Valley Rewind: Roseland Gardens
This mid-1900s photograph features the exterior of the famous local juke joint, Roseland Gardens. Around 1920, or possibly as early as 1918, Horace Chambers Rutherford built a juke joint open to all people prior to integration in the U.S. after he saw a need for a social gathering place for his friends and neighbors during a time when segregation prohibited the Black community from patronizing area restaurants, bars, pools, lakes, and music venues. Roseland Gardens’ reputation for lively entertainment spread quickly. Soon folks from as far away as Asheville, Old Fort, and Marion were regularly making their way up the narrow dirt road to Black Mountain’s Brookside community. Live music, performed by traveling musicians on juke joint circuits, helped keep patrons on their feet and dancing. Roseland Gardens closed in 1976. The building on Flat Creek Road that the renowned juke joint called home stood until the 2010s. However, despite many attempts to get the building registered as a historic landmark, it was eventually demolished in 2015. The original Roseland Gardens sign, as well as the movie projector, now reside at the Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center in Black Mountain.