MORE ABOUT THE LODGE|
[Note: On November 20, 2000, the U. S. Government (Department of the
Interior - the owners of Mattamuskeet Lodge), closed the Lodge to the
public, Visitors are still welcome on the grounds of the Lodge, where great photographic opportunities still exist, but no one will be admitted to the interior of the Lodge until such time as structural repairs are made.]
Placed on the National Historic Register in 1980, Mattamuskeet Lodge
is the focal point of the Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge.
and The Lodge are steeped in history dating back to the days
when Hyde County was inhabited by several tribes of Indians.
In 1911, the first of three subsequent investors sought to drain the lake
and build the community of New Holland and farm its rich lands. Built in 1915,
the building became the world's largest pumping station. Four steam powered pumps
fueled by coal moved 1,200,000 gallons of water per minute (which equates to
20,000 gallons of water per second!). Millions of dollars were spent as each
investor found the scheme impractical and too expensive and one by one, their
grand ideas were abandoned.
The land was acquired by the United States Government in 1934 and a waterfowl
Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge
- was established. At
that time, the Civilian Conservation Corps converted the former pumping plant
into a lodge. The smokestack was shortened and transformed into an observation
tower. The tower is 100 feet tall and has 122 circular steps leading to an
The Lodge operated until 1974. Since that time it has remained vacant, with
only occasional use for specific events. The Friends of Mattamuskeet Lodge
Committee was organized in 1990 and has sponsored several volunteer efforts
to make significant improvements in the appearance of the building.
East Carolina University has signed an agreement to use a portion of the building
Field Station for Coastal Studies at Mattamuskeet.
Plans call for students to have sleeping quarters and a lab to aid in their research.
In 1993, the Partnership for the Sounds, a non-profit organization joined
forces with local interest groups and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to
restore The Lodge and adapt it for research and education focusing on migratory
waterfowl and the Atlantic flyway system.
Refuge personnel asked a local civic group, the Swan Quarter Service Group,
to become involved and help expand their annual open house. As a result, the first
Swan Days Festival was held in December 1994. Taking place the first weekend in
December, this annual event
includes local craft and food vendors; historical
displays and presentation; and workshops as well as guided tours of refuge areas
not normally accessible by the public.
Eastern North Carolina.
On mainland Hyde County's Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge.
NC Highway 264 is the east/west main thoroughfare, with access from the
North via NC Highways 45 & 94. Refuge entrance is on Hwy 94, approximately 1
mile North of the intersection of Hwys 264 & 94.
Ferry service (schedule) available from
Ocracoke Island to
Swan Quarter on the mainland.
Further information is available from:
THE GREATER HYDE COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE