Valley Rewind: Frozen Lake Susan
The weather has officially turned cold in the Swannanoa Valley, and we’d like to remind everyone of the beauty that the upcoming winter season holds. This undated photograph shows an ice skater enjoying the frozen Lake Susan in Montreat. Lake Susan was created during 1908-1909, when a wooden dam was built by the Montreat Association. The lake quickly became a recreational amenity for Montreat, offering boating and swimming. In July 1916, Montreat was bustling. On July 15, it started raining torrentially throughout the Valley. Twenty-two inches fell in the Montreat vicinity within 24 hours. On early Sunday morning, July 16, the earthen portion adjacent to the Montreat dam broke away, then the dam itself. The wooden dam was rebuilt, but by 1924 the MRA administration decided to replace the wooden dam with a concrete structure. There were additional lake and dam reconstructions over the years. Swimming was eventually banned in the lake when a pool was opened in the early 1970s. Today, Lake Susan hosts those fishing for native brook trout and rainbow trout in designated areas. The lake has previously hosted swans, and currently is home to a family of geese. Overall, Lake Susan is a prominent contributor to Montreat’s status as a certified wildlife habitat of the National Wildlife Federation.