Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lake Susan, Montreat

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!


Olive Cooper said...

A charming place. I especially like your last two images. olive

Odie Langley said...

More beautiful scenery to make me wish I was in that part of the state. Lake Susan is such a pretty place. I could sit by that lake for hours and never tire of the beauty. Thanks for sharing.

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow!! What a lovely place! Absolutely beautiful. It feels and looks not only scenic but peaceful and mellow. A great place to stop by and admire the swans! I'm so glad it incorporates a wilderness that's preserved and looked after.

Thank you so much for the pics and the info into another gem of a place!

Take care

Anonymous said...

Beautiful shots

Happy WW

Manang Kim said...

I don't blame you this place is peaceful and quite. Simply beautiful! Happy Wednesday!

Watery Wednesday

Mary said...

Lovely's been ages since I've visited there. Love your swan photo :-)

Shey said...

What a lovely place to have a retreat & recharge. Love the waterscapes & the swans. :)

eileeninmd said...

A beautiful and peaceful place, thanks for the lovely tour. The swans are pretty.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Great shots. Looks like a great place to relax. I'm glad I found your blog. I went by the link you left in the comments and it was wrong. One too many "n's". :-)

Al said...

Wonderful photos. That looks like a place that would be perfect to explore on foot.

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Genie Robinson said...

Oh, you go again keeping the memories flowing. Trust me, Lake Susan is the COLDEST water in the world. While I was at camp, Mother and Daddy stayed at the old hotel...on the FIRST FLOOR. Daddy was a safety engineer and was afraid of fire. I can remember sliding down the mountain on my bottom in the mud on one of our little hikes. The new building you posted is lovely. I would love to ride up there one more time. Will be coming through on Sunday....will try to touch bases with you tomorrow. The other thing I really remember is the shiny “mica” in the ground. I loved to pick it up and hold it up to the light. Love you and your blog...but you already know that.

Hugs, Genie

Diner x said...

Great blog. My family spent a couple of summers here in the mid-1950s. At that time there was a swimming beach. I couldn't tell if it was still there. It was an extremely cold lake as the previous poster said, but we swam anyway. What a great little town.

Robin Burney said...

My family stumbled upon Black Mountain, Montreat and Lake Susan this week on our journey to Morehead City. What an amazing discovery! My son caught beautiful trout in Lake Susan and I visited the cutest little shops in Black Mountain that I've ever seen! Such unique places and finds! We loved it!


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