IRH - Gum Swamp Lake

This section is to honor the works of Russ Lancaster who started the “I Remember Hamlet” web site years ago. Without his pioneering the web at that time we might not have gathered all these memories of our Hamlet, NC. We thank you Russ for what you started in 1996, may you Rest in Peace. Russ was kind enough to let me download his web site before he took it down. Thank you Russ.

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David
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IRH - Gum Swamp Lake

Postby David » Mon July 31, 2017, 5:45 pm

Gum Swamp Lake
by Russ Lancaster
East of Hamlet on highway 74 right at the Coca-Cola plant, there is a paved road that forks off to the left. If you follow it long enough, you will run into a series of dirt roads. Once on the dirt roads, keep bearing right through the myriad of crossings and soon enough you will find Gum Swamp Lake. It is right at the county line between Richmond and Scotland counties. As I remember it from the '50's through the '80's, there were no signs telling you where to go, no sign to tell you when you were there and no sign to even tell you which county you were in. You just knew that if you looked through the woods to the left the shimmer of sunlight or moonlight off the water would tell you were there. Just a few hundred more yards and there would be a little wooden bridge with parking areas in the open clay and sand hills as well as in the woods. It was a special place.
I fished there many a day in my time but never caught a fish. I dated there many times but never hit a home run. Fortunately, I picnicked there many times and never left hungry. I guess one of three isn't all that bad.
All kidding aside, it was a special place. I saw it my first time in the early fifties when my Dad bought his first car. He took us there on a Sunday afternoon along with hot-dogs, marshmallows, sodas, and the fixings. Charcoal either wasn't available or we couldn't afford it but that didn't bother us. We kids were sent out to gather dry twigs and wood and marveled at the way my Dad built up the fire against the bank of the large clay hill backdrop. The cool breeze hit us in the face coming off the clear water. It was an adventure. We learned how to spear a hot-dog on a stick sharpened by my Dad's pocket knife and watch it cook and blister over the hot coals. No hot dog ever tasted better than those cooked at Gum Swamp Lake. It was a place we would revisit over and over as we grew up.
Our Cub Scout and Girl Scout troops were introduced to the place with my Mom and Dad taking an active part in our growing up by being Den Mothers and Troop Leaders. We were proud of them. Many merit badges were earned at Gum Swamp Lake.
As I grew older, into my teens, Gum Swamp Lake took on a different role. I soon found out that it was a great place to take a date on a cold October night. With the clouds dancing around the moon and a little romantic music on the car radio you could talk about your deepest feelings with your best girl. There was no one else around to disturb the conversation. Don't get the wrong idea, no hanky-panky ever took place there with my girlfriends. I wasn't raised that way and neither were they. A hug, a kiss... that went a long way back then.
The boldest I ever got was the night I told my gal a tall tale about a man that had escaped from prison and had only a hook for a hand and how he was supposed to be loose somewhere in the area. How he had attempted to get into someone's car once and when they arrived home they found a hook caught in the door handle. That story had been told many times before I ever told it and I suppose it may be told to this day. But the night I told it I succeeded in mostly scaring myself into leaving. Yes, I even checked the door handle when I took my gal home that evening.
I never saw another car during those few times I took my date out to Gum Swamp Lake at night yet I'm sure there are those of you who went there too. Your memories may be a lot like mine or as time has gone by maybe even better. Maybe you didn't live in Hamlet but had your own little town and own little lake. But, memories have a way of leaving us. The older I get the more I appreciate the little town I grew up in. The memories must be written down before I lose them.
Thankfully, I can still remember Gum Swamp Lake
And best of all...... I remember Hamlet!

freddie hassler
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Re: IRH - Gum Swamp Lake

Postby freddie hassler » Tue August 1, 2017, 2:54 am

The best way to get to Gum Swamp Lake is get on Boyd Lake Rd and keep on going Straight until you see a Lake on the Left :roll:

sigmore
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Re: IRH - Gum Swamp Lake

Postby sigmore » Tue August 1, 2017, 4:46 pm

Pretty sure you had to take a right off of Boyd Lake Road where it changed to dirt and go for a little ways and the lake was on the right. It was sad when the next generation started making it their dump, sad.

freddie hassler
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Re: IRH - Gum Swamp Lake

Postby freddie hassler » Wed August 2, 2017, 7:21 pm

Sigmore that's the way you go to Crawford's Lake. Back in the later part of the 1990's NO SWIMMING sign's posted at all Lakes in the Sandhill Gameland's because of the way people trashed them up[/b]

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Re: IRH - Gum Swamp Lake

Postby sigmore » Thu August 3, 2017, 4:16 pm

I concur with that Freddie. I just had my lakes messed up. Been quite a while since I've cruised them roads. When they got bumpy there was a sweet spot you could hit and the bumps would smooth out. It was right on the edge of disaster, but it was lots of fun.


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