History Cafe: The Swannanoa 4-H Camp as a German POW Camp in WWII
August 24 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
In this presentation, Elodie Covert will discuss the history of the historic Swannanoa 4-H Camp and the property’s use as a prisoner of war camp in WWII. Construction of the former Swannanoa 4-H Camp was completed in 1929 and was the first camp built and operated by the North Carolina Extension Service. It served as a 4-H camp until WWII when the camp was converted to a German prisoner of war camp. Prisoners with masonry and carpentry skills worked in their trade at camp, building structures that still exist today. 4-H camping resumed until 2013, when the Extension Service closed the Swannanoa 4-H Camp. Black Mountain Home for Children acquired the camp in 2016 and has been working diligently to restore the facility and preserve its rich history. BMH is using its West Campus to increase awareness, generate income, and as a home base for its Apprenticeship Programs to give job training to students in their care.
Elodie Covert completed her degree in Outdoor Education from Montreat College in 2005 and has been involved with the ministry of Black Mountain Home for Children (BMH) since 2006. After BMH acquired the former Swannanoa 4-H camp in 2016 (now BMH’s West Campus) Elodie transitioned into the role of West Campus Coordinator. Elodie oversees the day-to-day facility needs and upkeep, schedules and coordinates events on site, and leads the Apprenticeship Programs for college-aged students at BMH. Elodie lives on site with her husband and two children and enjoys being in ministry together as a family.
About History Cafe
Ever wonder how Asheville came to get its drinking water from Black Mountain? What slavery looked like in western North Carolina (Yes, there were enslaved people here.)? How wagons, stagecoaches, and trains made it up the steep grade from Old Fort into Ridgecrest? Come to the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center one monday a month at 10:30am for a discussion about local history. Come start off your morning getting to know our region a little better!
Cost: $5 for museum members and students with ID. Nonmembers may pay $10 in advance online or at the door. Coffee will be provided.
Designed for adults and modeled after the popular Science Cafes taking place across the nation, Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center’s monthly History Cafe offers lectures and workshops led by local experts and researchers on regional history topics. These hour-long meet-ups engage the many stories that have shaped our southern Appalachian community as a place — from geological changes to native histories, musical innovations, pioneer experiences, and labor struggles — and will end with informal discussion bringing our shared history into context with contemporary issues.