family meals and our menus,” tailgate for kids and regular community breakfasts. market shopper Erin Drake said. “When we shop at the Meredith McKissick and her husband, Casey, own market, we plan our meals based around the seasonal proand operate Foothills Family Farms in Old Fort. They’ve duce we purchased. The difference in taste is incredible, been vendors at the tailgate market since 2003. and it’s a wonderful feeling to know we’re supporting our “When we started at the Black Mountain Tailgate local farmers and eating food that is better for us all while Market, there were only about 10 vendors. It’s been fun reducing our carbon footprint.” to watch the market grow as consumers begin to place In addition to the wonderful array of vendors sellmore importance on the quality of their food and where it ing fruits, vegetables and meat, there is comes from.” local artisan cheese from Looking Glass Black Mountain Tailgate Market Creamery; gourds and birdhouses from Meredith and Casey arrive at the Saturdays: May 8 – October tailgate market every Saturday with a Mike and Linda Kazuelen; goat’s milk First Baptist Church truckload full of farm fresh fruits and and cheese from Round Mountain CreamOff of Montreat Road vegetables depending on what is in ery; jewelry from Soleil Dia Designs; season - tomatoes, kale, cucumbers, pies, cannolli, quiche, and cake from squash, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, arugula, leeks, raspber- Auntie M’s Bakery; plants from Harry’s Bloomers; goat’s ries, blueberries, and more. Meredith says they pick all of milk and fudge from Heatherlane Farms; and much, much their produce either Friday evening or Saturday morning more. before the market. The McKissick’s also raise their own The Black Mountain Tailgate Market is a member of livestock and bring meats to the market including beef, the Mountain Tailgate Market Association. For more inpork, chicken, turkey, sausage, bacon, chorizo, ham and, formation about MTMA, visit new this year, duck. Meredith grows an array of beauFor more information on the Black Mountain Tailgate tiful flowers that are freshly cut the evening before the Market, visit

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Famous people See FAMOUS on page 28 from the Swannanoa Valley By Jill Jones Contributing Writer


he Swannanoa Valley has been both home and retreat for numerous famous people whose lives and businesses have impacted the people and the Valley for nearly two centuries. One of the most famous of all Valley residents is the Rev. Billy Graham, who married Ruth McCue Bell, daughter of missionary Dr. L. Nelson Bell of Montreat in 1943. The Grahams first lived in a modest cottage across from Ruth’s parents, but in 1954 they purchased 200 acres on a mountaintop in Montreat on which they built an informal country-style house that has served as a place of retreat as well as home for the evangelist and his family. Frontiersman and hero of the Alamo, Davy Crockett, visited Elizabeth Patton, the widow of a friend, in Swannanoa in 1815. He was also recently widowed. Having five children between them, they decided to wed and join their families. Three more children were born to them during their years in Tennessee and Texas. Descendants of Davy and Elizabeth reside today in the Swannanoa Valley. In the 1880s, world renowned architect Raphael Guastavino II came to Western North Carolina to work on the Biltmore Estate. While here, he built an estate of his own, “Rhododendron,” in Black Mountain, on the site of what now is Christmount Assembly. A pioneer in the field of elec tricity, Franklin Terry was a contemporary and a competitor of Thomas Edison and eventually became a

Photo provided by The Swannanoa Valley Museum Billy and Ruth Graham




Black Mountain welcomes Sourwood Festival

33rd Annual Sourwood Festival Downtown Black Mountain August 14 -15

By Gretchen Howard Contributing Writer


or one weekend in August each year, the Sourwood Festival fills downtown Black Mountain with wholesome entertainment for both adults and children. With highlights like authentic arts and crafts; face-painting, bouncy rides and cotton candy for children; musical acts and dancing; fresh-squeezed lemonade and hot-off-thegrill BBQ, there’s something for everyone at the

See SOURWOOD on page 17

Sourwood Festival presented by the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce. This year’s 33rd annual festival is Saturday, August 14, and Sunday, August 15, and features over 200 booths of arts and crafts, food of all kinds, rides and games for children, and musical acts performing every half hour. The nonalcoholic festival attracts over 30,000 each year from all over the country.

Birdhouses, handmade furniture, custom jewelry, local soap and fine art are just a few of the crafts offered at Sourwood Festival. Joan and Mike Glover from Sleepy Hollow Farm in Bryson City (www.sleepy are returning to the Sourwood Festival this year after their first year as vendors in 2009. The Glover’s are gourd artists and turn gourds into decorative, usable items like vases, bird houses, wall

hangings, flower pots, and bowls. They use natural and synthetic dyes to decorate the gourds. “We had a blast at the Sourwood Festival last year,” Mike said. “We met a lot of great people and made friends with many of the vendors. The Chamber of Commerce does a wonderful job handling all the details of the festival, so all we have to do is set up our booth and then relax and enjoy the weekend.”

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Sourwood, cont’d

Black Mountain resident Aaron Harden has sold his bonsai trees at the Sourwood Festival since 1993. Harden says his repeat customers show up early Saturday morning to get the first pick of his trees, which take over six months to grow. He has both indoor and outdoor plants ranging in price from $25- $95. “The Sourwood Festival is a fun and well-organized event, and I look forward to returning year after year,” Harden said. Rainbow Recycling, a nonprofit organization that encourages recycling and sustainability practices in the Valley, has put recycling in place at the Sourwood Festival. The group also has a booth at the festival with great educational resources. It wouldn’t be a festival if there weren’t a great selection of food, and the Sourwood has something for everyone - vegetarian dishes, homemade ice cream, funnel cake, hand-

made jellies, Polish sausage, corn on the cob, and much more. Honey-making and bee demonstrations are a popular attraction. “Owen High School band’s barbecue fundraiser is always a big hit,” Chamber of Commerce Director Bob McMurray said. “You can smell the barbecue smoking from miles away.” Now in its sixth year, the Sourwood Idol Contest kicks off the Sourwood Festival on Friday, August 13, at 7 p.m. with regional talent of solo singing acts competing for the “Sourwood Idol” title. Cash prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place. Sourwood Festival hours are Saturday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Located at 201 E. State Street, the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce may be reached by calling 828-669-2300 or emailing www.exploreblackmoun

File photo The Sourwood Festival always draws a large crowd and provides a great environment for fun and festivities.


A Green Vacation in the Swannanoa Valley


See GREEN on page 19

where, there are many inns and B&Bs in town that are within walking distance to restaurants and shops like the Red Rocker Inn, Arbor House Bed and Breakfast, Bella By Gretchen Howard Luna Inn, and Inn Around the Corner. With 165 vacation Contributing Writer rentals, Greybeard Realty is raveling green leading the way with some is the new trend. of their eco-friendly pracLike our day-totices. day decisions, the choices “We are continually we make on vacation have looking for ways to imbig impacts on the environprove our green efforts ment. The Black Mounand reduce our footprint,” tain-Swannanoa commuGreybeard Realty guest nity is continually making services manager Heidi efforts to provide visitors King said. with opportunities to make The “green” vacationer Photo provided by Gretchen Howard earth-friendly choices for a will choose restaurants Why not walk? Take a walking town tour while you are in Black Mountain. green vacation. whose practices reflect Most hotels and inns in the Black Mountain-Swangood stewardship towards the planet like the use of recynanoa area give guests decisions and options for conservclable paper products (no Styrofoam!) and serving foods ing energy and recycling. As opposed to driving everyfrom local and organic sources.




Green, cont’d

The Blackbird strongly supports sustainable agriculture by purchasing their food from small local farmers. They recycle their cooking oils directly to farmers for biodiesel use, recycle all glass, and use recyclable and completely compostable carry-out containers. Morning Glory Café, the Cellar Door, An Apple a Day Depot, the Veranda, and Que Sera are just a few of the other area restaurants that make use of local ingredients and have earth-friendly practices. Shopping is another aspect where choices greatly impact the planet. Buying items from the U.S.A. reduces the energy and fuel required to make and ship a product, and the Swannanoa Valley is a haven for local and handcrafted products. “I feel strongly about buying only products from the U.S.A.,” Seven Sisters Gallery owner Andrea McFadyen said. “Our merchandise is handmade from the United States and our customers know and appreciate it.” Many other area shops in the Valley have earth-friendly products and practices. Black Mountain Books is a primarily used bookstore. Black Mountain Natural Foods has a biodiesel station behind the store and carries healthy

local products and foods. Cherry Street Kids has a whole selection of “green” toys and games for children and many products made from recyclable materials. Head to Toe, Copper Ox, Black Mountain Ironworks, CW Moose, and Ten Thousand Villages all carry a variety of products made from recyclable materials. The book, “Step Back in Time,” encourages walking tours of Black Mountain and introduces people to how the town looked at the turn of the 20th century. “It’s an opportunity to see the community close up while getting some exercise,” author Nancy Mason said. The tour of the historic section is about a mile and takes a little over an hour. The longer tour to Lake Tomahawk and In the Oaks is two miles and takes about two hours. Guided tours of the historic section are given by the authors every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Details about the cost and the route taken may be found at www.blackmountainwalkingtour. com. For more information about the community’s green efforts, visit Rainbow Recycling at www.rainbowrecycling. org; the Chamber’s Web site at www.exploreblackmoun, and the Town of Black Mountain’s Web site at

Monday- Saturday 10:00am - 5:30pm Sunday Noon - 4:00pm 120 W. State Street • Black Mountain, NC




Art in Bloom in Black Mountain to Honor Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary

See ART on page 21

By Rita Vermillion Contributing Writer


he Fourth Annual Art in Bloom is scheduled for June 17-20 at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, located in the renovated original city hall at 225 W. State Street. Art in Bloom is a celebration of art and flowers similar to events held in museums and galleries throughout the nation since 1976, where it started at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The theme for this

year’s Art in Bloom is “Naturally Blue Ridge,” noting our local natural beauty as the Center for the Arts helps celebrate the 75th anniversary of the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway. The concept of Art in Bloom is to bring together floral design and fine art. More than 20 talented floral designers are invited to interpret specific works of fine art with arrangements of flowers and flora. To follow the “Naturally Blue Ridge” theme, this year’s floral designers will be asked to use a minimum of

one native show opens Art in Bloom plant in several Black Mountain Center for the Arts weeks prior their arJune 17 - 20 rangement. to the Art BMCA in Bloom Executive Director Gale weekend so that both floral Jackson and Southern designers and the public Highlands Craft Guild can view it at leisure. On member/basket maker Patti Thursday, June 17, the floQuinn Hill will curate the ral designers spend the day gallery show, using works creating their arrangements from a variety of artists and on site, and the combined regional galleries. interpretive show opens Designers from both anew that evening to ticket the Ikebana tradition of holders and floral designJapanese flower arrangers at a Preview Party and ing, and from traditional Gala when the flowers are western floral design are at their very freshest. among the floral artists that Beginning Friday, June participate. The gallery



Art, cont’d

18 – Sunday, June 20, the public can come in to view the combined show for a minimal fee of $5, or entrance to the show is included in the ticket price of any event. Other ticketed events scheduled throughout the weekend include a Friday afternoon tea and fashion show featuring handcrafted fashions by members of the Southern Highlands Craftsmen Guild, whose headquarters are on the Parkway, along with fashions to be worn when hiking on the Parkway; and on Saturday, a photographic tour/lecture of the flora of the Blue Ridge Parkway by Dave Ellum, Professor

of Sustainable Forestry at Warren Wilson College. On both Friday (18th) and Saturday (19th) a tour of gardens in Black Mountain will be offered. This year’s tour features the gardens of artists, including sculptors, potters, wood turners, and painters. There will be local artists in the gardens, painting en plain air the scenes they find that day. On Sunday (20th) from noon - 4 p.m., these paintings will be for sale at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, on a floor adjacent to the Art in Bloom display. Tickets for the garden tour may be purchased in advance or the day of the tour, and maps for the self-guided tour will be available. Tickets holders will receive a 15 per-

cent discount for lunch on the tour day at their choice of several Black Mountain restaurants. For more information, visit www.blackmountain (Right) Being the first viewers of the floral interpretations of fine art is a treat for the attendees of the Art in Bloom Preview Party, scheduled in 2010 on Thursday, June 17.

Photos by Mary Lounsbury

Local artist Ida O’Connell paints en plein air during the Black Mountain Center for the Arts Art in Bloom Garden Tour, held in June.



Fresco in local chapel is a ‘must see’

See FRESCO on page 23

By Barbara Hootman Contributing Writer


ontreat College’s Chapel of the Prodigal is an outstanding piece of art nestled in the area mountains that attracts thousands of visitors annually. “In the past years, we have guided thousands of visitors through the Chapel,” Andy Andrews said. “Visitors come from everywhere and are awed at the art work in the chapel. We have 45 docents now that work hard to educate the public about Ben Long and his work, and we serve as tour guides for large groups of people.” Photo provided by Montreat College The interior of the Chapel of the Prodigal is a The Chapel of the Prodigal on the campus of Montreat College complementary setting for the huge fresco, Return of the Prodigal. An intimate and uplifting worship space country seeking forgiveness and acceptance. The father was created. Ben Long’s fresco measures 16 feet wide by receives his wayward son joyously, re-establishing his 17 feet high. It portrays the parable found in Luke Chapplace in the family. ter 15. After squandering the inheritance he demanded from his father, the prodigal son returns home from a far



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Fresco, cont’d

Many consider this parable to be the greatest story Jesus ever told illustrating God’s unconditional love. Return of the Prodigal is Long’s first fresco on a wall built to his personal specifications. The biblical theme has been painted by some of the most famous names in art history. Rembrandt painted the parable with the father standing over his kneeling son with his fatherly hand as a blessing on his son’s head. Long’s imagination encompassed a more emotional encounter between the father and the prodigal. The patriarch kneels beside his frail son clutching his son’s hand over his heart and the other raised in thanksgiving. The older brother looks on in anger at the happy reunion. Across the courtyard, the mother stands with the female servants, her hands clasped across her breast as she senses the tension between the two brothers. In the background the servants are busy butchering the calf for the welcome home banquet. A small dog barks at the bottom. Three pigs root in the foreground reminding the viewer of the herds the Prodigal tended in his poverty. Long spent years preparing to paint the Montreat

23 fresco, with drawings, oil paintings and sketches. Creating a fresco is a demanding physical challenge. The painter must work long stretches of time rather than take frequent breaks. Depending on humidity, the painter may work as much as eight to 12 hours a day. Montreat’s artistic interpretation by Long is the only known true fresco by a master artist on the theme of Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son. Long has achieved international fame as a master of both true fresco and oil painting. His talent has resulted in numerous commissions worldwide including Italy, France, and seven sites in North Carolina. Also, the chapel is a popular wedding site. Montreat gets calls from many different states inquiring about having a wedding in the chapel. For more information about scheduling a wedding in the Chapel of the Prodigal, call 669-8012, extension 3821. Hours: Weekdays 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Weekends 2-4 p.m. Subject to change with seasons. For more information, call 669-8012, ext. 3821.



Don’t forget your history lesson while you are in town

By Jill Jones Contributing Writer ost visitors come into the Swannanoa Valley today along a modern pathway - Interstate 40 - unaware that this asphalt four-lane follows much the same pathway that was first carved through the wilderness along the Swannanoa River by deer, elk, wild boar, and other animals. When the early tribes came into the Valley, they followed the animal paths as they hunted game, fished the river, and gathered berries and nuts in the forests. Archaeologists tell us that this river valley has been inhabited by mankind for more than 12,000 years. In pre-Revolutionary War times, it was a hunting ground for the Cherokee, shared at times with the Catawba Indians. During the Revolutionary War, the Cherokee sided with their English trading partners, and when the British were defeated, the land west of the Swannanoa Gap was opened to immigrant settlement.

See HISTORY on page 25


Photos provided by the Swannanoa Valley Museum A look back at downtown Black Mountain.

Europeans and Africans came into the Valley from the east along many of the same trails and pathways the Indians had previously used. Some settled in the Valley, others passed through to make their homes in other parts of what is now Buncombe County, or moved on further west. For those who settled here, the pathways grew from dirt trails usable mainly by horse, mule or oxen, to wider

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History, cont’d

Crossing the river.

roads, such as the Western Turnpike, along which stage coaches traveled, bringing early tourists into the mountains. The region remained relatively isolated, however, until 1879, when the Western North Carolina Railroad entered the Valley. As with the stage coach road, the railroad tracks followed along older pathways made by animals, Indians, and settlers.

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The coming of the train brought irrevocable change to the Swannanoa Valley. Where before only a few, mostly wealthy individuals were able to visit the cool climate of these mountains on vacation, people of more modest means could now travel here by train, and many inns and boarding houses sprang up to serve this new clientele. Among those who visited the Valley around the turn of the 19th century were people who found the region not only beautiful, but spiritually uplifting as well. The founders of Montreat, YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, and Ridgecrest were among those who came, purchased land and developed these retreats. Today, the Swannanoa Valley is known for the numerous religious retreats that were founded here. The construction of George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate attracted many artists and craftsmen, among them a young English architect, Richard Sharp Smith, and renowned Spanish architect Raphael Guastavino II. Both remained in the region, leaving an indelible mark in the Swannanoa Valley. To learn more about this Valley visit the Swannanoa Valley Museum, 223 W. State Street in downtown Black Mountain. Open April-October, Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday, noon - 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2-5 p.m. For more information, visit



Black Mountain Center for the Arts celebrates ten years in old city hall

See BMCA on page 27

By Rita Vermillion Contributing Writer lack Mountain is justifiably proud of its newly renovated city hall on Midland Street. The building on Montreat Road that housed city hall from the early 1990’s until 2009 is now defunct. But a previous city hall still stands and the community can also be justifiably proud of the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, which inhabits the original city hall at 225 W. State Street. In 2010 the Center celebrates its tenth anniversary in the renovated building. Beginning in the 1920’s this handsome, multi-story brick building housed the offices for the Town of Black Mountain, along with the library, the Red Cross, the first public telephone, the holding cell jail, and the firemen’s sleeping quarters. When the building was vacated, some believed the old city hall had run its course of usefulness and was past its prime, destined for demolition.


But others believed it could be restored into a thriving arts center, and could bring renewed vigor into the life of downtown Black Mountain. Through concentrated vision, Photo provided by BMCA hard work, and perBlack Mountain Center for the Arts celebrates sistent fundraising 10 years of bringing arts to the people and efforts, the initial people to the arts. board members of the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, incorporated in 1995, saw their labors pay off when the doors were opened in 2000. Ten years later visitors come through the Center’s doors every day wanting to learn about Black Mountain,



BMCA, cont’d

A few years later the board of BMCA decided to revive the old city garage into a professional teaching clay studio; with grants from The Janirve Foundation, and the Black Mountain Endowment of the Community Foundation of WNC, they made the transformation happen. The clay studio offers classes, taught by local resident potters, opportunities for experienced potters to purchase community memberships, and Paint-on-Pottery sessions. The camaraderie that has developed among the folks who are taking classes there has been one of the best outcomes of the board’s decision to recycle the old building. For more information, visit http://blackmountainartsclay. The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is proud to celebrate its first decade in the beautifully renovated building, and invites everyone, both local and visitors, to stop by to see the exhibits and learn about classes and events. To learn more about Black Mountain’s converted arts center, visit Or call the Black Mountain Center for the Arts at 828-669-0930.

about the legendary Black Mountain College, and about the thriving arts community for which this area is so well known. They come to view the current show in the Upper Gallery, to register for ongoing classes, to ask about possibilities for artists in this locale, and to exchange ideas for all of the above. What those early BMCA board members knew is that the arts encompass more than one dimension, and that a wide array of talents are well represented in our local and part-time population. BMCA was developed with the idea that focusing on one area of the arts would be insufficient - that the stage is large enough to invite people to participate in as many areas as they will. Thus, the mission of the Center was born - ‘to bring arts to the people, and people to the arts.” When those early board members planned for the Center, they counted on the generosity of the people who love both the arts and the town to support and sustain it. By establishing the Center as a non-profit institution, the founders purposefully chose for it to be a place where people at every level could participate and contribute. The Center continues to derive its support from the philanthropy of the very people who want to see it thrive.

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Famous, cont’d

vice-president of Edison’s company, General Electric. In 1921, he bought land in Black Mountain and built “In The Oaks,” a 24,755 square foot summer home for his second wife, Lilliam Slocumb Emerson. The home is second in size only to Biltmore House in the state and is styled as an English manor house. Singer Roberta Flack was File photo born in Swannanoa in 1939. Brad Johnson She is perhaps best known for her hit song, “Killing Me Softly.” Two sports figures of renown are from the Swannanoa Valley. Football great Brad Johnson, a graduate of Owen High School, led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory in 2004. He recently retired from the NFL. Brad Daugherty, former University of North Carolina and Cleveland Cavalier basketball star, is also from Black Mountain.

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701 NC Hwy 9 South, Black Mountain 828-669-5499

Black Mountain 2010 Spring_Summer tour guide  
Black Mountain 2010 Spring_Summer tour guide  

Black Mountian News 2010 Spring & Summer Tour Guide