Seven Lakes History
Seven Lakes history began as a vision
by Fred Lawrence in the early 1970's, when Lawrence and his partners
purchased 1100 acres on what is now Seven Lakes Drive. They began paving
roads and damming streams to create the original seven lakes.
things progressed, they continued to develop ponds and lakes there, but the
name 7 Lakes stuck. The
first few homes that were built were summer and vacation properties for
residents from the central part of the state. A place to hunt, fish and
getaway from it all for "city folk".
Lawrence also had a vision of the
amenities like boating, horse back riding, swimming and plenty of common
space to gather. He had a vision of a community that contained the basic
needs and services that people needed such as medical facilities, grocery
store, restaurants, etc. and all of these were among the first businesses
opened there. Lawrence's vision was probably one of the first "PUD" type
development concepts in NC.
As success came rather quickly, and
one of Lawrence's business partner's was Peter Tufts (grandson of Pinehurst
founder, James Walker Tufts), the vision for a beautiful
golf course on the
rolling, longleaf pine covered acreage was inevitable. Lawrence, Tufts and
Alan Shaw acquired 400 acres on the south side of Seven Lakes Drive and
combined it with the 200 acres they already owned there.
In 1976 the highly
anticipated 18 hole course, designed by Peter Tufts III, was opened. Also at this time, larger "year round"
resident homes started springing up, and because of a highly effective
marketing and advertising campaign, retirees, and soon to be retired,
started flocking to Seven Lakes. High concentrations of new residents came
from New York, New Jersey, Ohio and other northern states.
In 1979 Lawrence, Tufts, Shaw and
partners, as Longleaf, Inc. purchased 3200 acres of land on the West side of
Hwy 211 from Seven Lakes Drive. Clyde Auman, former state senator and
farmer, sold the property to Longleaf, Inc. and Seven Lakes West was born.
The following year they began construction on the largest earthen dam east
of the Mississippi, to create Lake Auman. It took several years for
construction of the dam to be completed, but in 1986 Lake Auman began
filling with water. The over 800 acre Lake Auman is now a fantastic place to
spend the day, with a marina, picnic area, beach area and plenty of good
fishing, skiing, boating or just soaking up some sun.
They built an 18 hole
golf course (Beacon
Ridge) and initially plotted out 1800 lots within the west side development.
The 495 waterfront lots along the shoreline originally sold for around $25K
a piece. Today, the cheapest of lots on the water are in the coves (not open
water views) and will cost you 10 times that. And the
are on the water will cost you anywhere from $700K to $1.75M.
Initially, what started out as a
vacation and getaway spot for central North Carolinians, quickly changed.
Between 1980 - late 1990's the population of northerners and permanent
residents skyrocketed, and the new West side grew rapidly, as did the South
side. Today, Seven Lakes
is going through another change and another chapter in Seven Lakes History.
The residents continue to get younger
and more diverse each and every year. There are 3
gated communities and every amenity that you could
possibly want, from horse stables, 2 golf courses, swimming, boating,
fitness center, tennis, club, etc. And plenty of local business and services
to support the Seven Lakes
community. Just like Fred Lawrence envisioned it.
Does your family have
ties to Seven Lakes History? Tell Us About It Here.
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