Tempted by an email that I had received from the North Carolina Department of Tourism (Go to the Mountains and See the Color!), I packed up and drove to Lake Tahoma just outside of Marion about three hours from Greensboro.
Lake Tahoma is a small reservoir about four miles outside of Marion. The dam which created the lake was built at the height of the Roaring Twenties by the Buck Creek Development Company. They had planned to use this lake as the centerpiece of a planned resort community and the dam was to provide electricity.
However, only the Casino was ever built. Along with so many developments of that era (and as history repeats itself, today as well), the Buck Creek Development Company went into bankruptcy in the late 1920’s. There wasn’t any further building around the lake until after World War II.
The Casino, made out of stone and wood, was designed by Earl Draper, a well-known city planner of that era. It is approached by a gated long pier and has a large open circular room attached to a roofed docking area.
I was really fortunate to be able to take pictures on the pier as the Casino was being prepped for a wedding and the deputy sheriff on duty was kind enough to let me wander down to the building. Most of the time the gate is padlocked and only residents of the Lake Tahoma area have the keys to the gate.
And the color that the NC Department of Tourism promised? Well, as you can see from the photos, it was minimal to non-existent. But, it was a beautiful day and I did get some really good pictures of the Casino.
And, no, despite the name the Casino was never used as such and today it couldn’t become one. State laws only permit gaming on the Cherokee reservation near Murphy. The only real casino in North Carolina belongs to Harrah’s.
|The Casino at Lake Tahoma|