History and images have been compiled from various sources including, among others, the 1987 National Register of Historic Places, Stack & Beasley's 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Union County Public Library (Patricia Poland, Genealogy & Local History Librarian), the Heritage Room Photo Collection, North Carolina Map Collection, Rootsweb - An Ancestry.com Community and Ancestry.com family histories.

Lake Tonawanda

Developed by J. T. Shute Jr., five-acre Lake Tonawanda was just north of the Seaboard tracks between Charlotte Avenue and the present Skyway Drive. It began as a pond or swimming hole. It is labeled "Shute's Pond" on the 1914 Sanborn Map of Monroe - below.

In the early 1900s, Lake Tonawanda was one of the most popular swimming places in North Carolina. Besides swimming facilities, the spot consisted of an amusement park with rides, a picnic area, a dance hall and concession stands. The carousel came from Tonawanda, N.Y.--thus the name.  Click images to enlarge and open photo viewer.


  1. So what happened to it?

    1. Obviously the lake was drained and the land used for other things. Progress...

  2. Does anyone know what year and why did they drain the lake