Lake Junaluska centennial is worth marking

Apr 28, 2013

Mountaineer readers have heard a lot about Lake Junaluska lately.

That’s because it is the lake’s 100th anniversary in Haywood County, and its  presence  has had an immeasurable influence on how we look today.

Through the years, literally millions of visitors learned about Haywood County, North Carolina, as well as its vast resources and beauty, because of the United Methodist Church retreat in our midst. Those pushing the vision of a mountain retreat have held true to the goal so succinctly captured in its current mission statement: Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality, where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body.”

Not only have the conference and retreat facilities expanded exponentially through the years, but so has the residential community surrounding the lake. Lake Junaluska has played a major role in what our county has to offer, our economy and our outlook on life.

From the numerous recreational opportunities offered at the lake to the hundreds of life-enriching conferences held there where local residents are always invited, Lake Junaluska is a jewel within our midst.

Earlier this month, The Mountaineer published a special section that we hope has captured the lake’s history in our community. It extends from the early 1900s when the center was just a vision through today where it is an economic engine for our community.

Those who missed the book that was inserted into our paper can stop by the office and purchase a copy. Or, if you are an online reader, watch for the Lake Junaluska centennial articles that were included in the book when they are posted on our website at

Because there were so many articles, the are being released several at a time each Saturday. There are also extra photographs and stories on the web that didn’t fit in the limited space within the book, so for those hungering to know more about the lake’s history, know that the information will keep on coming.

The official centennial celebration kicked off April 18 with renowned storyteller Donald Davis, who has roots in the community. His stories drew a weeknight crowd estimated at 800. Events marking the centennial will be held through the year. If you haven’t experienced Lake Junaluska in a while, this is a good year to remedy that.

Happy anniversary, Lake Junaluska. You make us proud.