2014-07-25 / Travel

Mountain Escape Part 2: Lake Lure

By Warner M. Montgomery, Ph.D.
WarnerM@ TheColumbiaStar.com


Who said all mountain folk wore overalls, chewed tobacco, drank moonshine, and lived in “falling down” shacks?! Who said all mountain folk wore overalls, chewed tobacco, drank moonshine, and lived in “falling down” shacks?! Lake Lure is a lake, a beach, and a town.

In 1902, the Morse brothers (Lucius, Hiram, and Asahel) purchased 8,000 acres around Chimney Rock, dammed up the Rocky Broad River in Hickory Nut Gorge flooding the Town of Buffalo and creating the 720-acre, 90-foot-deep lake with 27 miles of shoreline. They formed the Carolina Mountain Power Company to sell electricity to the local mountain folk. However, the Morse boys went broke during the Depression and lost everything to Stroud & Company of Philadelphia.

The Town of Lake Lure, incorporated in 1927, acquired the lake, all land around the lake, the dam, and the power company, and began selling electricity to Duke Energy. The town now has a permanent population of over 1,100 mostly age-45+ wealthy residents... and a transient population of thousands who visit to enjoy the beauty of the North Carolina mountains.


This sign describes Chimney Rock which we could see from our room in the Esmeralda Inn. This sign describes Chimney Rock which we could see from our room in the Esmeralda Inn. Lake Lure beach has no waves but plenty of white sand and fun for the kids, such as water sprays, water slides, and picnic facilities. Adults can fish for bass, trout, bream, crappie, perch, carp, and catfish in the lake and enjoy massages and nail-facial treatments at the spa in the 1927 Lake Lure Inn which has hosted F. Scott Fitzgerald, F.D.R, Emily Post, Calvin Coolidge, and Dirty Dancing’s Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.

Linda had hundreds of resort rentals, inns, B&Bs, and hotels to choose from for our 23rd anniversary weekend. She chose the Esmeralda Inn and away we went in my new Subaru XV Crosstrek, my 75th birthday present from my wonderful wife.

Next Week: Vineyards



Linda and I took a boat tour on Lake Lure. The guide is pointing out attractions and landmarks on the interesting one-hour trip. Linda and I took a boat tour on Lake Lure. The guide is pointing out attractions and landmarks on the interesting one-hour trip.

The Lake Lure Inn in the background was built during construction of the lake in 1927. The naked boys paddling the canoe must be from Clemson. Linda and I are in a sister boat of the one headed home. The Lake Lure Inn in the background was built during construction of the lake in 1927. The naked boys paddling the canoe must be from Clemson. Linda and I are in a sister boat of the one headed home.

Lake Lure is famous for hiking, bi rd watching, f ishing, rock climbing, skiing, shopping, gol f ing, swimming, and boating. Lake Lure is famous for hiking, bi rd watching, f ishing, rock climbing, skiing, shopping, gol f ing, swimming, and boating.

High in the mountains on a beautiful lake watching the world go by. This is the Good Life. High in the mountains on a beautiful lake watching the world go by. This is the Good Life.

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