Story by Shirley West
Edited by Michael Clawson
The Clubhouse housed an excellent cookhouse, ice-cream parlor, dance hall and movie theater. Next door was the filling station. It was located at the same site the present Chevron station is. But the old wooden structure also included a hardware store with bins of nails, pipe fittings, etc.
Adjacent to the gas station was the butcher shop. It sat even closer to Highway 89 than the grocery store. The butcher shop featured saw dust floors along with its home-grown beef. Steve Harding's Graeagle Store was known as the Company Commissary. Originally this building had a large two-storied community hall in the rear. This building housed the first dance hall and a small back room known as the "Snake Room". This room was where loggers and mill workers met after work to share a keg of beer. There was a box near the door marked "Kitty", and everyone contributed to buy the beer.
One side of the existing grocery store housed the bookkeeping portion of the Graeagle Lumber Company. The payroll was disbursed from here also. In 1922 a fire destroyed the two-story portion of this building. It was later ascertained that one of the time keepers had started the blaze to cover up shortages in the payroll. He subsequently served several years in jail. On the opposite side of the store was the post office. Mrs. Conant ran it until she retired. The post office was then moved into the store, and the former post office building was moved across the street.
Directly across from the store was the "potato shed". This structure was dug into the bank, and remained cool both winter and summer. The "potato shed" was the favorite spot for all the youngsters in the winter time. It made the best sled run in town. In this same area, along Gray Eagle Creek, were two large three story bunk houses. These housed the single men. One burned to the ground early in the morning of the 60's. . . the other was torn down by Tom Maher of Gold Lake, and is now the Gold Lake Store and portions of the outdoor plumbing facilities located around the campground.
If you've ever wondered why the maintenance shop is so large and tall, it's because it was built to accommodate locomotives. The railroad tracks ran in one door and out the other. They could take care of nearly any repairs needed. The old forge is intact, and still being used today. The NC0 Railroad terminated near the rear of the maintenance shop. It also had a large blacksmith shop.
Before it became a golf course, Graeagle Meadows was a vast swamp and peat bog. In fact, there is the story the old-timers used to tell of a man, horse and wagon disappearing in the area of number one fairway. The eerie portion of this tale is that while the golf course was under construction, a backhoe operator unearthed an old wagon tongue. Eight large springs had to be tapped in order to permit construction. The peat was dug up, pulverized and used as dressing on the course.