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By Bobby Powell Parker and Susan Prescott Little

A pleasant phenomenon is connected with Lake Waccamaw. On hot summer afternoons visitors on the northern bluff peer toward the southwest. Along about four o'clock - if it is on time - a line of dark blue extending all the way across the lake may be seen advancing. The blue wave rolls across the lake, finally breaking upon the northern shore as a slapping first wave. But before the water itself has been pushed across the lake, the wind has reached land and enveloped the town of Waccamaw in a cool constant breeze. It ordinarily continues throughout the afternoon and the night, dying down in the early morning hours of the next day. It is said that this breeze from the south will not fail more than four or five days in the course of a season.

Not all geologists believe Lake Waccamaw belongs to the Bladen Lake group, which may have been formed by meteorites. Dredges have brought up old charred tree stumps, and they support a theory that the lake is the basin left by a prehistoric peat fire. It is the largest natural Lake between Maine and Florida. Lake Waccamaw has a dam that serves to keep the Lake from shrinking in dry weather. The Waccamaw dam was built in 1926 by the state.

Lake Waccamaw has four feeders, called First Little, Second Little and Third Little Creeks and then Big Creek. Underground springs swell the creeks.

Before the white man's arrival at Lake Waccamaw, it was inhabited by Indians. A place still called Indian Mounds is on the east shore and, on the site of one mound, it is said nothing will grow. From the "News Reporter", the following article appeared in March, 1909. A writer for the paper had an interview with Kinchen Council, Columbus County Historian of the day. Mr. Council said that the great Indian Chieftain, Osceola, Who so valiantly led the Seminoles of Florida in their war against the whites was born on Lake Waccamaw. He was born either in Columbus County, or his mother gave birth to him shortly after the U.S. had moved the Indians from this section to Georgia. Mr. Council's impression was that Osceola was a child at the time of removal. As history states, Osceola was a half - breed, his father being one of the leading men of that day in our county. So Osceola inherited the brain and valor of the white race, blended with the craft and strategy characteristic of the Indian. He was undeniably the greatest organizer and warrior that the prolonged struggle between the whites and aborigines produced. History concedes that, and the government has a heroic statue of Osceola on exhibition in the City of Washington.

Charles the Second originally granted this land to one of the Lord Proprietors who made individual grants to those willing to settle in this part of the new world. These large grants were divided among heirs and new settlers. By the mid - 1700's, few of the early settlers or their descendants were left around the lake area. They were replaced by people such as John Powell, who brought cattle from Virginia to settle his grant of land.

John Powell's son, Absalom, enlisted in March, 1776 in the Army and was engaged in the battle at Moore's Creek Bridge, where the Tories were defeated. Captain Absalom Powell was at the fall of Charleston to the British. After the Revolution, Absalom started buying large areas of land. He was Register of Deeds of Columbus County in 1810. He served in N.C. House of Commons in 1814. A N.C. Historical Marker was placed near his grave on August 22, 1933 at Lake Waccamaw. John Powell's son, Issac, of Lake Waccamaw was appointed first major for Bladen County militia in 1804 and a Justice of the Peace in 1806. He was appointed Lt. colonel of the Columbus County Militia in 1809. He was the largest landowner of his day in Columbus County, owning over 10,000 acres - most of his land in the area of Lake Waccamaw.

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