Connestee Falls is very proud and excited to be in its 43rd year. It’s been a long and thrilling journey to get where we are today. From small beginnings, Connestee Falls has grown to become one of the premiere communities in the North Carolina Mountains.
In honor of this milestone, here is a brief recounting of important events from those very early days that helped shape this community.
It was in 1971 this property was first purchased by Realtec’s Executive Vice President Stanley Whitcomb. Stan and his wife Janie still have a home in Connestee. Earl Jenkins started with the first work crews then and is still here as Assistant General Manager. (Their involvement, love of this land and attention to detail continues to show here at Connestee Falls.)
In July of that year Governor Robert Scott of North Carolina visited Connestee. The trip was part of his initiative to promote the area and encourage investment in the state. That same year a 20 foot Christmas tree from western NC was erected in the parking lot of the Connestee restaurant and motel complex to promote visitors to the area. (Restaurant & motel are no longer here.) On December 2, 1971, it started to snow and 17 inches later Connestee was covered. A busload of Florida visitors enjoyed a rare sight for themselves: a snow covered mountain landscape.
In this early stage in Connestee Fall’s life the community was known as the Uncity, a name that evokes a community with modern city utilities and conveniences but with mountain country freedom from crowding and natural beauty no city could offer. By the end of 1971 Uncity already had property owners from over twelve states.
The lakes of the community were originally known by the informal names #1, #2, #3, & #4. It was also in 1971 that the lakes were renamed in the Cherokee tradition to the ones we know today. Ticoa means bright water, Atagahi means lake in the Cherokee tradition, Tiaroga simply translates to water, and Wanteska means level. It was also in that year that George Cobb was appointed to begin designing the golf course.
By the end of December 1971, 15 miles of graded roads were in place and Duke Power began delivery of cables for the underground power lines. By April 1972, all roads in units 1 though 6 were in use.
It was around this time that Eddie Albert, then of television show Green Acres fame, came to Connestee and did a 23 minute promo film for Connestee Falls sales staff. A $1,500,000 sewer contract was awarded in 1972. By December of 1972, 25 homes were completed and several were occupied.
According to “The Uncity News” the land of Connestee is part of the Blue Ridge escarpment (slope) and is some 200 million years old. This land is so old it contains no fossils.
This information was provided by the History and Archives Committee (one of over 60 resident clubs and organization here at Connestee Falls.) Look for further tidbits of other years in Connestee history occasionally here on the blog!