Explore
Follow Us

Our lake disappears & reveals a hidden past

I hope you had a good Christmas. We sure did – entertaining a number of visitors. Unfortunately, visiting Gainesville these days ain’t what it used to be. Two miles from our house here in Gainesville, national news is being made (we pass that tree in the picture below every day). A combination of…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

I hope you had a good Christmas. We sure did – entertaining a number of visitors. Unfortunately, visiting Gainesville these days ain’t what it used to be. Two miles from our house here in Gainesville, national news is being made (we pass that tree in the picture below every day).

A combination of inane national policies requiring millions of gallons of water to be released from Lake Lanier in order to help a certain species of mussel down-river plus a record drought has caused this, the most popular lake in the country, to recede by 19 feet. As distressing as this is for us Georgians, it also has some interesting spiritual parallels. Local pastors can easily illustrate their sermons by talking about what is revealed when we experience a spiritual drought in our lives.




art.lanier.ap.jpgGAINESVILLE, Georgia (AP) — The acres of drying mud that span much of what once was Lake Lanier jolt to a stop at a bend, where a concrete foundation appears as a sudden reminder of life before the lake.







As a record drought continues to take its toll on the lake that supplies more than 3 million residents with water in metro Atlanta, the receding shore line is revealing more than antique beer cans and other assorted garbage.



It is also offering a glimpse of how the people who made their homes here decades ago once lived.



An abandoned stretch of Georgia Highway 53 sits along one edge of the lake, consigned to the deep by state planners when Lanier was built. Foundations of long-forgotten buildings dot shorelines. Elsewhere in the vast expanse of exposed lake bed, a still intact one-lane road with faded yellow lines peeks out from the mud.


Outside Gainesville’s Laurel Park, the concrete foundation is a remnant of what once was the Gainesville Speedway, a popular dirt racing track that was submerged when the federal government created the lake in the 1950s.


Some 700 families were moved then to make way for the new reservoir. Contractors demolished homes, farms and other buildings to clear the way for the construction of the Buford Dam.


Now, after being hidden for decades, the places left behind — and everything from boat batteries to entire sunken boats — are in sight again as the water retreats. The volume of debris that’s turned up alongside the old landmarks has distressed many of the lake’s more recent settlers.

Subscribe to Radical Living:

Receive updates on the latest posts as Seth Barnes covers many topics like spiritual formation, what if means to be a christian, how to pray, and more. Radical Living blog is all about a call to excellence in ministry, church, and leadership -as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



© Adventures In Missions. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | RSS Feed | Sitemap