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Welcome to the Swannanoa Valley Must See Locations

page 4

Calendar of Events

page 6

Fall Festivals

page 12

Arts Center

page 18

Fall Color

page 20

Famous People

page 15

Autumn in the Valley

page 21

Holly Jolly

page 23

History of the Valley

page 26

Accommodations & Dining page 29

Map image compliments of Outdoor Paths Publishing of Black Mountain. The map can be purchased at the Outdoor Paths Map Store, 100 1/2 W. State Street, Black Mountain. Cover photos by Perrin Todd, Photographic Portrait Artist. Call for an appointment - (828) 669-7963.

This guide produced bi-annually by Serving the Swannanoa Valley Since 1945

Black Mountain News P.O. Box 9 • Black Mountain, NC 28711 828-669-8727 • fax 828-669-8619

File Photo

A snowy day at the Old Depot.

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 entire fall and winter 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-a-kind 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!



The top five Black Mountain ‘must sees’ By Mary Withers

Swannanoa Valley Museum


Black Mountain Center for the Arts

ake it from a native - you could be in Black Mountain for years and never run out of things to do. There’s music, interesting restaurants, endless hiking trails, dances, and no matter how many times you walk around downtown you will discover something new every visit. But if you have a limited time in the area, here are the top five area attractions you must see: Start with a tour of the Swannanoa Valley Museum, located at 223 W. State Street in downtown Black Mountain. The museum, in the building of the old Black Mountain fire house, offers exhibits about the cultural and natural history of the Valley. With free admission, this stop will provide a better understand-

Lookout Mountain Chapel of the Prodigal Downtown

Photo provided by BMCA

Visitors browse the gallery at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts.

ing of the town you are here to see. For hours or more information call 828669-9566 or visit swannanoavalley

Next, step right next door to the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, located in the old town hall. The Center for the Arts provides concerts, programs, classes, theater pro-

ductions, and an upstairs art gallery. To see what’s happening during your stay, you can call 828-669-0930 or go to Another vital stop on your visit is the hike up Lookout Mountain, located in the Montreat community at the end of Lookout See Must See on PAGE 5



Road. At the top of this short but strenuous hike there are spectacular and breathtaking views of the whole Valley from a perch on top of a mountain. Lookout is notorious for its steep trail, but the view will be well worth the effort. On your way down you can swing by the Chapel of the Prodigal, located just down the road in Montreat. The Fresco that decorates the interior of the chapel is by Ben Long, one of the few Fresco artists of the modern day. Standing at 16 by 17 feet, it shows the famed parable from Luke 15 of the prodigal son’s return and repentance to his welcoming father, symbolic of God’s forgiveness to humankind. The chapel is open to the public. Call 828-669-8012 for more


Must see, continued from page 4 information. The last necessary stop on your journey should be a refreshing stroll through downtown. Visit the shops, from the quaint antiques in the old livery stable - now Ivy Corner on Cherry Street - to the beautiful jewelry found in Grace Jewelers on Broadway. Stop for a drink in one of the local coffeehouses, The Dripolator or Powerhouse Perks, or grab a bite to eat at My Father’s Pizza. You can then enjoy the night scene by listening to music and grabbing a drink at the Town Pump or the Watershed. Black Mountain offers a wide range of opportunities in the area - it’s just a matter of narrowing them down to create your perfect vacation.

Photo provided by Montreat College

The fresco by Ben Long in the Chapel of the Prodigal.

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Black Mountain-Swannanoa Fall/Winter Events 2008-2009 FALL 2008

4-5: East of Asheville Studio Tour (EAST), 828-686-1011.

September 2008 5-27: Black Mountain Center for the Arts Upper Gallery displays “Centered Travels,” handmade paper sculptures, ceramics and more by Arthur McDonald. Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 828-669-0930. 17: Secret Falls Hike - Swannanoa Valley Museum, 828-669-9566.

4: Valley Heritage Day - The Swannanoa Valley Museum, Buncombe County’s primary museum of general local history, will sponsor “Valley Heritage Day” on Saturday, October 4, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the parking lot of the Black Mountain Methodist United Church, 101 Church St. in Black Mountain. For more information, call the Museum at 828-669-9566.

23: Will Kennedy Memorial Golf Tournament at the Black Mountain Golf Course, 1 p.m. Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 828669-0930. 26: Upbeat! Music Heritage Concert, 7:30 p.m. Featuring the music teachers from Acoustic Corner playing multi-genres of music. Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 828-6690930. w w w. b l a c k m o u n

Photo provided by Gretchen Howard

There are plenty of Swannanoa Valley events that the whole family will enjoy.

27: Swannanoa’s 2nd annual “Mill around the Village Festival” sponsored by Swannanoa Pride Community Coalition. Contact Sharon Horne for details – 828-298-1868 or e-mail

10: Reception with artist Joye Arden Durham, “Seeing the Invisible.” 6-8 p.m. at Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 828-669-0930. 17-19: LEAF - Lake Eden Arts Festival at Camp Rockmont, 828-6868742.

October 2008 3-Nov. 1: Black Mountain Center for the Arts Upper Gallery displays “Seeing the Invisible” infrared photography by Joye Arden Durham. Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 828-669-0930. 3-4: Montreat College Homecoming, 828-669-8012 x 3709.

18: Fall by the Tracks in downtown Black Mountain, The Old Depot Association, 828-669-6583. 24: Upbeat! Music Heritage Concert7:30 p.m. Performer David LaMotte. Black Mountain Center for the Arts, See Events on PAGE 7

Events, continued from page 6 828-669-0930.


25: Hike to Rattlesnake Lodge. Reservations may be made at Swannanoa Valley Museum, 828-6699566.

December 2008

13: Hike along Mt. Mitchell Railroad Bed. Reservations may be made at Swannanoa Valley Museum, 828-6699566.

5-6: Missions Holiday House, handmade gifts by local artists and craftsman. Friday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Located at parsonage house beside Black Mountain United Methodist Church. All proceeds go to fund local and international missions. 828-778-8087.

November 2008 7-26: Black Mountain Center for the Arts Upper Gallery displays Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League Annual Juried Show. Mixed media. Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 828-669-0930. File photo

You never know who you see at Holly Jolly!

Monthly Exhibits, Pottery Studio, Workshops, Music, & Live Theatre OPEN Mon., Tues., Wed. & Fri. 10:00am to 5:00pm Sat. 1:00pm to 4:00pm at 225 W. State St. (in the old City Hall) Fourth Friday Up Beat Concerts! call for tickets and more information

6: Circle of Lights at Lake Tomahawk, Black Mountain Recreation and Parks, 828-669-2052.

5: Holly Jolly Christmas in downtown Black Mountain, Black Mountain Business to Business, 828-669-0707.

25: Halloween Pet Parade, 3 p.m. on Cherry Street, 828-669-0706.

15: Hike to Catawba Falls Headwaters and Old Wagon Road. Reservations may be made at

Swannanoa Valley Museum, 828-6699566.


6: Christmas Parade, downtown Black Mountain, Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce, 828-669-2300.

15: Caroling in the Neighborhood, 67 p.m. Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 828-669-0930. February 2009 28: The Black Mountain Marathon and Mt. Mitchell Challenge. Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce, 828-669-2300.



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A five-year-old tours Black Mountain By Gretchen Howard CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ello, my name is Gretchen and I’m five years old. I wanted to write and tell you about our recent trip to Black Mountain. (Okay, I’m not really five, but I was once, and if I was again, here are some of the things I would do while visiting Black Mountain.) Being five, I have the energy of an ant’s nest, so many of my very favorite things to do can be found on a playground. I love to swing and to slide and to play in the sand and climb on bars like a monkey. We visited the playground at Montreat where there is so much to do, including wading in the creek! After some time on the playground, we headed back to Black Mountain and walked around Cherry Street. There was a store called Cherry Street Kids

File photo

These kids can’t wait for their visit to Black Mountain.

that had all sorts of toys, puzzles, puppets, and games. I tried to keep my

hands off of most things but I just HAD to hold one of the dolls. My mommy

said I could use my allowance to buy her. I was so excited! Next we went to Black Mountain Books and I looked at the kid’s books they had there, and there were many of them. I do enjoy looking at these books now that I can read a little bit. By this time I was getting very hungry and nothing fills me up better than PIZZA! We were able to sit outdoors at a place called My Father’s Pizza, even though it really wasn’t my father’s restaurant. The pepperoni was my favorite. After lunch we wanted to take a walk in the nice fresh air so we went to Lake Tomahawk and walked around the lake a few times. I threw some stones into the lake and even threw one farther than my brother could. We also brought some bread along and fed the ducks. They were funny. We went to the place where we were going to spend the night and checked in. I was worn out after my day in Black Mountain!

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Black Mountain/ Swannanoa Fall Festivals By Gretchen Howard CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ith fall’s arrival comes several area festivals you won’t want to miss. From mountain music and local crafts to camping and family fun, relish the autumn season at one of these events. •Mill Around the Village – Sept. 27 The Swannanoa Pride Community Coalition will host its second annual “Mill Around the Village” festival on Saturday, September 27, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the historic downtown area of Swannanoa, where Park Street meets the railroad tracks. The festival features live music, food, arts and crafts vendors, local history and heritage displays, and games and activities for the kids. “We had a great experience last year,” comments festival coordinator Linda Kinney. “The vendors and festival atten-

dees all commented on the wonderful community feeling at the festival. We’re expanding the event a little bit this year, but will continue to focus on showcasing local businesses, craftspeople, and musicians.” Festival goers will have the opportunity to sample food from Swannanoa Valley restaurants, enjoy live music all day, and visit vendor booths featuring everything from locally-made arts and crafts to free chiropractic exams. The Swannanoa Heritage Exchange booth, one of last year’s most popular exhibits, will feature expanded displays about Swannanoa’s rich history. The Swannanoa Pride Community Coalition is a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring the community together to become actively involved in shaping Swannanoa’s future, while honoring its unique history, heritage, and character. For more information, call 828-337-7544. See Festivals on PAGE 13 Good music and dancing at the Mill Around the Village Festival.

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Festivals, continued from page 12 •Valley Heritage Day - Oct. 4 The Swannanoa Valley Museum, Buncombe County’s primary museum of general local history, will sponsor “Valley Heritage Day” on Saturday, October 4, from 10 a,m. - 3 p.m. in the parking lot of the Black Mountain Methodist United Church, 101 Church Street in Black Mountain. Numerous heritage-oriented organizations will present exhibits displaying different aspects of the history and heritage of the Swannanoa Valley, including the Museum, its Founding Families group, the Old Depot Association, Presbyterian Heritage Center, Montreat College, Swannanoa Pride Community Coalition, Mill Around the Village, Swannanoa 4-H Camp, YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, and others. In addition, there will be live music throughout the day, face-painting, caricature sketching, old-fashioned toys, bar-bque, and children’s activities.

Valley Heritage Day marks the kickoff of the public phase of the Museum’s capital campaign to raise the funds to restore, renovate, and expand the historic Black Mountain Fire House, which is home to the Museum’s collection. For more information, call the Museum at 828-669-9566, or email swannanoaval •LEAF Festival – Oct. 17 – 19 Lake Eden Arts Festival, affectionately known as “LEAF,” is one of the most well-known multicultural festivals in the southeast. The Washington Post recognized it as “the best cultural mix-andmatch festival in the nation.” The event takes place twice a year— May and October—and this fall’s dates are October 17-19. With music, healing arts, dancing, games, camping, food, and outdoor fun all in the beautiful setting of Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, this is a festival not to be missed.

Raves the Asheville Citizen-Times, LEAF is “one of Western North Carolina’s premier entertainment events” and is set apart from other festivals by the resplendent beauty of its location, dedication to community outreach, and a strong feeling of well-being bringing together all generations. Plus LEAF has over 50 different genres of arts to discover. LEAF seeks to embrace world cultures and reflect the creativity of the Asheville area while complementing the stunning landscape. The festival site is a spectacular outdoor location, a perfect place to come and sample various artistic worlds. Lake Eden Arts Festival is located at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, 377 Lake Eden Road. LEAF’s spring dates are May 8-10. For more information, visit or call 82868-MUSIC. •Fall by the Tracks – Oct. 18

The thirteenth annual “Fall by the Tracks” will take place this year on Saturday, October 18, and is sponsored by The Old Depot Association. The festival includes the opening of the caboose museum, crafter demonstrations, making your own mountain toys, cake-walks, local honey, mountain BBQ, freshlymade apple cider from an antique apple press, music, face and pumpkin-painting, and more. Hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Old Depot on Sutton Avenue in downtown Black Mountain. The Old Depot Association, a nonprofit and volunteer organization, was started in 1976 to protect and maintain the 100-year-old train depot and support the teaching of mountain and heritage crafts in the local Swannanoa Valley Schools. The association funds community programs that meet these goals. Visit the Old Depot Association’s Web site at www.Old, 828-6696583.

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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 Photos provided by the Swannanoa Valley Museum Carolina to work on the Ruth and Billy Graham Biltmore Estate. While here, he built an estate tile vaults, which enabled the construcof his own, “Rhododendron,” in Black tion of free-standing tiled domes. Mountain, on the site of what now is Among the 1,000 buildings he designed Christmount Assembly. and built in the United States is the St. Guastavino specialized in the use of the age-old Catalan system of laminated Lawrence Basilica in Asheville. In 1900,

CMYK PAGE 18, 15

Famous people from the Swannanoa Valley

Brad Johnson

a panel of architects named the top 10 buildings in the United States, and eight See Famous on PAGE 17

black mountain news .com News • Sports • Valley Living Classifieds and more!

Famous, continued from page 15 of them contained tile work by Guastavino. A pioneer in the field of electricity, Franklin Terry was a contemporary and a competitor of Thomas Edison and eventually became a 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. “In The Oaks” is now owned by Montreat College and serves as its Black Mountain campus. Singer Roberta Flack was born in Swannanoa in 1939. She is perhaps best known for her hit song, “Killing Me Softly.” The Martin family of musicians is famous among fans of mountain music, and are also known for their wood carv-

ings and dulcimers. Billy Edd Wheeler, of Swannanoa, is the author of numerous songs that have been recorded by such stars as Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Nancy Sinatra, and Lee Greenwood. 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 now plays for the Dallas Cowboys. Brad Daugherty, former University of North Carolina and Cleveland Cavalier basketball star, is also from Black Mountain. For more information on these individuals and the history of the Swannanoa Valley, visit the Swannanoa Valley Museum, located at 223 West State Street in Black Mountain. For more information about the museum, call 669-9655 or visit

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CMYK PAGE 16, 17



Black Mountain’s Center for the Arts offers the arts at many levels By Rita Vermillion CONTRIBUTING WRITER

rom the 1920’s to the 1990’s the multi-story brick building at 225 W. State Street housed the offices for the Town of Black Mountain. When a new city hall was built on Montreat Road, 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, hard work, and persistent fundraising efforts, the initial board members of the newly formed Black Mountain Center for the Arts saw their labors pay off when the doors were opened to the resourcefully renovated building in the fall of 2000. Eight years later, visitors come through the Center’s doors every day wanting to learn about Black Mountain, about the long-defunct Black Mountain College, and about the arts 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. Towns the size of Black Mountain, especially towns that are not county seats, don’t usually have multi-faceted arts centers. Towns the size of Black Mountain don’t always have the availability and quality of local talent that is found here. What those early board members knew is that the arts encompass more than one dimension, and that most of those talents are well-represented in our local

FALL -WINTER 2008 CALENDAR MUSIC and THEATER Black Mountain Center for the Arts Venue is The Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State Street, Black Mountain (www.blackmountainarts.or g). Information available at 828-669-0930 and office. • Sept. 21, 3 pm. Oldfashioned Community Sing-Along. • Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m. UpBeat! 4th Friday Concert: “Mama Won’t Allow” – The Instructors from Acoustic Corner, traditional old time, Celtic, bluegrass, jazz, and swing. Tickets: $10 donation at the door. • October 12, 3 pm. Old-fashioned Community Sing-Along.

Photos provided by BMCA

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts, located at 225 W. State Street.

and part-time population. There’s a music scene here that is rich and historic; the same can be said of the visual arts and fine handmade craft such as pottery, the written word, and the performing areas of the arts. The Black Mountain Center for the Arts 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 the arts to support and sustain it. By establishing the Black Mountain Center for the Arts 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 continSee Arts on PAGE 31

• Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m. UpBeat! 4th Friday Concert: David LaMotte’s Final Black Mountain concert, singer/songwriter. Tickets: $20, in advance. • Nov. 9, 3 pm. Oldfashioned Community Sing-Along. • Nov. 23, 3 p.m. Black Mountain Youth Chorale, choral music, Tickets: $5 donation at the door. • Dec. 14, 3 pm. Oldfashioned Community Sing-Along.

• Dec. 15, 6 pm. Caroling in the Neighborhood. • Dec. 18-20, 7:30 pm. Acts of Renewal, “Rediscovering Christmas” theater production, Tickets: $15 VISUAL ARTS Black Mountain Center for the Arts 225 W. State Street (828669-0930, • Sept. 5-27: Arthur McDonald – “Centered Travels,” Opening Reception, Friday, September 12, 6-8 p.m. • October 4-5: E.A.S.T., East of Asheville Studio Tour; maps available at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, and the Chamber of Commerce. • Oct. 1-31: Joye Arden Durham – “Beyond the Visible,” Opening Reception, Friday, October 10, 6-8 p.m. • Nov. 7-26: Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League – Annual Juried Show, Opening Reception – Friday, November 7, 6-8 p.m.

CMYK PAGE 14, 19


Fall color in the mountains is expected to be spectacular By Barbara Hootman STAFF WRITER

bove average fall color in the mountains is predicted, making the season spectacular. “This should be a pretty good year for leaf color change,” Katherine Matthews, Western Carolina University’s fearless fall foliage forecaster and an assistant professor of biology, said. The silver lining to the cloud of so little rain in the mountains this year, is that droughts produce good leaf color in the fall. Unfortunately, the severe drought in the mountains is causing leaves to drop early, so there will not be as many leaves to change colors. “If the temperatures in September and October cooperate and cool down, contributing to the breakdown of chlorophyll, we should expect to see some brilliant fall colors this year,” Matthews said. She also said leaf-lookers should not worry about any negative impact on fall color from the emergence of periodic cicadas in some spots across the Western Carolina mountains earlier in the year. Photo provided by Gretchen Howard Matthews predicts the annual color Fall color is expected to be above average this year. show will begin first in the higher elevations of the northwestern section of North Carolina typically in early October, and progress southSome excellent color spots to visit include: ward and down slopes through mid-October and early November. Yellow, birches, red sourwoods, red and yellow • Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the area’s most scenic roads. With the varying elevamaples, yellow pin cherries, and yellow poplars will be the tions along the Parkway, it is the quickest way to find the best areas of colorful foliage. The elefirst colors to show. vation of the Parkway around the Swannanoa Valley is around 2,200 feet, and it rises to 5,000 The early coloring trees will be followed by the yellow and plus feet as one drives north or south. red of oaks and sweet gums, yellow of hickories, yellow and brown of beeches, and a variety of other color shades in the • Drive south along Highway 9 from Black Mountain through Hickory Nut Gorge into vines, shrubs, and smaller trees beneath the forest canopy. Chimney Rock. The scenic winding drive produces a wide variety of hardwood trees that gives Peak fall color should arrive five to 10 days after the first frost the leaf looker a broad range of color for several weeks. at any particular location according to Matthews. That puts the Take N.C. Highway 9 and follow the signs to Lake Lure. It is about 19.4 miles and should take peak color at about October 15. about 30 to 35 minutes. A spokesperson for the North American Wildlife Health Care Center in Black Mountain says that the trees will proba• Drive from the Swannanoa Valley east on I-40 through Old Fort. Turn left at US-221. Turn bly peak close to the normal time of mid-October. right at Newland Hwy/US-221, continuing to follow US-221, and turn left at Grandfather “Hopefully the temperatures in the Swannanoa Valley area Mountain Entrance Road. The drive is about an hour and a half from the Swannanoa Valley. will cool sharply in September and October and with the dropping night temperatures and shorter days with less light, comes a burst of vivid colors,” the spokesperson said.

Autumn in the Valley: Local residents comment on the glorious season By Gretchen Howard CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Amie Pittman, Black Mountain resident and Southern Living at Home consultant: “I love fall in the mountains – it is one of the main reasons we live here and my most favorite season. I love the smell of fall - crisp cool mornings, warm sunny days, and cool evenings. My family enjoys going to Hickory Nut Gorge to buy apples, pumpkins, and the wonderful hay maze for kids. You can take a picnic lunch or just go for a visit - the drive out through Fairview is amazing! We also enjoy driving over the mountain to see the leaves on Highway 9. We usually end up at Lake Lure to play at the park. My Fathers Pizza is a favorite in the fall - we love to eat pizza out on the patio and look at the Seven Sisters in the background. Decorating for fall is one of my favorite things to do! I love the big bales of hay with mums of all colors and all the different pumpkins, gourds, and squash we have to pick from. Our front porch is always nice and colorful in the fall. These are very inexpensive - just find your favorite container and fill it up with small gourds or mini pumpkins – and get the kids involved!” Alice Johnson, Black Mountain resident and Wolf Creek Cove owner: “Is there anything more beautiful than watching the leaves bed down for the winter? We are lucky enough to have a front row seat on our deck where rising mist curls among the gold and red of the Swannanoa Mountains. It is a five star feast, these mountains. There’s just enough chill to warrant a wood fire. Fall is a fine way to put up summer; it is our signal to quiet our minds and give our bodies a rest.”

Corey Atherton, Asheville resident and project manager for Creston Community: “Every year I feel that first bite of crisp, cool autumn air I’m reminded of how lucky I am to live in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The beauty of Black Mountain definitely hits its peak in the fall. And there’s no better place to check out those brilliant fall colors than high atop Lookout Mountain in Montreat. It’s beautiful year round but one of my favorites in the fall. You really don’t see brilliancy quite like it anywhere else.” Glenda Morrow, Black Mountain resident and Administrative Assistant, Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce: “I love everything about fall – the change in the weather, the color, even the sun light has a different quality. My favorite thing to do is go for quiet walks or simply sit in the woods. I always look forward to getting home to pull grapes from the vine or an apple from the tree. We enjoy working around home and getting ready for winter. When we go for drives, we try to find back roads that haven’t been discovered yet.” Pat Box, Black Mountain resident and chairperson for Black Mountain Arts and Crafts Show: “We love the Sourwoods! We are blessed to have many of the trees growing on our home property, and when, in late August, a leaf here and there first changes to that reddish-orange it is a prelude - an overture - to all the delightful things that are to follow: the fragrance of wood smoke from fireplaces in our Valley, the nip in the air that makes a sweater feel good, the first batch of Texas-style chili for the season, the glories of all the other trees that take their cue from the Sourwood trees.”

Photos provided by Gretchen Howard

Autumn in the Swannanoa Valley is full of color and fun things to do.

CMYK PAGE 12, 21


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Holly Jolly kicks off the holiday season olly Jolly opens the holiday shopping season in Black Mountain on Friday night, December 5. The streets are decorated with millions of lights, and shops literally bulge with unusual items to make Santa’s sleigh trip on December 25 worth the effort. Shoppers come from surrounding areas to enjoy the entertainment and sample the delicious offers by local shops. What used to be punch and cookies or hot chocolate has turned into unusual sweets and food delicacies. Shoppers return year after year to meander from one shop to the other, seeking special gifts for Don’t Miss It! special people on their Holly Jolly holiday list. happens Dec. 5 in H o l l y downtown Black Jolly is a big Mountain. Christmas party thrown by the merchants of Black Mountain to welcome holiday shoppers. The food, music, and unique gifts make the opening of the holiday season magical. The annual Christmas parade follows Holly Jolly on Saturday, December 6, as does the annual Circle of Lights at Lake Tomahawk, which File Photos begins after the parade at dusk. Holly Jolly, a spectacular holiday celebration, will be held on Friday night, December 5, in downtown Black Mountain. The Christmas parade is typical of small town holiday parades. People pile into cars and other vehicles and join a motorcade through Black Mountain. Area bands play their finest holiday tunes and floats defy both parents and children’s imaginations. Of course, no parade would be complete without the traditional visit from Santa, and the jolly old elf will be riding in style this year at the end of the parade. For more information on these holiday events, call the Black Mountain – Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce at 828-669-2300 or visit

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The many pathways of the Swannanoa Valley By Jill Jones

Cherokee sided with their English trading partners, and when the British were defeated, the land west of the Swannanoa ost visitors come to the Gap was opened to immigrant settleSwannanoa Valley today ment. Europeans and Africans came into along a modern pathway - the Valley from the east along many of Interstate 40 - unaware that this asphalt the same trails and pathways the Indians four-lane follows much the same path had previously used. Some settled in the that was first carved through the wilder- Valley, others passed through to other ness along the Swannanoa River by deer, parts of Buncombe County, Western elk, wild boar, and other animals. North Carolina, and points even further When early tribes came into the west. Valley, they followed the animal paths as For those who settled here, the paththey hunted game, fished the river, and ways grew from dirt trails usable mainly gathered berries and nuts in the forest. by horse, mule, or oxen to wider roads Archaeologists tell us this river valley along which stage coaches traveled, has been inhabited by mankind for more bringing early tourists into the mounthan 12,000 years. In pre-Revolutionary tains. The region remained relatively isolatWar times, it was the hunting ground of the Cherokee, shared at times with the ed, however, until 1879, when the Western North Carolina Railroad Catawba Indians. During the Revolutionary War, the entered the Valley. As with the stage coach road, the railroad tracks followed along the old pathways made by animals, Indians, and early settlers. The coming of the train brought irrevocable change to the Swannanoa Valley and all of Western North Carolina. Where before only a few, mostly wealthy, individuals were able to visit the cool climate of these mountains, 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 Photos provided by the Swannanoa Valley Museum who visited the Valley around the A trainful of tourists arrives in Black Mountain. turn of the 19th CONTRIBUTING WRITER

century were people who found the region not only beautiful, but spiritually uplifting. The founders of Montreat, YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, and Ridgecrest were among those who came, purchased land, and developed these and other spiritual retreats. 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 came to work on the Biltmore Estate and remained in the region, leaving an indelible mark not only on Asheville, but in the Swannanoa Valley as well. Guastavino built his own estate, Rhododendron, on the property south of Black Mountain that is now Christmount Assembly. In 1921, Smith designed and built the Black Mountain Fire House on State Street, which is presently undergoing renovation to restore his original façade and expand the building, which is home to the Swannanoa Valley Museum. With the development of the region and the invention of the motorcar came pathways of a more modern kind - paved roads. Horse and ox-drawn taxis at the railway depots were replaced with cars, and the early highways were crowded with visitors who flowed into the Swannanoa Valley. Traffic jams on State Street in Black Mountain were common as traffic slowed coming in and out of the Valley. Today, our pathways are streamlined

(top) The busy depot in Black Mountain. (above) A postcard from Black Mountain.

but still heavily trafficked as visitors continue to discover the beauty and historical treasure that is the Swannanoa Valley. For more information visit the Swannanoa Valley Museum, located at 223 W. State Street in downtown Black Mountain, 828-669-9566.



Black Mountain is a hub Black Mountain is the perfect place to “hang your hat” while you discover the area’s attractions By Gretchen Howard CONTRIBUTING WRITER

visit to Western North Carolina warrants a lengthy stay with the abundance of things to do and see in the area. And there’s no better home base for all of this activity than Black Mountain. The town of welcoming people, inns, B&Bs, and restaurants will make you feel right at home as you set out to explore the local sights. First, check in to one of the town’s hospitable accommodations like The Madison Inn (10 Florida Avenue, 828-669-4785), an eclectic, charming mountain lodge and full-service restaurant. The inn has 10 rooms, all individually decorated with comfort and character. The restaurant has an inviting, unique atmosphere with lots of antiques, treasures, and knick-knacks to absorb while waiting for your food. Red Rocker Inn (136 Dougherty Street, 828-669-5991) has received numerous accolades naming it one of the best country inns throughout the south. Red Rocker Inn serves up some of the finest breakfasts and dinners in Western North Carolina. Seventeen elegant guest rooms all have private baths, some have fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. Some other B& Bs include Inn Around the Corner, (109 Church Street, 828-6696005), The Arbor House (207 Rhododendron Avenue, 828-669-9302), and The Bella Luna Inn (99 Terry Estate Drive, 828-664-9714). For a complete list of the area’s accommodations, see page 29 or visit the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce’s Web site at www.explore After settling into your temporary home away from home, it’s time to set out and explore beyond the town’s limits. Many of the area’s best sights are just a short drive from Black Mountain. Head south on Highway 9 for a scenic mountain drive to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. Chimney Rock Park is a 1,000-acre park with hiking trails, waterfalls, and spectacular views. The 75-mile views along

File photo

Traffic in downtown Black Mountain.

with a variety of regular special events will keep you entertained for the entire day. For more information, visit www.chimney Just a bit further down the road and you will discover the beauty of Lake Lure. The entire family will enjoy the beach, marina, and lake tours. Visit for more information. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. One could spend years exploring all of the overlooks, picnic sites, waterfalls, and trails. The Parkway is easily accessed from Black Mountain by heading west on Highway 70. Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home, is just a 15-minute drive from Black Mountain. Enjoy the beautiful gardens, award-winning winery, shopping, and dining at this national wonder. Visit for more information. Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa is one of the south’s most famous resorts and was built in 1913. Overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville skyline, it’s definitely worth a trip to enjoy lunch, the luxurious spa, or championship golf course.

Photo by Mike Dirks

Photo by Perrin Todd

(top right) Chimney Rock. (above) One of the many lovely scenes to be found along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

For a complete list of the area’s attractions, visit www.exploreblack or www.explore After your day of explorations, return to restful and quaint Black Mountain to kick back and relax. Stroll through town and

enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants. So with all these inviting choices for lodging, accommodations, and other amenities, plus the convenient and central location, choose to make Black Mountain your headquarters for your next trip to Western North Carolina!

Dining in the Swannanoa Valley Allison’s Diner 669-9799

Breakfast Shoppe 686-0051

Dripolator 669-0999

Athens Pizza 686-0802

Burger King 686-7910

Duke’s Hot Dogs 664-0037

Beacon Pub & Bistro 686-5943

Caminos Southwestern Grill & Cantina 669-1982

Highland Grill & Oyster Bar 669-9020

Berliner Kindl German Restaurant & Deli 669-5255 Black Mountain Bakery 669-1626 Black Mountain Bistro 669-5041

Cellar Door 669-9090

Huddle House 669-5763

Chow Time Pizza 686-1986

McDonald's 669-5062 Monte Vista Hotel 669-2119 Morning Glory Café 669-6212

Kentucky Fried Chicken 669-5133

Coach House Seafood 669-4223 Dennys 669-0770

Madisons - Black Mountain 669-4785

My Father's Pizza 669-4944

Las Cazuelas Mexican Restaurant 664-0222

Okie Dokie Smokehouse 686-0050 Oles Guacamoles 669-0550

Peppers Deli 669-1885

Scoops Ice Cream 669-8772

Perrys BBQ 664-1446

Subway 669-5086 • 686-7900

Phils BBQ 669-3606

Taco Bell 669-0087

Pizza Hut 669-9455

Thai Basil 664-4322

Powerhouse Perks 669-9300

The Doghouse and Dairy Bar 686-3995

Que Sera 664-9472

Veranda Cafe & Gifts 669-8864

Red Rocker Inn 669-5991

Wendy’s 669-9451

Accommodations in the Swannanoa Valley B&BS - INNS Arbor House 828-669-9302/ 866-669-9303 Bella Luna Inn 828-664-9714 Black Mountain Inn 828-669-6528 The Inn Around the Corner 828-669-6005 / 800-393-6005 Inn-On-Mill-Creek 828-668-1115/ 877-735-2964 Madisons Inn Black Mountain 828-669-4785 Monte Vista Hotel 828-669-2119 / 888-804-8438

Raspberry Hill B&B 828-669-7031

Bels Songbird Cottage 615-739-0029

Red Rocker Inn 828/-669-5991 / 888-669-5991

Black Mountain House 828-505-1109

Sleepy Hollow B&B 828-298-1115 / 866-708-1115

Black Mountain Reverie 915-637-8437 / 915-637-8335

The Mountain Getaway 828-669-2202

Blue Ridge Cabin Rentals -HomeAway 601-825-9885

Tree Haven B&B 828-669-3841 / 888-448-3841

Bornmans Wildflower Cottages 828-669-0433

CABINS-COTTAGES Abbas House 828-669-1101 Azalea House 828-669-8520 Altorks Laurel Guest House 828-301-2654

Cabin in the Clouds 901-753-6257 / 901-481-2253

Hillbilly Hill Cabin 828-298-2915/ 828-712-2086

Rushton Cottage 919-846-1239 C)919-219-7206

Cottage Over Yonder & Way-Over- Younder 828-669-6762

Lake Eden Cabin 828-686-5380/ 800-686-5380

Snowy Cove Cottage Office: 828-628-1624

Eden Glen Cottage 818-686-3564 Five Pines Cottage 828-712-1114 Floras Place Log Cabin Rental 828-231-4504 or 828-277-1492

Boxwood Cottage 828-669-6095 Cabin Creek Lodge 888-521-3841/ 828-669-9177 Carolina Mountain Rentals 1-800-859-7079 / 828-230-6613

Greybeard Realty Vacation Rentals 828-669-1072 Helens Place 828-298-1659 High Rock Log Cabin 828-664-9885

Log Cabin on Mill Creek 828-669-3914 McCoy Cove Log Cabin 352-359-8550 Nestle Creek (828) 628-4644 Rock Creek Retreat 1-866-372-2254 Roseden 239-247-3945 Round Knob Lodge 828-243-5762

Sugar Haus / Hendelwood 800-697-6331 Tuckaway Vacation Homes 828-728-9707 / 877-268-1895 CAMPGROUNDS

HOTELS MOTELS Acorn Motel 669-7232 Apple Blossom Motel 669-7922 Comfort Inn 669-9950 Super 8 Motel 669-8076 VACATION RETREATS

Asheville East KOA 686-3121

Bearcliff Rentals 800-842-7253

Mama Gertie’s Hideaway 686-4258

Lake James Vacation Rentals 828-775-LAKE




Pictured is a highlight of local fall and winter activities that will take place in Black Mountain and the surrounding area this fall and winter. For a full list of events, see page 6. File Photos

Arts, continued from page 18 ues to derive its support from the philanthropy of the very people who want to see it thrive. An event slated for the this fall is the First Annual Will Kennedy Memorial Golf Tournament, to be played at the picturesque Black Mountain Golf Course on Tuesday, September 23, honoring the memory of one of those founding board members, former Mayor Will Kennedy. Each season brings events and classes that are new, in addition to the familiar. Fall classes always start in early September. Familiar classes for fall 2008 include painting, drawing, yoga, pottery, and music and movement for children. Newer classes and workshops offer Water Soluble Oils, Ballroom Dance for Adults, and Modern Dance for children. Beginning in January 2008, the doors opened on the renovated pottery studio in the back of the building in what was once the old city garage. Pottery classes at every level, including Paint on Pottery by appointment for groups and individuals, are available under the instruction of four resident potters. The familiar also includes the UpBeat! Fourth Friday Musical Heritage Concert Series, soon completing its third season. The remaining concerts for 2008 include “Mama Don’t Allow,” the seven instructors from local music store, Acoustic Corner, playing together in a variety of ensembles and solos on Friday, September 26, at 7:30 p.m. And on October 24, a Farewell Black Mountain concert by local singer/songwriter David LaMotte for his final concert here before ending his musical career to move to Australia to enroll as a Rotary International Fellow in a master’s program in peace studies. An additional fall concert, presented by the Black Mountain Youth Chorale, will be Sunday, November 23 at 3 pm. Gallery Shows for the fall include: “Centered Travels,” an exhibit of mixed media with handmade paper by Arthur McDonald from September 5-26; “Beyond the Visible,” an exhibit of digital color infrared photography by Joye Arden Durham from October 1-31

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts 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.’

Photos provided by BMCA

Sing-alongs are a popular activity at the Arts Center.

(opening reception October 10); and the Annual Juried Show of the Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League from November 7-26 (opening reception November 7). Works in the Upper Gallery at the Center are originals and are for sale. Back for the second year, with hopes of becoming a familiar tradition, is Acts of Renewal’s husband-wife team of Carol Anderson and Jim Shores in their poignantly hilarious theater production, “Rediscovering Christmas,” on December 18-20. If you missed this phenomenal one night show last year, you’ll be happy to know it is returning

for a three-night run this year. Also planned for December, on Monday the 15th, is the annual Caroling in the Neighborhood, an opportunity for anyone who loves to be outdoors on a crisp early evening bringing cheer to others by singing the familiar carols of the season. A newly scheduled event for fall is a Volunteer Appreciation Day in November – a time to let the community of the Swannanoa Valley know how much they mean to the Center for the Arts. It will especially be a time to thank the many volunteers that make up

a large percentage of the work force for BMCA. And it will be a time to thank those early board members for envisioning and creating the Arts Center, and the dozens of successive board members who have encouraged it to grow and succeed. Watch for more details in the local editions of the Black Mountain News, and on the Center’s Web site, www.blackmountain Always for more information, call the Black Mountain Center for the Arts at 828669-0930. And visit – Weekdays 10 – 5 (Closed Thursdays), and Saturdays 1-4 p.m.



Pinnacle Properties 100 W. State Street, Black Mountain, NC

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Black Mountain Tour Guide Winter 2008  

This special publication of the Black Mountain News was created to assist you while you are in town. A calendar of events for the entire fal...

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