History With ‘Hud’: Detailing The Spring Which Provided Inspiration For Boiling Spring Lakes | Old North State Wealth News
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History with ‘Hud’: Detailing the spring which provided inspiration for Boiling Spring Lakes



BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) — Of the many uniquely named communities around the Cape Fear, some leave you wondering how they received their name. But one Brunswick County city leaves little to the imagination.

Boiling Spring Lakes was named after….a boiling spring. It flows with an incredibly pure stream of water, helping create some of the city’s 50 natural and man-made lakes.

The earliest stories of the spring originate from Native Americans, who would gather around the site and drink from the source on their way to their annual trips to the coast to gather fish, oysters and other supplies. Legend said whoever drank from the spring would return.

Hundreds of years later, in 1960, the Reeves Broadcasting Corporation bought the entire surrounding land tract and subdivided it into quarter-acre to 10-acre lots, creating the new town and marketing it as “America’s Greatest Real Estate Value.” The Boiling Spring Dam was soon constructed, creating 10 miles of white, sandy shoreline and waterfront lots along the “Big Lake” — now Patricia Lake.

But developers were unaware of the spring sitting on the grounds, or the legend around it. They stumbled across the spring in 1961, hidden deep among the 11,500 acres of longleaf pine and Venus flytraps.

They quickly constructed a 4-foot-high brick wall around the spring to encompass the natural phenomenon. But the spring stopped running and burst out in a free flow around 15 feet outside the wall. Even so, the area quickly became a booming resort community with a shopping center, country club, motel and golf course. 600 lots were sold within 30 days of the first marketing effort.

But many owners quickly found out they couldn’t build on their new purchases, with the high water table and sandy soil type. So sales tapered off. Those which were successful in building homes on the land had another blow in 2018.

Hurricane Florence dumped feet of rain on the region, causing several dams to break and emptying many of Boiling Spring Lakes lakes. While that remains a problem years later, the spring which gave the town its name still exists today on private property continuing to churn out an estimated 43 million gallons of water each day.

Meteorologist Matthew Huddleston (‘Hud’) has always had two major loves – weather and history. While you can watch him talk about weather each evening on WWAY, he looks forward to bringing you a little piece of history each Thursday on WWAY’s website.

To read other History with ‘Hud’ segments, click HERE.

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