Brief History of Carolina Trace
Carolina Trace was once home to buffalo and native Americans who hunted them. Their arrowheads and other artifacts "trace" the story of a simple past. As settlers came to the eastern region of the state, game seekers migrated to this area. The majority of newcomers were Scottish Highlanders who began to farm the land.
In 1956, Bill and Joyce Arnold, owners of a retail and farm supply store, bought 227 acres of the land known as "Foggy Bottom." Their original plans were to have tenants farm the soil. However,
in 1959 the Army Corps of Engineers and Soil Conservation Service conducted a survey that would start the fires of imagination burning in the two new entrepreneurs.
The flood control study concluded that for the purposes of the Army Corps of Engineers, they would not be served by building a dam along the Upper Little River. The government chose to place a dam on the Cape Fear River instead. The Arnolds however, dreamt of the lake a dam would form and how they might transform that area into a resort.
The Arnolds were able to get federal approval for the construction of the dam. In a methodical and determined manner, they acquired the neighboring acreage.
In 1964, Bill sold the store and began Carolina Irrigation Company, a golf course irrigation firm. This work became a training ground for his own ambitions. He not only learned the trade, but brought in investors and designers to help him fulfill the dream.
In 1969, the corporation Sandhill Property, Inc. was formed and stock was issued. From 1969 to 1971, the lake bed was prepared and the famed golf course architect, Robert Trent Jones joined the team. With considerable supervision, the 18-hole golf course was constructed and play began September 1971.
1972 marked the completion of the impressive dam and the 315 acre lake with over seven miles of glorious shoreline came to life. The dream was becoming a reality.
In 1970, Sandhill Property, Inc. became Carolina Trace Corporation to honor the "traces" of the past left behind by the Native Americans and the devoted farmers who once lived on and worked this land. The pioneers of Carolina Trace and the people who now call it home, are linked to this past. Their history is being sewn into the tapestry of their predecessors as they too honor the beauty and dignity of this land.