Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday - White Lake, NC

Hello, and welcome to Outdoor Wednesday, hosted by A Southern Daydreamer .

Today, I would like to take your for a visit to a small little town that has a very big place in my heart..White Lake,North Carolina.

White Lake is located in Southeastern North Carolina, about 45 minutes from Wilmington on the coast. The lake is part of the Singletary Lakes, which are elliptical in shape and were formed from a series of meteor strikes thousands of years ago.

This small area was settled by my ancestors, the Melvins, all descended from a one Daniel Melvin who immigrated from Scotland in the early 1700's. His deed to this land is dated 1734.

My ancestors lived and died in this area for many, many years. White Lake and nearby Elizabethtown are still heavily populated with their descendants.

Below is the old Melvin homestead...It dates from the 1840's and has been through several incarnations. It use to sit right next to the lake, but when much of that property was sold, the old homestead was moved to sit across the main road from the lake. A tragedy occurred in this house in 1920, when my grandfather, Ralph P. Melvin was married to his first wife, James Octavia Page ("Miss Jimmy"). My Aunt Mary, who was five years old at the time, was told by her older brother to go fetch the hunting rifle. She did so and in an effort to be helpful, decided to cock it to see if the gun was loaded. Miss Jimmy came out of the house to tell her to put the gun down and the loaded rifle went off, hitting Miss Jimmy in the upper leg, nearly severing it. Well, none of her many children knew what to do, except to carry her inside the house, where the older boys laid her on the kitchen table. Their daddy made it home to say his good-byes. Miss Jimmy bled to death, far from medical care. Things like that happened in those days.

Granddaddy remarried to Claudie Mae Melvin ("Mimmy"), my maternal grandmother. My mother and her two brothers were born and were raised right here in the "Melvin House".

On our recent trip to NC, the children and I stayed at the beautiful old home..

Here are my two cuties, launching themselves from the porch in anticipation of a dip in the lake... This is Mimmy's old home...It is on the way to the family pier, but is no longer in the family. Here are the beautiful cypress trees, all laden with Spanish moss, which line the shores of the crystal clear lake. Cypress have been growing along the shores for centuries. It is beautiful and romantic...The view from the pier.
The view towards old Melvin's Beach, now Camp Clearwater, where my family ran a hotel, many years ago...
Looking across to the distant shoreline...When the water is peaceful like this, I can sometimes feel in my bones the great love for this place that drew my ancestors to it so many years ago.The lake is very shallow, only 14 feet at it's deepest point, so it is also very warm in the summer months. It feels like a warm bath.
More water fun...
A mother duck...(her babies were too shy for me to take their picture)..
And now, for your listening pleasure...White Lake set to music (found this on YouTube) - enjoy!


The Quintessential Magpie said...

Hi, Elizabeth... I love that you shared this special place from your family with us. What neat stories, and Miss Mimmy's house is so darling! I love the fact that you got to stay in the original homestead, too.

I had early ancestors in the Carolinas in Edgcombe County in the early 1700's. The families settled initially in Virginia, and the migrated into NC from there. I love family history, too, and it's so neat that you got to grow up where much of your family originally settled.

Thanks for sharing and Happy Outdoor Wednesday to you...


Sheila :-)

Hootin' Anni said...

I love the historical/genealogy section of your post today as I work on the same....for our family...it's so interesting, isn't it. And to have photos of such....you did a great job.

Looks like a great place to have fun amongst the cypress trees too!

My Outdoor Wednesday is flowers with a 'passion'. Come over if you can find time. I'd love your company today.

And, hope the day treats you well!!!

sarah said...

wow I love those cypress trees in the water

great photos, love how you had fun!

Kim said...

What wonderful photos. I enjoyed reading your family history. I have an uncle who used to live in Wilmington. We went to visit a couple of times when I was a young girl. Have a wonderful day!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

This is a beautiful post. I love that you shared the story.

North Carolina is a beautiful state, we love visiting.

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Elizabeth, thank you so much for sharing these beautiful pictures and your wonderful journey that you made. It is a beautiful place to treasure. Isn't is amazing what God can do with a little water and a paintbrush? Just beautiful. Stop by again soon, I love it when you do. Country Hugs, Sherry

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Elizabeth, great pictures....I love the Cypress trees. Happy Outdoor Wednesday.


Fifi Flowers said...

BEAUTIFUL place!!!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Those trees a simply to die for!


Thanks for sharing such a lovely family moment. Love shows.

TTFN~~Claudia ♥

Laurie said...

Oh, Elizabeth, thank you for giving us this glimpse into your background! No wonder you love to go home to visit. What an incredible place.


Mary said...

This is a lovely post. Thank you for sharing your history and beautiful pictures with us. It looks like a gorgeous spot.

susan said...

Elizabeth, this is my first visit and I am so glad I got to see this. I am so envious that you know so much of your family history and are able visit family homes. My mom was originally from High Point NC, but I know nothing of her family history. Thanks for sharing your pictures and stories!

Regina said...

Beautiful post and great shots!

Happy outdoor.

Alexandra said...

What a beautiful place! I wish I knew my family history as well. What a gift to know your roots.

Melissa, granddaughter of Polly Melvin said...

Hi Elizabeth-

I am a descendant of the Melvin family as well and I relish the pictures that you have put in your blog. My grandmother who is a Melvin has recently told me stories about the beach and going there as a child. I am hoping to come down from Raleigh in August and bring my two boys to see White Lake and find some family places.