For almost a century, Lake Toxaway’s combination of attractions has made it a Mecca for families seeking someplace special. Families come to enjoy the cool, clear lake; the surrounding mountains, forest, streams and waterfalls; the professional quality recreational facilities and the laid back Western North Carolina lifestyle.
In 1902, the first man made lake of any size was constructed in the Southern Appalachians. This one of a kind private lake was 3 miles long, one mile wide, and offered 15 miles of shoreline. A true gem was created and along with it the construction and eventual opening of the Toxaway Inn.
Luxury was not common in these parts back in the early 1900’s. The Toxaway Inn, however, epitomized grace and elegance. The truth is it had to with the likes of Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison, R. J. Reynolds and George Vanderbilt on the guest registry. They expected the best and got it with world class cuisine and service, a first rate orchestra with dancing, and walls covered with art work from the finest galleries of that era. For recreation, guests enjoyed boating, swimming, fishing, golf, tennis, horseback riding, hunting, billiards, and bowling. There was never a dull moment during the Inn’s 14 years of operation.
It all came to an end in 1916. An incredible hurricane came ashore in the Gulf of Mexico. Its aftermath made its way to the Western North Carolina area, dumping heavy rains on Lake Toxaway. On August 14, 1916, the Lake Toxaway dam could no longer hold the perpetual swelling of the lake and the dam gave way, sending 640 acres of water down the Toxaway Gorge. The Toxaway Inn shut down, lay dormant, and eventually was torn down in 1948.
In 1960, two ambitious men from Columbia, SC had the foresight for great things to come for Lake Toxaway. The idea was to reconstruct the dam by today’s standards, build an 18 hole golf course with Country Club, and develop the land and mountains surrounding the lake. It has all come to fruition and is continuing to this day.