HomeTop StoriesWhy Some Think Georgia's Largest Lake is Haunted: Local Hidden Gems

Why Some Think Georgia’s Largest Lake is Haunted: Local Hidden Gems

From overlooked roadside attractions to unusual museums and obscure natural wonders, Local Hidden Gems will showcase some of the unique and unexpected treasures that make America extraordinary. We emphasize charm, surprise and delight.

Local hidden gem: Lake Sidney Lanier, Georgia

There’s something in the water at Lake Sidney Lanier, a popular recreation spot for locals about an hour outside of Atlanta.

Decades before the US Army Corps of Engineers flooded the area to create Georgia’s largest lake, it was home to a predominantly black community called Oscarville.

“After the murder of a white woman in Forsyth County (in 1912), black residents had to flee from white terrorists” who blamed them for her death, Dr. Paul Grant, associate professor of political science at Georgia Gwinnett College, in a Gwinnett County Public Library video about Oscarville.

“Groups of white vigilantes in Forsyth use a variety of methods, including threats and arson, to force blacks to leave the county,” the Atlanta History Center wrote. “Newspapers report that white residents have burned black churches and distributed messages encouraging black residents to flee. They have also invaded black homes and damaged the buildings by shooting guns and other weapons.”

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Local hidden gem: A perfect symbol of resistance in New York

Visitors to Lake Lanier take a dip on July 22, 2012. Weeks earlier, 11-year-old Kile Glover, Usher's former stepson, was fatally injured at the lake.

Visitors to Lake Lanier take a dip on July 22, 2012. Weeks earlier, 11-year-old Kile Glover, Usher’s former stepson, was fatally injured at the lake.

“That was not the first incident of racial cleansing in Forsyth,” added Ronald Gauthier, a branch manager of the Gwinnett County Library who has done extensive research on Oscarville. “In 1838, the Cherokee Nation, Indians, were effectively forcibly removed from Forsyth County.”

Both groups were long gone when Lake Lanier was created in the 1950s, but some people believe the lake is haunted by its past, citing hundreds of people who have been injured or killed in lake accidents over the years. more.

Still, the lake and its nearly 700 miles of shoreline remain popular for picnicking, fishing, boating and other water activities, especially for landlocked locals who would have to drive much further to get to the ocean.

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“As a recreational resource, Lake Lanier attracts approximately eight million visitors annually, with 68 parks and recreation areas, 1,200 campsites and 10 fully equipped marinas,” according to Gwinnett County, for which the man-made reservoir is the main water source.

There is a Margaritaville at Lanier Islands water park. Public beaches and boat ramps also offer various options for getting in and out of the water, for those who wish.

Where: The foothills of the Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia

More information: Atlanta History Center

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: The spooky story beneath Lake Lanier: Visit this local hidden gem

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