Merit Mark Point
A Unique Place on the Lake
Merit Mark Point is our squadron's property on Lake Wylie. The facility is open to all members. It has 3 docks, a cookhouse with a large grill used for BBQs and Pig Pickin's, a shelter with picnic tables, a small grill, and refrigerator. There are also rest rooms on site. It is the perfect place to use as the base for a day on the lake. It is also the home of many Squadron events.
Members -- get important information about MMPt here
We are adding a kayak launch and on-site kayak storage -- stay tuned!
Fund Raiser Campaign
Want to help keep Merit Mark Point in tip-top shape? Contribute to our campaign to repair our docks. Our current goal is $3000. Keep checking here to see how we are doing.
History of Merit Mark Point
The Charlotte Power Squadron members on Lake Wylie in the 60’s had a rendezvous point up Crowder’s Creek at the power lines. There was a road into the area and a beat up old dock. It wasn’t much, but we got together there for cookouts and the like. Duke Power, for some unknown reason, decided to close the road and tear down the dock. That was the end of that.
For the next few months, we just rafted-up in Beaver Dam Creek and socialized. We had a few get-togethers on the sandy beach across from the Commodore Yacht Club, as most of us on Lake Wylie were members in those days. We had our Change of Watch for several years in the Regatta Room at the Club.
The next summer we found a sandy beach upstream a ways from Big Allison Creek and we made it our new “home”. We cleaned up the beach, built a bench and a fire ring and had some fun times there.
One afternoon, Al Allison and I were fishing on the lake and as we looked at the then vast undeveloped shoreline owned by Duke Power, we thought, “It would be nice if they would give the Power Squadron a little bit of this to call our own”. Al spoke with someone he knew on the inside at Duke about our thoughts. Several weeks later, we took Al’s friend out to the lake for a ride. As we rode around, we told him about the Power Squadron and he asked, “Exactly what do you want?” It took us a week or so, but we found out from another inside source what land on the lake might be available. We picked four possible sites and we quickly answered his question. Several weeks later, a committee was formed with bridge members and others and we met with Duke Power; they agreed to lease us what is now Merit Mark Point. This was great, right? Well, sort of. Leases were becoming deeds. They no longer wanted to lease the land; they wanted to sell the land. Our building permit to improve our property was issued on 10-23-78. In January of 1979, a committee was formed to make our improvements on “Power Squadron Point”, as it was first named. We needed funds to make these improvements. Our first fundraiser was held at the lot that spring; “Squire” Bob McGinn and several of us built a concrete block grill on top of the hill and cooked our first Chicken-Q meal. In the fall, we followed up with a pig Bar-B-Que. Both of these first events made money to get our road fixed and to start on a shelter and an outhouse. Our shelter was completed with benches, a picnic table and a permanent grill. We held a contest to properly name our lot. Pinny Cook, wife of P/C Melvin Cook, submitted the winning name and “Merit Mark Point” was born. Our lease charge continued to rise; we just couldn’t afford many more increases. We decided to improve the property enough so that Crescent would sell it to us. Then in1983, we again went to Crescent Land and Timber and requested that they sell us the land at a price we could afford. We told them we thought we could afford $25,000. They could value the property at $50,000, sell to us at $25,000 and write off the rest as a charitable donation. They agreed to sell us the property for $35,000 and write-off the rest. Our property finance committee got approval from the Executive Committee at the next meeting and a vast fund raising program began. Our members raised most of the money needed in about 6 months, but time was running out. The Executive Committee decided to use Squadron funds to make up the needed $4500 or so dollars. Merit Mark Point was ours! A fire of unknown origin broke out on a Tuesday around 1985 burned us to the ground. All that was left was a molten slab of aluminum which had been the grill cover. This slab still hangs in The Phoenix Shelter. The fund raising continued with a chicken-Q in the Spring and Pig-Q in the Fall. Bob McGinn continued to be the lead figure in the Cooking category. I was his understudy; he taught me well. He even went so far as to give me the receipt for “The secret sauce”. When Bob had some health issues, I took the helm and our cookouts continued to raise money to support Merit Mark Point. In the following years, in addition to the Phoenix Shelter, we built the cook house, rest rooms (with a shower), and A, B, and C docks. So many members helped with their money, their time and their talents, it would be impossible to name them all. It was a great group effort, with much of the design work being done by P/C Gene Neal. P/D/C George Rogers, AP single handedly built the rest rooms; the entire Rogers Construction group, composed of Gary, J. R. and George, were a great help in the total project. P/C Walter Hipp’s company cleared land and leveled the site for the Shelter, and installed the concrete picnic tables. When construction started, everyone became a carpenter or a grunt. We got the job done and have continued to improve the property since. P/C T. K. Moore, AP