Exploring Miami Mountain, Overlooking Black Mountain

The Cooley Family explores the top of Miami Mountain overlooking Black Mountain around 1940. Footage courtesy of Craig Cooley.

Downtown Swannanoa – 1938

Screened at the Lyric Theater on October 25 and 26, 1938
The Swannanoa footage features the Beacon Mill, businesses on Whitson Ave, and school children outside the old Swannanoa school. Studio photographer Herbert Lee Waters supplemented his income from 1936 to 1942 by traveling across North Carolina and parts of Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina to film the people of small communities. He collaborated with local movie theaters to screen his films, which he called Movies of Local People. As a filmmaker, Waters produced 252 films across 118 communities.

Swannanoa, Flood of 1940

From the Cooley Family

NC Weekend | UNC-TV

Aired August 8, 2013. Here is what UNC-TV has to say about the museum, “The Swannanoa Valley Museum requires a bit more walking than most museums. In fact, the hiking tours offered eleven times a year by the museum allow the hikers to see pieces of the historic vistas scattered across the Swannanoa Valley. Hikers will not only travel across some of the same paths as many of the first Americans did, but also explore the museum building itself, where the many exhibits showcase the life and culture of Swannanoa Valley.”

Harriet Styles Tribute

This video was created in honor of Harriet Styles (August 17, 1920 – December 24, 2014). Styles envisioned a museum of Valley history and was instrumental in the founding of the Swannanoa Valley Museum along with other community members. She approached Valley residents for donations of artifacts. She said, “I looked through photo albums, went through attics and basements, and asked for items to start the museum. I was worried about everything being lost if we didn’t start to collect our past.” Styles was a botanist and led many hikes through the Valley, inspiring the museum’s hiking programs. Styles served as the museum’s first director and provided continual guidance during the museum’s first 25 years.

Journey Through the Valley: A Riceville History

A video chronicling the history and community building efforts of the Riceville valley in western North Carolina – located about 10 miles outside of Asheville.