A History of Lynwood Lakes
By Middy Anderson
In the recent past North Carolina was an agrarian society. The population was English, Scottish, Irish, or German descent along with Native Americans and African Americans. The religions practiced were Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian, and Quaker.
In Greensboro the majority of the population lived outside the city. The place now known as Lynwood Lakes was originally farmland and a pasture. There was a swamp fed by springs, and the little Alamance Creek ran through the area. Local businesses were Gilmer & Phipps Plow Factory, Troxler’s Mill, and Stewart’s Mill. Farmers kept milk cows, chickens and pigs. They bartered among themselves, corn for eggs etc. Two pigs would feed a farmer’s family for the winter.
Mr. Charles Routh, a real estate developer, had recently finished building Sedgefield Lake Community, and was looking for another lake community to develop. He was advised that the southeast area of the county was not a very desirable area. That was before Forest Oaks. The year was either 1955 or 1956. Mr. W. L. Simmons, who owned property off of Williams Dairy Road (which was previously owned by L. A. Pugh), was thinking of building a dam on his land to make a lake. On September 30, 1957, he and his wife, Polly, signed an agreement with Effie Varner, a widow, for the use of her land as the water from the lake would extend over part of her property.
Charles Routh and his wife, Helen, who was his secretary, bought the property Simmons and his wife, Polly, on May 2, 1958. There were easements and rights of way by C. V. Dick (Charles Van Noppen), Effie Varner, and Avery Phipps. They also purchased Henry Whiteley’s farm, which began at Liberty Road and ran to Ledford Road. George Kiger also sold land for the lake. His wife was a Williams (Williams Dairy Road). As a child she used to lead cows to the streams before they were dammed up to become Lynwood Lakes. Charlie Routh’s cousin, H. R. Routh, came back from living in California. He made a lot of money there and changed his name to Ruth. H. R. Ruth and his wife, Ruby, became the financial backers of the lake’s development. On March 19, 1959, H. R. Ruth and his wife, Ruby, bought the W. L. Simmons property from his wife’s cousin, Charlie Routh, and founded the Lynwood Lakes Co., now called Lynco. Mr. Simmons was a grading contractor. He had the equipment and the workers, and his company did the work on the dams and property of Lynwood Lakes. Over time, the rest of the land was acquired. Mr. Dick and his wife, Thelma, were the last to sign the easement. The Dick’s owned land on the western side of the main lake, and were thinking of building a trailer court on it, but sold lots for houses instead.
Originally, only homes on the lake could use the lake, except for the waterfront property owned by the Dick’s which did not have lake priveleges. Eventually, a settlement was reached which included constructing Melissa Laine, named for the builder’s daughters. Area homes were also invited to join the lake. The Lynco Board wrote the club handbook and membership dues were established. A swim area was constructed. In the early days, the club had a full-time lifeguard and there was a swim team. You had to wait your turn to put your boat in the water. The lake was crowded. The main lake area is 52 acres and the little lake about 10 acres. Originally, the only entrance to Lynwood Lakes was off Williams Dairy Rd. Eventually the main entrance was built off Liberty Rd. Van Noppen was a dirt road, and the road went right over the dam. The dam was wider then, with gravel on top. You could drive over the dam with your car, but had to back up if someone was coming.
In 1994, Lynco voted to extend the membership to homeowners at the end of Lynwood Drive, Charolais Drive, Shiland Drive, Van Noppen Drive, and the west side of Melissa Laine.
Homes were built at Hunter’s Ridge in Pleasant Garden on land that didn’t perk. In 1995 a sewer line was installed through Lynwood Lakes to fix the problem.
Besides fishing, swimming, and boating, Lynco sponsors Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, and Christmas parties, yard sales, the annual barbecue, plus other events.
This information on Lynwood Lakes was gathered from court records with a lot of help from Howard Fields, Frank James, Charlie Dick, Tom Routh, Dick Routh, Bob Stewart, Ruth Jackson and others.
Compiled by Middy Anderson 2004 AD