This year, Lake Rabun, created in 1915 by the completion of the Mathis dam, is celebrating its centennial anniversary. With that has come a renewed focus on the traditions and history that make it the uniquely charming destination it is today.
In 1918, William Stuart Witham purchased a peninsula on the lake and in 1921 built a house known as “Withmere,” inspired by the summer hunting lodges of Great Britain. The home was one of the very first residences built on the shores of Lake Rabun and the four bedroom main house remains intact with many of the original furnishings.
A short boat ride from Witham Point lies another historic property, Stone Haven, on land purchased by Dr. George Bellinger in 1914 from Augustus Andreae, founder of the Lake Rabun Hotel. Every inch of the property was designed to be inviting and to encourage enjoyment for visitors traveling from Atlanta and beyond. Throughout the 1940’s and 50’s, the estate was a destination resort with a guest list that read like a “who’s who” of Atlanta society.
Those who do not have the opportunity to stay in one of the homes on the lake can also get a taste of the unique Rabun experience by staying in the historic Lake Rabun Hotel.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Rabun County remained largely isolated from the outside world. This would change dramatically with the coming of a railroad which also brought tourism, logging and dam building.
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