Major Changes In Land Harbor

Building Houses on RV Lots
The original concept of Land Harbor intended that the lots designated as RV lots would be used as temporary camping sites. No telephone lines were laid to these sites. Building codes provided for the construction of a deck not to exceed 360 sq. ft., a storage room not to exceed 100 sq. ft., a golf shed not to exceed 80 sq. ft., and a fire ring. Two hundred forty square feet of the deck could be covered. The code also prohibited mobile homes. It did not prohibit park model trailers. Soon, park model trailers were being semi permanently installed on the lots. There were tip outs, slide outs and other configurations used. Soon, leaks in these trailers became a problem. Permission was given to cover the trailers and the decks. It wasn’t long before RV lot owners began asking permission to build small cottages on the lots. In 1981, the Board of Directors decided to let each section decide whether to permit cottages in their section. Property owners of Section B voted to permit cottages; soon other sections followed suit. Building codes were amended to permit the construction of cottages not to exceed 968 square feet and 16 feet in height above the highest point of the lot. Thus began a building boom that is still in progress.

Telephones for RV Sites
There being no telephone lines in RV sites, CBs were used. This was much like the party line telephones of old. Everyone left the CB on and could hear all conversations. When a party suggested that the other party go to a different channel, everyone went to that channel. Most people had CB handles and some of them were so special that they are still sometimes used. John Harvey issued a directory of CB handles. His handle was “Blue Max.” Some others were: Rooster, Rubber Donkey, Big Bopper, Blue Whale, Navigator, Will! Will!, Lucky ‘Leen, Jaws, Jaw Breaker, Red Man, Back Packer, Chicken Little, Silver Fox, Saw-Bones, Buddy Boy, Gadget Man, Ten Pin, Cracker, Yankee Man, Face Maker, Silver Top, Quick Stitch, Fire Ball Rivets, Rapid Robert, Flossie Flirt, Big G, Deputy Dawg, Deputy Pup, Figure Checker, Big T, Carolina Red Bird, Uncle Walt, Gin Rummy, Happy Pappy, Sugar Daddy, Sugar’s Mama, Country Ham, and Handy Man.

Announcements were made from the office over the CB, keeping people up to date. Security and Maintenance could also be reached by CB. Though telephones were welcomed when they came, the CBs were and still are missed. Several people in RV sections were able to get telephones because their doctors gave them letters requesting them. The lines for these telephones were strung above ground. Other owners began wanting phones. Harold Adams, Steve Adkins, and Martin Shaw contacted the telephone company and were told the telephone company would install lines but only above ground. The Board of Directors objected because other lines were underground. The telephone company agreed to lay the lines in trenches but would not agree to dig the trenches. Starting in B Section, this was done in bits and pieces as other sections organized and arranged for the trenching. Finally, only a few areas were without trunk lines. At that point the telephone company decided that they would complete laying cables only if all the areas were covered. POA decided to pay for the remainder of the trenching and charge each owner who wished to hook on a flat fee of $50. Each property owner was responsible for trenching from the trunk line to the dwelling. Thus all areas of Land Harbor now had access to a telephone.

It is interesting to note that many, who said they came to Land Harbor to get away from phones, soon had phones installed.

Paving the Roads
Initially, the only paved road in Land Harbor was the Parkway. Goose Hollow Road was unpaved and dusty; so were all the other roads. In July and August 1982, some roads were paved in Sections C, M, and Lakeview. That started the ball rolling. Soon the owners in Section B began efforts to get roads in that section paved. They met with the Board of Directors and got them to agree to maintain the roads and to pay their fair share of any green areas that abutted the road to be paved. They then worked out a plan whereby the property
owners on each side of the road would pay the cost of paving. Since not all owners wanted their road paved, it was decided that a minimum of 500 feet would be required before paving could begin. As other sections began paving, most used the plan worked in Section B with modifications as required. Ultimately most of the roads in Land Harbor were paved.

In 1981, Bob Bingham, Manager of Land Harbor at that time, got the State to pave Goose Hollow Road from the Parkway north toward Newland to the property line. POA paid the State $12,000 for the paving. Shortly thereafter, POA paid the State $35,000 to pave Goose Hollow Road south to the property line there. After several years, the State paved Goose Hollow from the Land Harbor line to Montezuma. In 1993, that portion of Goose Hollow between the Land Harbor line on the south and Loven Lumber Company was paved, ending a struggle of some 13 years to give property owners paved access from all directions to Land Harbor.


Cable TV Comes to Land Harbor
In 1986, discussions about cable TV in Land Harbor began. At the invitation of Harold Vann (LB-14), President of the Board of Directors, a consultant from Pennsylvania came to discuss the possibilities of POA establishing its own cable system, and went so far as to determine where the dish should be located. Before that could be finalized, the local cable company which had just been acquired by a new company began discussions about providing services. On June 30, 1986, agreement was reached under which the cable company would lay cables and place boxes at every developed lot in Land Harbor. Service would beprovided for $5.00 per month ($60 per year) for the first year; $5.25 per month for the second year; and at a cost not to exceed 45% of the cost to the company’s other customers for years three through five. POA would collect the fees and would pay the cable company monthly.
Each property owner was responsible for opening a trench from the trunk cable to the house and for installing the cable in the house. The cable company laid the cable to the house.
This agreement was re-negotiated in August 1991. The new agreement retained the 45% fee provision and, in addition, gave POA more flexibility in collecting the fees and paying the cable company.


The Village Store
In the seventies there were no supermarkets in Avery County. There was a locally-owned grocery store in Newland, the Linville Food Market in Linville, and a grocery store in Banner Elk. RV owners were accustomed to having a small store in RV parks. To meet this need, LHDA built the building that later housed the Sales Office, Security, and Operations and Maintenance offices. The building was leased to Jim Casey and was operated as The Village Store. Initially, only staple groceries were stocked. Later, in order to attract more customers, local crafts were added. Still there was not enough business to make the venture profitable, and the store idea was abandoned. The building was then used to house the Sales Office and Security. When the Sales Office was closed on October 31, 1996, the building was occupied by Special Police, Member Services, and the Land Harbor Library.

The Mail
During the early days of Land Harbor, property owners picked up their mail at the POA office. There were nine cubbyholes and the mail was sorted according to the surname initial. Later, property owners in housing sections put up boxes and had their mail delivered to them. Owners in RV sections were permitted to put up regular RFD mailboxes along the roadside. These were supposed to have been painted green but some owners never got around to painting their boxes. We were on Route 2 and box numbers were assigned by the
Post Office. Sometime later, the route number was changed to Route 4 and new box numbers were assigned. In 1988, due largely to the efforts of David Huskins, Executive Director of POA, Ruth Andrews-Russell (RK1) and Charles Milford (LV-26), who worked with the postal officials, the present cluster boxes were installed. Again our addresses changed. The numbers on these boxes were not in numerical order and it was very difficult for the letter carrier to get the correct letters in the boxes. The covers on these cluster boxes were paid for and installed by POA.

In 1994, plans were made to place all mailboxes at a central location in the area between the Recreation Building and the Sales/Security/Operations Building. All addresses had to correspond with the numbers developed for the Emergency Rescue Service, E-911, and numbering would be in numerical order by streets. Like many plans, these did not materialize. The large trees in the proposed area had already been removed to make way for the central postal facility; the area was then paved thus providing much needed additional parking for the Recreation Center. Instead, the present plan was developed. There were already some cluster boxes. More cluster boxes were added and the present numbering system implemented.


Land Harbor Memorial Park
On July 4, 1991, the Flag Pole and Land Harbor Memorial Park was dedicated in a moving ceremony. The Park was the idea of Glenn Webb (D-78) and became an “all Land Harbor project.” Donations from many individuals, businesses outside Land Harbor, the POA, and the equipment and labor of Land Harbor employees made the Park a reality.