To commemorate the opening of the Swannanoa Valley Museum’s new exhibit, “Rising Waters: The Past and Future of Flooding in the Swannanoa Valley,” the museum will host two events on Thursday evening, July 21st. From 4:00pm to 6:00pm, the museum will hold a free reception at its location on W. State Street in Black Mountain. Drinks and refreshments will be served, and visitors will be able to peruse the new “Rising Waters” exhibit.

Afterwards, beginning at 7:00pm, a screening and discussion of Come Hell Or High Water, Remembering The Flood Of 1916, a film by award-winning filmmaker David Weintraub,will take place a few blocks away at the White Horse Black Mountain. The event will begin with music performed by folk and bluegrass musician David Wiseman, whose tribute song is featured in Come Hell or High Water. After the screening, Weintraub and community members will have a short discussion sharing memories of floods in the valley. 

In July 1916, 22 inches of rain fell in a 24 hour period over parts of Western North Carolina (WNC). In many places in WNC, the French Broad was 17 feet above flood stage and the Swannanoa River was a mile wide. This year still evokes powerful memories in many old-timer’s family histories. But what concerns many is the reality that WNC is a flood prone area and such a disaster could repeat. Given that the Great Flood led to thousands of mudslides and landslides, causing extensive damage at a time when no one lived on the side of mountains, the worry is that should a flood of similar proportions occur today it would likely be more devastating.  

This film was produced through the Center for Cultural Preservation, a cultural nonprofit organization dedicated to working for mountain heritage continuity through oral history, documentary film, education and public programs. For more information about the Center contact them at (828) 692-8062 or


WHEN, WHERE, COST: July 21st, 4:00pm-6:00pm, at the Swannanoa Valley Museum- 223 West State Street, Black Mountain, NC 28711. FREE to the public.


WHEN: Thursday, July 21st, 7:00pm

WHERE: White Horse Black Mountain (105 Montreat Road, Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711)

TICKETS: $15 for museum members, $20 general admission. To purchase tickets, call the White Horse Black Mountain at (828) 669-0816 or click the link below.