Drowned Towns of North Carolina

You may not know this, but the state of North Carolina is littered with drowned towns. In the Piedmont, the Neuse, the Tar, and the Catawba all have hydroelectric dams. In the mountains, the Broad river has several dams. The supply much needed power but didn’t come without cost.

In 1917, the town of Badin was drowned when the Yadkin-Pee Dee River was dammed to support the local aluminum smelting plant. It’s said to be tricky going to boat on the resulting lake because there are still church steeples and full grown trees on the bottom.  In 1944,  a Navy bomber went down in the lake. The rescue and recovery crews never found the pilot’s body because of all the debris under the surface.

At one point, I lived on one of the man made lakes along the Catawba River. it was a beautiful spot but I always wondered what was under the water before the dams were built. Native Americans had lived in the area before the area was settled, textile plants had dotted the river for a hundred years or so, and farmers had built plank bridges across narrows.

When conceiving Overlook, I decided to have the secondary lead character be part of the Tate family that built the local dam that created Lake Tate. Unlike the residents of Overlook, Stacia Tate Curran knows what is buried under the seemingly serene waters of their upscale neighborhood.

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