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Lee email

Our officers

Helen Cable Vance

Mildred Cable Johnson

Leeunah (Lee) Woods

The North Shore Cemetery Association was and is a non-profit group organized for the purpose of preserving the graveyards and general history of the Fontana Basin.  Organized in 1977, with an immediate aim to gain general access to the cemeteries of the North Shore in conformity of the contractual agreements that formulated in 1943 between Federal, State and County Agencies.  Another aim of the Association was the planning of decorations for the cemeteries along the North Shore of Fontana Lake as were held in the area before 1943 and the removal of families.  It was and is made up of former residents and their descendants who lived in this area and whose land was taken for the building of the Fontana Dam and Basin area.
On the SCHEDULE page you will find the dates, times of departure and location for each cemetery decoration.
We worked for years for the legal ingress and egress that was promised to our families in
Swain County, North Carolina, when homes and lands were taken for the purpose of building Fontana Lake.  We were given a promise by our government that a road would be built to connect the existing roads in the area in order for families to get to the cemeteries that were left along the North Shore and above the high water mark of the lake.
Swain County, North Carolina, and the Federal government have settled the 1943 Agreement as of 2010.  CableCove8-11Our cemeteries and access have been preserved, maybe not the way we wanted, but our families and descendants will be able to visit our old home sites, town sites and family cemeteries for generations to come.
We will always be able to “go home again”, so to speak, due to the preservation of that area by the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Very few people can stand on the ground where for 5 generations their family lived, grew up, worked and died.  It is very much a treat and honor to walk the roads, visit the towns, home sites and cemeteries of the North Shore of Fontana Lake.
We will be sharing pictures, articles and stories about the long road to our cemeteries.
We will also be sharing memories of life on Hazel Creek.
We hope you will enjoy our site and share any pictures, stories or information that you have with us.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Helen, Mildred and Le


In lieu of flowers for our dear friend, David Monteith's funeral, the North Shore Cemetery Association members will be planting a tree in front of the Museum in Bryson City with a plaque in memory of David. We have the arrangements confirmed, we just have to pick our location and what type of tree. A dedication and planting service will take place in April. If you would like to contribute to this effort, please call Verna or see her at the Swain County Genealogy Building, Monday-Friday 9am till Noon. She will be handling this for the Association. We will let you know the exact date of the planting of the tree and presentation of the plaque as soon as we can. We would love to have as many there for this presentation as possible. David will be missed by us and so many, many more.

Come and attend one of our cemetery decorations.  Go to our SCHEDULE PAGE for listing and dates of Decorations.  Bring a covered dish to share or your own packed lunch and your drink. We would love to have you at any decoration.


CELEBRATING our 40th year

of Decorations since beginning in 1978 and holding a decoration in all 26 cemeteries.
Quite an accomplishment, from first finding and locating some cemeteries which were gradually disappearing from view due to being so overgrown and neglected since 1943 with no way of families getting back to them without a road.
Clean up of each cemetery.
Setting back up broken headstones and ordering new ones to replace some.
Getting in touch with families to verify grave sites and order new tombstones.
Hold a decoration in each cemetery and making sure each grave is decorated with a flower.
Setting a yearly schedule for each decoration.

We were so very sorry to hear about Duane Oliver’s death this past
Saturday, June 10, 2017 at his home in Waynesville.  Duane was also a former resident of the Hazel Creek Fontana Area.  He has written books about Hazel Creek.  I hope that you have one of each of them.  We will miss a historian of this area very much.  Please keep his sister, Sue and her family in your prayers.  There will be a private service for the family later.  We are losing so many of our original residents of the area.  If you know someone who is from this area, talk to them before the history they know is gone too.  Duane, thank you for all you have done for the North Shore Cemeteries and the former residents of the Hazel Creek Fontana Area.

Christina Cook, a freelance reporter had an article published in Oxford American Magazine in fall of 2015.
To read this article in its entirety go to


We are proud to announce that Lee’s book
 “Growing up on Hazel Creek”
is published
Order yours today. Call
Lee Woods
or email at

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Located on the north shore of Fontana Lake in Swain County, NC.  Now part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

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North Shore Cemeteries

Welcome to the official site of
The North Shore Cemetery Association and North Shore Historical Society

2017 NEWS and INFO
Attending Cable Decoration the 3rd Sunday in May will be reporters from Our State Magazine.