In 1925 sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who would later become famous for Mount Rushmore, proposed carving an enormous memorial to Confederate heroes Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson on the cliffs at Chimney Rock above Lake Lure.
Borglum, who had become estranged from sponsors of a similar memorial he had already begun at Stone Mountain, Georgia, was scouting for another site and another benefactor. The Lake Lure idea didn’t pan out, and the Stone Mountain project went on without him.
Borglum also sculpted the acclaimed North Carolina monument on Seminary Ridge at Gettysburg and the statues of Henry Lawson Wyatt and Gov. Charles B. Aycock in Raleigh’s Capitol Square (both restored in 2008).