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January 2019

Rim Hike #2: Rhododendron Rim

January 26 @ 8:00 am - 1:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$30 – $50 1 ticket left

This 4.3 mile, moderate hike​ runs from Wendell Begley’s home on Sunset Mountain to Route 9. It passes through property once owned by Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino, best known for his innovative system of self-supporting arches and vaults using interlocking tiles in some of New York’s most famous Beaux-Arts landmarks, as well as Asheville’s Basilica of…

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February 2019

Book Club: Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina

February 8 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Black Mountain Library, 105 N Dougherty Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

February's read is Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, a 304-page guidebook containing more than 150 color photos, seven maps, and a wealth of information about the people and places that make North Carolina’s mountain music and dance heritage so special. Accompanying the guidebook is a CD of 26 musical selections by the artists, modern…

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Rim Hike #3: Cherokee Boundary

February 16 @ 8:00 am - 2:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$30 – $50 Sold out

The Cherokee Boundary was the eastern most boundary of the Cherokee Nation. The hike will begin at Wendell's house and cover the Eastern Continental Divide to near Swannanoa Gap. Almost all of the 4.5 mile trip (many ups and downs) will be off trail or bushwhacking. There will be many unique and spectacular views (360 degrees through the trees) of the upper Swannanoa Valley,…

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Orientation: Valley History Explorer Hiking Series

February 21 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

Note: The 2019 Series is at capacity. To be added to the waitlist for individual hikes, please email the museum. Join us for an orientation to the Museum’s VALLEY HISTORY EXPLORER HIKING SERIES, which consists of 8 hikes to historic locations around the Swannanoa Valley, one in each of our communities. The hour-long orientation will cover specifics of…

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March 2019

Book Club: A Parchment of Leaves

March 8 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Black Mountain Library, 105 N Dougherty Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

March's read is A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House. From the publisher, "It is the early 1900s in rural Kentucky, and young Saul Sullivan is heading up to Redbud Camp to look for work. He is wary but unafraid of the Cherokee girl there whose beauty is said to cause the death of all men…

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Valley History Explorer Hike #1: Bee Tree (TBA)

March 9 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
$25 – $35 Sold out

This year's Bee Tree hike is...TBA! We're working on permissions for a brand-new destination. Difficulty: Moderate, 3 miles Cost: $25 members, $35 nonmembers Note: This hike is part of a series, which is at capacity. Hikers who wish to register for individual hikes may add their name to the waitlist by sending an email to info@swannanoavalleymuseum.org. Additional spaces for…

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Rim Hike #1: Weatherford Heights

March 16 @ 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$30 – $50 Sold out

The hike to Weatherford Heights explores the history and geography of Y.M.C.A. Blue Ridge Assembly. The hike follows the original boundary line of the conference center’s grounds, surveyed by educator, author, and religious leader Willis Duke Weatherford in 1906. Weatherford sought a permanent location for student training sessions he arranged. When he reached the present site of Blue Ridge Assembly, between two steep forested…

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Historic North Fork Valley Tour of the Asheville Watershed – East Side

March 30 @ 9:00 am - 2:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
$50 – $75 31 tickets left

Join us on this exclusive historic driving tour of the east side of the Burnett Reservoir to explore part of the once thriving North Fork Valley community. The trip stops at Sunalee Lodge, then to the home place of Champ Burnett. From there, we will drive to Colonel John Connally’s home site which has extensive ruins…

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April 2019

Valley History Explorer Hike #2: Leader’s Choice (Catawba Falls)

April 6 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
$25 – $35 Sold out

Hikers on the 2nd segment of our Valley History Explorer Hiking Series will explore an old Cherokee pathway that hugs the banks of the Catawba River and ends at the base of beautiful Catawba Falls. The 2.5-mile, out-and-back hike is moderate and flush with history, which our guides will share along the way. Visitors have been exploring the falls…

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Book Club: The Last Castle

April 12 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Black Mountain Library, 105 N Dougherty Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

April's read is The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home by Denise Kiernan. From the publisher, "A New York Times bestseller with an "engaging narrative and array of detail” (The Wall Street Journal), the “intimate and sweeping” (Raleigh News & Observer) untold, true story behind the Biltmore Estate—the largest, grandest…

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Rim Hike #4: Montreat East Ridge

April 13 @ 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$30 – $50 Sold out

This difficult, 6-mile segment traverses the crest of the Blue Ridge (Continental Divide) along the eastern boundary of Montreat. Montreat was founded by Rev. John C. Collins in 1897 as a place “for physical and spiritual renewal,” and was named by combining the words “mountain” and “retreat.” The hike will include the peaks of Rocky Head, Brushy Mountain, and Boggs Bunion and…

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Appalachian Spring Tea – First Seating

April 27 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Blue Ridge Assembly – Dr. Weatherford Home Black Mountain, NC 28711 United States

On Saturday, April 27th the Museum will host our 2nd annual spring tea at the Weatherford home in Blue Ridge Assembly.  Built around 1936 of native timber by Dr. Willis Weatherford, Sr., founder of the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly; the home and surrounds are being opened to the public for what may be the last…

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Appalachian Spring Tea – Second Seating

April 27 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Blue Ridge Assembly – Dr. Weatherford Home Black Mountain, NC 28711 United States

On Saturday, April 27th the Museum will host our 2nd annual spring tea at the Weatherford home in Blue Ridge Assembly.  Built around 1936 of native timber by Dr. Willis Weatherford, Sr., founder of the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly; the home and surrounds are being opened to the public for what may be the last…

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May 2019

Old Toll Road 4WD Caravan to Camp Alice

May 4 @ 7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711

Join us for this popular 4-wheel drive caravan up the historic Old Toll Road to Camp Alice on Mt. Mitchell. Once a major tourist attraction, the “Old Toll Road” made the “apex of Appalachia accessible” for the cost of $1 per person. As many as 150 cars drove the road each day. The opening of the modern,…

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Book Club: Flight Behavior

May 10 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Black Mountain Library, 105 N Dougherty Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

May's read is Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. From the publisher, "Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife…

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Valley History Explorer Hike #3: Swannanoa (Davidson Grave/Alexander Farm)

May 11 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$25 – $35 Sold out

The next hike in the series will take hikers to see the grave of the first European settler west of the Blue Ridge - Samuel Davidson (located on private property), who was killed shortly after his arrival in 1784 and buried at the top of Jones Mountain where he was shot. Led by Davidson descendant, Bill Alexander, we will…

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Rim Hike #5: Pinnacle of the Blue Ridge

May 18 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$30 – $50 Sold out

This will be a rewarding hike with some of the best views on the rim. However, it will be long and difficult. The hike will be a loop hike of over 8 miles and includes two strenuous ascents, two steep descents, some rock scrambling on three rocky summits, and some moderate off-trail hiking. The return…

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June 2019

Valley History Explorer Hike #4: Black Mountain (In-the-Oaks)

June 8 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$25 – $35 Sold out

Join us for a historic hiking tour of the Montreat College Athletic Campus, the site ofFranlkin S. Terry's In-the-Oaks estate. We will take a short tour through the magnificent home and then walk the grounds located on 89 wooded acres within the town of Black Mountain. Hike leader, Alan Edwards, will share the history of the…

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Book Club: Bearwallow

June 14 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Black Mountain Library, 105 N Dougherty Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

June’s read is Bearwallow: A Personal History of a Mountain Homeland by Jeremy B. Jones. From the publisher, "Across the Blue Ridge Mountains stretches a world both charming and complicated. Jeremy Jones and his wife move into a small house above the creek where his family had settled 200 years prior. He takes a job…

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Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #6: Grey Eagle Rock

June 15 @ 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$30 – $50 Sold out

This strenuous 3.1 mile hike takes its name from the rock that resembles a Cherokee chief known as Grey Eagle sitting and overlooking Black Mountain. The hike begins at Black Mountain Gap off the Blue Ridge Parkway. During the trek, hikers will cross the summit of Potato Knob (6,400’). Potato Knob is the highest point…

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July 2019

Independence Day Sunset Fireworks Hike

July 4 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Black Mountain Savings Bank, 200 E State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map

This year, celebrate the Fourth of July with your family, friends, guests, and the Swannanoa Valley Museum on a 1.5-mile, moderate hike to the peak of Sunset Mountain. Here, Museum guests will enjoy an old-fashioned watermelon cutting, and then stay to watch the sun set and the fireworks explode over the town of Black Mountain.…

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Book Club: Rootabaga Stories

July 12 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Black Mountain Library, 105 N Dougherty Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

July’s read is Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories. Published in 1922, Rootabaga Stories is a children's book of interrelated short stories. The whimsical, sometimes melancholy stories, which often use nonsense language, were originally created for Sandburg's daughters. The stories were born of Sandburg's desire for "American fairy tales" to match American childhood. He felt that the European stories involving royalty…

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Valley History Explorer Hike #5: Ridgecrest (Kitsuma)

July 13 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$25 – $35 Sold out

This hike will follow the Kitsuma Trail to a viewpoint boasting sweeping vistas of the Swannanoa Valley, including a breathtaking view of Mt. Mitchell, which is visible on clear days. Today, Ridgecrest is best known as the home of the Lifeway Ridgecrest Conference Center. The conference center was first founded as the Southern Baptist Assembly by Dr.…

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Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #7: Patton’s Table

July 20 @ 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$30 – $50 Sold out

Hikers will witness what has been described as some of the most stunning scenery on the entire 900+ mile Mountain to Sea (MTS) Trail. This hike follows the MTS Trail to top of Bearwallow Stand Ridge and includes some bushwacking to arrive at the junction of the Old Perley-Crockett Railroad grade. These mountain, the Blacks,…

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August 2019

Annual Rummage Sale Fundraiser

August 2 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
corner of Padgettown Road and Old US 70 Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711 + Google Map

Donate to the Museum’s fiscal year end Rummage Sale today! To donate items please contact Yolanda Smith at (828) 669-1679 or chicgrandma96@yahoo.com. Please do not bring donations to the museum. Gently-used household goods, kitchen items, collectibles, books, children’s toys, and furniture are appreciated. The museum is unable to accept donations of clothing or electronics. Donors will receive a tax receipt. We can arrange…

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Annual Rummage Sale Fundraiser

August 3 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
corner of Padgettown Road and Old US 70 Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711 + Google Map

Donate to the Museum’s fiscal year end Rummage Sale today! To donate items please contact Yolanda Smith at (828) 669-1679 or chicgrandma96@yahoo.com. Please do not bring donations to the museum. Gently-used household goods, kitchen items, collectibles, books, children’s toys, and furniture are appreciated. The museum is unable to accept donations of clothing or electronics. Donors will receive a tax receipt. We can arrange…

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Book Club: The French Broad

August 9 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Black Mountain Library, 105 N Dougherty Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

August’s read is The French Broad by Wilma Dykeman. From Kirkus Reviews, "An interesting and proud contribution to the Rivers of America, this is an account of a major waterway, circulating from North Carolina into Tennessee, its divergences, tributaries and confluence with the Tennessee River, and above all an account of the people who for…

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Valley History Explorer Series Hike #6: Riceville (Shope Creek)

August 10 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$25 – $35 Sold out

Riceville is named after Joseph Marion Rice, who settled in the valley in the 1780s. We'll carpool from the Museum to the trailhead and along the way view several points of historic interest.  This hike will explore the 1700-acre tract of Pisgah National Forest land just below the Blue Ridge Parkway at the end of…

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Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #8: Walker’s Knob

August 17 @ 8:00 am - 2:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$30 – $50 Sold out

This peak (elevation 5,482 feet) was named after North Fork’s Walker family, one of the early families to settle in the upper North Fork valley. The Walkers owned much of the land and were engaged in timber and logging. Along this trail are giant hemlocks, lichen and moss covered rocks, stretches of beech forest, surround…

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September 2019

Book Club: Above the Waterfall

September 13 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Black Mountain Library, 105 N Dougherty Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

September's read is Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash. From the publisher - "In this poetic and haunting tale set in contemporary Appalachia, New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash illuminates lives shaped by violence and a powerful connection to the land. Les, a long-time sheriff just three-weeks from retirement, contends with the ravages of crystal meth…

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Valley History Explorer Series Hike #7: Montreat (Hydroelectric History)

September 14 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$25 – $35 Sold out

This hike focuses on the history of Montreat, which was founded in 1897 by Rev. John Collins. The remnants of the Montreat hydroelectric facilities that were constructed in 1913 and in use until 1947 are visible on this moderate, 2.5-mile hike.  Difficulty: Moderate, 2.5 miles Cost: $25 members, $35 nonmembers Note: This hike is part of a series, which is…

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Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #9: Buckner’s Knob

September 21 @ 8:00 am - 2:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$30 – $50 Sold out

Buckner’s Knob was the original name given to today’s Craggy Pinnacle, named after the Buckner family, one of the early families to settle on the Barnardsville side of the Craggies. The Flats of Craggy were the spot where the boys from North Fork side of the Craggies and those from the Barnardsville side would meet for…

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Old Town Swannanoa & Beacon Blanket Tour

September 28 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
$20 30 tickets left

Swannanoa was once home to a thriving downtown, known to locals as “The Station.” Bordered by the Beacon Blanket mill and the railroad tracks, Swannanoa’s downtown included cafes, grocery stores, a drug store, a bank, a movie theater, a five-and-dime, and other variety stores. Join us for a walking tour of the old downtown area and the historic buildings that were once a part of the mill town. Learn about the history of this area, and see what’s…

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October 2019

Book Club: Real NASCAR

October 11 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Black Mountain Library, 105 N Dougherty Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

October’s read is Real NASCAR by Daniel S. Pierce. From the publisher, "In this history of the stock car racing circuit known as NASCAR, Daniel S. Pierce offers a revealing new look at the sport from its postwar beginnings on Daytona Beach and Piedmont dirt tracks through the early 1970s, when the sport spread beyond its…

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Valley History Explorer Hike #8: North Fork (Grove Stone)

October 12 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$25 – $35 Sold out

This 3-mile, moderate hike will explore part of Grove Stone Quarry overlooking the North Fork Valley. This moderate trail is part of the network of roads that trucks drive through the quarry. Jason Conner, who works for the quarry, will share the geology of the region. We will hike into the quarry while we learn about the history of…

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Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #10: Top of Brushy/High Top of Bee Tree

October 19 @ 8:00 am - 2:30 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$30 – $50 Sold out

In the 1800s and early 1900s the top of Brushy was an important meeting spot for hunters. It divides the large drainages of Bee Tree Creek (Right Fork), Laurel Branch, and Sugar Fork. The Bee Trees run south from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Grovemont and Swannanoa, separating the North Fork drainage from the Bee Tree…

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November 2019

Book Club: Divine Right’s Trip

November 8 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Black Mountain Library, 105 N Dougherty Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

November’s read is Divine Right's Trip by Gurney Norman. From the NY Times: Gurney Norman’s “Divine Right’s Trip” — a hippie, druggie road-trip-novel-cum-lifestyle-manifesto — first appeared “episodically” as a series of sidebars on right-hand pages of Stewart Brand’s 1971 “Last Whole Earth Catalog.” The story follows the young drug slinger D. R. Davenport (Divine Right) and…

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Historic North Fork Valley Tour of the Asheville Watershed – West Side

November 9 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$50 – $75 35 tickets left

Join us on this exclusive historic driving tour of the west side of the Burnett Reservoir to explore part of the once thriving North Fork Valley community. The caravan will stop for participants to view the impressive chimney that was once part of a large boarding house where travelers on their way to Mt. Mitchell…

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Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #11: Garden of Eden

November 16 @ 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
$30 – $50 Sold out

Join the museum for the final hike of the Swannanoa Rim Hike Series to the Garden of Eden. This rocky mountaintop is located one mile northwest of Lake Eden on the Swannanoa Rim. In the summer months its rocky top was famous for its sunning serpents (rattlesnakes and copperheads) and it why this segment of…

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Hike Series Finisher Reunion & Volunteer Appreciation Celebration!

November 17 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
White Horse Black Mountain, 105 Montreat Road
Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711
+ Google Map
Free

Tonight we’re celebrating all those who finished the Rim Hike and Valley History Explorer Hike Series in 2019 and thanking all those who volunteered their time in support of the Museum. All 2019 Hike Series finishers will receive their Rim Hike jackets and VHE fleeces this evening. All volunteers and past and present finishers and…

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December 2019

Book Club: The Birds of Opulence

December 13 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Black Mountain Library, 105 N Dougherty Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
+ Google Map
Free

December's read is The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson. From the publisher, "A lyrical exploration of love and loss, The Birds of Opulence centers on several generations of women in a bucolic southern black township as they live with and sometimes surrender to madness. The Goode-Brown family, led by matriarch and pillar of the community Minnie Mae,…

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