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50th Anniversary of Lake Norman

Happy Anniversary to our beloved lake!  The largest man-made lake in the Carolinas, created by Duke Energy, reached its fill level in 1963, almost four years after the initial dynamite blast that began its creation.  In 2013 - marks 50 years of all things Lake Norman, and we invite you to celebrate with us!

Named for former Duke President Norman Atwater Cocke, Lake Norman's waters offer many amusements.  Families enjoy days of play along the 520 miles of shoreline while party-lovers revel in boat-hopping merriment.  Thrill-seekers feel the rush from abundant water-sports while romantics seek soothing relaxation aboard sunset wine cruises.  The fishermen show off their catch of bass and catfish and tell tales of Normie, the Lake Norman Monster.

50thWebWhat Lies Beneath...For others the lake holds mysteries in history.  As Lake Norman filled, farms, villages, and entire towns were submerged below the surface.  Davidson College archivists have been gathering stories and mapping images of places that disappeared under the water in a project called Under Lake Norman.  View their amazing finds and developing progress and view related coverage on Charlotte ObserverDavidsonNews.netWFAE 

PHOTOS:  See more images on our Pinterest Page 50th Anniversary of Lake Norman Pinboard! Duke Energy

Experience hands-on exploration of the creation & history of Lake Norman at Duke Energy's Energy Explorium with plenty of exhibits, visuals, plus a historical movie tour!  The site is located on the shores of the lake, next to McGuire Nuclear station, and just before the Cowans Ford Dam.  Plus get  great info about the Lake on Duke Energy's site.  


Get the latest news and fascinating stories from locals on the changing landscape of Lake Norman over the last 50 years in the July issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS Magazine!

Lake Norman History:  A Brilliant Vision of Power:   The dynamite blast on September 28, 1959 literally altered the landscape of our area forever.  NC Governor Luther Hodges set off the historical explosion along the Catawba River, marking the commencement of the largest ever undertaking by the Duke Power Company.  Three years later, in March of 1962, Cowans Ford Dam was completed and the waters that would define our destination began to flood through the spillway.

It took 11 months for Lake Norman to reach full-pond, holding some 3.4 trillion gallons of water.  The lake was now the largest man-made body of water in the state.  Duke Power's (now Duke Energy) creation represented a new era for the region and a significant advancement in hydroelectric power.  Yet, just as remarkable are the stories of three men whose imaginative ideas intertwined to create one revolutionary reality.  Read More...