Although the name “West Lake Norman” is never used by residents to describe where they live on the lake, the Denver side of Lake Norman is a bit slower paced and has more of a country feeling than both Cornelius in Mecklenburg Count & Mooresville in Iredell County. The west side of Lake Norman includes communities in Lincoln and Catawba counties in the towns of Denver, Sherrills Ford and Terrell. The communities in these towns offer great water views, less congestion than the eastern shore of Lake Norman & an easy commute to Charlotte, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and other areas to the Southeast via the recently completed Interstate 485.
The main roads connecting the west side of Lake Norman to the east side of the lake are Highway 16, which runs North & South along the west side; Highway 73 running west from Huntersville and Highway 150 running west from Mooresville
History abounds on the west side of the lake with development dating back to the early pioneers in 1747 and the Catawba Indians who lived on the banks of the river bearing their name. Adam Sherrill migrated from Pennsylvania in 1747 & settled on the west bank of the Catawba River where shoals allowed them to ford the river….and so, the name Sherrills Ford!
Denver was known as Dry Pond then but was renamed after the Colorado boom town in the late 1800’s when locals hoped to attract the new railroad line being built in North Carolina to the west side of the river. Instead the rail line was built on the eastern shores of the river ( and still exists today) & boosted development in Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville & Mooresville. This impacted the slower development of the west side that continues today.
In 1963 everything changed when Duke Power built a dam at Cowan’s Ford just south of Denver to create the 32,500 acre Lake Norman. Cabins & mobile homes began to occupy both sides of the new lake and many folks from Charlotte began to use the area as a weekend getaway.
As development of the area grew the west side of the lake continued with the small town feel, a rural atmosphere, friendly residents, a focus on family life and affordable home prices that attracted many relocating families to the Denver area. Beginning with a small group of folks in the early 60″s, the population of Lincoln County is now over 78,000!
Neighborhoods such as Westport, Sailview, Smithstone, Villages of Denver, Cowans Ford and Verdict Ridge offer great homes with many amenities including Swim & Tennis Clubs, Golfing and lake side living. The intersection of Highways 16 & 73 has become a major shopping area for residents to enjoy & is home to many restaurants as well as retail stores.
Denver Schools have earned an excellent reputation and there is a varied choice of public, charter and private schools.
Lake Norman lifestyles in the various counties surrounding the lake attract a wonderful blend of people from all across the United States & abroad seeking a gret place to live, work & play. Denver, on Lake Norman’s west shore, is a magnet for people seeking a place to live that offers reduced stress, affordable prices & an all around great place to live. I know….I am a very happy Denver NC resident!