Gateway THE 2009 NEWCOMER’S GUIDE
to the Carolinas
Living at Lake Wylie
About the lake • Moving in • Our schools • Business • Things to do • A caring community
What’s inside Welcome 6 A little bit about our town New visitor’s center info
About Lake Wylie 10-13 History Map Facts and tidbits Our towns
Moving In 14-16 It’s hot living at the lake Realtors listing Hooking up utilities Numbers to know Tax information Driver’s license info Register to vote Unique communities
BRIDGING THE CAROLINAS The first Buster Boyd Bridge was built in 1923, creating the first shortcut so local residents didn’t have to go around the lake to get to the other side. According to “York County Yesterday and Today” (written by John Wilkerson of Lake Wylie and available at the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce), “After the dedication, Capt. Elliott White Springs of Fort Mill flew his plane under the bridge. Springs was a World War I flying ace and became one of York County’s prominent citizens as owner of Springs Industries. The bridge was rebuilt in 1961 and widened to four lanes in 2003.”
Local Resources, Leader 18 Meet out York County councilman Local media Libraries
Our schools 20-22 More schools, new system Our schools Clover School District board members Private schools
Lure of the lake 24-28 Access areas Fishing Boating Watching our waters Lake clubs Volunteer on the lake
To your health 30,32 Healthplex emergency care moving in Our providers care Getting medical attention Meet our first responders Hospital listing Pet care
Getting down to business 34-36 New professional centers and more coming Local chambers Small Business Centre info Let’s go shopping
Things to do 40-41 Annual calendar of events Area attractions
A caring community 42-43 Volunteer Theater and entertainment Clubs
Be a sport 44-45 Sports for every season Local leagues Golf courses
Gateway to the Carolinas
NEWCOMER’S GUIDE “Gateway to the Carolinas: The Information Guide to the Lake Wylie area” is an annual publication of the Lake Wylie Pilot, 8 Executive Court, Lake Wylie, SC 29710 Phone: (803) 831-8166 Fax: (803) 831-0660 Online: lakewyliepilot.com It is distributed in May and is available at local chambers of commerce, real estate agencies and many other locations. If you have information appropriate for this publication or would like to make changes, please contact us. DESIGNER Catherine Muccigrosso firstname.lastname@example.org
Let them know you saw them in Gateway. ANIMAL SERVICES
Bethel Total Bond Veterinary Hospital 33 Grooming Naturally 17 Steele Creek Animal Hospital 33
Remedics Restoration 37
ATTORNEYS F. Craig Wilkerson 7
PHOTOGRAPHERS Jim Stratakos (including cover) John Marks Mike Laughlin Susan Doyle Andy Burriss SPECIAL PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce Greg Reid, Clover School District
Lake Wylie Auto Care 19
Bank of America/Tom Griffin 36 Capital South Funding 39
Tega Cay Marina 29
MEDICAL/DENTAL/HEALTH SERVICES BUSINESS SERVICES International Agency 37 Lake Wylie Tax Service & Bookkeeping 29
John Killian  Becky Sandefur  Chris Elder  Bob Daily [24-25] Cary Vanden Broecke  Jim Wells  Michael Cozza  ADVERTISING STAFF Kristin Alley email@example.com
ACE : A Caring Environment Massage Therapy 31 Carolina Family Dental 31 Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat 31 Lake Wylie Family Chiropractic 31 Lifestyle Physical Therapy 16
Pine Grove Baptist Church 23
CLOTHING/CONSIGNMENT Carolina Cuties 7
DOCK CONSTRUCTION/ REPAIR Clawson’s Pile Driving 29 Dockmasters 48 (Back cover)
EDUCATION Gaston Day School 22 Palisades Episcopal School 23 Pinegrove Baptist Church 23
ENTERTAINMENT/CLUBS Roadhouse 39
(photos submitted by Lake Wylie Pilot readers for People, Places & Things and Fishing & Boating submissions)
International Agency 37 Allstate/Mike Short 17 State Farm Insurance/Jay Killen 19 Sloan Financial Group LLC 46
CHILD CARE CONTRIBUTORS John Marks Susan Bromfield
FINANCIAL SERVICES Bank of America/Tom Griffin 36 Edward Jones/Alan Gregory 7 Sloan Financial Group LLC 47
GIFTS/PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS Monogram Fever 17
HAIR CARE Classic Salon 7 Great Clips 22
HOME FURNISHINGS & INTERIOR Diana’s Blinds & Designs Rock Hill Mattress
REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT Allen Tate Realtors/Jennifer Douse 9 Allen Tate Realtors/Lou Hanson 17 Allen Tate Realtors/Melanie Wilson 6 Allen Tate Realtors/Roz Bailey 5 Coldwell Banker United Realtors 9 First Properties of the Carolinas/Jill Alcala 17 First Properties of the Carolinas/Debra Holloman 17 Heron Cove 6 McSpadden Custom Homes 2
RESTAURANTS/FOOD Dilworth Coffeehouse 7 The River Rat Restaurant & Bar 39 The Seasonal Chef 43
STORAGE SERVICES Anchor Self Storage 7
TAX SERVICES International Agency 37 Lake Wylie Tax Service & Bookkeeping 29 Sloan Financial Group LLC 47
WORSHIP Good Samaritan 47 Kingsway Baptist Church 47 Pinegrove Baptist Church 23
Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and seasonally, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
Welcome to Lake Wylie, SC — The Perfect Setting On behalf of the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce, it is a pleasure to welcome you to this beautiful area. Lake Wylie is “The Perfect Setting.” It is one of the fastest growing areas in York County and one of the most prosperous in the region. Nestled on the northwest shore of 13,433-acre Lake Wylie, it is ideally situated for both work and play. The leisure and excitement of lakeside living, small town atmosphere and convenient proximity to a metropolitan city make Lake Wylie the perfect setting for home and business. The quality of life and productive involvement of residents establish a dynamic business environment. The Lake Wylie community offers a wide range of housing options. Elegant lakeside living, cozy wooded neighborhoods and spacious condominiums add to the feeling of a yearround resort. The Lake Wylie community has the additional advantage of an excellent educational system. The schools are among the best in the state, employing highly qualified and 8 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
dedicated teachers, building outstanding learning facilities and providing students with effective resources and advanced equipment. Recreation is an integral part of the Lake Wylie lifestyle. With 325 miles of shoreline, the lake is ideal for boating, fishing, water skiing and sailing. The mild climate, yet wonderfully distinct, seasonal changes not only enhance the area’s beauty, but also afford yearround enjoyment of golf, tennis and bicycling. Community events include the Lights on the Lake annual holiday boat parade held each year in December, the Fourth of July spectacular fireworks display and the Splash Dash 10K, 5K and walk held each June at Camp Thunderbird and River Hills Plantation. Lake Wylie is located 12 miles from Charlotte, one of the nation’s fastest-growing commercial and financial centers, which offers theater, operas, symphonies, museums, fine dining and a variety of shopping areas.
For sports lovers, the NFL Carolina Panthers play at Bank of America Stadium in the center city. The Charlotte Knights, a minor league baseball team, play at Knights Stadium, in Fort Mill, which is just a 15minute drive from Lake Wylie. The Charlotte Bobcats play basketball minutes away. Lake Wylie is truly a “Hidden Treasure” and is a vibrant and thriving community where geography, people and economic vitality have created a distinctive lifestyle. The new Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center located at 264 Latitude Lane opened in November 2007 and has created an inviting atmosphere to welcome visitors to the area. A full assortment of brochures and information is available there. We hope this “Gateway” magazine gives you some idea of why so many new families are making Lake Wylie their home. Visit lakewyliesc.com to learn more about Lake Wylie. Susan Bromfield is president of the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce.
NEWCOMER’S GUIDE 9
About Lake Wylie Tidbits
The first dam built in 1904 on Lake Wylie supported the Catawba Hydro Station.
Making the lake Lake Wylie, the oldest lake on the Catawba River, was created in 1904 by a dam near Fort Mill, S.C. The dam was rebuilt and the lake enlarged in 1924 with its surface expanding to 13,443 acres and 325 miles of shoreline. Full pond elevation at Lake Wylie is approximately 569.4 feet. The lake is named for Dr. W. Gil Wylie, who organized the Catawba Power Co., the predecessor of Duke Energy, which currently manages the lake. In addition to supporting Wylie Hydroelectric Station, Lake Wylie also supports Allen Steam Station and Catawba Nuclear Station with cooling water and provides water supply for Belmont and Rock Hill, which provides for York County, too.
The current Lake Wylie Dam was rebuilt in 1924.
• Lake Wylie was created in 1904 and originally was a 688-acre pond. • The present-day dam, built in 1924, raised the lake to 13.443 acres and 325 miles of shoreline. • James Buchanan ‘Buck’ Duke bought Catawba Power Co. and formed Southern Power Co. in 1905. • Lake Wylie used to be James Duke called Catawba Lake. In 1960, James Duke renamed the lake for one of the utility founders, Dr. W. Gil Wylie. • Lake Wylie sits at the borW. Gil Wylie der of York, Mecklenburg and Gaston counties, and the lake itself is the dividing line between North and South Carolina. • Elevations in the Lake Wylie area range from 570 feet above sea level to 961 feet above sea level at Ferguson's Mountain. • Duke Energy, the largest employer in the Lake Wylie area, is also the leading energy company located in the Americas with an affiliated real estate operation. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUKE. • A 1999 Duke Power survey showed Wylie saw an estimated 2 million visitors, some repeats.
LAKE WYLIE AND VICINITY Marinas on Lake Wylie 1
Charlotte Yacht Club 704-588-2314
Emerald Point Marina
Harbortowne Marina & Ship Store 704-825-5050
The Yachtsman Terry’s Marina 704-588-0418
Long Cove Marina & Yacht Club 704-588-1467
Lake Wylie Marina 803- 831-2101
Camp Thunderbird Marina 704-716-4100
River Hills Marina 803-831-1802
Red Fez Shrine
Catawba Yacht Club
Commodore Yacht Club 803-831-7314
Tega Cay Marina 803-548-3715
Lake Club Marina 803-324-2232
Lake Wylie Access Areas
Allen Fishing Area
South Point Boat Landing
Buster Boyd Bridge Access
Big Allison Creek Access
Indian Ground Access
Tega Cay Beach and Swim Club
Nivens Creek Access
Pitcairn Cove Beach Park
Ebenezer Park Access
13 Fort Mill Access
14 11 15
10 12 13
Lake Wylie Visitor Center
The Lake Wylie community Tidbits • Buster Boyd Bridge, named after a local farmer who pushed for connecting South Carolina and North Carolina, was built in 1923. Climate • The climate in the Lake Wylie area is moderate, with an average temperature of 62 degrees. • Cold weather is rare. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 42 degrees. Snow is light and infrequent, occurring from December through March. • Summers are comfortably warm. July averages 79 degrees. The frostfree season averages 230 days from mid-March through mid-November.
When people talk about the “town” of Lake Wylie, they’re talking about the stretch of unincorporated area in York County with homes and businesses along S.C. 49 between Buster Boyd Bridge and the Five Points area at S.C. 49, 274, 55 and Lake Wylie Road. Lake Wylie is actually part of greater Clover, sharing the 29710 ZIP code. Lake Wylie is a thriving community with a friendly, small-town atmosphere, but with easy access to the big city of Charlotte. Based on U.S. Census projected populations, the Lake Wylie area — a five-mile radius of the Buster Boyd Bridge — is expected to grow from 22,800 residents in 2000 to 34,000-plus by 2015, making it one of the fastest-growing regions in the Piedmont. Lake Wylie’s first neighborhood, River Hills Plantation on S.C. 49, was built in 1977. The gated community on 884 acres is now surrounded by several neighborhood developments including Lake Wylie Woods, The Landing, Forest Oaks and Autumn Cove, with more under development and many homes interspersed on the lake or with a lake view. Business has boomed along the stretch of S.C. 49 to include a plethora of dining options, gas stations, two grocery stores, automotive services and car sales, more churches and even a coffeehouse and places to shop. Lake Wylie Plaza offers a discount store, restaurants, beauty shop, sports center, insurance agent, post office, library and fine jewelry store. A 52-acre, $30 million project along S.C. 49 between the Bi-Lo shopping center and Mill Pond Road called Shoppes at the Landing will create a mixed-use development of commercial units and upscale residential living. Mill Creek Commons at highways 49, 274 and 557 (referred to as Three Points) is the future home of a super Wal-Mart and currently houses Lowe’s Home Improvement, and soon Walgreen’s, banking and more.
Interesting facts “Lake Wylie is a ‘hidden jewel’ in South Carolina, but Lake Wylie is also a ‘precious jewel’ to South Carolina,” said S.C. Sen. Harvey Peeler. “You enjoy 325 miles of shoreline — this is the one figure that has not changed. But many other figures have changed over the last several years.” Here are the facts about Lake Wylie:
Population The 1990 census showed 2,720 people lived in the Lake Wylie area. The Catawba Planning Commission projects that by 2012 there will be 35,000 people in this area. The Department of Transportation says 30,000 cars travel through Lake Wylie every day on S.C. 49. Median age is 51.4 ; South Carolina’s median age is 35.4.
Education • 1990, 84 percent earned high school diplomas. • 2007, that percentage is 98 percent, compared to 76 percent of South Carolinians with high school diplomas 50 percent of residents have bachelor’s degrees; 11 percent have graduate degrees.
Place of birth In 1990, only 7.2 percent of Lake Wylie residents were born in South Carolina. By the 2000 census, 12.1 percent were born and bred Sandlappers.
Median household income 1990 — $64,626 2005 — $80,500 compared to 2005 median household income in South Carolina of $39,316.
Average value of house/condo 1990 — $211,300 2000 — $250,900 2007 — $301,000
DETAILED AREA MAPS AVAILABLE A new Lake Wylie map with 2,000 updates from the last map printed in 2001 highlights local businesses and area attractions bordering the lake. Susan Bromfield, president of the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce and map sponsor, says “This map may be the only map that accurately covers the border areas of York County and the Charlotte area in detail and with accuracy.” The map unfolds from a pocket size 4-by-9 inches to 36-by-40 inches. The map costs $5 and is available at Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center, 264 Latitude Lane, suite 101, Lake Wylie, and at local businesses. For more information, call 803-831-2827. 12 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
In 2000, the average value of homes and condos in South Carolina was $113,100; In 2007, Lake Wylie’s was $250,900.
Employment Lake Wylie’s unemployment rate is 0.5 percent. In October 2007, South Carolina’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent; the national rate was 4.7 percent.
Our towns on the lake Tega Cay is a peninsula city on Lake Wylie. Incorporated in 1982, the once-gated community was established in 1970 when a developer purchased 1,600 acres, 20 miles south of uptown Charlotte, and built homes with a Polynesian architectural theme. In fact, Tega Cay’s name means “beautiful peninsula.” About 4,300 residents call the city with a motto of “The Good Life” home. The city boasts an award-winning 27-hole golf course, marina, public boat launch, beach and inland parks, a junior Olympic swimming pool, miles of walking trails, a beach house, clubhouse, community center, athletic fields, tennis courts and more. Tega Cay also has a thriving business community in Stonecrest, anchored by WalMart, which opened in early 2008. The median income for a household in Tega Cay is $80,227, and the median income for a family is $82,926. More info: City Hall administrative offices, 120 Shoreline Pkwy.; 803-548-3512; tegacaysc.org
Belmont is located in Gaston County, N.C.,
Lower Steele Creek is a growing com-
and is a peninsula city on the northern tip of Lake Wylie, covering 8.1 square miles, convenient to Interstates 85 and 485. Dutch settlers built a fort here in the 1750s, and now the city’s population is almost 9,000. Along with big businesses including a WalMart Supercenter, the historic downtown is thriving with new and long-time businesses including Belmont Food & Beverage, Cherub’s Cafe, Sammy’s Pub, Old Stone Steakhouse, unique boutiques and more. Other highlights of Belmont include Stowe Park Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, and South Point Access Area boat launch. Belmont Cultural and Heritage Learning Center also opened last year with historical displays and is home to the Belmont Historical Society. Inspired by its Catholic heritage, Belmont Abbey College is a private liberal arts college. The campus is home to the college, the monastery and the Abbey Basilica. More info: City Hall, 115 N. Main St.; 704825-5586; cityofbelmont.org
munity on the lake in southwest Mecklenburg County, with a portion of the community in Charlotte city limits. Steele Creek, likely founded in the late 1600s by Scotch-Irish immigrants, is known as the area along N.C. 49 between Interstate 485 and the Buster Boyd Bridge. Area highlights include McDowell Nature Preserve, Copperhead Island, Carowinds amusement park, and a 15,000-square-foot library. Large new developments include Ayrsley Center, at N.C. 49 and I-485, which brings the area its first movie theater in the commercial and residential development, and RiverGate Shopping Center, at N.C. 49 and 160, with The Home Depot and Target as anchors. Census population puts Steele Creek at 25,282, covering 47 square miles, including the lower area. There also are many medical offices and a health plex opening mid- to late-2009. More info: Steele Creek Residents Association, P.O. Box 38628, Charlotte, NC 28278; steelecreekresidents.org NEWCOMER’S GUIDE 13
Jump in and get settled in Not only is Lake Wylie area real estate as hot as it has ever been, but statistics show it may be as hot here as anywhere in the Carolinas. Led by larger lot areas such as River Hills in Lake Wylie and The Palisades and The Sanctuary in Steele Creek, the housing market has seen unprecedented growth in number of homes sold, asking price received and rapid market turnover. Real estate agents say the natural setting and spacious lots draws buyers to the 30-plus year old homes in the gated River Hills community despite new homes being built throughout the area. From 2001 to 2005, an average of 50 homes per year were sold in River Hills with an average market listing of 131 days. In 2006, 73 homes were sold with an average of 88 days on the market. According to househuntnews.com, River Hills homes average $220,000 for a three-bedroom. Average home price at The Palisades development is $550,000 with average time on the market 90 to 120 days, while The Sanctuary average home price is listed as $300,00 with 30 to 60 days on the market. Tega Cay, Fort Mill and Rock Hill all rank among 10 South Carolina communities at the next highest level of 95 to 100 percent received, while southwest Charlotte ranks behind only three North Carolina markets with that same figure. Despite a slow economy, area improvements such as the widening of N.C. 49 and increased commercial and retail property in the area contribute to the area’s growing appeal, Realtors say. Even in the traditionally slower months for selling, new buyers continue to come. “This area is attracting people from all over because of our fabulous lake lifestyle, great schools and a recent decrease in property tax,” one local Realtor said. “It’s a great time to be a part of the Lake Wylie and Tega Cay communities.” LOCAL WEATHER: Average January low temperature, 28.6 F; Average July high temperature, 89.3 F 14 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
Area Realtors • Allen Tate Realtors 1000 Village Harbor Drive Lake Wylie, SC 29710 803-831-1185 • Carter Hayston Real Estate 3205 Palmetto Place Fort Mill, SC 29708 803-547-9713 • Century 21 First Choice 206 Rockmont Drive Fort Mill, SC 29708 803-548-3551 • Century 21 Palmetto Homes 508 Bethel St. Clover, SC 29710 803-222-5464 • First Properties of the Carolinas Inc. Corporate Office One Executive Court Lake Wylie, SC 29710 800-545-3342 Tega Cay Office 2222 Tega Cay Road Tega Cay, SC 29708 800-462-6705 Charlotte office 11040 S. Tryon St., Ste. 202 Charlotte, NC 28273 704-248-3500 • Joyce Presley Realty 1481 Gold Hill Road Fort Mill, SC 29708 803-547-4004 •Lane Realty 4609 Charlotte Hwy., Ste.3, Lake Wylie, SC 29710 803-831-1113 • May Green Properties 6121 Charlotte Hwy. York, SC 29745 803-631-4110 •Queen City Real Estate Group 3131 Hwy. 21 Fort Mill, SC 29708 803-802-2020 •REMAX 757 Stockbridge Drive Fort Mill, SC 29708 704-488-7177 •REMAX Executive Realty 6842 Marrison Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28211 704-351-9633 •Rinehart Realty Corp. 264 Latitude Lance Suite 103 Lake Wylie, SC Lake Center Fort Mill, SC 803-548-9797 •Stiles Realty 5400 Hwy. 55 E. Clover, SC 803-831-8181
Utilities ELECTRICITY • Duke Energy, a Fortune 500 company with more than 2 million customers in the Carolinas. 800-777-9898. If they do not service your area, call Energy United at 704-8920278 or Union Power Cooperative at 704-289-3145. • York Electric Co-op serves areas Duke Energy does not. Call 803-684-4248.
NATURAL GAS • York County Natural Gas Authority serves all of York County. 803-329-5255 • Piedmont Natural Gas in Charlotte serves customers in North Carolina. 704-525-3882
CABLE • Time Warner serves North Carolina residents near Lake Wylie. 704-377-9600 • Comporium Communications serves Lake Wylie and the Fort Mill Township area, including Tega Cay. 803-548-9011
WATER/SEWER/TRASH • Weekly trash pickups inside Tega Cay city limits. Contact Tega Cay City Hall at 803-548-3512. • Carolina Water Service Inc., a private utility, serves the water needs of the Lake Wylie area, as well as the RiverPointe community off Highway 49 in North Carolina. 800-367-4314 or 704-525-7990 • D&D Sanitation, 803-2223862. • Tega Cay Water Service, Inc. provides water and sewer to Tega Cay. 803548-0821 • York County Public Waterworks provides water and sewer service to area residents along Carowinds Boulevard, Gold Hill Road, Pleasant Road and part of Highway 160. 803-628-3210, for water and sewer service. • Select Sanitation, 3324 Shopton Road, Charlotte, provides commercial and residential service for Lake Wylie area residents. (704) 588-4571 • Signature Waste Systems Inc., 660 Westinghouse Blvd., Charlotte, provides commercial and residential service for Lake Wylie and Fort Mill areas. 704-7149400; signaturewaste.com • For water and sewer service in the Charlotte area, call Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities at 704-336-2211.
Numbers to know POLICE • York County Sheriff’s Office, 803-628-3056 • Gaston County Police, 704-866-3300 • Gaston County Sheriff’s Dept., 704-869-6800 • Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Dept., 704-336-2543 • Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department-Steele Creek, 704-336-7800 • Tega Cay Police, 803-548-0340 • Clover Police, 803-222-9494 • Belmont Police, 704-825-3792 • Fort Mill Police, 803-547-2022
FIRE • • • • • • • • • • • •
Fire Reporting and Burning, 800-756-2876 Bethel Volunteer Fire Dept., 803-831-7988 Tega Cay Volunteer Fire Dept., 803-548-4321 Clover Fire Dept., 803-222-3220 Belmont Fire Dept., 704-825-0502 Southpoint Fire Dept., Belmont, 704-825-3166 Steele Creek Volunteer Fire Dept., firstname.lastname@example.org Charlotte Fire Station No. 26, 704-588-6752 Charlotte Fire Station No. 37, 704-432-3954 Fort Mill Volunteer Fire Dept., 803-547-5511 Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire Dept., 803-548-5600 Riverview Volunteer Fire Dept., 803-547-5921
RESCUE • • • • • •
Lake Wylie/River Hills EMS, 803-831-9888 MEDIC (Mecklenburg County EMS), 704-943-6000 Tega Cay Rescue Squad, 803-548-4321 Gaston County EMS, 704-866-3300 S.C. Poison Control Center, 800-222-1222 Carolinas Poison Center, Charlotte emergency: 800-222-1222/ Administrative: 704-395-3795
GOVERNMENT • • • • • • • • • • • •
York County Manager, 803-684-8511 York County Voter Registration, 803-684-1242 Mecklenburg County Manager, 704-336-2472 Mecklenburg County Voter Registration, 704-336-2133 Gaston County Manager, 704-866-3100 Tega Cay City Hall, 803-548-3512 Belmont City Hall, 704- 825-5586 Clover Town Hall, 803-222-9495 S.C. DMV/S.C. Highway Dept., 803- 909-7161 N.C. DMV, 919-715-7000 U.S. Post Office — Lake Wylie, 803-831-1311 U.S. Post Office — Charlotte, Fort Mill, Clover, and all others, 800-275-8777
NEWSPAPER • Lake Wylie Pilot, (803) 831-8166
Driver’s License South Carolina If you are at least 17 years old and have held a beginner's permit for 180 days, you are eligible for a regular SC Driver's License. Learner’s permit may be acquired at age 15. To receive an original driver’s license in South Carolina, you must bring your birth certificate, social security card, proof of residency and insurance information. You must pass the vision and road skills tests. If you surrender a valid license from another state, you may use a valid driver's license from your former state for up to 90 days. A South Carolina license is valid for five years and must be renewed by your birthday in the fifth year.
Offices •305 Hands Mill Road, Rock Hill, SC 803-329-6332 •York County Complex, 1070 Heckle Blvd., Rock Hill 803-909-7161
S.C. DMV In Columbia: 800-442-1368, scdmvonline.com
North Carolina You must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a driver’s license A learner’s permit may be acquired at age 15. To receive an original driver license in North Carolina, you must bring at least two acceptable forms of identification — one with your full name and at least one form of identification must include your date of birth. You must complete and pass the written, sign and vision tests. If you surrender a valid license from another state, the road test requirement is at the discretion of the Examiner. Proof of residency and liability insurance on your vehicle are required in addition to a Social Security card.
Taxes As an unincorporated area of York County, Lake Wylie residents pay county taxes, and tax rates vary by municipalities. Taxes may include school district, property, fire tax district and more. All property tax classified as a primary residence is taxed at 4 percent. These properties are not subject to school operating taxes. A hospitality tax of 2 percent is applied in unincorporated areas of York County on sales of prepared food and beverages sold in eating and drinking establishments. State law requires the money be spent on tourism. The sales and use tax program in York County adds 1 percent to goods purchased in the county for road improvement, approved by voters, for Pennies for Progress.
COUNTY OFFICES York York County Auditor P.O. Box 116 York, SC 29745 803-684-8528, 803-684-8501 yorkcountygov.com
Mecklenburg Tax Collector 700 E. Stonewall St. Charlotte, NC 28202 704-336-4600 payments.official-payments.com/mecklenburg/
Gaston Tax Office 128 W. Main Ave. Gastonia, NC 29052 704-866-3158 co.gaston.nc.us
•785 W. Charlotte Ave., Mount Holly, NC 704-827-9486 •201-A W. Arrowood Road, Charlotte, NC 704-527-2562, 704-527-2563
N.C. DMV In Raleigh: 919-715-7000, ncdot.org/dmv
Register to vote • York County residents can pick up a voter application form at any local library, City Hall or the Department of Motor Vehicles. Mail completed applications to: Voter Registrations and Elections, 13 S. Congress St., York SC 29745. 803-909-7194 • In Charlotte, register to vote at Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, 741 Kenilworth Ave., Suite 202; at any public library, social services agencies and driver’s license offices. 704-336-2133 • In Gaston County, register at 810 W. Mauney Ave., Gastonia, at any public library, social services agencies and driver’s license offices. 704- 864-4852 NEWCOMER’S GUIDE 15
Unique Communities New equestrian center to be ‘best in region’ The Palisades in Steele Creek is not only host to Championships at The Palisades every year bringing retired professional tennis players such as Pete Sampras and John McEnroe to Lake Wylie, but is now home to The Ranch. The new equestrian community in The Palisades recently opened with a world-class riding facility. The Palisades Equestrian Center features 20 barn stalls, paddocks, pastures, galloping trails, boarding services and training. “This facility offers a full complement of equestrian programs in a setting that is unparalleled,” said Jim Medall, president of Palisades developer Rhein Medall Communities. The center on Youngblood Road West is open to the public for training, lessons and boarding, with horse boarding applications being accepted. “We have heard from many people who want to board their horses here, including carriage horses and Spanish Paso Finos,” said Caitlin Fletcher, facility manager. Fletcher, certified in horsemanship, training, barn management and equine nutrition and care, even has international competitor Ivy LeDonne on board for eventing training, while Fletcher will 16 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
teach beginner and intermediate equitation and hunter jumper lessons. “The barn is beautiful, and we will have one of the best equestrian programs in the region,” Fletcher said. The center also provides an afterschool riding program for students at Palisades Episcopal School. The center boasts galloping trails for conditioning that wind through The Ranch, offering residents there a full view of cross country jumping. Natural wood obstacles of varying sizes and difficulty levels will be placed along the trail similar to jumps a horse might come across in competition. The facility, however, is open to all sorts of horses with varying training needs. “We are open to all disciplines,” Fletcher said. The Ranch also is open for guests to peruse the facilities. Mark Baldwin, executive vice president of the Charlotte Homebuilders Association, has called The Palisades a “unique place in the Charlotte area.” For more information about The Ranch and Palisades Equestrian Center, call 704-533-0591 or visit thepalisades.info.
About The Ranch Address: 19104 Youngblood Road West Size: 8,000 square feet Stalls: 20, each 12-by12 feet Features: Office, lounge, tack room, storage facilities, bathing facilities, pastures, paddocks, community ring, galloping tracks Acreage: Just less than five acres, minus community ring and galloping tracks Length: 2,250 linear feet at present for the galloping tracks, with an additional 3,500 linear feet planned Public Use: Allowed, given that non-residents apply for a use license from the center Programs: Beginner and intermediate lessons, horsemanship, dressage, hunter jumper, eventing training, use of galloping tracks, full horse care, riding of boarded horses
NEWCOMER’S GUIDE 17
Local leaders and resources As an unincorporated area of York County, which covers 685 square miles, Lake Wylie’s governing body is York County Council. The county was established in 1785 and is run by a seven-person council and county manager. Phone: 803-684-851 Online: yorkcountygov.com/council/
Representing Lake Wylie Lake Wylie, in District 2, has one representative on council, Tom Smith, owner of May Green Properties, right. He is serving his second term, and also represents the Clover area. He can be reached at 803-631-4110 or Tom.Smith@yorkcountygov.com.
Media In 2006, The McClatchy Co. — parent company of Lake Wylie Pilot, The Herald, Enquirer-Herald and Fort Mill Times — purchased then No. 2 publisher Knight Ridder, including The Charlotte Observer, for $4.5 billion, making it the third largest newspaper company in the U.S.
Lake Wylie Pilot Your award-winning community newspaper, publishes weekly on Tuesdays, serving 11,200 readers in Lake Wylie, Tega Cay, lower Steele Creek, Belmont and parts of Clover, since 2002. Previously called Lake Wylie Magazine, the newspaper launched in 1984. Location: 8 Executive Court (First Properties Building on S.C. 49) Lake Wylie, SC 29710 Phone: 803-831-8166 Fax: 803-831-0660 Online: lakewyliepilot.com Subscribe: Annual subscriptions cost $21, call 803-3294044 and tell them you want the Lake Wylie Pilot. E-mail editorial: news@lakewyliepilot E-mail advertising: email@example.com Daily newspapers •The Herald, 132 W. Main St., Rock Hill. 803- 329-4000; heraldonline.com •Charlotte Observer 803-532-5350; charlotte.com
18 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
Tom Smith, a father of four, little league coach and land developer, has seen what he calls the Clover/Bethel/Lake Wylie community change dramatically in the two decades since he moved into the area and the seven years since he started his business. Using his development experience, Smith helped with the 1997 Pennies for Progress program in identifying county roads for improvement. He also served on a committee that helped develop a comprehensive land-use plan for the county. The success of a community relies on local leaders in important roles such as planning, development and engineering, Smith says. The only reason Smith considered running for council was a problem he saw in past councils using outside consultants to form critical county policy. Someone needed to stand up for local workers and residents, Smith says. “I never wanted to be a county commissioner,” he said. “I never wanted to be political, seeing as I hate that word.” The community needs more than more houses or businesses, Smith said. It needs places for new schools, park and recreation facilities and perhaps even a county complex. Smith’s goal for his two-year term on council is simple — to address issues that most affect York County residents in a way that works best for everyone involved. He plans to hold annual town hall meetings. The meetings are just one way of letting the community know that he wants to listen and respond. Another way is by sitting in his office as he often does — with the door open.
Libraries •Lake Wylie Public Library 185 Blucher Circle, Lake Wylie 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday 803-831-7774 •Fort Mill Public Library 1818 Second Baxter Crossing, Fort Mill 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday- Thursday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday 803-547-4114 •Clover Public Library 107 Knox St., Clover 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday 803-222-3474 •Steele Creek Library 13620 Steele Creek Road, Charlotte 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday 704-588-4345 •Belmont Public Library 111 North Central Ave. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday 704-825-5426
More schools, new system A new configuration changing the Clover School District, where Lake Wylie area students attend, begins in fall 2009 with a key piece to that puzzle located in Lake Wylie. Oakridge Middle School, located on Oakridge Road and S.C. 557 just west of Bethel Fire Station No. 1, will instruct students in grades 6-8 on the eastern side of the district. Oakridge serves students coming from Crowders Creek, Bethel and Griggs Road elementary schools, while Clover Middle School will be fed by Bethany, Kinard and the newest elementary school, Larne. Before the 2009-10 school year, the district used a four-school approach combining elementary, middle, junior high and high school. Now, grades K-5 will be elementary, followed by 6-8 at middle and 9-12 in high school. Oakridge, which cost $36 million, spans 180,000 square feet and should serve 700 to 750 students when it opens. The building is about 85 percent LEAD certified, and built on budget, according to school finance officer Ken Love. “This is huge,” said Lake Wylie resident and school board member Melanie Wood Wilson during a tour early 20 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
in 2009. “It just doesn’t look that big from the outside.” The school property includes athletic facilities and amenities that, when not used for school functions, may be used for civic purposes. Oakridge will be led by Crowders Creek Middle School principal Will Largen, who moves over to take the same post at Oakridge. The school also will be the first of 11 Clover schools — including Larne which opens at the same time — to have an official mascot other than Blue Eagle. “We had a contest with the kids to pick the name,” Largen said. “‘Eagles’ was the number one choice. I said we couldn’t just have the same as the other schools, so we changed it a little to Golden Eagles.” School colors will be maroon and gold. Prior to Oakridge and Larne, the Clover School District had more than 1,000,000 square feet of school space on 540 acres. The district general fund operates on a budget, as of 2008, of just more than $54 million. 932 teachers instruct 6,511 students, with an annual average teacher salary of $48,951— more than $3,000 higher than the state average. For more information on the district, visit clover2.k12.sc.us.
Learning at the lake 906 South Point Road Belmont, NC 28012 704-825-3351 gaston.k12.nc.us/schools/southpoint
Clover School District clover2.k12.sc.us Superintendent Dr. Marc Sosne 604 Bethel St. Clover, SC 29710 803-810-8000
✦ Forestview High Principal Robert Carpenter Grades 9-12 5545 Union Road Gastonia, NC 28056 704-861-2625 gaston.k12.nc.us/schools/forestview
✦ Clover High Principal Dr. Tommy Schmolze Grades 9-12 1625 Hwy. 55 E. Clover, SC 29710 803-222-4591 1760 enrollment clover2.k12.sc.us/chs
✦ Belmont Middle Principal Audrey Devine Grades 6-8 110 N. Central Ave. Belmont, NC 28012 704-825-9619 gaston.k12.nc.us/schools/belmontmiddle
✦ Oakridge Middle Principal Will Largen 5350 Hwy. 557 Lake Wylie, SC 29710 Grades 6-8
✦ Crowders Creek Elementary Principal Millicent Dickey 5515 Charlotte Highway Lake Wylie, SC 29710 803-831-2434
✦ Bethel Elementary Principal Tom Guinane Grades Pre-K to 4 6000 Hwy. 55 E. Clover, SC 29710 803-831-7816 530 enrollment clover2.k12.sc.us/bethel
✦ Griggs Road Elementary Principal Pam Cato Grades Pre-K-4 100 Griggs Road Clover, SC 29710 803-222-5777 463 enrollment clover2.k12.sc.us/griggs See school board members listed on page 22.
CharlotteMecklenburg Schools Superintendent Dr. Peter Gorman 701 E. Martin Luther King Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28202 980-343-3000 cms.k12.nc.us
✦ Olympic Community of Schools Grades: 9-12 4301 Sandy Porter Road Charlotte, NC 28273 980-343-1403 Hours: 7:15 a.m.-2:15 p.m. 1,845 enrollment
✦ Southwest Middle Principal Dr. Valerie Williams Grades 6-8 13624 Steele Creek Road Charlotte, NC 28273 980-343-5006 Hours: 8:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m.
✦ Belmont Central Elementary 1,193 enrollment pages.cms.k12.nc.us/southwest
✦ Dixie River Road Elementary Principal Cheryl Turner Grades K-5 5910 Dixie River Road Charlotte, NC 28278 Hours: 7:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m. pages.cms.k12.nc.us/dixieriverroad (opening 2009, helping to ease crowding at Steele Creek Elementary)
✦ Youngblood Elementary Principal Acquanetta Edmond Grades K-5 15340 Smith Road Charlotte, NC 28273 Hours: 8:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. (opening 2009)
✦ Lake Wylie Elementary Principal Kimberly Odom (interim) Grades K-5 13620 Erwin Road Charlotte, NC 28273 980-343-3680 Hours: 8:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. 983 enrollment pages.cms.k12.nc.us/lake
✦ Steele Creek Elementary Principal Gina Smith O-Hare Grades K-5 4100 Gallant Lane, Rt. 2 Charlotte, NC 28273 980-343-3810 Hours: 7:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m. 1,156 enrollment pages.cms.k12.nc.us/steelecreek
Fort Mill School District fort-mill.k12.sc.us Superintendent Dr. Keith Callicutt 120 E. Elliot St. Fort Mill, SC 29715 803-548-2527
✦ Fort Mill High Principal Dee Christopher Grades 9-12 225 Munn Road Fort Mill, SC 29715 803-548-1900
✦ Gold Hill Middle Principal Tommy Johnston Grades 6-8 1025 Dave Gibson Blvd. Tega Cay, SC 29708 Hours: 8:20 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ghms.fort-mill.k12.sc.us
✦ Gold Hill Elementary Principal Terry Brewer Grades K-5 1000 Dave Gibson Blvd. Tega Cay, SC 29708 Hours: 7:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ghes.fort-mill.k12.sc.us
✦ Pleasant Knoll Elementary opening in 2009 on east side of 160)
✦ Winget Park Elementary Principal Carol Barbour Grades K-5 12235 Winget Road Charlotte, NC 28278 980-343-1063 Hours: 9:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 1057 enrollment pages.cms.k12.nc.us/wingetpark *Both Dixie River Road Elementary School and Youngblood Elementary School were in the process of selecting official school names as of press time.
Gaston County Schools Superintendent Reeves McGlohon 943 Osceola St. Gastonia, NC 28054 704-866-6100 gaston.k12.nc.us
Principal Sara Moore Grades Pre-K-5 310 Eagle Road Belmont, NC 28012 704-825-8479 gaston.k12.nc.us/schools/belmontcentral
✦ Catawba Heights Elementary Principal Pamela Williams Grades Pre-K-5 101 Ivey St. Belmont, NC 28012 704-827-3221 gaston.k12.nc.us/schools/catawbahei ghts
✦ New Hope Elementary Principal Allen Lewis Jr. Grades Pre-K-5 137 Stowe Road Gastonia, NC 28056 704-824-1617 gaston.k12.nc.us/schools/newhope
✦ North Belmont Elementary Principal Chris Germain Grades Pre-K-5 210 School St. Belmont, NC 28012 704-827-4043 gaston.k12.nc.us/schools/northbelmont
✦ J.B Page Primary Principal Mark Fisher Grades Pre-K-1 215 Ewing Dr. Belmont, NC 28012 704-825-2614 gaston.k12.nc.us/schools/page
✦ W.A. Bess Elementary Principal Tim DuBois Grades Pre-K-5 4340 Beaty Road Gastonia, NC 28056 704-866-6075 gaston.k12.nc.us/schools/bess
✦ South Point High Principal Gary Ford Grades 9-12 NEWCOMER’S GUIDE 21
Private schools close to home Pine Grove Christian Academy
Walnut Grove Christian Academy
Journey Montessori Academy
5415 Hwy. 557 Lake Wylie, SC 29710 803-831-2015 pinegrovebaptist.org
13925 Erwin Road Charlotte, NC 28273 704-583-5499 walnutgrovechristianschool.org
13902 York Road Charlotte, NC 28278 704-960-9885 journeymontessori.org
Lake Pointe Academy
Palisades Episcopal School
Gaston Day School
3168 Hands Mill Hwy. Lake Wylie, SC 29710 803-631-5253 lakepointeacademy.com
13120 Grand Palisades Pkwy. Charlotte, NC 28278 704-583-1825 pescharlotte.org
2001 Gaston Day School Road Gastonia, NC 28056 704-864-7744 gastonday.org
Tom DeFrancisco and his sister, Jessica, of Lake Wylie took leading roles in Gaston Day School’s production of ‘Annie.’
Clover school board Franklin Pendleton, Chairman 110 Jamestowne Circle, Clover Business Phone: 803-222-3026 Seat 4 Term Expires: 2012 Joe Gordon, Vice Chairman 119 Hillcrest Ave., Clover Home Phone: 803-222-7982 Seat 1 Term Expires: 2010 Kathy Cantrell, Secretary 11 Shipmaster Court, Lake Wylie Business Phone: 803-222-3312 Seat 5 Term Expires: 2010 Bob Magee 4435 River Oaks Road, Clover Phone: 803- 831-2955 Cell: 704-651-5955 Seat 2 Term Expires: 2010 RSMagee@bellsouth.net Mack McCarter, Legislative Liaison 1461 Paul Boyd Road, Clover Home Phone: 803-222-1251 At-Large Seat Term Expires: 2010 Melanie Wilson 19 Shipmaster Court, Lake Wylie Home Phone: 803-831-2484 Cell Phone: 704-906-1973 At-Large Seat Term Expires: 2012 melchadw@Bellsouth.net Jack Grier, Clover LEAF PO Box 1011, Clover Cell Phone: 803-627-0778 Seat 3 Term Expires: 2012 JGrierJr@Bellsouth.net 22 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
the lure of the lake Access Areas Duke Energy provides six boat access areas (with one leased to Mecklenburg County and one to York County), one bank fishing area and one boat access area below the dam in cooperation with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Since portions of this lake lie in both North and South Carolina, fishermen are advised to obtain proper licenses. ✦ Allen Fishing Area, Gaston County, NC • 21 acres • 1,919 feet of shoreline • 29 paved parking spaces • 1,919 feet of shore for fishing
✦ Allison Creek Access Area, York County, SC • 113 acres • 3,930 feet of shoreline • 4 concrete boat ramps • 2 floating loading piers • 90 paved parking spaces for trailers • 1 handicapped-accessible fishing pier • 15 parking spaces for cars
✦ Buster Boyd Access Area, York County, SC • 4 acres • 662 feet of shoreline • 4 concrete boat ramps • 2 floating loading piers • 115 paved parking spaces for trailers • 51 paved parking spaces
✦ Copperhead Island Access Area, Mecklenburg County, NC Leased to Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Department 704-588-5224 • 25 acres • 3,225 feet of shoreline • 4 concrete boat ramps • 3 floating loading piers • 72 paved parking spaces for trailers • 25 paved spaces for cars • 1 volleyball court • 1 picnic shelter • 2 restroom facilities • 2 fishing piers (1 handicapped accessible) • 14 tent campsites • 2 overlooks • 1 mile of trail
• 1 entrance station ✦ Ebenezer Access Area, York County, SC Leased to the York County Parks and Recreation Department 803-366-6620 • 26 acres • 1,374 feet of shoreline • 3 concrete boat ramps • 1 floating loading pier; 4 slips • 70 paved parking spaces for trailers • 160 paved spaces for cars • 17 picnic tables • 5 picnic shelters with 13 tables • 2 restroom facilities • 71 campsites with hookups • 1 swimming area • 1 bathhouse with concessions/ change room • 1 ranger residence • 1 maintenance facility • 1 entrance station
✦ Fort Mill Access Area, York County, SC • 45 acres below the hydro station • 481 feet of shoreline • 1 concrete boat ramp • 20 gravel parking spaces ✦ Nivens Creek Access Area, York County, SC • 23 acres • 447 feet of shoreline • 2 concrete boat ramps • 1 floating loading pier • 32 paved parking spaces
✦ Southpoint Access Area, Gaston County, NC • 70 acres • 3,410 feet of shoreline • 6 concrete boat ramps • 3 floating loading piers • 165 paved parking spaces
CITY OF TEGA CAY ✦ Windjammer Park, York County, SC • swimming access • picnic sites • playground equipment • 1 beach area • 1 gazebo • sandy area to beach boats
✦ Pitcairn Park, York County, SC • 2 boat launches • covered picnic area • playground equipment • fishing docks • horseshoe pits • picnic sites ✦ Tega Cay Beach and Swim Club York County, SC • beach access with sand volleyball • fishing dock • playground equipment • walking trails • picnic sites MECKLENBURGCOUNTY PARKS
✦McDowell Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County, NC Operated by Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Department 704-588-5224; parkandrec.com • 952 acres • 5 beach areas • 1 information booth • 1 nature center • 1 office complex • 1 police boathouse • 210 paved parking spaces • 1 playground • 14 restroom units • 1 picnic shelter
See map on page 11 for locations
How To Check Lake Levels 800-829-LAKE (5253); duke-energy.com
Hang a sign up on the door, Gone Fishin’ Looking for bass
Licensed to fish Fishing regulations depend on which side of the lake you’re on, so check out the North Carolina Wildlife Commission and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources before heading out. Near Buster Boyd Bridge: ✦In South Carolina, anglers may buy licenses for $10 at Pendleton’s Sporting Goods on S.C. 49 near Five Points. State residents may buy a 14-day license for $5. The price for non-residents is $35 for an annual license and $11 for seven days. Call 803-631-5410. ✦In North Carolina, anglers may get a license at Grab N Go at 13920 York Road (N.C. 49). The store sells annual licenses to N.C. residents for $15. Call 704-587-0045.
What you’ll catch
Cary Vanden Broecke of Steele Creek has quite the fish tale to tell. Vanden Broecke, 32, of Steele Creek is an avid catfish angler who often catches fish weighing up to 20 pounds or more. But he’s never reeled in anything like what the lake yielded in September 2008. “From what everyone that I’ve talked to is saying, it’s sort of an unofficial lake record,” Vanden Broecke said. “No one’s ever heard of anything bigger coming out of the lake.” Fishing near Allen Steam Station on the northern end of Lake Wylie, he brought in what he and his fishing partner Matthew Barrett of Rock Hill weighed in as a 64-pound blue catfish. After snapping a few pictures, they let the fish go. 26 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
According to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Web site, fishing trends on Lake Wylie are: Largemouth bass: Excellent, casting bass jigs and mediumrunning crankbaits along points close to the bottom. Striped Bass: Good, using spoons and bucktails behind the Lake Wylie dam. White Bass: Good, casting small bucktails and spoons. Crappie: Excellent, using small minnows and jigs around riprap, docks and brush tops in 3 to 8 feet of water. Limits reported caught. Catfish: Good, using various baits on the bottom. Average catch of 2-lb. fish reported. Shellcracker: Good, using redworms and crickets on the bottom. Bream: Good, using earthworms and crickets around the banks. Visit dnr.sc.gov for weekly updates.
If you like bass fishing then you’re in the right place! Lake Wylie has a great population of largemouths. Their primary food sources are threadfin shad and crawfish. You won’t likely catch a double-digit fish here, but you should have plenty of action. Here are some basic seasonal pattern guidelines to get you started. Winter: (Dec-Feb) The fish are more lethargic for the most part and are suspended in many cases around pods of baitfish. Find the bait and the bass won’t be far behind. Fish suspending Jerkbaits off main lake points or slowly retrieve small flat-sided crankbaits around rocky shorelines. More actively feeding fish can be found in the warmer waters of the South Fork River thanks to the discharge of the Allen Steam Station. Spring: (Mar & Apr) As the fish prepare to spawn (lay eggs) they feed heavily-making this a great time to fish. The fish are also in the best shape and heaviest they will be all year. Concentrate your efforts on secondary points near spawning coves; a carolina rigged lizard works great. A spinnerbait retrieved slowly around wood cover or on points can produce better quality fish. Summer: (May-Sep) As the waters continue to warm and the fish finish their spawning, the topwater bite kicks into full swing. You should key on rocky main lake points with a Zara Spook or Pop-R early in the morning. During the daylight hours the fish can be caught on humps and points near the river channel. Fall: (Oct-Nov) The fish become fairly active feeding on bait in or near the creek channels; again find the baitfish and the bass will be close by. As the water temperatures begin to fall-there can be a good jig bite around Lake Wylie’s many boat docks as well. Rusty White, top left photo during career day at Crowders Creek Middle School, is a professional fisherman and full-time guide on the Catawba chain of lakes. He also writes a monthly column for the Lake Wylie Pilot and The Herald. Visit fishingwithRusty.com.
Trolling the waters Boater registration ✦SOUTH CAROLINA:
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Boat Titling and Registration Office, 803-7343857 or dnr.sc.gov/boating/faqs.html ✦NORTH CAROLINA:
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has wildlife license and vessel service agents throughout Gaston and Mecklenburg counties.Visit www.ncwildlife.org/fs_index_01_li cense. htm for locations and phone numbers. Or call NCWC at 800-NC-VESSEL
Rent a boat
Rules on the water Here are a few basic rules to know in both states when boating: North Carolina No person under age 14 can operate a personal watercraft. Age 14-16 must have a boater education certificate, or be physically accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. •Personal watercraft riders must wear personal flotation devices at all times. A safety kill switch lanyard must be attached to the operator, and personal watercraft are not allowed operation between sunset and sunrise. •Children 13 years and younger must wear a personal flotation device at all times on the water. •At least one properly functioning personal flotation device must be on board a vessel for each person riding. •Operation of any vessel, or use of water skis or other towed devices, is not allowed while “under the influence of an impairing substance.” A blood alcohol level of .08 or greater is not allowed. •Watercraft entering, leaving or passing within 50 yards of a state-owned or controlled boating and fishing access area must do so at "no-wake" speed. •Vessels should operate at “no-wake” speed when passing within 100 feet of a law enforcement vessel flashing blue lights unless the vessel is in a narrow channel, where the distance requirement is 50 feet. •Towing is prohibited between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise, or any other time unless the vessel is equipped with a rear vision mirror, there is an observer on the vessel in addition to the operator or the person being towed wears a personal flotation device. •Placing, throwing, depositing or discharging litter, raw sewage, bottles, cans, papers or other liquid or solid materials rendering the water “unsightly, noxious or otherwise unwholesome” and detrimental to public health or welfare results in a misdemeanor offense. •Boating safety courses are not required, but “highly recommended” for operating vessels. •All navigational markers and buoys should be observed. For a list of meanings, visit ncwildlife.org.
South Carolina •Vessels may not be operated in excess of idle speed within 50 feet of an anchored vessel, wharf, pier, dock, or a person in the water. •All boats must have a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable type personal flotation device for each person on board or being towed. Each PFD must be in good condition, readily available and the proper size for the intended wearer. •Boats 16 feet in length or longer must carry a Type IV throwable flotation device. •Any person under 12 years of age must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device when on board a class “A” (less than 16 feet long) boat. •Navigation lights must be on between official sunset and sunrise. •All boats less than 39.4 feet must carry an efficient sound producing device. Every vessel from 39.4 to 65.6 feet must carry a whistle and a bell. •Each person on a personal watercraft must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device. •A personal watercraft may not be operated between sunset and sunrise and must be equipped with a self-circling or lanyard-type engine cutoff switch. •When operating a personal watercraft, one may not operate in a manner so as to leave the water completely while crossing (jumping) the wake of another vessel within 200 feet of the vessel creating the wake. •Boat operators under age 16 must complete a boating course approved by the SCDNR to operate a boat or personal watercraft with a 15 h.p. motor or greater, unless accompanied by an adult age eighteen years or older. •It is illegal for any vessel to discharge in a No Discharge Zone. Lake Wylie is one of six states with No Discharge Zones.
TEGA CAY MARINA pontoon boats 803-548-3715 LIGHT-N-UP HOUSEBOAT CHARTERS Private outings, parties, wedding receptions and more 704-393-8882, 813-8033 PIER 50 RENTALS Wave runners and more 937-479-4287 PIER 88 YACHT CLUB Pontoon boats 803-831-0088 WYLIE BOAT RENTALS Waverunners, pontoon boats 803-370-2628 Wylieboatrentals.com NC FLATWATER OUTFITTERS Canoes, kayaks, including tandem, and personal flotation devices are available, as well as storage. Rentals cost $5 an hour, or $40 for an entire month. 704-914-7484 ncflatwateroutfitters.com
Boating Courses •The Lake Wylie Flotilla of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. 704-575-6939; email firstname.lastname@example.org. •The Catawba Power Squadron is a chapter of the U.S. Power Squadron. 803802-4351; e-mail email@example.com •The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission offers free boating courses in Mecklenburg and Gaston counties throughout the year. 704-655-7324 •Lighthouse Marine Service offers safe boating and personal watercraft license classes. 704-587-7054; lmservice.org Online courses boat-ed.com, boatsafe.com, boatus.org
NEWCOMER’S GUIDE 27
Lake clubs •Carolina Ski Show Team Becky Fox 704-201-8552 Russ Frase 803-548-4820 •Pontooners Beryl Hawkins 803-831-2795 •Catawba Rowing Club Nancy Smith, rowing captain firstname.lastname@example.org catawbayc.org •River Hills Marina Club Inc. Charles Wood, president 803-831-1729 email@example.com •River Hills Yacht Club Mike Kelly, commodore 803-831-9041 firstname.lastname@example.org •Tega Cay Angler’s Club David Siegel, president tegacayanglersclub.com email@example.com •Palisades Boat Club Private club 704-588-5502 palisadesboatclub.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer •U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary: The uniformed civilian volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard seeks volunteers interested in serving the Lake Wylie community. Individuals who want to contribute their talents in the areas of Web design, information technology, public affairs and other administrative roles also are needed. 704-814-9104 or visit cgalakewylie.org. •York County Emergency Response Team: Based out Newport Fire Department Station 3, needs volunteer divers and surface support. Divers must have basic open water diving certification. Surface support needs include setting up diving equipment and monitoring divers. 803-3717861 •Water Watcher: Help Lake Wylie Covekeepers protect the health and water quality of Lake Wylie. 803-3893871
Watching our waters CATAWBA RIVERKEEPER FOUNDATION The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is dedicated to preserving, protecting and restoring the ecosystem of the Catawba Basin’s rivers, lakes and creeks — including Lake Wylie. Through education, enforcement and coordinated efforts, the Riverkeeper Foundation is committed to assuring a watchful balance of community and environmental needs for generations to come. 704679-9494; catawbariverkeeper.org Serving the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation are: Riverkeeper David Merryman, who investigates reports of pollution through on-site inspections and water quality testing and notifying the appropriate authorities of violations. Executive Director Rick Gaskins, focus on fundraising, membership and business issues. Lake Wylie Lakekeeper Ellen Goff, oversees work of Covekeepers, spokesperson Lake Wylie Covekeepers volunteers are trained to test water quality, look for polluted areas and notify appropriate enforcement agencies. 803-802-5368 CATAWBA/WATEREE RIVER BASIN ADVISORY COMMISSION The Catawba/Wateree River Basin Advisory Commission is a bi-state commission, made up of 15 members from North and South Carolina, including elected state representatives, and business and environmental leaders along the Catawba chain. The commission meets quarterly. LAKE WYLIE MARINE COMMISSION The Lake Wylie Marine Commission consists of seven commissioners appointed by York County Council,
28 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
Mecklenburg County Commission and Gaston County Commission. Each county has two commissioners with a third commission position rotating from county to county. Commissioners serve three- and four-year terms. The Marine Commission works to improve safety and environmental issues on Lake Wylie and develop legislation to regulate boating, fishing and other lake activities. Jurisdiction extends to 1,000 feet beyond the full-pond level. The Marine Commission has the authority to pass regulations affecting the use of Lake Wylie. lakewyliemarinecommission.com U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILIARY The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary was established by Congress in 1939 to assist the Coast Guard in promoting boating safety. Members receive training to be a functional part of Coast Guard Forces. Auxiliarists assist the Coast Guard in non-law enforcement programs such as public education, vessel safety checks, safety patrols, search and rescue, maritime security and environmental protection. Every year, the Coast Guard Auxiliary holds boating safety classes in the Lake Wylie area; see page 27. N.C. WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is dedicated to the conservation and management of the state's fish and wildlife resources. It regulates state hunting and fishing, and WRC officers patrol Lake Wylie. ncwildlife.com S.C. DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is the advocate for and steward of the state's natural resources; develops and implements
policies and programs for the conservation, management, utilization and protection of the state's natural resources. It regulates state hunting and fishing, and DNR officers patrol Lake Wylie. dnr.state.sc.us CHARLOTTE POWER SQUADRON The Charlotte Power Squadron is a nonprofit fraternal organization with a mission to promote high standards of seamanship, navigation and safe boating for all. Several times a year, CPS schedules boating safety courses, see page 27. The Boating Course, Boat Smart and Jet Smart courses are approved for certification to operate personal watercraft by persons 12 to 16 years of age in accord with various laws governing Lake Wylie. usps.org/localusps/ charlotte/ CATAWBA SAIL AND POWER SQUADRON The Catawba Sail and Power Squadron is a unit of the United States Power Squadron, which is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and other related subjects. The CSPS offers boating safety courses, see page 27, as well as large variety of advanced courses for its members. http://cpsd27.tripod.com/ OTHER GROUPS Lake Wylie also is patrolled by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, Tega Cay Police, Belmont Police, the York County Sheriff’s Office and York County Emergency Preparedness. Because Lake Wylie lies in both states, the U.S. Coast Guard also occasionally patrols the lake. All law enforcement officers have lakewide jurisdiction.
To your health CARING PROVIDERS: Some people choose medical caregivers on a simple scale — finding a doctor who cares. As a community, Lake Wylie would score pretty well by those standards. Several area doctors not only serve a growing population of paid patients, but also donate time and services to help others throughout the Clover and Lake Wylie communities. Like Dr. Stacy Blackmon of Lake Wylie Family Dentistry, named the 2005 Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, who began a free dental clinic through the Clover Area Assistance Center four years ago. Since then, countless Thursday evenings have been spent by a dental chair performing everything from routine cleanings to root canals. Through CAAC, Blackmon now knows countless “wonderful people, who for whatever reason can’t afford dental care.” “Sometimes just giving them routine care can make the difference in something like them being confident enough to sing in the church choir, or even to help them in getting a job,” Blackmon said. When Dr. Vanessa Vargas came to Lake Wylie in fall 2008 opening Carolina Family Dentistry, she, too, took to public service. Vargas continued work from previous places of employment, working with schools on Wednesdays and Fridays serving children on Medicaid. And dental services are not the only ones. Dr. Steve Miszkiewicz and Dr. Steve Brown, both of CaroMont Family Medicine in Lake Wylie, volunteer their efforts with Clover Area Assistance Center to provide medical care for families. Partly because of that work, which now operates in Clover and Lake Wylie one night a week each, Miskiewicz also has been named Citizen of the Year by Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce.
Healthplex emergency care moving in 2009 could bring area health care to an entirely new level — like, say, 1,000 feet. Carolinas HealthCare System hopes to bring a helipad, or a helicopter landing area, to its emergency care facility at N.C. 160 and 49 in Steele Creek. The facility, known as CMCSteele Creek, should be open sometime during summer 2009. Charlotte planners approved the latest CMC-Steele Creek plan, which would not bring a helicopter full-time but would allow the uptown Charlotte-based CMC helicopter to reach the lake area quicker. Kevin McCarthy, spokesman for Carolinas HealthCare, said the original plans for the 16.3-acre medical complex site called for physician offices and other basic medical services. The helipad concept came following changes calling for 22,500-square-foot healthplex, complete with 24-hour emergency care and a host of services including 64-slice CT scan, x-ray, ultrasound, observation beds and laboratory services. “As our plans evolved into creating a 24-hour freestanding emergency department we felt like it would be a good addition to the site,” McCarthy said. “It made sense.” Carolinas HealthCare has three helicopters in use — one in Charlotte and one each in upstate South Carolina and in upper North Carolina. The Charlotte helicopter likely would be used most often, transporting patients as needed from the Steele Creek healthplex to Charlotte for care. “We rely on the first responders on the ground to determine whether they think someone is critical enough to warrant 30 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
using it,” McCarthy said. “If it’s not an immediate, life-threatening situation we would most likely be able to transport someone downtown using our ambulances.” The helipad will be located on the southern edge of the property, located on the southwest corner of N.C. 160 and 49 west of RiverGate. The helipad would be located beside a greenway donation and buffer. McCarthy anticipates the rezoning process to be a fairly simple one. The area already is zoned for its healthplex use, with the facility set to be complete by late summer. Even in initial plans for the 24-hour emergency care component, city staff and the health care system discussed a helipad use, McCarthy said. In fact, he said, it was city zoning staff that requested Carolinas HealthCare submit an application for the project. The $20 million healthplex is one of a growing trend of similar facilities planned for outlying regions near the main Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. As construction completes on those similar facilities, it is possible they too might feature helipads as an extension of care into numerous communities. “That would be our hope,” McCarthy said. “Bringing emergency care to the outlying areas may require certain services for ill people to be brought to the main hospital for particular care.” CMC-Steele Creek, a 22,500-square foot healthplex located at 13460 Steelecroft Pkwy., should be complete by late summer. For more, visit cmc-steelecreekorg.
More about your first responders
To your rescue The only squad in York County to offer a no-charge service is here for you. The River Hills/Lake Wylie EMS started serving the Bethel/Lake Wylie area in 1980. The all-volunteer squad has about 50 members, including two full-time paramedics. The unit provides 24/7 Advanced Life Support in the 25-square--mile lake area surrounding River Hills Plantation in Lake Wylie, where the headquarters and training center are located just off S.C. 49 at the gated community’s entrance. Transport is available to six major medical centers. Along with being the only squad in York County to offer all services free of charge, volunteers provide a “first-class” experience and work with state-of-the-art equipment thanks to community donations, the squad’s sole source of funding. More volunteers are always needed as the number of calls grows. The average call volume reaches 900 to 1,000 calls a year. River Hills/Lake Wylie EMS also is dependent on donations. The mailing address is 4 Heritage Drive, Lake Wylie, SC 29710. For more information about the River Hills/Lake Wylie EMS or to donate, call 803-8319888 or visit riverhillsems.com.
•Provides CPR training to Lake Wylie residents. •Provides community education and public displays at churches, day cares and schools. •Has responded to 12,520 calls since its inception. •Training is continuous - four hours per month for all, plus four hours each month for EMTs. •Paramedics are certified in Advanced Life Support, pre-hospital trauma life support, pediatric advanced life support and 12-lead EKG monitoring. •Back-up ambulance responds to additional second call 85 percent of the time.
Getting medical attention Nobody wants to travel far when they aren’t feeling well. In Lake Wylie, luckily, nobody needs to. Within a few mile stretch of Highway 49 on either side of Buster Boyd Bridge, just about every type of medical and wellness service sits within reach. In Lake Wylie, CaroMont Family Medicine and TheraCare operate on Village Harbor Drive, just across the highway from Lake Wylie Business Centre that includes Lake Wylie Family Chiropractic and Carolina Family Dentistry at Lake Wylie. Just beside that center sits Lake Wylie Professional Center, home to Glaza Chiropractic, Focus Physical Therapy and Fitness, and opening in summer 2009, Lake Wylie Eye. On the North Carolina side of Buster Boyd, even more options await. South Point Business Park on Winds Crossing Drive is home to Steele Creek Physical Therapy & Balance Center, ProHealth & Wellness Chiropractic, Kenneth Brown Family Dentistry, Forever Young Salon and Spa, Gregory Gell Endodontist and Hair Club. Directly across N.C. 49 at Steele Creek Business Park are Tommy 32 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
Kakouras Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Queen City Foot & Ankle, Dover Orthodontics, Young & Polite Children’s Dentistry and Lake Wylie Express Care. Steelecroft Parkway, also facing the highway, houses Steele Creek Pediatric Dentistry and Steelecroft Dental, as well as Presbyterian Medical Plaza including Presbyterian Imaging Center, Ballantyne Pediatric Associates, Carmel OB/GYN and Presbyterian Rehabilititaion Center. And all of those options do not even include Carolinas Medical Center — Steele Creek, a 22,500-square-foot healthplex on 17 acres at intersection of N.C. 49 and 160 expected to open August 2009. CMC—Steele Creek offering a 24-hour emergency room (soon to include a helicopter landing pad) along with numerous physician and specialty services. And, for anyone still needing a little help, the area also boasts several fitness centers including Sportscenter, Anytime Fitness and River Hills Country Club Fitness Center — all on the South Carolina side.
Hospitals •Carolinas Medical Center 1000 Blythe Blvd., Charlotte, NC, 704-355-2000 carolinashealthcare.org • Carolinas Medical Center—Pineville, 10628 Park Road, Charlotte, 704667-1000 carolinashealthcare.org • Carolinas Rehabilitation— Mount Holly, 275 Beatty Drive, Belmont, NC, 704822-2550. Carolinas Rehabilitation-Mount Holly is a 40-bed inpatient facility that opened in October 2007 to serve the needs of patients in the western Piedmont region. With the addition of this facility, Carolinas HealthCare System manages 119 rehabilitation beds, making the System the largest provider of rehab services in the entire Southeast. • Gaston Memorial Hospital 2525 Court Drive, Gastonia, NC, 704-834-2000 caromont.org • Levine Children's Hospital 1000 Blythe Blvd., Charlotte, NC, 704-381-2000. Levine Children's Hospital, located
on the campus of CMC, is the largest children's hospital between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. The 240,000-foot hospital opened in 2007 and is home to the region's only dedicated children's emergency department operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With more board-certified physicians, in more pediatric specialties, than any other hospital in the region, Levine Children's Hospital provides a level of care unparalleled in our region. • Piedmont Medical Center 222 S. Herlong Ave., Rock Hill, SC, 803-329-1234 piedmontmedicalcenter.com • Presbyterian Hospital 200 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte, 704-384-4000; presbyterian.org • Presbyterian Hospital Matthews 1500 Township Pkwy., Matthews, NC, 704-3846500; presbyterian.org • Presbyterian Orthopeaedic Hospital, 1901 Randolph Road, Charlotte NC, 704-316-2000 presbyterian.org
Pet care Veterinarians • TotalBond Veterinary Hospital 125 Forest Oak Drive, Lake Wylie, 803-8311318 • Steele Creek Animal Hospital, 9729 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC, 704-588-4400
Pet Stores • PetSmart RiverGate Shopping Center Steele Creek, NC 28273 704-587-1198 • Chirp ‘n Chatter 721 Crossroads Plaza, Fort Mill, near Tega Cay 803-802-6677
Pet adoptions • York County Humane Society 2036 Carolina Place, Fort Mill, SC 29708 803-802-0902 • Gaston Humane Society 114 Sherrill Road Gastonia, NC 704-824-8990 • Humane Society of Charlotte 2700 Toomey Ave. Charlotte, NC 28203 704-377-0534 • Animal Adoption League mynextpet.com email@example.com
Lynn Sherrill of Lake Wylie rides her horse, Retro, to work along S.C. 49.
NEWCOMER’S GUIDE 33
Getting down to business
Still growing ... Lake Wylie Professional Center opens for business at 548 Nautical Drive at Shoppes at the Landing, off S.C. 49 in Lake Wylie. The two story, 16,000-square-foot business center welcomed its first five businesses in May 2009 to what builder Doug McSpadden calls upscale office space at the heart of Lake Wylie, and tenants agree. “This is just awesome,” said Dr. Al Glaza, in his new office about a week. “People come in and say it must be upscale hour. It’s hard to believe there’s something like this in Lake Wylie.” McSpadden’s business, McSpadden Custom Homes, was the first group to move in from its former home in Gaston County. Joining the company are Glaza Chiropractic, Bordeaux & Bordeaux CPAs, Lake Wylie Eye and Focus Physical Therapy and Fitness. The doubled size with a conference room at Bordeaux & Bordeaux could lead to seminars or other options, Donna Bordeaux said. For more information about Lake Wylie Professional Center, call 704-825-7324 or visit mcspaddenhomes.com.
... and keeping busy at Lake Wylie The coming months promise even more dining and shopping options in Lake Wylie, thanks to upcoming additions at the 77-acre Mill Creek Commons at S.C. 557 and 274, anchored by Lowe’s Home Improvement, which opened in fall 2008 and Wal-Mart, scheduled to open in 2010. David Neikamp, director of retail development for property owner Crescent Resources, said branches of Wachovia and Bank of America will join the project, which in all features 10 outparcel spaces surrounding a completed Lowe’s and a future Wal-Mart. Provident 34 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
Community Bank also has purchased property at Mill Creek Commons. Other named outparcel tenants include McDonald’s (moving from its location at Waterside Market Place) and Walgreens, scheduled to open summer 2009. The latest list of businesses fills half the outparcel tenant list, while Crescent focuses on filling the other half, mainly, with dining options. “We have a couple of restaurants looking at the other outparcels,” Niekamp said. “That’s a great location that’s going to be a hub and a regional draw for that area.”
your local Chamber Connections Start networking ✦ Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce President Susan Bromfield 264 Latitude Lane, suite 101 Lake Wylie, SC 29710 803-831-2827 lakewyliesc.com
✦ Montcross Area (Belmont) Chamber of Commerce President Ted Hall 32 N. Main St. Belmont, NC 28012 704-825-5307 montcrossareachamber.com
✦ York County Regional Chamber of Commerce President Rob Youngblood 116 E. Main St. Rock Hill, SC 29730 803-324-7500 yorkcountychamber.com
✦ Greater Clover Chamber of Commerce 118 Bethel St. Clover, SC 29710 803-222-3312 cloverchamber.org
✦ Gaston Chamber of Commerce President Elyse Cochran 601 W. Franklin Blvd. Gastonia, NC 28053 704-864-2621 gastonchamber.com
✦ Charlotte Chamber of Commerce President Bob Morgan 330 S. Tryon St. Charlotte, NC 28202 704-378-1300 charlottechamber.com
✦ Lake Wylie Friends in Business President Allan Gregory 553 Pole Branch Road Lake Wylie, SC 29710 803-831-5344 lakewyliebusiness.com
hile national news tells of hard times for the business community, groups around Lake Wylie are finding new ways to keep vibrant and active. In Lake Wylie, business remains “pretty stable” despite the economy, said Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce President Susan Bromfield. At the same time, the chamber recently began a “green initiative” to support and promote sustainable business practices among members. Within the past few years the chamber applied for and added a visitor center to promote Lake Wylie, and a myriad of annual events supported by the chamber include a July 4 fireworks show, Riversweep, a spring Splash Dash run and a holiday boat parade. In Belmont, a change in the past couple of years joined the Belmont Chamber of Commerce with groups in nearby Cramerton, Lowell, McAdenville, Mount Holly and Stanley to create the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce, named for the 1,100-acre mega development expected to change the face of eastern Gaston County. Even before the change, the Belmont group began a two-year stretch where membership jumped by almost 200 percent. And while chamber president Ted Hall admits the economic crisis has been tough on Gaston County, people continue looking for new homes almost daily, and he believes his group is poised for a quick turnaround. “There’s reason for optimism,” he said.
FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS: The Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce office tripled in size when it moved to the Lake Wylie Business Centre in the fall 2008 from its long-time location at Executive Court. With a mission to help grow small businesses, the chamber purchased the adjoining 1,750-square-feet of office space to form the Lake Wylie Small Business Center. Leases are short- and long-term and allow the chamber flexibility if it needs to expand and occupy more space in the next 10 or 20 years. Along with six furnished offices, including desks and wireless Internet access, the center includes a conference room. For more information on the center, call 803-831-2827. NEWCOMER’S GUIDE 35
Letâ€™s go Shopping
Plaza Fiesta RiverGate
The largest shopping center near Lake Wylie is currently RiverGate in Steele Creek at N.C. 49 and N.C. 160 West. Here is a list of some of the current tenants provided by Childress Klein Properties: ALLTEL 704-295-4984 Apricot Acres 704-587-1011 Art Space Studio 704-504-9310 Aveda Salon 704-5888004 Bath & Body Works 704-588-1179 Best Buy 704-587-1760 Books-A-Million 704-583-1280
Charlotte Fitness Equipment 704-504-3524 Dress Barn 704-588-3183 GNC 704-587-3226 Hallmark 704-583-9559 Home Depot 704-504-9836 Kay Jewelers 704-583-4455 Marshalls 704-588-8388 Mattress Firm 704-583-5808 OfficeMax 704-588-1667
36 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
Old Navy 704-504-9168 Omega Sports 704-583-6111 PETsMART 704-587-1198 Rack Room Shoes 704-504-0239\ rue21 704-587-3638 SuperTarget 704-583-2601 The Pearl Earring 704-588-8614 The Wine Shop 704-831-9000
PLAZA FIESTA: The surging Hispanic market in the Carolinas has invigorated Fort Mill's near-dormant Crossroads Mall into what owners hope will be a popular ethnic shopping destination across the region. Plaza Fiesta Carolinas on Carowinds Boulevard includes mainstream retailers and specialty shops. The $12 million project turned the 250,000square-foot mall into Plaza Fiesta, a revised version of a similar mall in Atlanta that has a Latin marketplace ambiance. It draws customers from across the region, including from places such as Columbia, Greenville and Raleigh, N.C.
Tega Cayâ€™s 203,000-square-foot Wal-Mart opened last year at the Stonecrest development off S.C. 160 W.
At the country club
Shriners club shines The Red Fez Shrine Club on the North Carolina side of the main channel of Lake Wylie is the perfect wedding or celebration location with beautiful sunsets and now, a completely updated look. “It’s completely different,” said club vice president Tommy Clinard, a member more than 25 years. “If you stand back here now, you can see better than you ever have.” What began as the replacement of faulty floorboards quickly became a more complicated task for the 150-member club. The 7,500-square foot club didn’t add space, but instead focused on addition by subtraction. Two interior walls were removed, offering a vast view of the lake from front door to the wall of windows on the east side of the building. Two new openings also were created accessing the kitchen and stairwell. Renovations include marble counters and a 24-inch granite, L-shaped bar along with hardwood floors, composite siding and smoke-eating ceiling fans for the bar area. Structural improvements also were included, like new steel beams for support. Those 38 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
changes should help the club, built in 1928 and the oldest Shrine Club in North America, remain a viable place for event hosting and club activities, Clinard said. Many of the club features before renovations were original, while a few construction projects took place in the years following. A small fire in 1985 brought changes, as well as a corner addition following Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Now, though, everything from windows, walls and ceiling space are energy efficient and up to 2009 building standards. The latest project completed in March 2009 may be the single biggest renovation in club history. Annually, many groups use the Red Fez Club for functions including company picnics, weddings and civic group meetings. Groups that meet regularly include Lake Wylie Covekeepers. “This building is a symbol of the lake,” said Chris Sherwood, club president. “The new memories start here.” For more information, visit redfezshrineclub.com.
On the South Carolina side of the lake is River Hills Country Club, which underwent a $1.7 million renovation completed in 2007. The club, last renovated in 1995, was built in 1971. Included are a $300,000 stonework front, new exercise and wellness facility, additional tees at the driving range and a water fountain feature at the main entrance. “It’s just sort of keeping up with the times,” said Michael Bummel, assistant general manager. Additions include a new wine cellar, large fireplace in the lounge, water feature and 1,200-square-foot fitness center. On the golf course, a new drainage system was installed. The sand installed in the new bunkers is the same type used at Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. The new fitness center, though, is a first for the club and has become very popular. The glass enclosed area overlooking the pool and outdoor patio is geared toward young families and empty nesters of all ages, the two main demographics of club members. The chef promises a sophisticated and contemporary food presentation, and serves a 100 percent made-fromscratch menu. The club has a cap at 900 total members, with a golf cap at 450 members. The club is the gathering place for many social club luncheons and dinner meetings, as well as wedding receptions. For more information, visit riverhillscc.org.
Things to do
Annual Calendar FEBRUARY • Mid-Atlantic Boat Show in Charlotte.
MARCH • “Go Fly A Kite Day,” Belmont Parks and Recreation Department, Belmont Central Elementary School.
• Clover Scottish Games and Scotch-Irish Festival, Feis Chlobhair, at Clover Memorial Stadium, Clover, sponsored by the Greater Clover Chamber of Commerce and the town of Clover. 803-2223312. • Belmont begins its series, Movies in the Park, sponsored by city of Belmont Parks & Recreation, at Stowe Park. Free
• Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s Celebrate Spring! Plant & Craft Festival, 6500 S. New Hope Road, Belmont. 704-825-4490; dsbg.org
• Lake Wylie Fourth of July celebration on the lake with fireworks. • Tega Cay July 4 celebration on land and water with parades • City of Belmont Parks & Recreation hosts a three-day Summer Celebration in Stowe Park featuring rides, food and movies the last weekend of the month. 704-825-8191; cityofbelmont.org
MAY • Garibaldifest, Stowe Park, Belmont.
JUNE • Tega Cay Taste of the Town, Tega Cay Golf Club. 803-548-8020 • Lake Wylie Shag Club and Red Fez Shrine Club Beach Blast at the Red Fez Shrine Club on the shores of Lake Wylie. Proceeds benefit the Shriners Hospital for Children. 704-504-5364, 803-547-4823 • Splash Dash at Lake Wylie, Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce event, 10K and 5K race and walk through River Hills Plantation. 803-831-2827; lakewyliesc.com 40 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
AUGUST • Tega Cay Area Council Barefoot Beach Bash at the Tega Cay Beach Club Pool. • Summerfest, hosted by the city of York, The Greater York Chamber of Commerce and Comporium, in downtown York. • Gaston Hospice Poker Run stretching 100-miles through three counties, ends at The Knothole in Lake Wylie.
SEPTEMBER • Justin Mychals and Friends Child Cancer Benefit at T-Bones on the Lake.
OCTOBER • River Sweep, Lake Wylie’s version of the national Big Sweep program. • Belmont Fall Festival at Stowe Park. The citywide festival features arts and crafts, merchandise, displays and food booths, as well as stage entertainment and a full children’s area with activities. • Scarowinds, the Carolinas’ largest Halloween event, returns on weekends through October daring guests to step into a night of terror at Carowinds. • Tega Cay’s Fall Festival
NOVEMBER • River Hills Lions Club annual charity Christmas tree sale begins the last week of the month at the River Hills and Camp Thunderbird entrance.
DECEMBER • Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens Holiday Lights display. • Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce’s Lights on the Lake Holiday Boat Parade departs at dusk from T-Bones on the Lake.
Places to go
The big rock, Nanny’s Mountain
MUSEUMS • Belmont Historical Society’s Cultural and Heritage Learning Center, 40 Catawba St., Belmont — A new museum in Belmont’s second oldest house, the R.L. Stowe family home built in 1899. 704-825-4848 • Museum of York County, 4621 Mt. Gallant Road, Rock Hill —The museum includes a collection of more than 200 fully-mounted African animals complemented by a collection of African cultural artifacts. Shows in the Settlemyre Planetarium use state-ofthe-art visual equipment, slides and special effects on the weekends, and the museum also is home to the Vernon Grant Gallery, devoted to the creator of the Rice Krispies®characters Snap!Crackle!Pop! There also are changing exhibits in science, history, natural history and the arts. Plus, there’s a .7-mile nature trail to explore native trees, shrubbery and wildflowers. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. 803-329-2121 • Historic Brattonsville, 1444 Brattonsville Road, McConnells —The living history village and Revolutionary War battlefield features 29 historic structures and programs chronicling the Central Piedmont development from the 1750s through the 1840s. The 775-acre village was a key film location for the Mel Gibson film, “The Patriot.” Includes the Walt Schrader Trails, 8 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails. Living history activities are held on Saturdays March-November. Open 10 a.m- 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. 803-684-2327 • The Schiele Museum of History & Planetarium, 1500 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia, N.C. — offers opportunities for families and visitors of all ages to see the region's rocks and minerals, hills and rivers, plants and animals with fresh wonder. You also can learn what connects this to all the past and present residents of the Carolinas' Piedmont. Museum families also have been able to meet Smoky Bear, travel to prehistoric campsites, paint a fish and discover what walking through the NASA International Space Station might be like. There also are many workshops offered throughout the year. 704-866-6900; schielemuseum.org • Carolinas Aviation Museum, 4108 Minuteman Way, Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte-Douglas International Airport) — Founded in 1991, the museum is operated by Carolinas Historic Aviation Commission dedicated to preserving the aviation heritage of North and South Carolina. Houses more than 45 major aircraft, and a wealth of other
York County’s famous monadnock — a rocky hill not far from S.C. 49 in Lake Wylie jutting from the surrounding plain — is now a public park. Existing trails are being restored as work is under way to build a parking area, educational pavilion and several wildlife outlooks. Call it Nanny's Mountain or Ferguson's Mountain, this local lump is a remnant of the Appalachian Mountains that hasn't eroded into the surrounding Carolina clay. That rock is loaded with iron ore, which is why Nanny's Mountain became important in the late 1700s. Col. William "Billy" Hill built an iron works there, first making pots, pans and plowshares, then switching to cannonballs and swords during the Revolutionary War.
Nanny's Mountain was named for Hill's wife. In June 1780, after the fall of Charleston, British troops burned the ironworks and Col. Hill's home while he and his men were away. Hill later fought in the Battle of King's Mountain. But it's also been called Ferguson's Mountain, named for the family who owned it a century later. Perry Ferguson bought nearly 500 acres, including the 2-mile circular mountain, in the 1870s. Back then, the area was known as Bandana, S.C., with its own post office and general store. Legal description of the Ferguson property dated July 8, 1887, show John Culp sold the land for $3.75 an acre. York County bought the land in 1997 for more than $203,000. Fair. The park features more than 50 state-of-the-art rides, shows and moviethemed experiences for all ages.The Paladium amphitheater seats 13,000 for concerts and special events from spring through fall. Call 803-548-5300 or 800-888-4FUN; carowinds.com
artifacts, as well as one of the largest aviation-related libraries in the country. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. 704-3598442; carolinasaviation.org
MOVIES/MUSIC • AYRSLEY GRAND CINEMAS 14, 9110 Kings Parade Blvd., Charlotte — Complete with 14 cinemas ranging from 80 seats to 400 seats in the town of Ayrsley, about 10 minutes from the Buster Boyd Bridge. 980AYRSLEY; ayrsleycinemas.com • Belmont Drive-In, 314 McAdenville Road, Belmont — Built in 1946, this outdoor theater shows the newest movie releases equipped with Dolby stereo as moviegoers dial in the station on their car radios. Admission price is $8 per carload, unless the film company requires an admission-perperson charge. The box office opens at 7 p.m., and the film begins at dusk Friday-Sunday. The drive-in holds 300 cars on four acres. 704- 825 6044; belmontdrivein.20megsfree.com • Sylvia Theater, 27 N. Congress St., York — Brings in national acts, as well as showcasing local musicians running the gamut of musical genres. Also shows movies Thursday-Sunday and is available for private parties. Opened 2001 after renovating the 1904 Sylvia Hotel. 803-684-5590; sylviatheater.com
GARDEN • Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S. New Hope Road, Belmont — more than 110 acres of themed gardens, meadows and woodland walking trails. When completed, DSBG will be the largest of its kind in North America with 450 acres along the banks of Lake Wylie. It was named one of the nation’s “20 Great Gardens” by HGTV. The garden hosts events throughout the year including its signature plant sales in the spring and fall and holiday extravaganzas such as Fourth of July and concerts. DSBG is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 704-825-4490; dsbg.org
AMUSEMENT • Carowinds, 14523 Carowinds Blvd., Charlotte (operated by Cedar Fair LP) — The 105-acre theme and water park straddles the North Carolina-South Carolina state line owned by Cedar
• McDowell Nature Preserve, 15222 York Road, near Buster Boyd Bridge in North Carolina, features 13 RV, 10 primitive and 26 "drive-to" sites. There are six rent-a-tent sites with 9by-12 campsites maintained by Mecklenburg County. RV sites have electrical and water hook-ups and a sewer dump station. Call 704-5831284 for reservations or 704-5880697 for park information • Ebenezer Park, on the lower half of Lake Wylie at 4490 Boatshore Road, off Mount Gallant, Rock Hill, offers 26 acres with camping, swimming, fishing, boating and picnics. Open yearround. 803-366-6620 • Long Cove Marina & Yacht Club offers a 200-foot beach for about 20 to 25 tents and 30 RV camp sites. There are full-service facilities for campers with electric and water hookups for campers. One hitch to camping at Long Cove is you either need to be a club member, friend or be interviewed in order to be able to camp out. 704-588-1467 NEWCOMER’S GUIDE 41
A Caring Community Get involved
Volunteer • Clover Area Assistance Center — 1130 S.C. 55 E., Clover. A nonprofit agency that helps meet urgent needs of food, financial assistance, health services and special need items. Donations may be sent to P.O. Box 521, Clover, SC 29710. Volunteers always needed. 803-222-4837 • God’s Kitchen — Starting out as a soup kitchen, God’s Kitchen now delivers hot, home-cooked meals five days a week to more than 100 people in Clover. Volunteers may help prepare meals 9 a.m.Monday-Friday and/or deliver plates beginning at 11:30 a.m. 803-222-0711 • Helping Hands — Run through River Hills Lions Club, the program offers senior services such as driving to doctor’s appointments, sitting with seniors or helping out around the home on an asneeded basis. Calls for service come in from a week in advance to the day before. Helping Hands operates within River Hills. 803-831-1542; riverhillslions.com • The Kenya Orphanage Project — Supports construction and operation of the Jubilee Children's Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Formed by Monique Boekhout of River hills, president of the board. Office located at Executive Courts, First Properties of the Carolinas, S.C. 49. Donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 5234, Lake Wylie, SC 29710. 803-746-5133; kenyaorphanageproject.org • Bethel/Lake Wylie Volunteer Fire Department — 5600 Hwy. 557, Lake Wylie. Volunteers and donations needed. Fire chief is Don Love. 803-831-7988 • River Hills/Lake Wylie Emergency Squad — 4 Heritage Drive, Lake Wylie. Volunteer drivers and EMTs for weeknight/weekend drivers and weekday EMTs. The group trains drivers and pays for EMT schooling. Volunteers are expected to work an average of one 12-hour shift per week. Call non-emergency number 803-831-9888.
42 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
The power of one Never underestimate the heart of someone who’s been there. Or, at least, of someone like 90-year-old Bob Meeker of River Hills. Someone whose own time of need came and went, but whose resolve to see others through similar situations never did. “People helped me so much when my wife died, I wanted to reciprocate,” Meeker said. Still active as anyone two decades his junior — minus, perhaps, the daily afternoon nap — Meeker still competes on the community tennis courts and tends to the same house he first called home 32 years ago. The Minneapolis, Minn., native also serves with the River Hills Lions Club, a member more than three decades. And while the Lion motto, “We Serve,” fits Meeker that entire time, many in his community know Meeker best for the service he took up shortly after his wife, Gretchen, died a dozen years ago. “It’s basically helping people,” said Bob Daily, former club president, of the Helping Hands effort. “It certainly fits into the motto of the club.” If a church ran the Helping Hands program, they’d call it a ministry. To Meeker, it’s a community service, one that mirrors the generosity shown him all those years ago. Sometimes Meeker sits with a senior while a family member runs errands. Sometimes he drives for someone who can’t, or helps around the house for someone who can’t. “It’s very important,” said Gerry Orlick, former Lions Club president and current regional chairman for the state. “It’s one of those things you take for granted until you need it, but when you need it it’s very valuable to you.” Meeker’s schedule often includes driving someone to the doctor, finding a walker for someone following a fall and helping a widow with financial information. “They’re completely lost, and they’re in a bad position when they lose a spouse,” Meeker said. With an understanding of such situations only experience can bring, Meeker gladly assists with life insurance statements, social security checks
and income tax information. After all, Meeker well remembers how much help he needed, from keeping up his home to more basic needs. “I’m not a cook,” he said. Sandy Decker, a Lions board member, also knows how important Helping Hands can be. The program, began as a standing committee by Bill Heflin in 1987, served Decker after a bad fall 20 years ago, driving her to and from therapy sessions. After Meeker took over, Decker received help both with her grandmother and her husband’s mother while both were living in River Hills. “Bob used to drive my mother-in-law to doctor’s appointments all the time, and they were close to the same age,” Decker said. “He really is a good man. He is so willing to help and he’s always in a good mood.” Similar stories are not hard to find in River Hills, Orlick said. Especially with a senior population, full of people needing more assistance with each passing year. “People see River Hills and they think of the fancy homes, but there are people here who are really struggling,” Orlick said. To hear Meeker tell it, though, the Helping Hands program is not as selfless as it seems. “The best part is meeting the people,” he said. “I found a lot of places I didn’t know before. A lot of doctors.” Despite meeting people in times of poor health or emotional impasse, Meeker sees his River Hills neighbors as family. With a daughter and granddaughter in Chicago and a brother in Tennessee, the closest family he has are neighbors within walking distance, or sometimes a short drive to the doctor. Still, Meeker — who does get some help from another resident who wants to remain anonymous — hopes others in his community might find the same satisfaction in serving he has. “I’m looking for some help,” Meeker said, “on an as-needed basis.” Volunteers should expect a rewarding experience, even a chance to meet new people or find new places. Not a bad way to spend time, Meeker said, even if the job comes without insight into how a man outliving his mother by three decades and his father by two did it, how he keeps so active and, for many, inspiring. If he has a secret, Meeker isn’t sharing it. “Just good luck,” he said.
Being part of the community The arts and entertainment • Arts Council of Rock Hill and York County, 121 E. Main St., Rock Hill. Sponsors the Arts Alive summer camp and an annual Autumn Blues Festival: Harvest of the Arts. Arts and entertainment hot line 803-3282220. 803-328-2787; rockhillarts.org • Belmont Community Theatre, 100 Belmont-Mount Holly Road, Belmont. Since 1883, the Abbey Players have performed for Belmont Abbey College and the surrounding community. They opened the Belmont Community Theatre in 1990 and perform plays, comedies, musicals and an annual Shakespeare series. 704-825-6787 • Clover Community Theatre, generally performs at Clover Middle School, 320 Clinton Ave., Clover. 803-493-0591; firstname.lastname@example.org; geocities.com/clovercommunitytheatre. • CTK Community Theater at Christ the King Lutheran Church, N.C. 49, Steele Creek, offers musicals and other plays several times a year. Children and adults welcome as actors, directors, designers. 704-5870073 • Fort Mill Community Playhouse produces three shows a year including a dinner theater performance. 803-548-8102; fortmillplayhouse.org
• McCelvey Center, 212 E. Jefferson St., York, is a 564-seat theater. Hosts performers from around the world. 803-684-3948; CHMuseums.org * Home to Yorkville Players, community theater. 803-980-7412; yorkvilleplayers.com * Yorkville Artists Guild, meet month at McCelvey. (803) 328-6747 • NarroWay Productions, Regent Park, Fort Mill, S.C., offers professional dinner theater and musicals with Christian themes. 803802-2300; narroway.net • North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, 130 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, includes Belk Theatre and Booth Playhouse, and is home to the Charlotte Symphony, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Opera Carolina, Charlotte Repertory Theatre, Charlotte Choral Society and the Carolinas Concert Association. 704-372-1000; blumenthalcenter.org, carolinatix.org • Sylvia Theater, 27 N. Congress St., York, singer/songwriter showcase and performance venue, plus movies. 803-684-5590; sylviatheater.com • Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 707 Pavilion Blvd., Charlotte, an open-air pavilion featuring top concert acts. 704-549-5555; livenation.com
Lake Wylie Lioness/Lions Bev Jones 803-831-0343 River Hills Lions Dona Van Leer 803-631-3543 Sandy Decker 803-831-8227 Tega Cay Lioness 803-548-3559 Tega Cay Lions Betsy Helms 803-548-1834 Karen Kurentine 803-396-8421 Clover-Lake Wylie Republican Women’s Club Blanche Bryant, president 803-831-7497 Democratic Women of Lake Wylie 803-831-2000 Clover Optimists Ashby or Josie Skinnell 803-684-2008 Soaring Eagles Junior Optimist Club of Clover 803-684-6702 Clover Jaycees Annette Adams 803-222-3227 Clover Rotary Club 803-831-2894 rotary.org
River Hills Garden Club Doris Murphy 803-831-9914
DANCE Ballroom Dance Club Joyce Wright 803-547-4575 Lake Wylie Shag Club 803-5481745
MILITARY American Legion 202 Park Drive, Belmont 704-825-9022
SOCIAL GROUPS River Hills Newcomers Becky Beckham 803-831-5071 Red Hat Society — Lake Wylie chapter Sandi Fallowes 803-831-5093 Nation Ford Chapter — Daughters of the American Revolution Jacci Wagner 803-396-0634 Tega Cay Vintage Club Beryl Tatta 803-548-7452
NEWCOMER’S GUIDE 43
Be a sport
Something for every season Lake Wylie area residents score big when it comes to sports. Spectators can watch pro football and basketball and minor league hockey in Charlotte, minor league baseball in Fort Mill or check out college action at Winthrop University in Rock Hill. For those who want to play, Lake Wylie now has it’s own league for youth, Lake Wylie Athletic Association. There are other recreation leagues in Lake Wylie, Steele Creek, Tega Cay, Clover and Belmont. From fantastic swim team rivalries to tennis and golf tournaments, there’s something for children and adults to do. There’s also water sports on the lake, including the former national champs Carolina Kayak Polo Club, as well as Carolina Show Ski Team and South Town Riders wakeboard team. Not far away in Charlotte is the National Whitewater Center (usnwc.org) giving daredevils the chance to weather the rapids or check out U.S. Olympians and hopefuls race. One of the biggest events drawing crowds to the Lake Wylie area is September’s fourday Championships at the Palisades tennis tournament in Steele Creek. This retired men’s tennis pro circuit brings legends including John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier back to the court. For ticket information, call 877-322-8499 or visit championsseriestennis.com. For animal athletes and their humans, check out the Piedmont Kennel Club, 13607 Choate Circle, Steele Creek, at pkc.org or call 704-588-7253. For more four-legged action, there are rodeos held throughout the year at B&B Arena in Clover, or take in world-class equestrian riding at the Charlotte Jumper Classic in Charlotte or the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase in Waxhaw, N.C., both held in April.
44 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
Rec leagues • Lake Wylie Athletic Association Jack Sugameli 803-831-9298; lwasports.org • Belmont Parks & Recreation Department J. Paul Ford Recreation Center 37 E. Woodrow Ave., Belmont 704825-8191 belmontparksandrec.com • Clover Parks and Recreation 256 Community Park Drive, Clover 803-222-9493 cloversc.info/portal/departments/recreation.htm • Contagious Faith Sports and Recreation River Hills Community Church 104 Hamilton's Ferry Road (off S.C. 49), Lake Wylie 803-831-1615 • Steele Creek Athletic Association 13530 Choate Circle, Charlotte scaasports.com • Tega Cay Parks and Recreation Tega Cay Beach & Swim Centerr 4220 Beach Club Lane, Tega Cay tegacayrec.com
Take a hike •The Nation Ford Greenway, a planned 31-mile loop trail covering much of Fort Mill and the eastern edge of Rock Hill. When complete, the trail will connect Rock Hill's trail system to the one in Mecklenburg County and Steele Creek. The greenway also will connect Baxter, the Catawba River and the proposed public waterfront park at Tega Cay. •Walkers Branch Greenway Trail and Steele Creek Community Trail, off N.C. 49 at RiverGate shopping center, is open behind Rivergate Shopping Center. When complete, the trails will stretch 50 miles and connect neighborhoods, parks, schools, shopping centers and employment areas throughout Steele Creek. New waterfront parks •Riverside Park and Greenway, 49 acres at Riverside Drive and Eight Avenue in Cramerton, NC, near the South Fork River, will have walking trails, canoe launch, a fishing pier, picnic shelter, benches and grills. •A park is planned for seven acres in Belmont along the Catawba River between the river and East Catawba Street (N.C. 7) will become a new city park.
Local groups • SouthTown Riders skateboard, wakeboard 704-225-3648 • Tega Cay Tennis Association 803-548-5556 • Olympic Wrestling Club Meets November-March 704-351-0193 • Mid Carolina Tennis Association Kim Ozman 803-325-4022; geocities.com/tennisycta/index.html
Golf courses • Fort Mill Golf Club: A traditional, tree lined layout that’s just a chip shot from historic downtown Fort Mill. Legendary golf course architect Donald Ross designed the front nine just before his death in 1948; George Cobb completed the back nine in the 1970s. Both nines are relatively flat, eminently walkable and totally enjoyable. 803-547-2044; leroysprings.com • The Palisades Country Club: Palisades is an upscale, Nicklaus design that opened in December 2004. The course and accompanying development are located on the Charlotte side of the Buster Boyd Bridge. An approach shot golf course with small, protected greens, Palisades plays much harder than its 6,800 yards let on. 704-504-0099; thepalisadescc.com • Regent Park Golf Club: Regent Park set the gold standard for highend daily fee courses upon opening in 1995. The Ron Garl design is a visual stunner, replete with large, penal bunkers, and behemoth putting surfaces that range from slightly undulating to semi-sadistic. Regent’s 26-acre, lighted practice facility is easily among the best in the Charlotte metro area. 803-547-1300; regentparkgolfclub.com • River Hills Country Club: A tree lined, parkland style course snuggled up to the shores of Lake Wylie, River Hills possesses an outstanding mix of straight holes, doglegs and holes with lots of movement in the land. A major, multi-year tree cutting program enhanced conditions throughout the Willard Byrd designed course. 803831-2126; riverhillscountryclub.com • Springfield Golf Club: This Clyde Johnston designed course just north
of Fort Mill is modern, muscular (more than 6,900 yards) and features one of the best finishing stretches (holes 16-18) in the area. Its sharply rolling layout penalizes errant approach shots but is a driver’s delight. A grass tee driving range located just behind the clubhouse is convenient and well-maintained. 803548-3318; playspringfield.com • Tega Cay Golf Club: A 27-hole facility recently upgraded with a new, modern nine (Grande View), a spacious clubhouse, an outdoor event pavilion and a gravity-defying practice range. It is owned by the city of Tega Cay and managed by Pinnacle Golf Association. All three nines feature elevation changes reminiscent of a mountain course. The Pines nine and Cove nine renovated. Waterford Golf Club is opening adjacent to the club house. 803-324-0300; tegacaygolfclub.com • Waterford Golf Club: Former U.S. Open champ and stalwart Champions Tour player Hale Irwin carved this 6,913-yard track from the banks of the Catawba River. The 548-yard par 5 second hole — a slight double dogleg on the banks of the river — is one of the best three-shotters around. The course’s big, bentgrass greens are typically in top shape. 704-882-5858; charlottegolf.com
• Lake Wylie Women’s Bowling League Meets at Striker’s in Rock Hill Joan Barnes, 803-831-7272 • Swim Leagues River Hills Sharks Joan Epping, coach 803-8318060 Tega Cay Breakers Cindy Vanbuskirk, coach 803548-6260 The Landing Gators,thelandingonlakewylie.com • Adult tennis teams USTA Mixed Doubles adult tennis 803-222-7792; email@example.com Minor Leagues • Charlotte Knights Minor league baseball team, a Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Knights Stadium, 2280 Deerfield Drive, Fort Mill. 803-548-8050; charlotteknights.com • Charlotte Checkers East Coast Hockey League. 212 S. Tryon St., suite 575, Charlotte. Games played at Bobcats Arena. 704-342-4423; gocheckers.com
Pro Leagues • Carolina Panthers National Football League. Bank of America Stadium, uptown Charlotte. 704-522-6500; carolinapanthers.com • Charlotte Bobcats National Basketball Association. 704-BOBCATS; nba.com/bobcats/
Driving ranges • The Range, 1818 Gold Hill Road, Fort Mill, (next to McHale’s) 803-5484663 • Golf Masters Training and Teaching Facility, 5241 Charlotte Hwy., Lake Wylie, 704-747-8926
• Carolina Dance Academy, 13902 York Road, Charlotte, and 112 Columbia St., Clover, 704583-1354; danceatcda.com • Belmont School of Ballet, 116 S. Main St., Belmont, 704-8297929; belmontballet.com • Center Stage Dance Academy, 2030 Gold Hill Road, Fort Mill, 803- 547-7551
NEWCOMER’S GUIDE 45
Keeping the faith Our oldest Baptist church
The Rev. Jerry Bryant of Pine Grove Baptist Church, standing at the pulpit, holds a photo of the church founders.
In 1958, the nearest Baptist church was in Gastonia, N.C., and folks went swimming in Catawba Lake, not Lake Wylie. History has been made ever since at Pine Grove Baptist Church. “This area has more potential than any area I’ve ever seen. And with this new development coming, it’s really fixing to go crazy,” said church pastor Jerry Bryant. Pine Grove opened its doors 50 years ago. Originally known as Bethel Baptist Mission, Pine Grove Baptist started when 13 members of Sandy Plains Baptist Church in Gastonia held their first service at 3 p.m. March 16, 1958, in the auditorium of the Bethel Consolidated School building. Since then, meetings have been held in a three-room wooden house, the Bethel Gin at Three Points and the current church site east of Three Points on S.C. 557. “There wasn’t anything here when this church was built,” Bryant said. “Of course, there’s Bethel Presbyterian, which is more than 100 years old.” Milestones line the history of the church, from bringing Sandy Plains congregation member Bill C. Hoffman to become the first pastor on July 13, 1958, to the letter received from Sandy Plains on Aug. 10, 1958, telling the fellowship that 52 charter members made up Bethel Baptist Mission. The men of the church constructed and dedicated the first church building that seated 150 people at the current site in 1959. The new sanctuary, still used today, came 46 GATEWAY TO THE CAROLINAS
along in 1967 and seats 350. “We really feel compelled to reach out to families,” Bryant said of church services, including divorce care and ministries for children and senior adults. A vision that began in the 1970s for a Christian school now has 180 children with preschool, afterschool and 4K through first grade. Future plans include possibly building an addition to house 250 children in preschool, and also add a K-12 Christian school. “You look back on it over the years, you see what progress and what dedication it took to get to this point," said church member Joerine Millen. Jeanette Almond is one of the 52 charter members. Her 95-year-old mother, Gladys Deal, is the oldest living charter member. For Almond, the same reason she began attending Pine Grove is the reason she has stuck with it all these years. “I just enjoy the people, and it’s close to home,” she said. Almond raised three boys in the church and is grateful for the instruction they received. Almond always will love Pine Grove, even if it has changed since she began there. “There’s so many new people there now, I don’t know many of them,” she said. When Pine Grove began, it came from churchgoers who wanted a church closer to home. "When I found Pine Grove, I found a home," Millen said. "And that's what it's been."