Flatland Hiking-The Pond That Wasn’t There- Carver’s Creek State Park, Spring Lake, NC

Carver’s Creek, the site of a 100 acre millpond and a Rockefeller winter home was next in my sights.

The Long Valley Farm is part of Carver’s Creek State Park and Historical Area. Long Valley was the winter home of James Stillman Rockefeller, the third son of William G Rockefeller, a nephew of John D Rockefeller of Standard Oil fame. James Rockefeller won an Olympic Gold Medal in rowing for the United States in 1924 and went on to become the president of National City Bank; today’s Citigroup.. He was also on the board of overseers of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. So this relatively unknown Rockefeller was a big deal in his time.

Rockefeller was married to Nancy Carnegie the grand niece of Andrew Carnegie. When Rockefeller died at the age of 102, in 2004, he was the oldest living gold medalist in U.S. history.

The historic Long Valley farm.

Rockefeller and his family purchased the Overhills Estates in 1927 and by 1937 he had full control of Long Valley. Besides being his winter home the property was inhabited by tenant farmers who worked the land.

The property was built on the McDiarmid Mill Pond which was created in 1850.

Problem was when I went …….the pond wasn’t there!

Where’s the pond?

There were trees the looked like they belonged in a pond, and some big puddles of water….but no pond!

Where’s the pond?
Nope it’s not over here either. Where’s the pond?
here’s an old dock but….. where’s the pond?

Seems like the hurricane in 2016, I believe that was Matthew, took out the pond’s dam so it drained. It was a bit eerie seeing the trees that were supposed to be submerged standing without any water around them…. especially on a foggy morning. Creepy! The repairs were underway during my trip but they were still a long way from having the pond restored. So since there is no pond I figured I’d check out the house.

It was a bit eerie seeing an empty pond
trail to the house

The house was under renovation when I was there but I understand they have started some guided tours of the place. I could only look at the outside and the grounds. It was a huge house!

doesn’t look that impressive

Approaching the house it didn’t look all that impressive. But then it was just a “winter home”. Until I went around to the backside.

Holy Cow!

Around back the house had two huge one story wings. The home was originally built in 1937. There was also a floating dock/Pavilion which of course wasn’t floating.

This little 2.75 mile hike was sure different.

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