Part of the restoration and renovation of the Historic Black Mountain Fire House, Valley in the Alley is intended to both educate and entertain residents and visitors to our unique and beautiful valley.

About the Project

The Valley in the Alley exhibit is located, fittingly, in the alley owned by the Museum between the Museum and the Dripolator Coffee House, just off West State Street in Black Mountain.

The exhibit is based on the sale of engraved brick pavers, but with an approach distinct from the usual random placement of pavers. Purchasers of all engraved bricks within the alley will have the same opportunity to honor or memorialize friends and recognize special achievements as in other paver programs. However, through the purchase of a variety of special granite pavers, individuals, families and businesses will be owning “a piece of history” by forming the geographic outline of the Valley and locating major points of special interest in the Valley, such as communities, dwellings, or landscape features.

The result will be a mosaic which will show the north and south ridgelines of the Swannanoa Valley, the major geographic features on, and within, the ridgelines and the locations within the Valley which trace the settlement and the evolution of the Valley to the vibrant community it is today.

When the Valley in the Alley is complete, it will be a primer for children, acquainting them with the geography and history of the Swannanoa Valley; it will quickly orient visitors to what they are seeing around them; it will allow generations of families to recall and tell of their place in the Valley’s history; and it will be an aesthetically pleasing walkway, complimenting both the Museum building and Black Mountain’s Historic Downtown. The Museum will also provide permanent seating in the alleyway for use by the community.


Regular 4″x8″ brick pavers holding three lines of text are $100. Engraved granite pavers will form the special features of the mosaic. They start at $200 for one 4″x8″ paver with three lines of text and increase in cost and available text depending on the size of paver chosen. Approximately 4,000 pavers make up the Alley, of which nearly 600 will form the outline of the Valley. Along the outline and within the Valley, over 100 sites are available for special recognitions or dedications.

Once the initial cost for acquiring and placing pavers is recovered, all proceeds from the Valley in the Alley purchases will be devoted to completion of the renovation and the operations of the Swannanoa Valley Museum including exhibits, on-and off-site programming, outreach to schools, preservation, and research.

Participants in the Valley in the Alley program will be contributing their own piece of history to our community. 
For more information: 

Brick Locations

Order By Mail or Online

Fill out our Brick Order Form and submit with your payment.

Add the brick size of your choice to your shopping cart. You will be prompted to add an inscription and location for your engraved brick via the online form. Once we have received your payment, we’ll be back in touch to verify your brick’s location and inscription.

Engraved Brick Sizes
Please Enter Inscription Here:

Thank you for your support of the Swannanoa Valley Museum!