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U. S. Board on Geographic Names Retains Name of Moody Lake

(July 3, 2010) In 2007 representatives of Whitehall Corporate Center applied to have the name of Moody Lake officially changed to Whitehall Lake to reflect its location within the future Whitehall Corporate Center.

At its meeting on June 10, 2010, the United States Board on Geographic names did not approve the proposal to change the name. The Board cited the reluctance to change a long standing name of historical significance, as well as the negative recommendation of the North Carolina Geographic Names Board.

The official name for use by the federal government will remain Moody Lake. See Feature Detail Report for Moody Lake.

 Moody Lake Locator

Moody Lake is located off Arrowood Road just east of I-485. It is planned to be the focal point of the multi-building expansion of Whitehall Corporate Center. See Whitehall Corporate Center Addition to Feature Eight Towers.

Moody Lake most likely was built be George Moody soon after he purchased the property in 1929. The Moody family operated a farm on the property but lived in Myers Park.

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names is a federal body created in 1890 and established in its present form by Public Law in 1947 to maintain uniform geographic name usage throughout the Federal Government.

The Board contacted the Steele Creek Residents Association concerning the proposal in 2009. The Residents Association did not make a recommendation on the name change, but did provide the following information:


History of the Names Moody and Whitehall in the Steele Creek Community of Mecklenburg County, NC

The following information was provided by local historians with some confirmation from internet sources:

Moody Lake most likely was built by George D. Moody who acquired a 325 acre parcel, known as the old Frank Simiril place, in 1929. George held the property until his death in 1952. His sons, George Junior and Francis S. Moody, sold it to David R. Johnston in 1959. David R. Johnston was owner of the nearby Whitehall horse farm.

The Moodys didn't live there.They lived in the Myers Park neighborhood in Charlotte. George D. Moody owned the Charles Moody Company (named for his brother), a wholesale grocery business. Moody had a big farm on the property where the lake was and had others farm the land. There seems to be no doubt from local residents that George D. Moody is the person who built the lake.

Local residents remember the lake being there in the 1940ís. A local resident remembers helping cut hay near the lake and helping with an oats crop back in the 1950s. Supposedly there was a small cabin Moody built on the lake that he and his sons enjoyed as a get away. Local residents remember that one of his sons would come out to the little cabin on the lake and get dead drunk, and the family would come out and take him back to Charlotte. 

Whitehall was the name of a horse farm that was owned by David R. Johnston whose family owned textile mills in Charlotte. The farm included a stable, at least two barns, and a horse track. David Johnston told a local historian that he named it Whitehall because that was the name of his horse farm in Kentucky. They raised colts for harness racing, and when they got older they transported them to Kentucky. 

David Johnston's father, R. Horace Johnston, purchased 312.5 acres of the property in 1927 and purchased an additional 48.6 acres in 1945.  R. Horace Johnston died in 1949, and David R. Johnston inherited the property.

The house on the Whitehall farm was the Reid home before the Johnstons purchased it. It dated back to the 1800 to 1830 period. The house sat on a slight knoll in the middle of what is now intersection I-485 and S. Tryon Street.

David R. Johnston died in 1982. His widow Alice Grier Johnston sold the Whitehall farm, including the former Moody property, which her husband had purchased in 1959, for the Whitehall development in 1994.According to the Environment Site Assessment prepared in 1993, the farm had been abandoned by that time, and the track was overgrown and extremely difficult to distinguish from the surrounding topography.

Additional information about the Whitehall property and Moody Lake is available on the Environmental Site Assessment for the Whitehall Site, which is available here: http://www.merrifieldpartners.com/properties/docs/whitehall/Phase_I.PDF