From Jerry Pait on Facebook:
Ok, let's talk a little history about this lake cleaning and beautification project. This was done after the lake caught on fire a few times. There used to be motor boat races and skiing on the lake. Anchored down toward the deep end of the lake was a ski jump. Someone decided the motor boat exhaust was the reason the lake caught on fire because their exhaust left an oily film on the water and it eventually was sucked up by the dead cattails around the lake. When, if fact, it turned out to be oil from the old roundhouse dump pit on top of the hill overlooking the lake. It took it many years to gradually sink down until it found a small trail of water entering the lake bottom just north of the VFW. Over the years, it bubbled up and that was what collected in the cattails. Before then, all motor boating and skiing was eliminated on the lake. It has never been allowed back. That same project was when hundreds of stumps were blown up and removed from the lake bed. They extended about halfway down the lake to almost across from the water plant. The National Guard almost lost a bulldozer to a very soft spot in the lake. It dug itself down until the top treads were even with the ground. A NG truck backed up and attached a large steel cable to the dozer to no avail. Then two more NG trucks backed up, side by side and attached cables to the single NG truck. With all three trucks and the dozer trying to get out at the same time, the dozer finally gained traction and climbed out of the hole. That was an event for many young boys to watch. As far as the Hamlet Garden Club beautification project went, the west side of the lake received all kinds of plants as part of their project. If you go back through the different photos, there is a photo showing a grader though a section of concrete pipe. Looking in the background on the east side of town, there is a large white house with a beautiful view of the lake. The Hamlet Garden Club's beautification project on the east side of the lake solely consisted of planting a double row of long leaf pines directly in front of my grandfather's house so it could not be seen from the west side of the lake. My uncles wanted to cut them down but my grandfather would not let them. As they grew over the years, they became so tall and thick, the lake was totally blocked from view. Although the house is no longer there, you can drive down Second Street now and see these giant longleaf pine trees still thriving. Considering the fact my grandfather's house was there long before the lake was even thought of, I have always had a sore spot for the Hamlet Garden Club's east Hamlet beautification project. There was no reason to plant all those trees directly in front of his house. The trees could have been spread out around the lake to provide shade. Personally, I believe they were planted there out of spite and I am doubtful anyone will ever change my mind. Take a ride over to east Hamlet and look at all the bulldozed lots. Ride uptown and see how many falling down rotted homes have been bull dozed. People could start farming in east hamlet today. It will take a lot on behalf of the uptown side of Hamlet to make amends to the east side of Mark's Creek. The demolitions of the old, hidden from view of the general public, Boyd House is a prime example of Hamlet politics of west side of Mark's Creek vs East Side Marks Creek. And you wonder why so many of us left town.