The Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center’s Walk Through History series is an opportunity for WNC residents to get to know the rich history of the Swannanoa Valley by walking it’s historic estates, sidewalks and cemeteries with knowledgeable guides. Running from April thru September one Wednesday morning a month (with a break in July), each tour is conducted by local experts who intimately know the history of the individuals and communities who once traversed the valley. Come enjoy a morning stroll through WNC history!

COVID POLICY: All walking tours take place out of doors, allowing for social distancing to be observed.

LOCATIONS: All registered attendees will receive an email ahead of each event detailing the sign-in location. These events will not take place at the Swannanoa Valley Museum.

COST: $35 per event for general admission, $25 for museum members with a promo code. Some fees apply. 

2022 Series: Details and Registration

Wednesday, September 14, 10:30am-noonTabernacle Cemetery- South Side, with Robert Goodson, Jamie Lautner, and Joe TysonScroll down for details, or click here to register.

September 14th: Tabernacle Cemetery- South Side, with Robert Goodson, Jamie Lautner, and Joe Tyson

Take a guided walking tour of the South side (or, lower side) of the historical Tabernacle cemetery. The Tabernacle church and cemetery date all the way back to the 1830s, when the church was a simple log cabin that also served as the first school house in Black Mountain. Nearly 800 valley residents are buried in this sprawling Black Mountain cemetery, and guides will describe how the lives of many people buried in the cemetery’s southern portion shaped the history of the valley and western North Carolina.  REGISTER HERE

2022 Past Events

April 13th: Lake June, with Alan Dye, Board Chair of The Swannanoa Community Council

Take a guided walking tour of the early 20th century site of the former Lake June, a man-made lake that was once part of the Grovemont-On-Swannanoa planned community developed by E.W. Grove in 1924. Once a popular recreation spot, by mid century the lake had drained away and gradually the land had become overgrown with invasive species like kudzu, english ivy and multiflora rose. The tour unearths the ruins of a lakehouse and stone pillars that were once part of the development surrounding the lake, as well as a more mysterious site that has been dubbed “The Spring House” and may be the last remnants of a homestead of unknown age. As the tour moves through the 2.35 acre site, the guides will point out the ways in which the land, the historical remnants and plants and animals tell a story of change and resilience and the hidden history that lies in our midst.

This walk is fairly easy but may not be fully accessible for those with mobility issues. Boots are recommended. REGISTER HERE

May 11th: Lake Tomahawk, with LeAnne Johnson

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was an ambitious employment and infrastructure program created by President Roosevelt in 1935, during the bleakest years of the Great Depression. Over its eight years of existence, the WPA put roughly 8.5 million Americans to work. One of these projects was Lake Tomahawk. Learn about this fascinating history while taking a walk around the lake. We will discuss the creation of the lake and its history from its inception in 1936 to the present. REGISTER HERE

June 8th: Oteen Hospital and the Western Regional Archives, with Jeff Futch and Heather South

A lecture on the history of Oteen hospital taking place at the Western Regional Archives, now housed in a historic dormitory on the grounds of the hospital. Presenters will be historians Jeff Futch and Heather South of the Western Regional Archives.  REGISTER HERE

August 3rd: The Historic Pisgah Village at Warren Wilson, with Dr. David Moore.

The tour will focus on the Warren Wilson site, a Native American archaeology site where major excavations were conducted between 1964 and 2000. The site was occupied intermittently over more than 8,000 years. Participants will learn about the various periods of Native American settlements and will learn about the layout of the Cherokee villages of the 14th and 15th centuries. Visitors will get a glimpse of the Swannanoa valley before colonial intrusions. This is an easy walk of no more than 2 miles total. REGISTER HERE