INFORMATION ON LAKE NORMAN

Lake Norman, North Carolina.

Lake Norman was created in 1963 when Duke Power Co. dammed the Catawba River to fuel its hydroelectric power plants. The lake was named for Norman Cocke, former Duke Power president. Lake Norman covers 32,500 surface miles with 520 miles of shoreline touching the 4 counties of Mecklenburg, Iredell, Lincoln and Catawba. This area is located in the gently rolling Piedmont Plateau in the south-central portion of North Carolina. It sits halfway between the mountains and the coast - an easy drive for a short, or long, get-away.

The four-season climate is moderate, with average temperatures ranging from 30° to 90°. Average annual precipitation totals approximately 43 inches. Snow is infrequent with little or no accumulation. The primary weather-makers for the Carolinas are warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean and the cool, dry air that moves down the North American continent. Weather forecasters say that the elevation rise from Charlotte (737 feet) to the foothills (1500) and the resulting temperature decrease, makes storm predictions an iffy science. A degree or two mean the difference between snow, sleet, freezing rain or just cold rain.

In the 1960's and 1970's there were just a few full-time residents and weekend visitors to the lake. In the late 70's lots of city people began moving here for a different school system and lower taxes. The real boom was in the mid 1980's though, when Charlotte began attracting national companies and highly paid corporate executives. Today, most of the 520 miles of shoreline is private property. Some of the public areas include Jetton Park in Cornelius, and Duke Power State Park in Troutman.

The past two decades have seen a development explosion of luxury and middle-class housing. It's million-dollar homes and huge yachts reflect the region's prosperity. Gone are the days of modest homes, farms, textile mills and mom-and-pop restaurants.

Each year thousands move here to enjoy boating, water skiing, swimming and other outdoor activities. Doctors, lawyers, professional athletes, NASCAR drivers, investment bankers, affluent retirees and other executives are among the many who call the lake home.

The closer you get to the lake, the more expensive the houses become. Homes often feature home theaters, extra kitchens, elaborate balconies, terraces, patios and porches that capitalize on the waterfront views. The lawns are perfectly groomed with well-tended flower gardens, often with a fountain. The Peninsula, in Cornelius, features a golf course designed by pro golfer Greg Norman. Some of the priciest homes are found at "The Point", in Mooresville, with some topping 3 million.

While the areas around the water are modern & new, it seems all the small towns just beyond that have managed to retain that small, older "home town" feel. The history-happy towns of Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville, Denver and Sherrills Ford and Troutman believe in preserving Main Street districts with storefront windows and wide sidewalks.

The higher population has also attracted more stores, restaurants and hotels. Growth has created some traffic congestion. Plans are being finalized for the widening of Catawba Ave. (Hwy 73) and I-77. A commuter light-rail train from Mooresville or Davidson to Charlotte is on the drawing board and could become reality by 2003.

Charlotte, just 20 minutes to the south, is the largest city in the Carolinas. It is the 2nd largest banking center in the U.S. with the headquarters for Bank of America and First Union/Wachovia.

Charlotte is a major distribution point in the southeast for freight trains, trucking and air cargo. Other contributors to the area's economy include construction, insurance, real estate, textiles, transportation, utilities, printing, educational and medical employment and the wholesale, retail and service industries.

Despite mill closings, companies moving to other countries and a diversified economy, the Charlotte region remains one of the world's top textile manufacturers. We also continue to grow as a technology center.


The region remains a place where many lives revolve first around church. Houses of worship represent Southern Baptists, Roman Catholics, United Methodists, Presbyterians, Jews, Muslims and thousands of people of other faiths.

Professional sports teams include the Hornets & Sting (basketball) and the Panthers (football). NASCAR is huge, as most of the teams and drivers are based in the area. Also, there's the Charlotte Checkers minor-league hockey team and the Charlotte Knights minor-league baseball team.

If you enjoy college basketball, you couldn't be in a better place, and if you're a golfer, there are over 25 courses to choose from in the counties surrounding the lake.

Among the area's recreational attractions are: Paramount's Carowinds Theme Park; Discovery Place, a hands-on educational museum, also featuring the Kelly Space Voyager Planetarium and OMNIMAX Theater; Carolina Raptor Center and University of NC Botanical & Sculpture Gardens.

Hospitals in the area include: Carolina Medical Center, University Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital and Lake Norman Regional Medical Center.

 


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