Lake Gaston and its surrounding area comprise a unique community and one of the best kept secrets in the southeast United States. The Lake is situated along the North Carolina/Virginia border and its shoreline touches two counties in Virginia – Brunswick and Mecklenburg – and three counties in North Carolina – Halifax, Warren and Northampton. It’s easy access from north and south via I-85 on the west and I-95 on the east makes it particularly well suited as a weekend destination for Raleigh and Richmond residents, and many travel from as far north as New York and as far south as South Carolina to spend time here. In addition major hospitals, universities and shopping malls are in close proximity (about 1.5 hour drive) north to Richmond and south to Raleigh.
Lake Gaston waters cover over 20,000 acres and is approximately 35 miles long. Located between Kerr Dam on the west and Gaston Dam on the east, lake water levels remain mostly constant, and are controlled by Dominion Generation, who created the lake to produce electrical power in 1963. With over 400 miles of main lake and creeks shoreline, there is no end to the vistas a boat traveler can enjoy. Visitors and residents are also treated to a wide variety of available waterborne activities including an excellent fishery, swimming, waterskiing, wakeboarding, or just cruising. The sunrises and sunsets from the lake are not to be missed.
What makes Lake Gaston particularly attractive is its mostly rural atmosphere and laid back way of life. It is surrounded by farm land, and the pace is slow and relaxed. Folks come here for a quiet vacation or weekend away from the hustle and bustle of their hectic daily lives, or retire here to quietly enjoy the fruits of their lifetime labors. For those who don’t wish to spend all their time on the water, there are plenty of festivals, church and fire house diners and other events that provide an excellent opportunity to meet and chat with local folks, who are always friendly.
The LGA added the Executive Director position to its staff on July 1, 2005. It is the only paid LGA position, part time at 20 hours/week, and was established primarily to provide continuity of effort and resident expertise for the Board of Directors who, as volunteers, experience considerable turnover.
Moira Underwood has held the Executive Director position since its inception and is considered the glue that holds the organization together on a daily basis.
Early into her tenure, she established a permanent LGA office in the Town Center in Littleton, NC giving the LGA its first ever base of operations. From there, she is effectively able to respond to queries and concerns from members and other lake property owners, as well as administer her many other duties and responsibilities. She was also able to eliminate the need for a separate Communications Committee by assuming responsibility for publication of the bi-monthly LGA Bulletin, oversight of the organization’s web site, and providing timely communication with the LGA’s members through pertinent emails, letters, a monthly newspaper column, and numerous public service announcements.
Moira was born and raised in England, where she met her husband Jack at her work location at IBM’s Hursley Laboratory. They subsequently married, and she emigrated to the US in 1982 as Jack returned from assignment. They continued their careers with IBM in Raleigh. Both worked with colleagues who talked (especially Monday mornings) about their weekend homes on Lake Gaston. Moira saw the movie ‘On Golden Pond’ and she had to see Lake Gaston. They became weekenders in 1983, full-timers in 1995 and Moira joined Jack in retirement.
A year later with time on her hands Moira answered an ad for a columnist with The Littleton Observer, a weekly newspaper in Littleton. After two columns, she took the offer to become a reporter, and started her second career! Besides writing her column, news and feature stories, covering bake sales etc, her duties included typing copy, laying out the newspaper on boards with wax, and subsequently becoming editor of the newspaper. She was enjoying a second retirement when the LGA opportunity presented itself.
Moira has been a performer at Lakeland Theater Company, Mosby Ave., Littleton since 1997; has had a weekly radio program called “Moments with Moira” on 90.1 & 90.5 FM since 2000 thanks to her air sponsor Lake Gaston Supply; volunteers at the John 3:16 Center as the after school piano and guitar teacher; and when she met Jack in England, Moira was still competing in track and field events – discus and shot put.