When you think of Lake Norman, you probably think of recreation. Fishing, boating, and jet-skiing are some of the many exciting activities awaiting you on your next visit. But not a lot of people know the history of the lake and its surrounding shoreline, or the other fun and fascinating things to look out for when you’re visiting the area. So we’ve collected a few interesting bits of trivia to turn you into a true Lake Norman expert!
- Native American artifacts have been unearthed around Lake Norman, and all along the shores of the Catawba River. Arrowheads, pottery shards, and flint chips are just some of the many indigenous treasures found there throughout the years.
- Famed pioneer Daniel Boone fought the Cherokees on the land beneath Lake Norman. He moved to North Carolina in 1748, and in 1754 joined the North Carolina militia. He worked as a wagoner during the French and Indian war, and it is believed he was present at the battle of Fort Dobbs.
- Referred to by locals as the “Inland Sea” of North Carolina, Lake Norman is the largest man-made lake in the state. Covering approximately 32,510 acres, it is larger than the Sea of Galilee. It is 33.3 miles in length and 9 miles in width, with a shoreline length of 520 miles. While its average depth is around 33.5 feet, its maximum depth reaches 110 feet.
- Lake Norman provides electricity to the Piedmont section of the Carolinas. It not only powers the generators at Cowans Fort Dam, but is used by the McGuire Nuclear Station to cool their reactors, and generates enough steam to drive their turbines. That’s one hard-working lake!
- Lake Norman was named after Norman Atwater Cocke. A Virginia native, he attended New York Law School until 1905. In 1906 he started working as an attorney for the Southern Power Company, which would later be succeeded by Duke Energy. He became Vice President of the company in 1927 and was eventually named President in 1947, until his retirement in 1959. After 50 years of loyal service to Duke Energy, it only made sense to name the lake in his honor.
- While we’ve all heard of the Loch Ness Monster, we’re willing to bet you may not have heard of Normie, the Lake Norman Monster. With the earliest sightings reported as far back as the 1960s, Normie gained national attention in the 2000s. He’s been featured in a few popular TV shows, had several books written about him, and now there’s even a website dedicated to tracking sightings of him! There have been several other unusual sightings around Lake Norman, including a mysterious cat-like creature known as the Wampus, multiple UFOs, a man-sized catfish, and even an alligator or two.
- While plenty of popular movies have been filmed around Charlotte, several have used Lake Norman as their backdrop. Just off Highway 150, a historical barn remains that was used in the 1990 Tom Cruise movie, “Days of Thunder.” Ricky Bobby’s house from the 2006 comedy ‘Talladega Nights’ can be seen on the shore, and the 2015 film ‘Careful What You Wish For’ starring Nick Jonas was filmed almost entirely on Lake Norman.
If you want to see all that Lake Norman has to offer, come stay with us at Davidson Village Inn. Just a few minutes away from the lake by car, we’re located in the heart of downtown Davidson. Stay in one of our 18 gorgeous guest rooms, and let us treat you to breakfast every morning before you go exploring.