LLR Books

The Lake Lure Inn

Any visit to the Lake Lure Inn cannot long avoid two subjects: ghosts and “Dirty Dancing.”
Ghost stories are to be expected in a historic inn known for its period authenticity, especially one built on the shore of a man-made lake that submerged a small town, its church and school intact.
“They say if you’re out on a boat in the middle of the night, you can hear the church bell ringing,” says Patrick Bryant, the inn’s event and catering manager.
The ghost of “Dirty Dancing” star Patrick Swayze has yet to appear at the inn, but guests can stay in the room where the actor slept while the 1987 movie was being filmed nearby.
The Swayze suite, with its extra large Jacuzzi and kitchenette, is a favorite with brides, Bryant said. The inn hosts more than 100 bridal parties a year, many couples choosing to tie the knot in the lakeside gazebo owned by the town.
The inn’s unique character extends well beyond its Hollywood connections and its spirits, with much of its architectural detail intact, the Southeast’s largest collection of music boxes in the lobby and countless other antiques and artworks filling every nook and shelf.
The property’s comforts even attracted F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald for a summer, before they relocated to Asheville, where Zelda died. They stayed in a room with a panoramic view of the beach and the cliffs beyond the far shore.
Their suite, like Swayze’s, is now marked with a brass plaque. “I always wondered what he was penning at the writing desk that overlooked the lake,” Bryant said.
Famous guests
The Lake Lure Inn was built in 1927 by visionary developer Lucius Boardman Morse and his partners, who were also instrumental in building the dam that created the lake.
Morse bought the small town of Buffalo — which he emptied and flooded beneath 100 feet of water — and the surrounding lands for about $5,000. The Morse family owned and operated Chimney Rock Park, just up the road, until 2007, when it became a state park.
A wall in the inn remains dedicated to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who visited twice during World War II, when the facility was dedicated to R&R for returning soldiers. Calvin Coolidge and Emily Post also stayed at the inn, as well as the Fitzgeralds.
In the 1980s, the inn was to have been a filming location for “Dirty Dancing,” but the town of Lake Lure found the story too risqué, so the hotel served only to house the cast and crew.
In addition to its Swayze Suite, there are the Jennifer Grey Suite and two re-created free-standing bungalows, Johnny’s Cabin and Baby’s Bungalow.
Hidden history
Some of the inn’s rich history remains present but invisible — and not just in ghost form.
In 2005, a porte cochere was added to the front of the inn and the former porch was enclosed to create the Moose & Goose lounge and the Powers dining room. The addition covered up the 78-year-old sign over the entrance that declared “Lake Lure Inn, 1927.”
A replica sign was created for the new porte cochere, but “the original moniker is still hiding out” behind the addition, said Patrick Bryant, the inn’s event and catering department manager.
There’s also a tunnel, long closed off but never filled in, that connects the inn to the companion arcade building across a parking lot, where El Lago Mexican restaurant will soon open.
“They used that (tunnel) to transport famous guests from the hotel to the restaurant” of the time, out of the sight of fans, Bryant said.
The inn’s current management is dedicated to keeping its period authenticity above ground.
“We debated for about five minutes a couple of years ago about switching to an electronic key system,” Bryant said.
They decided to stick to old-fashioned metal keys.

‘Great Gatsby’ mansion on Long Island sells

‘Great Gatsby’ mansion on Long Island sells

By Lisa Doll Bruno


The Kings Point estate said to have been the inspiration for the West Egg mansion in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby has sold, according to a press release by the real estate firm that listed the property.

The price has not yet been made public. Neither has the name of the buyer.

John Handler last owned the home, known as the Brickman estate. Handler was found dead there in 2008; he was 57. His wife, Jennifer Eley-Handler, who was principal pianist for the Long Island Philharmonic, died two years earlier in an accident.

On the market since September 2010, the 20-acre property was most recently listed for $39.5 million. The deal was brokered by Diane Polland, a sales associate in the Great Neck office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

Set privately at the tip of the peninsula, the estate is supposed to be the last remaining mid-19th-century North Shore mansion on Long Island. With more than 1,600 feet of waterfront, the property offers panoramic views of the New York City skyline, Long Island Sound and Manhasset Bay. There is a main residence as well as nine other residential buildings.

One of its earliest owners was John Alsop King Jr., the namesake of Kings Point. He hired A.J. Davis to design the stucco mansion, which was built in the early 1850s. In 1913, the estate was sold to Richard Church, heir to Church & Dwight Co., the makers of Arm & Hammer baking soda. It was Church who threw Gatsby-esque summer parties, though it’s unclear whether Fitzgerald was ever a guest.

The grounds feature 60,000 square feet of gardens as well as a koi pond, a pool, a terrace and rolling lawns that encircle the property.


The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

May 02, 2012

Presidential Proclamation -- National Foster Care Month

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Childhood is a time for our young people to grow and learn, protected by their families and safe in their homes. But for almost half a million children who are unable to remain at home through no fault of their own, childhood can be a time of sadness, pain, and separation. These children need and deserve safe, loving, and permanent families who can help restore their sense of well-being and give them hope for the future.

During National Foster Care Month, we recognize the promise of America's children and youth in foster care, and we commend the devotion and selflessness of the foster parents who step in to care for them. We also pay tribute to the professionals nationwide who work to improve the safety of our most vulnerable children and assist their families in addressing the issues that brought them into the child welfare system. In communities across America, dedicated men and women -- in schools, faith-based and community organizations, parent and advocacy groups -- volunteer their time as mentors, tutors, and advocates for children in foster care. We all have a role to play in ensuring our children and youth grow up with the rich opportunities and support they need to reach their full potential.

My Administration is committed to increasing positive outcomes for every infant and child in foster care, and to promoting a successful transition to adulthood for older youth. We are working to increase permanency through reunification, adoption, and guardianship; to prevent maltreatment; to reduce rates of re-entry into foster care; and to ensure all qualified caregivers have the opportunity to serve as foster parents. Through the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act, we are granting States more flexibility in supporting a range of services for children in foster care, including health care and treatment of emotional trauma. And through the Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2014, every State will be required to extend Medicaid coverage up to age 26 for former foster youth.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Children's Bureau, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services that carries forward a legacy of protecting our Nation's children and strengthening families through programs like the Permanency Innovations Initiative. Over 5 years, this initiative is investing $100 million in new strategies to identify permanent homes for youth in long-term foster care, including more than 100,000 children awaiting adoption, and to reducing time spent in foster care placements.

National Foster Care Month is a time to reflect on the many ways government, social workers, foster families, religious institutions, and others are helping improve the lives of children in foster care, and it also serves as a reminder that we cannot rest until every child has a safe, loving, and permanent home. Together, we give thanks to those individuals from all walks of life who have opened their hearts and their homes to a child, and we rededicate ourselves to ensuring a bright and hopeful future for America's foster youth.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2012 as National Foster Care Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month by dedicating their time, love, and resources to helping youth in foster care, whether by taking time to mentor, lending a hand to a foster family, or taking an active role in their communities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.