Surface Area: 640 Acres
Maximum depth: 60 Feet
Shoreline: 14 miles
In 1890, E.H. Jennings came to Transylvania County, North Carolina from Pennsylvania and established several businesses, one of which was the Toxaway Company.
Lake Toxaway was filled originally in 1902 by E. H. Jennings, who visited what is now Lake Toxaway in the 1890s and saw that the area held great potential.
The area became known as the "Switzerland of America" and encompassed several fabulous resorts created by Jennings such as the Fairfield Inn, The Sapphire Inn, the Lodge, the Franklin Hotel and the Toxaway Inn.
The resorts could not have been developed if Southern Railway had not built a rail system from Asheville, which, incidentally, was the steepest railroad system in the United States.
The arrival of the railroad coincided with the creation of the Lake and the opening of the Toxaway Inn in 1903.
The Lake and the Inn were magnificent achievements for their time.
On August 13, 1916 after severe flooding, which deluged the Toxaway River with 24 inches of rain in
24 hours, the dam, which had not been engineered with a water level control, gave way under the
stress and sent more than 5 billion US gallons (19,000,000 m3) of water crashing over the falls into South Carolina.
The only casualty of this disaster was the death of a mule.
Toxaway Falls still shows the trauma of the
dam burst, its granite rock exposed for a great distance down the falls.
The Toxaway Inn itself survived the flood, but the loss of the Lake was its demise.
The Inn stood empty for over 33 years and was demolished in 1947.