Lake Lure and the Lost Town of Buffalo
How did a simple topographic survey turn into an infrastructure mapping adventure?
McKim & Creed was originally hired to perform a topographic survey of the Lake Lure shoreline. The Town of Lake Lure already had “top down” topo that was produced by lowering the lake level by 12 feet and flying the site to collect LiDAR data. The Town needed a “bottom up” survey that, when combined with the aerial LiDAR, would create a full topo map. From there, the Town would determine the location of its sewer network to prepare for demolition and replacement.
Our hydrographic surveyors used a multibeam echosounder sonar system to get 100% coverage of the shoreline. But while testing our hydro equipment in the middle of the lake, we discovered something interesting: a submerged bridge.
Then we spotted a roadway.
Turns out we had found remnants of Buffalo, an 1800s Gold Rush town that lies approximately 50 feet underneath the waters of Lake Lure. Check out the full story below!