10 photos of Warren Wilson College under a blanket of snow

January 7, 2017

On Friday afternoon, the first snowflakes of 2017 arrived. Over the years, numerous snowstorms have passed through the Swannanoa Valley, turning Warren Wilson College into a winter wonderland. Luckily, professional and budding photographers have captured some of these beautiful scenes. Here are some snapshots of campus under a blanket of snow.

1. Red Barn

Since its completion in 1985, the Red Barn has become one of the most recognized Warren Wilson buildings. Located at the intersection of Hildreth Lane and Warren Wilson Road, the iconic structure marks the College’s southern border. The silo is a relic from another barn that burned in 1983.

This photo by Sloan Poe ’03 is from late 2009.

 2. Bob Swoap

Professor of Psychology Bob Swoap joined the Warren Wilson College faculty in 1998. Throughout his nearly 20 year career as an Owl, Swoap has taught multiple field courses and is an avid supporter of Warren Wilson College Athletics. He is also a campus liaison for the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival.

The Warren Wilson College Echo shared Kasey Jackson’s photo of professor Swoap in February 2014.

 3. Laura Sunderland Residence Hall
sunderland in snow

This central campus dormitory opened in 1929 and is named for Laura Sunderland, who was called a “friend and benefactor of the poor and helpless” by the Washington Evening Star. Her father, Rev. Dr. Byron Sunderland, was President Grover Cleveland’s pastor in Washington, D.C.

This undated photo from the Warren Wilson College Archives shows the 87-year-old building in its early days.

 4. Farm Crew
Farm Crew snow

Since the school opened, students have helped operate the farm. Part of that responsibility includes feeding and caring for the livestock at all times – even in the snow.

On Jan. 22, 2016, the Farm Crew spent a snowy day caring for a few pregnant cows.

Photo by the Warren Wilson College Farm.

5. Swannanoa River
Swannanoa River - Snow

In 1900, “James Mooney’s History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee” listed “Swannanoa River” as a name that grew from the Cherokee term “Suwa’lĭ-Nûñ’nâ.” The word is a derivative of “Suwa’lĭ-nûñnâ’hĭ,” which Mooney equated to “Suwa’li Trail.”

“Suwa’li,” according to Mooney, referred to the indigenous people living “east of the Blue Ridge.” Mooney later writes that the Cherokee indicated “the trail to [Suwa’li] country [went] across the gap at the head of the Swannanoa River, east from Asheville.”

This photo was captured in late 2009 by Sloan Poe ’03.

 6. Admissions Crew
Admissions Crew - Snow

The weather does not coordinate plans with College staff members. Despite 3 inches of snow in November 2014, the Office of Admissions and members of the Admissions Crew braved the weather and offered tours to prospective students.

Potential students and families intrepidly traveled to campus to attend Fall Open House. Wisconsin, Arizona, New Jersey and Connecticut were among the states represented.

 7. Asheville Farm School
AFS Mountains snow

In 1893, the Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church in America announced the purchase of “nearly 400 acres … of which 200 acres [were] bottomland” for $14,000, according to the Asheville Daily Citizen. The negotiation to buy the land was handled by Louis Pease, who founded the Asheville Normal and Teachers College.

Even though the first Asheville Farm School superintendent, Samuel Jeffrey of Cornell University, was planning for an Oct. 1 start, the school did not officially open until the next year – Nov. 21, 1894.

This undated photo from the Warren Wilson College Archives is of the Asheville Farm School campus.

 8. The Owl
owl snow

Warren Wilson College is home to one of the world’s largest bronze great horned owl sculptures, which measures 7 feet from wing tip to wing tip. Made possible by a gift from Irwin Belk in honor of his wife, Carol Grotnes Belk, the owl sculpture is installed in front of DeVries Athletic Center.

Noted sculptor Jon Hair created the owl, and it rests on a pedestal funded by a gift from Jim and Ellie Daniels. The base was built by alums Laetitia Mead and Johnny Steinbeck.

This photo was taken in January 2016 by Morgan Davis ’02.


 9. Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church and College Chapel
chapel snow

Despite being owned by the Presbyterian Church from 1894 to 1972, a local campus church was not established until 1925. The first services for Asheville Farm School Presbyterian Church were held in Sunderland Residence Hall. In 1938, the Elizabeth Williams Memorial Chapel was built across from Dodge House and also served as the church until May 3, 1964 – the day the new and current chapel was dedicated.

Morgan Davis ’02 caught student crewmembers clearing ice before a church service in 2016.

10. Bryson Gymnasium

In 1921, Asheville Farm School alumnus Holmes Bryson and the Women’s Board of Home Missions for the Presbyterian Church collaborated to build Bryson Gymnasium. The Asheville Citizen reported the building costs came to $12,000, and Bryson named the building “in honor of his mother.”

The building served as home court for the Asheville Farm School and Warren Wilson College basketball teams until the opening of DeVries Athletic Center. It is now a multipurpose event space and continues to host athletic activities.

The Warren Wilson College Work Program shared this photo yesterday afternoon.