Some things just niggle at you. A few years ago, we were driving along Highway 4, about four miles west of Ashland, when we spotted a beautiful lake with houses all around it and boat docks jutting into the water! In a landscape of crop fields and trees, it seemed to pop out of nowhere. We slammed on the brakes – stunned! – and took a picture or two. After a few minutes of gawking, we drove on and spotted a sign that said “Snow Lake Shores”. Over the years since, we often mentioned the shock of stumbling upon a resort we had never heard of. We couldn't quite believe it. And then one day we thought, “Maybe we should go back and take a better look...just to make sure we didn't just dream it up.” So, we did.
But, this time we decided to learn a little bit about the place beforehand – in case it was really there to explore. It turns out that Snow Lake Shores was the brainchild of a New Yorker named Walter Utley, who moved to the area in 1947, looking for a place to build a resort. And, by golly, by 1958, Walter and his business partners had created a big lake and started building houses around it. Interestingly, they marketed the resort as being “safe” and “family friendly,” which seem like rather unnecessary things to bother pointing out in 1950's Mississippi.
The neighborhoods are a mix of large new homes, lake houses of varying sizes, rustic cabins, and simple post-war ranch styles. The houses sit on the rather large hills that surround the lake – at least, the areas we saw. There are homes high on the hillsides, homes fairly close to the water, and homes located between the two.
Our favorites were the ones near the water, in large part because of the “extras” most of them seemed to have – boat docks, charming gazebos, beautiful terracing, and the like. Some look really idyllic, and we're guessing they all have absolutely stunning views, even in winter, which is not the best season to sight see. Our first visit was during warm weather, and SLS is stunning when everything is green.
|Snow Lake in January|
From the beginning, this was a place where people could vacation or live year-round, and that seems to be the case even now. About 300 folks call Snow Lake Shores home, but apparently during the summer the population triples. We saw a lot of homes that are obviously year-round residences, many that appeared to be closed for the season, and quite a few houses for sale.
|Eastern Shore of Snow Lake in Mississippi|
Snow Lake Shores isn't large when compared to places like Pickwick, but it's plenty big enough, and interestingly shaped, with three fingers of water protruding from the main body – talk about a wealth of waterfront lots! We tried to drive around it, only to discover it was much larger than it looks, although, supposedly, the community is less than one square mile. We made one loop along the body of the lake and over a bridge, but we found that all those forested roads and turnoffs look pretty much the same and we weren't sure enough about the overall layout to ensure we weren't going to get lost. We figured that trying to venture up around the three forks area was just asking for trouble, so we went down to the highway and admired SLS from there (our favorite view anyway).
Then, because we were only fourteen miles from Holly Springs and we never pass up a chance to visit that charming place, we drove through town just to check on things. Our most important discovery concerned Graceland Too. When we heard the sad news that Paul McLeod had passed away a while back, we wondered what was to become of all his beloved Elvis memorabilia. And now we know.
|Graceland Too with a whitewash. Note the "TLC Mary TCB" on the porch.|
|A chance to buy a piece of famous Elvis memorabilia.(Spurkauctions.com)|