A remarkable century at Lake Junaluska
As Lake Junaluska prepares to celebrate 100 years of making a difference in Haywood County, its journey has been a remarkable one.
Consider for a moment all that happened to transform a rural farming valley known as Tuscola into the vibrant community, spiritual beacon and economic engine it is today.
The early vision was a summer rallying place where Methodist church members could find rest, recreation and inspiration. Building a dam and creating a 250-acre lake is an expensive undertaking, yet there was enough financial support from the Methodist community to accomplish the task. Purchasing surrounding property for meeting spaces and summer homes was also expensive, but it, too, happened.
There were challenging setbacks in the early years. Two majestic hotels burned to the ground through not a single life was lost.
When the nation entered the Great Depression, the Assembly successfully emerged from bankruptcy and then raised even more funds to build more facilities.
The Assembly became the official depository of Methodist history, which is housed in the World Methodist Building, and has attracted numerous world leaders through the years who have preached and shared their message with thousands.
It’s almost as if the Assembly and its stated mission “To be a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through the renewal of soul, mind and body,” was blessed from the beginning.
A look at the history highlights compiled for this special anniversary shows Haywood County has been blessed as well by its presence.