Continuing this week with summer fun and photo booths (I’m gearing up for my own summer beach trip), one of the few pre-1980 photographs I have of my grandmother includes this lovely little photo booth style portrait of Ernestine on vacation at Crystal Beach, North Carolina. Faintly written on the back is ‘Miss Mary Ernestine Rich/ Made/ July 2 1944/ White Lake/ North/Carolina.’
White Lake, North Carolina, is thought to have been formed by a meteorite which landed in five pieces to form the Bladen Lakes, with White Lake being the only one fed by subterranean springs. These springs make White Lake unique because of the crystal clear waters and white sandy bottom. The area around White Lake, although slightly populated, became a tourist destination starting in 1901 when the first commercial operation was built. The first sightseeing boat over White Lake started in 1912. Crystal Beach opened in 1921 and sat adjacent to Goldston’s Beach, which opened in 1918. These early attractions secured White Lake’s popularity, and additional attractions, like an amusement park at Crystal Beach, opening in 1939, added to the area’s appeal. Perhaps this was one of the attractions attended by my grandmother?
The Boston Public Library has a great collection of early White Lake Postcards, which have been scanned to flickr for others to enjoy:
In 1957, a large fire burned the amusement parks to the ground. Today, White Lake is still known for its clear water, its glass bottom boats, and the White Lake Water Festival, which has been running since the late 1970s.
Bordeaux, Jason. Crystal Beach, White Lake. Bladen County NC GenWeb. 11 June 2008. Image. 21 July 2013 http://www.ncgenweb.us/bladen/pictures/misc/crystalbeach.jpg
‘History.’ Goldston’s Beach: A Family Tradition. 4
August 2011. Web. 21 July 2013. http://www.goldstonsbeach.com/history.html
Tichnor Brothers, INC. ‘Natural Scenes, Crystal Beach, White Lake, N.C.’ 1930-1945. Boston Public Library. http://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/5860925286/. 21 July 2013.
Tichnor Brothers, INC. Natural Scenes, Crystal Beach, White Lake. 1930-1945. Boston Public Library. http://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/5860372839/. 21 July 2013.
Tichnor Brothers, INC. ‘Natural Scenes, Crystal Beach, White Lake, N.C.’ 1930-1945. Boston Public Library. http://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/5860372937/. 21 July 2013.
Tichnor Brothers, INC. ‘Greetings From White Lake, N.C.’ 1930-1945. Boston Public Library. http://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/5860373411/. 21 July 2013.
Packer, Jamie. ‘The Wonders of Elizabethtown, NC.’ North Carolina History Projects. 31 March 2011. Web. 21 July 2013 http://carolinahistory.web.unc.edu/elizabethtown/.