Towns do not survive forever. Western North Carolina has a number of its own lost towns. They disappeared for a number of reasons. Some vanished when rivers were dammed, creating lakes for the generation of electricity. Lake Glenville drowned the town of Glenville in Jackson County in 1941. The region’s largest lake, Fontana, created in 1944 in Graham and Swain Counties, submerged several small communities, including Japan and Judson. Other towns vanished when their economic reason for being disappeared. Many logging towns, like Sunburst in Haywood County, followed that pattern when the timber boom burst after World War I. So when traveling in western North Carolina, keep your eyes open for ghost towns. You may just stumble across one.