FANS E-Newsletter
 December 2018 - January 2019
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About FANS

Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS) is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working for a strong and vibrant Swannanoa by encouraging active involvement, fostering community spirit, and honoring our unique history and natural heritage.  For more info and to find out how you can get involved, visit


FANS' Board of Directors:


Andrew Belz  

Maureen Dillow

Sandy Drake 

Samantha Gallman - Secretary

Carol Groben 

Doug Lebbon

James Lytle

Charlie Milling - Chair 

Dave Price - Vice Chair 

Angela Stone

Elizabeth Wilkes - Treasurer


We welcome and appreciate your input and ideas! You can write to us at

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Swannanoa Library 
Year-Round Book Sale Undergoes Renovations
Renovations are underway in the Swannanoa Library basement, which houses the popular year-round book sale that benefits the Friends of the Swannanoa Library. Thousands of used books have been removed and placed in storage so that the basement drainage issues that have plagued the book sale for years can be addressed. The old floor is being removed and the space will be renovated in preparation for a grand reopening. Stay tuned for details! In the meantime, many thanks to Bill Bauman and all the other community volunteers who have put in countless hours to bring this project to fruition.
Meals on Wheels 
Pet Food Drive 
The Swannanoa Library is a drop-off site for the Meals on Wheels pet food drive during the months of December, January and February. Please bring sealed cans and bags of dog and cat food for the Meals on Wheels clients whose beloved pets deserve food, too! Small dog kibble and food for senior animals is especially needed. 

The Swannanoa Library is located at 101 West Charleston Avenue. For info, call 828-250-6486.
Deck the Trees Raises Funds for Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry 

Stop by the Monte Vista Hotel in Black Mountain during December to enjoy 26 beautifully and creatively decorated Christmas trees that fill the hotel's lobby and dining room. Local businesses, groups, and individuals decorate the trees and compete for your "votes." Simply place a monetary donation in the box next to the trees you like best - the tree with the most money in the box wins!

All proceeds from Deck the Trees benefit the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry (SVCM) Fuel Fund. The cost of electricity, oil, natural gas, propane and wood has risen over the last several years, and many of our neighbors cannot afford to heat their homes during the cold winter months. Last year, Deck the Trees gave $25,000 to the SVCM, increasing its total contribution to the Fuel Fund to over $52,000 in six years. Last winter, SVCM provided fuel assistance to 663 Swannanoa Valley households.

The Monte Vista hotel is located at 308 West State Street in Black Mountain. The Deck the Trees exhibit can be enjoyed daily from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. For info, call 828-669-8870.
Hiker Interest Meeting for Swannanoa 
Rim Hike Series
Come learn about the Swannanoa Valley Rim Explorer Hiking Series during an informational meeting on Thursday, January 10, at 6:00 p.m., at the Swannanoa Valley Museum, 223 West State Street, in Black Mountain. The meeting will provide an overview of the very popular series, with details about the individual hikes, advice for hikers, and registration information. 

Now in its 10th year, the Swannanoa Valley Museum's exclusive Rim Hike series offers 11 hikes that generally take place on the 3rd Saturday of the month. Each hike covers a portion of the approximately 31 miles of the Swannanoa Rim, which runs from Jesse's High Top, across Lakey Gap, over Ridgecrest and Montreat, up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and down to Cedar Cliff above Camp Rockmont. The hikes are led by experienced hike leaders who are also very knowledgeable about the history, topography, and ownership of the land. The series is recommended for experienced hikers as several hikes are strenuous.  Finishers receive a Patagonia jacket with Rim Hike logo.

Registration for the 2019 Swannanoa Rim Hike Series will open for 25 new hikers at 10:30 a.m. on January 1, 2019. You must be a member of the Museum to register. For info on the cost of the hiking series and to register, visit: 
Stretch Into the New Year with Chair Yoga
Yoga provides a variety of wellness benefits for both mind and body. This free, low-impact chair yoga class, offered at the Swannanoa Library, is perfect for seniors and others with mobility issues, or anyone who wants to try something new for the New Year.  Wear comfortable clothes and be ready to stretch! No yoga mat needed.

The class will take place on Wednesdays, January 9 and 23, at 11 a.m. The Swannanoa Library is located at 101 West Charleston Avenue in Swannanoa. For info, call 828-250-6486
Yoga for Parent and Child
Love your Baby, Love Yourself! 
Yoga is not just for grownups! This free yoga class for parents and babies is geared toward crawlers and walkers up to age 2. The class will take place on Wednesdays, February 13 and 27, at 11 a.m.

The Swannanoa Library is located at 101 West Charleston Avenue in Swannanoa. For info, call 828-250-6486.
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This newsletter is a publication of Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS).  We hope you'll find it a useful source of information about happenings in our community, news of local interest, and Swannanoa history and heritage.  Help us spread the word about all the great things that are happening in Swannanoa by .

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Looking Back on 2018 
and Ahead to 2019
Happy Holidays from FANS!

This past year saw lots of action in our little community. From big rains and high waters, to snow and ice, we made our way through quite a few weather emergencies. But there were plenty of fair skies, too, giving community members ample opportunity to enjoy all that Swannanoa has to offer ~ hiking trails at Warren Wilson College; the Swannanoa River; great businesses and restaurants; community events like our outdoor movie nights, Groovin' on Grovemont summer concerts, the Swannanoa Community Yard Sales; and so much more. 

Swannanoa saw a variety of changes and new developments in 2018, both large and small ~ major renovations and a new building at Community School East (the former Swannanoa High School); the announcement that a 100,000 square foot indoor sports complex may be built on a portion of the old Beacon Mill property; the opening of several new businesses; the start of pedestrian and traffic improvements on U.S. 70 (concrete pads and sidewalks for bus shelters, and a new traffic light at the Ingles entrance); and completion of a performance pavilion in Grovemont Square for outdoor events and community gatherings. 

Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS) has been there through it all -- sponsoring numerous community events, working for positive improvements in Swannanoa, and bringing you all the latest Swannanoa news in this e-newsletter and its companion print edition. As we look back on 2018, FANS is grateful for the community support we received this past year as we pursued our mission of "working for a strong and vibrant Swannanoa by encouraging active involvement, fostering community spirit, and honoring our unique history and heritage." 

FANS is looking forward to another banner year in 2019. In addition to continuing our ongoing projects (litter cleanups, Swannanoa Community Garden, outdoor movie nights, yard sales, Swannanoa Community Newsletter, etc.), our planned 2019 activities include working on beautification and pedestrian/traffic improvements on U.S. 70, and sponsoring a fall Swannanoa River cleanup.  

As you think about possible end-of-year donations, please consider putting FANS on your list. FANS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; your donation is tax deductible. We're an all-volunteer community organization, with no employees, no offices and no overhead, so your dollars will be put to work right here in Swannanoa. Click on the link below to make a donation, or mail your check to Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa, PO Box 697, Swannanoa, NC 28778.

Thank you for your support, and best wishes for the holidays and the new year!
Swannanoa Affordable Housing Complex Faces Further Delays  
Rising costs have forced further delays in the start of construction on East Haven Apartments, a new 95-unit affordable housing complex planned for Swannanoa. East Haven, a project of Mountain Housing Opportunities (MHO), received initial funding in the form of federal tax credits and other financing in 2017. At that time, construction was to begin this past summer, but unexpectedly high cost estimates continue to push back the start date of the project. MHO is currently in the process of raising more money, and if successful, they hope to close on their loans sometime in the spring of 2019.  In the meantime, they plan to apply for building permits this winter to keep the process moving. With this new schedule, units would be available for occupancy some time in late 2020 or early 2021.

East Haven will be located on US 70, just west of Riverwood Road, near the former location of Moments Coffee Shop. The complex will offer 1, 2 and 3-bedroom units in a variety of floor plans. A landscaped interior courtyard will include a playground, picnic area and garden space. The complex will also have  elevators, a community room, a computer center, laundry facilities, and a fitness room.

Rents are expected to be approximately $260 - $700 per month, depending on family size and income. East Haven will be open to residents whose annual household incomes are at, or below, 60 percent of the county's median income.
Applications are not being accepted yet; further information on how and when to apply will be made available at a later date.

For more information about MHO, visit .
Celebrate the Holidays with 
Live Theatre in the 
Swannanoa Valley
Thanks to the Front Porch Theatre at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, Swannanoa Valley residents don't have to look far for quality holiday entertainment. From December 14 - 22 (weekends only), Front Porch Theatre will  present 
A Christmas Pudding by David Birney, the second production of the theatre's sixth season.

A Christmas Pudding is a celebration of the season in song, story, and poetry that's sure to warm hearts and inspire memories. The production includes tales by Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw, Shakespeare, Longfellow, Emily Dickinson, St. Luke and many others, along with a host of traditional carols and holiday songs.

Evening performances take place on Fridays and Saturdays (12/14 & 15 and 12/21 & 22) at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee on Sunday, 12/16, at 2:00 p.m. The  Sunday matinee will include a post-show Q&A with actors and/or the director. Tickets are $20; purchase online  at .

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located at 225 West State Street. For info, call 828-669-0930.

Swannanoa Scenes  


As we go to press with this newsletter, Swannanoa is still digging out from a winter storm that dumped anywhere from 7
This upside down
snowman was spotted off Bee Tree Road.
to 17 inches of snow on the Valley, with the greatest accumulations to the east and at higher elevations. Although the storm didn't pack quite the punch that the forecasters predicted, it was still enough snow to cause major headaches for some. But despite the negatives, it sure is beautiful, and it provided Swannanoa residents with lots of opportunities for fun in the snow. We asked folks to share snowman pictures on the FANS Facebook page ~ here are some of our favorites. 
A snow Snoopy, created by Peggy Ann Sisk and Corey Fisher, takes a nap at a Swannanoa home. 

Hadleigh Prinz (age 2) and dog, Emmy, hang out with their picture-perfect snowman.
FANS Gives A Special Shout-Out 
to Davidson Homes
Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS) sends a special shout-out and major thank you to Davidson Homes for providing the printing services that enable us to offer a print version of this newsletter to Swannanoa residents. Each edition of the FANS Community E-Newsletter is converted into a print format. Approximately 500 copies are printed by Davidson Homes, free of charge, and distributed by FANS to the Swannanoa Library, Swannanoa Welcome Table, and local businesses, where they can be picked up by residents. Thank you Davidson Homes for providing this invaluable service to our community!
Davidson Homes Logo
Davidson Homes provides a variety of services for individuals with special needs. They are located at 2084 U.S. Highway 70 in Swannanoa. For more info, call 828-299-1720 or visit
Please consider making a donation to help support FANS' work in the community.  Checks can be mailed to:  FANS, PO Box 697, Swannanoa, NC  28778.  Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization -- donations are tax deductible.  Every little bit helps. Thank you! 

For more info, call 828-581-9848, send us an email at or visit


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Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa  

FANS, PO Box 697, Swannanoa, NC  28778