By Grady Clinkscales
In 1925, in the early days of Lake Lure, a large two-story white building was built. It was dubbed Lure Haven, and its location is listed as 1021 Memorial Highway. This year, 2020, marks its existence for ninety-five years, and has stood proudly at the intersection of State Highway 9, with U. S. Highway 64, 74-A, on the southern part of the town. When the house was constructed, it was two years before the dam which formed the wonderful Lake, had even been built. In those days there was a dirt road that made its course exactly in front of the house. Over time that road which was the main path from Asheville to Charlotte, has become a main highway, while the house has remained essentially the same.
Over nearly a century Lure Haven has enjoyed, and endured, many transitions of activity. Originally it was a family home, then later a small satellite one-story building was added alongside. Large gasoline tanks were buried in the front yard, so that a small “Filling Station,” as they were called in those days, could be operated. During the World War II era, the lower floor was opened up to establish a restaurant with a bar and dance floor area. During this time, it was a rest stop, referred to as “Drunkards’ Flat.” In its final years, the downstairs was used as a storage area for building contractors, and the upstairs converted into a duplex.
Back in the day, the building, because of its size and location, became a favorite point of reference. Many of the old timers would say, “Meet me at the Old White Building, and we will go from there.”
The Filling Station was removed in 2010. Since then the main building has been neglected, fallen into disrepair, and no longer restorable. Although the building has become an icon for Lake Lure, a painful decision had to be made. Therefore, on 29 February 2020, the house was burned to the ground. But even in its last gasp, it provided a valuable service to the community. Plans were made for the Lake Lure Fire Department to do a “Controlled Burn,” during which process it was used as a training experience for firefighters. The fire chief at Lake Lure, Dustin Waycaster, arduously solicited six other nearby fire departments to participate in the exercise. On the burn day, some fifty fire personnel were on hand for the training, and came from Fairfield, Bills Creek, Green Hills, Shingle Hollow, and Hudlow.
This leap year, on 29 February 2020, now referred to as “B-Day,” the day it was burned to the ground, the old white building leaped into oblivion. One of Lake Lure’s icons with its interesting history, will remain etched in the memories of many who knew it.