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Piney Grove Cemetery in Swannanoa is one of the oldest cemeteries in Western North Carolina. Located on the grounds of the former First Presbyterian Church, founded in 1794.  Piney Grove heralds the names of the Valley’s founding families:  Davidsons, Pattons, Alexanders, Connellys, Stepps, Burnettes, Shopes.  You can also find other familiar names from Valley history:  Wolfe, Ward, Folsom, Clapp, Baker, Brown, Buckner, McMurray, Burgin, Parks.  Ruth Graham’s missionary parents, Dr. L. Nelson and Virginia Bell, are buried here, as are Veterans dating back to the Revolutionary War.  

   While the First Presbyterian Church closed its doors in 2014, its cemetery soldiers on as a non-profit 501(c)13 - its 1700+ graves on approximately 5 acres are cared for by a dedicated Board of Directors and Associates.  The cemetery relies on donations for its maintenance so your support is greatly needed and appreciated.   

In 2020, One Focus Church purchased the building that was the First Presbyterian Church of Swannanoa.  

Piney Grove Cemetery routinely receives requests for available plots.  The Board decided a number of years ago that we would not purchase unwanted plots from current owners.  However, if we hear of someone wishing to purchase plot(s), we try to put them in touch with someone wishing to sell them.  All sales and purchases are between buyer and seller.  



2021 Newsletter is being mailed out.  An abridged text version is below.  


Dear Friends,


Greetings from Piney Grove Cemetery.  As 2021 draws to a close, we wanted to give an update on the beloved resting place for so many of our ancestors.  


After two terms of service, our Treasurer, Steve Hansel has rotated off from the board.  We thank him for his years of service to Piney Grove Cemetery as one of our founding members; and we’re grateful that Steve continues as an Associate Member.  


2020 – 2021 Treasurers’ Report:

Income Fundraising/Investment 07/01/2020 – 06/30/2021:  $ 17,271.53

Total Expenditures 07/01/2020 – 06/30/2021:  $ 13,314.75


At $ 10,325.00, Piney Grove Cemetery’s largest expense continues to be the regular ground maintenance, including mowing.  As the years go by, several markers have sunken, and trees or shrubs have become overgrown.  To address these issues, the board approved additional grounds work to be done this summer.  Also, family members of those resting at Piney Grove have periodically contracted with local funeral homes to right head or footstones.  


For quite some time, the Board has been discussing the possibility of mapping the cemetery digitally.  The hope is that using a mapping service would ultimately be an easier way for future generations to locate the resting places of their ancestors.  For now, we have decided to use a free service from Opus Xenta for a trial period.  

In October of 2021, The Sons of the American Revolution paid tribute to James Alexander.

He served in the American Revolution and was involved in 5 conflicts with the British including the historic battle at Kings Mountain.  He was interred on the West side of the cemetery along with his wife in 1848.  One of our associate members and 5x Great-grandson, Bill Alexander, gave a brief history of James Alexander.  Members from the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, and Blue Ridge Color Guard were present for the Dedication and Marker placement for this American Patriot.  



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Physical Address:

372 Bee Tree Road, Swannanoa, NC

(just around the bend from the Asheville Christian Academy)

Mailing Address:

PO Box 216, Swannanoa, NC  28778



There are no gates so you can visit any time.  We just ask that you respect the privacy of others, particularly if a burial is in progress.  There is a gravel road that offers access to graves located behind the church.


Additional Information:  

Piney Grove Cemetery, Inc. doesn’t own any plots for purchase at this time.  If you are looking to purchase one, please contact us as we might know of someone who can help.



Front Row (L-R):  Board Chairman Betsy Kirschner; Secretary Robin Hyatt, Former Member Brenda Parks Hughes

Middle Row:  Associate members Steve Hansel and Bill Alexander 

Back Row (L-R):  Board Vice Chair Glenn Cox and Board Member Bob McMurray

Not pictured:

Associate members Steve Bucy, Treasurer Rebecca Schuman, Board member Richard Brown, and Associate member David Rozzell 

Grateful thanks to some of our (Founding) retired Board Members: David Alexander, Steve Bucy, Bill Cox, and Brenda Hughes.  



The care and maintenance of Piney Grove Cemetery, Inc. depends on YOUR contributions.  It is a 501C(13) so your donations are tax deductible.  


Please make your check payable to:

Piney Grove Cemetery, Inc.


and mail to:


PO Box 216 

Swannanoa, NC 28778