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Copyright 2014 by Tony Austin
Chronological History of Lake Toxaway
1904 - 1915
The years leading up to 1916 were pivotal in Transylvania history. During this
period the railway began passenger service to the area, the science of forestry
was born and the area prospered as a resort destination. Lucy Armstrong came
to the area with her husband George and fell in love with it. It ended when the
flood of 1916 destroyed Toxaway dam, draining Lake Toxaway which halted
resort development in the area for years to come.
((Phillips and Thompson, Transylvania, Architectural History of a Mountain Community, pg 31)
June 5, 1906 - The Toxaway Inn register dated Tuesday, June
5, 1906, has Thomas A. Edison as a registered guest
(Plemmons, Jan C., Ticket to Toxaway, pg 57)
June 15, 1906 -  A representative of of the [Sylvan Valley] News had quite a
conversation with Thos. A. Edison on last Monday while he was in Brevard, and
he expressed himself as greatly pleased with this particular part of the country.
Mr. Edison. Is traveling in a party of four with two large automobiles and has
been all over the state nearly, though the roads were very muddy he found no
difficulty in traveling and went from here to Lake Toxaway.
(Sylvan Valley News)
August 1906 - “Toxaway Inn,” from the Editor, Sylvan Valley
News. “Toxaway Inn is the scene of much activity this week,
many people are here and all are out for a good time. These
beautiful days invite one to participate in the out of doors
sports, such as riding, driving, boating, bathing, tennis and
fishing. One enterprising couple indulged in a walk around Lake
Toxaway – fifteen good long miles – no road, no trail even, but
they returned with glowing accounts of a day well spent and a
walk worthwhile.”
1910 - Around 1910, the Armstrong family from Savannah
stayed at the Toxaway Inn and fell in love with the area.
Ferrari, Robert, A Grand Lady of Lake Toxaway and Savannah
1912 - Construction begins on the Toxaway Inn’s 9-hole golf
1912 - Lucy Armstrong, determined to have a summer cottage on Lake
Toxaway, purchased 40 acres on a secluded peninsula. Possibly in an effort to
dissuade her, her husband George urged her to camp out there for a month to
see if she liked the location well enough to build a house there. Lucy complied,
bring along eleven servants and pitching two tents, each with wooden floors.
One was to live in and one was the kitchen tent. Lucy decided that she did love
the spot and camped there all summer, looking out at the lake. view of
Panthertail, Mountain and .Cold Mountain.
(Ferrari, Robert, A Grand Lady of Lake Toxaway and Savannah, 1997, pg 03)
1913 - A year after Lucy Armstrong camped on a peninsula to make sure that
was the perfect spot for her house, work began on Hillmont, her 16,000 square
foot summer cottage. It was surrounded on three sides by water and had
beautifully landscaped gardens, and stables for the horses.
(Ferrari, Robert, A Grand Lady of Lake Toxaway and Savannah, 1997, pg 03)
1915 - "Hillmont," the Armstrong-Moltz House on Lake Toxaway in
Transylvania County, (NR 1986) now known as the Greystone Inn, was
constructed in 1915 in the Alpine style of resort architecture and remains the
epitome of that style in western North Carolina. Lucy Camp Armstrong Moltz, of
Savannah, spent numerous winters in Europe and designed her summer home as
a chalet, with front-facing gable, massive stepped brackets, casement windows
and French doors, balconies and window boxes.
Sylvan Valley News, digitanc.org