History on the Move

In a new partnership between the Museum, NC Collection at Pack Library, and Strive Beyond Drive in a new partnership with Asheville Redefines Transit (ART) and the City of Asheville a series of interpretive historical exhibit panels will be located on bus shelters throughout the ART service area in Buncombe County. Known as History on the Move, this new initiative will highlight the history of the neighborhood and transportation corridors near bus shelters around the county.

Learn more…

Photograph of a dawn redwood in fall with sun shining through the branches.
Swannanoa Valley
Treasured Trees

Reestablished in 2019 as a partnership between Asheville GreenWorks, Black Mountain Urban Forestry Council, and Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, the alliance strives to recognize and protect heritage trees in the Swannanoa Valley. Our trees help define our local beauty and small town charm.

View the Treasured Tree Map or Nominate your favorite tree today!

Interpretive Panel with an early 1900s photograph of a train engine and several employee with text describing the process it took to get the railroad up the steep grade between Old Fort and Black Mountain in the late 1800s.

With support from the Black Mountain – Swannanoa Endowment Fund, the Old Depot Association is revitalizing the public space between the Depot and the caboose on Sutton Ave. As part of the project, Swannanoa Valley Museum staff have designed six interpretive panels exploring the history of the depot as “the center of it all.” Free and open to the public 24 hours a day. To be installed late 2019.

More about the Old Depot…

Valley Rewind

Every week in the Black Mountain News, we research and publish a historic image from our extensive collection. Check out page A2 every week to learn a tidbit about Swannanoa Valley history. Don’t have subscription to the News? We also publish the image and caption on our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Follow us!


Developed by the Museum’s Education Committee of retired educators, these boxes can travel to your classroom (with or without a Museum staff member) at no cost. Each box contains activities and materials tailored to meet North Carolina’s educational standards for each grade level.

Do you have an idea for a box related to local history that you’d like to use in your classroom? If so, let us know! Our education committee would love to help.

More info…

Photograph of a geology exhibit with six rocks behind the Swannanoa Valley Museum.
GEology EXHIBIT Garden

With the help of the Town of Black Mountain and donations from Hedrick Industries, Vulcan Materials Company, and The Quartz Corp, the we have installed a geology exhibit directly behind our building. Consisting of six large boulders from western North Carolina, the exhibit tells the story of the valley’s earliest formation and topography. The oldest rock in the garden, a sample of gneiss from northern Buncombe County, is over one billion years old. A grant from the Black Mountain Beautification Committee funded signage identifying each rock, its age, and where it was mined.

Free and open to the public 24 hours a day!

Valley in the Alley

Valley in the Alley is a brick mosaic exhibit that will, once all bricks have been purchased, create a stylized map of the Swannanoa Valley. Granite pavers will outline the ridgeline of the valley including major peaks, gaps, and locations. Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of WNC, Black Mountain – Swannanoa Endowment Fund, we were able to purchase and install three benches in the alleyway. The benches, identical to those in Black Mountain’s Town Square, serve as a quiet space to enjoy the Valley in the Alley exhibit.

Free and open to the public 24 hours a day!

Location Finding

We are proud to have recently purchased and installed a beautiful granite compass paver in the sidewalk directly in front of our main entrance! High Country Surveyors measured the exact elevation (2,409.1 feet), and Museum board member and retired professional land surveyor Bob Watts took a compass reading for magnetic north at the location (Magnetic North is 59 degrees off West State Street). Black Mountain Public Works Department did a beautiful job installing the paver. Come check it out!   

Free and open to the public 24 hours a day!


Our book club is free and open to the public. It meets at 11:30 am at the Black Mountain Library on the second Friday of each month. Participants are encouraged to bring along a copy of the month’s chosen reading selection to participate in a casual discussion of themes, questions, and musings.  The books read by the club span a range of titles and include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and prose and focus on themes related to western North Carolina and the whole of the Appalachian region.

More info…

Decorated christmas tree with vintage postcards
Deck the Trees

Stop by the Monte Vista Hotel in Black Mountain during December to enjoy dozens of beautifully and creatively decorated Christmas trees that fill the hotel’s lobby and dining room. Local businesses, groups, and individuals – including the Museum – decorate the trees and compete for your “votes.” Simply place a monetary donation in the box next to the trees you like best. All proceeds from Deck the Trees benefit the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry (SVCM) Fuel Fund.