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Local Chamber working to throw SML 50th anniversary

Published On: Aug 19 2013 06:12:26 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 19 2013 07:38:32 PM EDT

Though it's a few years away from its 50th birthday, celebration plans are already in motion for Smith Mountain Lake.


Smith Mountain Lake came to existence almost 50 years ago. The local chamber of commerce is working on a birthday bash. Years ago when the lake was filled in, it was surrounded by farm land, now its prime real estate.

Though it's a few years away from its 50th birthday, celebration plans are already in motion.

“We want to tell the story of where we've been and all of the various things that we've been through,” said regional chamber of commerce executive director, Vicki Gardner. “People that live out here, people that live here before the lake; people that came as a result of the lake, we all have stories to tell.”

For some, it's a story of vacations and relaxation; for others, their entrepreneurial endeavors. Some people have been around since the lakes conception in the 1960's. Its sole purpose at the time was to generate hydroelectric power.

“That was the idea and again what ended up steam rolling into this community, it is far different from that however it still is a hydroelectric power plant,” said Gardner.

A power plant brought life to miles of coastal real estate, shopping and lake front properties. This area has created quite the history in its short existence.

“We're looking for people that will come in maybe with their personal stories, their business stories, talking about how can we celebrate,” said Gardner.

It's a birthday party that will reflect on a forever changed landscape history and a bustling future.

The chamber will hold a public input meeting Wednesday at Westlake Library from 4p to 5:30p.