Author Archives: Russ Meade

About Russ Meade

My name is Russ. Meade and I teach college all online! I live in the beautiful mountain town of Lake Lure, NC! ( ) It is located in Western North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains about 40 minutes from Asheville. The town is small and "down home". If you have seen the movies "Last of the Mohegan's" or" Dirty Dancing", you have seen this area. No crime, miles of great hiking trails, no traffic................ Pure heaven....for this New York City boy! I hold degrees from Nassau College, Adelphi University, and St. John's University School of Law all located in "THE CITY!" Teaching, especially online, allows me to follow my passion for traveling, back packing, and simply wandering this beautiful world. So far I have visited in 52 nations and am just starting! Last term, I taught from Morocco and connected my students with students in this Muslim nation via SKYPE as an optional feature simply to share with each other and learn from each other. It was one of my greatest moments in college teaching! Today many have become fast friends! Now is that cool or what?:):):) As I journey on in life I realize how much there is to learn from others! I can always be reached by e mailing me through G-Mail or at, ,by telephone 828-625-1738 via my Cell phone- 828-243-8259 via SKYPE, via Linked In or even better do visit me one day in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC Russ

How Rumblingbald Got its Name!


The Mountain that Rumbled!

By Russ Meade

Lake Lure, NC

Many have asked how Rumblingbald got its name!

First please read this excellent article and the following “

“A Rumble in the Mountains- In early February 1874, residents near Chimney Rock in western Rutherford County reported feeling the ground shake and hearing loud booms coming from the direction of Bald Mountain, a 3,020 foot peak in the Broad River basin. Some claimed to see smoke and vapors coming from within the earth, giving rise to fears of a soon-to-explode volcano. Panic set in among the locals as tremors continued over the ensuing two months.

As word spread of strange happenings in the mountains, the press descended on the region and wrote of the religious fervor the tremors inspired. J. Timothy Cole, author of The Rumbling Mountain of Hickory Nut Gap: The Story of North Carolina’s Most Celebrated Earthquakes, writes that the most vivid accounts of the Bald Mountain earthquake and resulting panic are found in the Daily News of Raleigh, the New York Herald and the Asheville Western Expositor. Capt. E.C. Woodson of the Daily News reported that on the evening of February 9th a local preacher holding a religious revival prayed that God would move the ” ‘the strong hearts of this wicked people’ ” by causing ” ‘the mountain to shake and tremble beneath their feet.’ ” According to Woodson’s account, the first tremors near Bald Mountain occurred the following day.

Whether coincidence or divine intervention, the earthquake prompted more religious meetings and a revival-like atmosphere. The Western Expositor records that residents stopped work. “Cattle, horses and hogs were turned to the woods,” the paper reported, “And the entire people within range of this awful excitement have concluded that they have but a few more days to live.” The New York Times eventually printed a dispatch from a Knoxville reporter under the multi-line header “A Volcano in North Carolina. Extraordinary agitation of Bald Mountain.Terrible Sights and Sounds.The Terror-Stricken Residents Praying During Sixteen Days.” Harper’s Weekly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News also joined in the coverage.

Wofford College professor Warren DuPre was sufficiently intrigued by the reports to mount an expedition to the region. Accompanied by a civil engineer, a preacher and about a dozen students, DuPre interviewed residents and hiked the terrain near Bald Mountain. During the course of its investigation, the team experienced several tremors firsthand. The group found no evidence of “gaping rocks, smoking peaks, sinking caverns, melting snows, etc, with which our newspapers have been teeming for many weeks past.” Eventually DuPre prepared a report for the Smithsonian Institution in which he ruled out rock blasting and electrical storms. But his explanation for the tremors was hardly conclusive. “The phenomena,” he wrote,”must be referred to that general volcanic or earthquake force, which seems as necessary to the economy of nature as light, heat or electricity.”DuPre’s words likely would not have calmed the fears of residents had the tremors not stopped by early May 1874.

Later, investigators of the tremors have suggested that the rumblings may have resulted from rock falls occurring in a vast network of caves that lies under Bald Mountain. Scientists continue to investigate the plates and substrata that lie underneath North Carolina’s mountains and debate the seismic risks faced in this part of the country. But there seems little dispute as to the origins of the descriptor that sets Rutherford County’s Bald Mountain apart from similarly named peaks in Avery, Jackson, Wautauga, Yancey, Davidson and Orange counties. Rumbling Bald Mountain claimed its title in the winter of 1874.”

Posted by John Blythe on March 15, 2011)




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Bearwallow Falls



From the Lake Lure Beach and town center, head west on Memorial Hwy. (74A) for 7.7 miles (about 15 minutes).

Look for an old Chimney and a sign on your rights for the Florence Preserve

The Florence preserve trailhead is above the parking area and the Little Bearwallow Falls trailhead is across the street.

Hiking Distance: Approximately 2.5 miles (round trip)

Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous

Hiking Highlight
A 100-foot cliff and Little Bearwallow Falls.

Views of Hickory Nut Gorge, encounter several creek crossings and get the close-up view of Little Bearwallow Falls.

Well maintained trail!

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)Whiteside Valley before Lake Lure was built- VIEW FROMCRWhiteside Valley Church

(Whiteside Valley)                                                 (Whiteside Valley Church-organized July 7, 1892.)

For those of us who live in Lake Lure, one of the most intriguing questions we receive from guests and permanent residents alike is:

Why all the Buffalo references and Buffalo road names in the Lake Lure area?

You see the reference to buffalos everywhere you travel in the Hickory Nut Gorge:

  • Buffalo Creek Road,
  • Buffalo Shoals,
  • Buffalo Junction,
  • Buffalo Creek,
  • Buffalo Creek Park the list goes on and on.

In addition, as you go towards the resort of Rumbling Bald located on the lake there is a giant Buffalo statue marking one of the developments!

Just why these reference and is there really a long forgotten town under the lake?

Let’s see if we can bring this town up from the depth of Lake Lure to remember this once proud, self -sufficient community in the beautiful Hickory Nut Gorge of NC!

To me, one of the saddest thing in life is being forgotten as a person or a whole community

Let’s see if we can solve this mystery and bring these people and community back to life in some way!

The Town of Buffalo was located at about the center of what is now Lake Lure.

Today, if you take your boat out to the very center of the lake and look to your right and you will see a mountain that looks exactly like a Buffalo! Hence, the name of the town was named Buffalo!

The Town of Buffalo was located in what was known as Whiteside Valley. It was centered on farming and mining.

There is no know record of how many people lived in the Town of Buffalo but judging by the church records of the Whiteside Valley Church of 1918 with 98 members, it can be assumed that the entire town was about 150 people.

This town was often a brief stop for those heading through Hickory Nut Gorge on the Drover’s Road to Asheville, NC.

“When construction of the dam was complete, Buffalo was flooded. Most of the houses and buildings were removed before the flooding, but a few still remain under the lake today. The town name came from the homesteaders who lived in the valley, they would look up at the mountains and the first mountain range they saw was that in the shape of a buffalo.

There was a complete relocation of an entire community known as Whiteside Valley, all homes, the Whiteside Valley Church & Cemetery & the Ledbetter Store. Whiteside Valley Church was organized July 7, 1892.

When it was known that plans for the lake to be built were going to flood the area in the 1920’s, the church members began to look for another property & ending up tearing down the original church, using the materials to build on & repair the old Chimney Rock Church site.

Tradition says the steeple from the original Whiteside Valley Church was used on the new church. All the graves were removed and” (Info from the book “Precious Memories; Bill’s Creek Community, Lake Lure, North Carolina”, by Virginia Dare Dalton Wilson).

Chimney Rock Baptist Church was” organized July 7, 1872 and met in a log school house on Rock Creek. The church was disbanded about 1902 when it was last mentioned in the Association’s minutes. Many of its members united with Whiteside Valley Baptist Church around 1892.

In May 1926 the church was sold to Carolina Mountain Power due to the Lake Lure dam being built. On August 29, 1928, the Whiteside Valley church became Chimney Rock Baptist, and is still located on that site” From Chimney Rock Baptist Church

Whiteside Valley Church

(If you look closely, you will see the church in the background)

Today there are no known pictures of this lost town except the above. However and interesting survivor of this one vibrant community is this 1917 Reo truck has been talked about for generations not just because it’s an antique but because it spent 45 years at the bottom of Lake Lure most likely at the Town of Buffalo!.

Fire Truck

To read the full story please see this interesting article in the Mountain Breeze:

When construction of the lake that we now know as Lake Lure began the residents of the Town of Buffalo naturally did not want their relatives buried under the lake.

When construction of the lake that we now know as Lake Lure began the residents of the Town of Buffalo naturally did not want their relatives buried under the lake.

Most of the graves were move to Buffalo Cemetery in the Rumbling Bald Resort.


To see a list of the Whitesides and others who are in this unique cemetery see:

So when you are out of our beautiful Lake Lure stop at about the center of the lake and remember to look right for the mountain shaped like a buffalo and remember the town that once was.

Perhaps say a prayer of thanks for those who helped build the beautiful place we all call home!

Most of the graves were move to Buffalo Cemetery in the Rumbling Bald Resort.

To see a list of the Whitesides and others who are in this unique cemetery see:

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LAKE LURE1J and R- Fall-2014HIKING

I love hiking my home here in the Hickory Nut Gorge area of Western North Carolina!

As so beautifully stated:

“THERE ARE PLACES ON THIS EARTH that touch the soul with the sheer power of their magnitude. The Hickory Nut Gorge in Western North Carolina is such a place. Evident in its people is a distinctive characteristic that has resurfaced over and over throughout generations and echoes within the whole community, for it is the very thing that brought them together in the first place. And even now, this monolithic gorge still has the power to siphon out, from the thousands of people who come each year; those with certain cast of mind, and draw them close to its bosom.” In the Shadows of Chimney Rock by Rose Senehi

This well preserved area has touched this individuals’ soul not only for the sheer beauty but more so by the dear friends who hike these mountains with me and my wife Joan.

So to all the truly beautiful people who share my life’s journey, here’s to you!


Thank you for being in my life!

 It is such a blessing to hike these trails and life with you!


Russ Meade


(If you have changes/corrections or would like to add a hike that you know about in our area, please feel free to contact me: Russ Meade, )

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die Discover that I had not lived. “Henry David Thoreau

Have a fantstic day exploring our beautiful mountain home!

Russ Meade

Russ_Meade- in class



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