One of my favorite places to get away is to drive to Montreat, located in a mountain cove backing up to Pisgah National Forest, Mount Mitchell and more. With a population of about 700, the town covers only 2.8 square miles. Of the 4,000 acres of this, 2500 is dedicated as a wilderness preserve, a National Heritage Area. Lake Susan sits tight in the heart of the town.
Montreat, just outside of Black Mountain, is home to Montreat College and Conference Center. The land comprising the town was Incorporated in 1897 by the Mountain Retreat Association led by a minister from New Haven CT to “establish and maintain a municipality containing Assembly grounds for the encouragement of Christian work and living. " The town name was shortened to Montreat.
During the early years of Montreat, Christian assemblies were held, with participants housed mostly in tents. During the first ten years of Montreat’s existence, the old hotel and around 50 houses were built. In 1907, the Presbyterian Church US took over control of Montreat.
Many of the buildings were constructed of local stone. The wooden dam collapsed in the flood of 1916, and the present dam was constructed in 1924. The funds for the construction of the present day dam were donated by Susan (Mrs. C.E.) Graham and her son, Allen Graham, hence the name Lake Susan.
The Lake offers a scenic respite for the lovely campus - with a pair of swans to admire, paddle boats and fishing for recreation. Shops line the shores along with school buildings.
Please visit Outdoor Wednesday and Watery Wednesday for more great shots and stories!