The lakes of the Blue Ridge Mountains are known for their breathtaking views and fun weekends on the water, but there is often a forgotten history that lurks beneath them. Entire towns have been submerged, sparking the interest of scuba divers, historians, and myth busters.Fontana LakeWith 360 degree views of the Great Smoky Mountains, Fontana Lake is the largest lake in Western North Carolina with the tallest dam east of the Rockies. Beneath the lake rests the remains of the once-bustling town of Judson. Judson had a population of around 600 people with a simple array of shops in town, including a sawmill and a post office. Then, in the 1930s, Swain County sold Judson and other lands to the government in order to create both Fontana Lake and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The dam was built to produce hydroelectric power—mainly for the Aluminum Company of America which produced ships, aircraft, and munitions during World War II. The gain for the war effort became the cost for the people of Judson, whose town was submerged.The highest points of structures from the sunken town of Judson are somtimes visible when Fontana Lake is at extremely low levels. There are visible foundations, graves, and other remnants of the town. With permission during drawdowns, people can access the eerie ghost town, and some venture onto the water by pontoon boat to see, if the water is just clear enough, if they can get a glimpse of the submerged ruins.Lake BurtonThis summer hotspot for family vacations in north Georgia, Lake Burton is one of four lakes created by damming sections of the Tallulah River to produce hydroelectric power for Atlanta and surrounding areas. Up until 1917, Burton was not a lake, but was the largest town in Rabun County. Founded in the early 1800s as one of the first gold rush towns of north Georgia, Burton was a farm town of around 200 people. The town was bought by the Georgia Railway and Electric Company in 1917, and much like the town of Judson, was soon submerged.During the relocation of Burton’s residents, all graves were supposed to be raised and moved beyond the shoreline, and small cemeteries are a common sight today along the roads surrounding the lake. However, for many locals in the area, countless stories have been told and shared of cemeteries that lie beneath the waters, leaving the question: are those grave tenants still haunting the lake today?Lake JocasseeRevered for its emerald waters and abundant recreation, South Carolina’s Lake Jocassee area was filled with rich history before the dam was built in 1973. South of where the dam and the hydroelectric station are currently located was once Keowee Village or Keowee Town, the capital of the Lower Cherokee Indians. The lake’s name “Jocassee” is derived from the Cherokee language and means “Place of the Lost One.”The Cherokee lost their land to settlers, and then the settlers lost the land to the waters of the new lake. Both Lake Jocassee and the neighboring Lake Keowee were formed as a result of the construction by Duke Power for their Keowee Toxaway Project. With the building of the dam in 1973, the waters of Whitewater River began to flow upstream for the first time as Lake Jocassee covered the town.Divers frequent the area. Jocassee Lake Dive Shop owner and technical instructor Bill Routh was the first to discover the Whitewater Bridge, Camp Jocassee for Girls, and the Attakulla Lodge which rests below 300 feet of water. The lodge found by Routh was once a popular place for people to gather together on the river. Debbie Fletcher is particularly grateful for the discovery of the lodge, as it was owned and operated by her grandparents. Fletcher accompanies the divers every time they dive to the lodge. She also keeps up the tradition of her grandmother of feeding guests of the lodge. Every time they go out on the boat, Fletcher brings food along for the divers.A friend of Routh’s was the first to discover the Mount Carmel Cemetery, made famous by the 1972 film Deliverance, which was produced the year before the dam was constructed and the valley was lost. Today, there is underwater diving footage of the cemetery where the names of the deceased can still be read on the tombstones.Summersville LakeBeneath the largest lake in West Virginia is a village whose name has been all but forgotten: Gad. When flooding towns to create man-made lakes for power production was common, typically the lake and dam were named after the town that was once there. However, in this case, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers chose not to adopt the name “Gad Dam.” Instead they went with Summerville, the second closest town at the time. In the winter, the lake is drained for repairs, and parts of old roadway, foundations, and stone carvings are visible.Smith Mountain LakeAlthough there is no hard evidence of the rumored town of Monroe beneath Virginia’s beloved Smith Mountain Lake, many still believe that the truth lies beneath the water. When hydroelectric power was of top priority about 50 years ago, the damming process began on the Roanoke and Blackwater Rivers. As the waters rose, the tiny town disappeared under its waters for good. Now, the story has been taken a step further by a brewery in the town of Westlake just minutes from the water’s edge. The name is “Sunken City Brewery,” with the alleged history of this sunken town of Monroe written on its walls.Tellico and Calderwood LakesThese lakes formed after the damming of several sections of the Little Tennessee River and hide perhaps the deepest history of all. Several historic Cherokee townsites—including Chota, Tanasi, Toqua, Tomotley, Citico, Mialoqua, and Tuskegee—are now submerged. An old fort is also buried beneath the water. A crucial part of the region’s pride and history was erased when these lakes were formed. Not surprisingly, there are rampant myths of unsettled souls that haunt the area to this day.
Click here if you are having trouble viewing the gallery and video on your mobile device DALLAS — Not four minutes into the first quarter, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic brought the ball up the left side of the floor, checked the distance between him and Warriors guard Alec Burks, stepped back and uncorked a 3-pointer. All Burks could do after watching the ball swish through the net was drop his arms, let out an exasperated sigh and jog back on offense.One night after a feel-good win in …
But instead of just sacrificing these beautiful pines to become pulp for tomorrow’s newsprint, perhaps we could harvest some of the better quality logs and use the lumber in the construction or finish of interior spaces. In so doing, the soul of these majestic pines could live on in EdgewaterHaus.Knotty pine boards for panelingSo in a moment of clairvoyance, the plan was hatched: the south-facing three-season room would be built to the same standards as the rest of the house, but it would be finished to resemble a classic Maine waterfront cottage with exposed timbers and knotty pine walls and ceilings. The pine lumber would come from these very trees on our lot, and I would somehow participate in “harvesting” them.Chris Briley, our architect, calculated what size and quantity of timbers and boards we would need.There used to be dozens of small sawmills in southern Maine, but few remain today. Hurd Lumber in tiny Acton, Maine (population 2,000), is one of the few surviving sawmills in the area. They readily agreed to do the milling for our pine logs.Nestled between the Maine and New Hampshipre borders, Acton a scenic 35-mile drive from EdgewaterHaus, with the roadway offering panoramic mountain and lake views. The route we travelled to get to Hurd Lumber even included a brief foray of a few hundred yards into the Granite State before returning to Maine soil and Hurd Lumber.Hurd Lumber has deep roots in Acton. Brothers Carl, Mark, and Frank are the third generation of the Hurd family to own and operate the sawmill. Mark Hurd’s wife is the office manager. Hurd Lumber specializes in milling pine and hemlock, but will do other woods upon request. The three brothers share management duties. All three also work on the production line operating the sawmill.At this sawmill, no products are wastedHere’s a video tour of the Hurd team milling our pine logs. There is no waste from the milling process. All the byproducts from the milling process are collected and sold: sawdust for animal bedding; bark for plant bedding; and log offcuts and remnants are cut into uniform sized chips and sold to paper mills.Our pine logs were milled, stickered and stored outside at Hurd Lumber for air drying. The lumber should be ready to use in a few months.Ayeah, she’ll be a mighty-fine lookin’ three-season room!The first article in this series was Kicking the Tires on a Passivhaus Project. Roger Normand’s construction blog is called EdgewaterHaus. RELATED ARTICLESKicking the Tires on a Passivhaus ProjectGoodbye Radiant FloorSelecting a General ContractorPlans and Pricing for Our House in MaineLooking Through Windows — Part 1Looking Through Windows — Part 2Looking Through Windows — Part 3Looking Through Windows — Part 4Looking Through Windows — Part 5Looking Through Windows — Part 6Looking Through Windows — Part 7Designing Superinsulated WallsCutting Down Trees and Milling LumberDesigning Superinsulated WallsSeeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 1 Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 2 [Editor’s note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a Passivhaus in Maine. This is the 14th article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.]We all know that ground beef and steak come from butchering a cow, but not many people have been to a slaughterhouse. (I suspect many would become vegetarians if they did).Similarly, I know that lumber comes from milling trees, but I had never been to see how a sawmill processes logs into trees. I have been a woodworker and home remodeler for years. I get my lumber and plywood from the local lumberyard and have often wondered how a once-stately tree becomes a 2×4 stud or a 1×6 board. I thought it would be interesting to see how it’s done.As I explained in my last blog, we had to remove over 30 mature pine trees from our lot to make way for building the home. I am a believer in sustainability: for every tree you cut today, plant another so that it will be available for future generations. Unfortunately, that one-for-one trade won’t be possible on our small lot.
By Barbara O’NeillWhat are some tips for service members for naming beneficiaries for insurance policies and retirement savings plans such as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)?Photo by lorenkerns (creativecommons.com)First, service members should regularly review the beneficiaries named in insurance policies and retirement savings plans and revise them as needed. Second, service members should name secondary beneficiaries in case the primary beneficiary predeceases them. Third, service members should record in one document all of the beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries for all of their important papers that include named beneficiaries for ease of review and periodic updating. A form to record beneficiary designations can be found at njaes.rutgers.edu/money/pdfs/beneficiary-designations.pdfBrowse more military personal finance blog posts and webinars answered by experts.Follow Dr. O’Neill on Twitter!This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on May 20, 2013.