What began with a solitary houseboat in 1956 steadily grew to become the sprawling lake community Rumbling Bald is today. Travelers worldwide come to the property to enjoy the lake, spa, golf courses, and the sheer beauty of this incredible place. Guests at the property also have the unique opportunity to explore a region of North Carolina steeped in fascinating history and cinematic culture, including the Carolina Gold Rush of the 1800s and the making of films like Firestarter (1984), Dirty Dancing (1987), and Last of the Mohicans (1992).
Rumbling Bald, located on the lovely north shore of Lake Lure, takes its name from the beautiful ridges and cliffs of Rumbling Bald Mountain (Old Bald), which surrounds the resort and provides some of the most dramatic scenery in Western North Carolina. Rumbling Bald Mountain was not always known by its current name. On the evening of February 9, 1874, a local preacher prayed a now renowned revival asking God to move the hearts of sinners by “making the mountain to shake and tremble beneath their feet.” The next day, Old Bald did just that. The earthquake-like rumbling and trembling terrified the locals. Convinced the world was about to end, local farmers turned loose their livestock, because they believed they wouldn’t be around to care for them anymore. The rumbling continued intermittently for six months before the mountain went silent again. Scientists have since theorized the tremors and sounds were caused by rocks falling into the extensive cave system beneath the mountain. With the exception of a few occasional rumbles, the mountain has remained silent. Locals throughout the years called the mountain Shaking Bald and Quaking Bald before finally settling on Rumbling Bald. For those with a historical affinity, the USGS has collected some newspaper clippings about the 1874 rumblings that are worth a read. Click here
While the mountain is the most significant natural feature at Rumbling Bald, Lake Lure is unquestionably the greatest man-made attraction. Lake Lure includes three long bays, gorgeous beaches at Rumbling Bald and other locations, and one sunken town. Visitors to the area may notice numerous roads, landmarks, and sites named “Buffalo” in honor of one of the Blue Ridge Mountains that resembles a bison. Deep below the surface of Lake Lure lies the remains of the town of Buffalo, a small farming community of perhaps 150 souls. Most of Buffalos’ buildings and the local graveyard were removed prior to the flooding of the area, but a few buildings remain beneath the waters. Russ Meade has conducted significant research into this nearly lost piece of Lake Lure history, but a large portion of the town’s history remains shrouded in mystery. For more information, check out Russ Meade’s extensive historical blog about this incredible and beautiful region.