During a recent day trip, my family drove on I77 past Lake Norman. on entering and leaving the state of North Carolina. The afternoon sun glistening on the water was beautiful. The cool of the evening in the lake area as we headed home as calm and serene.
Lake Norman is the largest man made lake in the the state, and has an intriguing history. Located in Mecklenburg County, 18 miles north west of Charlotte, Lake Norman stretches for 520 miles, of shoreline. The area was originally populated by the Catawba Indians, whose numbers decreased fo over 5,000 to about 400 when they died of diseases brought over by English settlers.
The lake is named for Norman Atwater Crocke who was president of the Southern Power Company, which became the Duke Power Company, in 1927 in honor of brothers Ben and James Duke. The brothers along with their physician, Dr. W Gill Wylie and engineer William S Lee put together their money and talents and in one year, had built 10 dams along the Catawba river, in order to harness electricity.
The ground breaking for Lake Norman took place on September 28th, 1959. It took 4 years to complete the large dam, and another 2 years to fill the lake. Today, Lake Norman holds 3.4 trillion gallons of water, is 34 miles long and 8 miles across at it’s widest point. Lake Norman supplies water to the towns of Mooresville, and Charlotte.
The accomplishments of those who envisioned, and carried out their plans for Lake Norman cause me to reflect upon the last line in a poem by Mr. Joyce Kilmer, entitled “Trees.” Poems, are made by fools like me but only God can make a tree.
As grand as it is, Lake Norman and other man made feats, will never compare to the original wonders created on this earth, by the Creator. After all, it took much planning and 6 years to complete Lake Norman. The entire earth and all its bodies of water, were created in 6 short days.