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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Grey Eagle and the Swannanoa River

Now that I've got a blog dedicated to Black Mountain and all of Western North Carolina, I seldom think of putting my local pictures here.

But you deserve to see something pretty here too!

Here's our sweet Swannanoa River as it goes by River Walk Park downtown.  Unfortunately the park is behind a huge grocery store and its parking lot, so most of our tourist visitors will never see it.  Close by is where it goes under I-40, probably the first time.  I think it goes curving along and probably goes back and forth again.

So from I-40, go north on Hwy 9, just a half block, and take a right into Bi-Lo Grocery parking lot, and skirt the parking area by driving on the left side of the lot till you get behind the store and see this sign.  Yes the gravel bank behind the sign is the railroad.  We have an active freight line, with trains rumbling and whistling all times of day and night.

The path along the river shows the difference between the wetlands along the river on the right and the store's loading docks on the left.

Until 1850's the town was known as Grey Eagle, as the Cherokee Indians had named it.

Then roads and trains came through, on the way to Asheville from the eastern North Carolina cities, and by 1893 the town name of Black Mountain was incorporated.

These are family names that were among settlers in the first century of Black Mountain's existence.  I think about how their lives evolved as they cleared land, started businesses, rode first just horses, buggies, trains, then finally cars along highways.

And the Swannanoa River kept on flowing.

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