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Lake Lure, North Carolina
Location of Lake Lure, North Carolina
Location of Lake Lure, North Carolina
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Rutherford
 • Total 14.37 sq mi (37.22 km2)
 • Land 13.17 sq mi (34.10 km2)
 • Water 1.21 sq mi (3.12 km2)
1,125 ft (343 m)
 • Total 1,192
 • Estimate 
 • Density 87.64/sq mi (33.84/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 828
FIPS code 37-36500
GNIS feature ID 1021079

Lake Lure is a town in Rutherford County, North Carolina, United States. In 2010 the town population was 1,192. Lake Lure was incorporated in 1927, and acquired the lake after which it is named in 1965.


In 1902, Dr. Lucius B. Morse and his brothers Hiram and Asahel purchased 64 acres (0.26 km2) around Chimney Rock (within present-day Chimney Rock State Park) for $5,000. They later acquired enough land in the area to bring the total to 8,000 acres (32 km2). Lucius Morse's wife Elizabeth is credited with naming the lake (and the town). Included in the area that became the lake, according to a blog entry by Russ Meade, was the town of Buffalo, believed to have been named for a nearby mountain that resembled a buffalo.

In 1925, the Morse family created Carolina Mountain Power Company and funded the construction of a dam on the Broad River (through a mortgage) which produced the lake after which the town is named. The full impoundment of Lake Lure was completed in 1927. At ordinary water levels, Lake Lure covers approximately 720 acres (2.9 km2) and has a shoreline of approximately 27 miles (43 km). The dam's power plant began operations in 1928 with the sale of electricity under a 10-year contract to Blue Ridge Power Co., a local predecessor of Duke Power.

In 1929, the plans for development came to a halt with the advent of the Great Depression. A mortgage-holder, Stroud & Company of Philadelphia, foreclosed on the lake and the dam. Stroud owned them and the power the dam generated until 1965. In 1963, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the legislation that authorized the Town of Lake Lure to issue revenue bonds for the purpose of acquiring the assets from Stroud. The dam, power company, and real estate of Lake Lure were acquired by the Town of Lake Lure in 1965.

In modern times, the town continues to sell electricity to Duke Energy, although profits from the dam now come second to maintaining a fixed water level year-round. Recreation and tourism have become crucial to the town's economy.

IN 1999, Pine Gables was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 204
1940 212 3.9%
1950 174 −17.9%
1960 233 33.9%
1970 456 95.7%
1980 488 7.0%
1990 691 41.6%
2000 1,027 48.6%
2010 1,192 16.1%
2019 (est.) 1,154 −3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,027 people, 495 households, and 359 families residing in the town. The population density was 75.6 people per square mile (29.2/km2). There were 1,957 housing units at an average density of 144.1 per square mile (55.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.27% White, 1.46% African American, 0.29% Asian, 0.19% Native American, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.10% of the population.

There were 495 households, out of which 10.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.1% were married couples living together, 3.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 22.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07 and the average family size was 2.38.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 10.4% under the age of 18, 3.2% from 18 to 24, 14.1% from 25 to 44, 35.9% from 45 to 64, and 36.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 59 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $38,417, and the median income for a family was $45,833. Males had a median income of $39,464 versus $23,333 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,459. About 4.9% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.7% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.


Lake Lure is located at 35°26′41″N 82°11′28″W / 35.444668°N 82.191243°W / 35.444668; -82.191243. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38 km2), of which, 13.6 square miles (35 km2) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) of it (8.11%) is water.

Lake lure panorama
Panorama of Lake Lure

Notable people

  • Verda Welcome, Maryland educator and politician, was born in Lake Lure.

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