Where is the North Shore located? 
The North Shore is located in Swain County, North Carolina  and is the land on the north side of Fontana Lake. 
What are the North Shore Cemeteries?  They are cemeteries that were left above the high water mark in 1943 when land was bought, sold and condemned by TVA to build the Fontana Dam and Fontana Lake.
How many cemeteries are you talking about? There are 26 cemeteries with over 1,000 graves.
Why were they left in this area?  TVA representative told all home owners in that area that a road would be built to replace the access that they had then (Hwy. 288).  It would be built back to this area so they could come back any time to the family and community cemeteries. The graves were above the high water mark so they would not be flooded and with a new road into the area, families could return any time they wished.

Were these the only cemeteries in the area? No, there were lots more but they were located below what was to be the high water mark of Fontana Lake.

What happened to these other cemeteries?  The family was contacted where possible and permission given to TVA to have their family members body moved to a new cemetery in Bryson City named Lauada.
What if they could not get in touch with a family member?
Then they were left in the ground and the water of Fontana Lake now covers them.

I heard that the Cherokee Indian, Tsali’s grave was in that area and was not moved, is that correct?
Yes, it is.  For more information about Tsali, go to the Cherokee Indian Reservation site.  Tsali was killed at a town that was located in this area and now flooded beneath the waters of Fontana Lake, known as Bushnell.

When did the first families move into the area? Just after 1830. First on one side of Welch Ridge was Samuel Cable, wife and children from Cades Cove, Tennessee and the other family on the opposite side of Welch Ridge was Moses Proctor, wife and children.  Moses settled on the side that became known as Proctor, NC.

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.

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


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 “Growing up on Hazel Creek”
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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