Glenville NC: A Beautiful Community With A Rich Heritage

Glenville is Located in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains about 60 miles west of Asheville and 20 miles from Western Carolina University and Southwest Community College in Sylva, NC. Lake Glenville (aka Thorpe Reservoir) – the hub of this small community – boasts 26 miles of winding shoreline, spans 1,500 acres, and is fed by five main tributaries and dozens of springs and creeks.
The lake sits 3,542 feet above sea level, and is the highest manmade lake east of the Mississippi River. This elevation means that summers are cool (average daily temperatures in July are 83 degrees), making it a perfect and popular – refuge for residents of Georgia, Florida, Texas and other southern states.
And because Glenville is a temperate rainforest area (i.e. it gets 80-100 inches of rain per year) it is home to a myriad of rare and delicate plant life, which makes it perfect for plant enthusiasts.
Like Cashiers, Sapphire Valley, Highlands, NC Glenville teems with recreational activity opportunities including swimming, boating, water skiing, kayaking and canoeing, and fishing. In fact, the lake is famous for it’s abundant smallmouth bass, trout, bream, perch, and catfish populations.

A Brief History

Originally named Hamburg Township, Glenville Community was settled in 1827. As with most communities, Hamburg suffered during the Civil War years but was rebuilt, and by the late 1880s was a thriving community with industries such as lumbering, tanning and mining. In January of 1891 the town was renamed Glenville.
World War II placed huge demands on America’s aluminum supplies, needed to supply electricity for the war effort. Water in large quantities was required to increase the electrical supplies. To that end, Nantahala Power and Light, then owned by ALCOA (Aluminum Company of America), was contracted to construct a dam and manmade lake in Glenville.
In 1940, homes, roads, schools, businesses and farmlands were flooded (approximately 300 feet deep) and Lake Glenville was created. The only remaining remnants of the town were its church and graveyard, which were moved not too far from today’s shoreline.

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