Rutherford Weekly

June 08, 2023

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 23

This is a celebration year for the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge (LLFB) and the dozens of volunteers, visitors and the community residents of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock as the bridge turns 10 years old. On Friday night dozens gathered in Lake Lure for the "Not Your Typical Garden Party" to celebrate the past 10 years and look forward to future plans for the garden of fl owers that began with an idea and a vision carried out through many volunteers. Several founders of LLFB, who have moved from the area, attended the party including Bill and Ellie Miller and Linda and Woody Turner. It was Bill Miller who in 2010 had an idea of converting the old travel bridge into a garden. Today LLFB draws an estimated 186,000 people from all over the world to walk across the pedestrian bridge of gardens. Miller, who lived in Lake Lure at the time, said he was returning from Asheville (2010) when he stopped in Lake Lure to view the construction of a new bridge across Rocky Broad River. "For the fi rst time ever I got to see the arched beauty of the old bridge, and immediately I saw it blooming in fl owers, rising above the beautiful balustrades and hanging over its sides. On refl ection I realized that this thought was inspired by childhood visits to the Shelburne Falls (MA) Bridge of Flowers," Miller said. After the former traffi c bridge - fi rst built in 1925 - that connected Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, a new modern bridge was constructed in 2011 and at the request of the Town of Lake Lure, the bridge was given to the Town of Lake Lure by the State of North Carolina. Miller said he made his fi rst visit to Town Hall to share the idea in 2011 about creating a fl ower garden. "The rest of the story of Lake Lure Flowering Bridge is now the history of dedicated gardeners and community leaders, with much greater vision than I, creating a gorgeous, fl owering pedestrian bridge to somewhere beautiful," Miller said. Miller told the crowd on Friday night that Kathy Tanner had the vision for the bridge and she and the fi rst volunteers caught the torch and the vision grew to the bridge it is today. "We hoped to create a four season garden for the enjoyment of all who come our way," said Kathy. "I think we have reached that goal. We can expand that now by saying that we have over 200,000 visitors a year, national and international of all ages. The uniqueness of our gardens and special features and themes that change with seasons makes us a place that appeals to such a variety of people." "I am not a gardener," Miller quickly pointed out. "I can kill any fl ower. I had the idea and God gave everybody else the vision as to what it would be like. It is what I thought it could be. The right people came together, those who love plants and gardens. Gardeners are such visionary people," he said. The Millers left Lake Lure in 2017 for Huntersville, and return to the mountains on occasion. "I go there to the bridge and marvel. I praise all the volunteers." Miller said when he fi rst took the garden bridge idea to Town Council in 2011, he told Council he believed the bridge idea could have an economic impact on the communities, with an estimated 35,000 tourists to the area every year. "Nearly 200,000 are visiting each year," he said. Continued on page 3. ISSUE NO. 23 • June 8, 2023 ISSUE NO. 23 • June 8, 2023 • • • 828-248-1408 • 828-248-1408 A Special Edition FATHER'S DAY SPECIAL EDITION Publishes Thursday, June 15 To be included in our Father's Day edition contact Maya 704-472-7892 or email: N.C. TRACTOR & FARM SUPPLY 299 Railroad Ave., Rutherfordton • 828-288-0395 Mobile: 828-429-5008 • SALES • SERVICE • PARTS IF YOU BUY ANYWHERE ELSE YOU WILL PAY TOO MUCH! IF YOU BUY ANYWHERE ELSE YOU WILL PAY TOO MUCH! PROUDLY SERVING RUTHERFORD, CLEVELAND, GASTON, LINCOLN, POLK COUNTIES AS THE AREAS HOMETOWN MASSEY FERGUSON DEALER. Great Selection Great Selection Our 31 st Year • Over 25,000 Weekly Readers Article by Jean Gordon An idea from a non-gardener and An idea from a non-gardener and a vision from others is now one of the a vision from others is now one of the area's most popular attractions area's most popular attractions Our 2023 Our 2023 Graduation Graduation edition! edition! Bill Miller with a drawing of the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge at the Lake Lure Town Council in 2011. (Contributed photo) Photos captured by Amy Meade McSwain on a recent trip to the Flowering Bridge.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Rutherford Weekly - June 08, 2023