Camp Chimney Rock was closed even before the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing made the North Carolina camp famous, but the lakefront property that was home to the summer camp is now a gated residential community.
The camp was founded as a boys camp in 1918 but later became coed and closed its doors in 1982.
While the movie is set at the fictional Kellerman’s Resort in the Catskills (the large resort building is Mountain Lake Hotel in Pembroke, Virginia), the shuttered Camp Chimney Rock’s cabins, gym and dining hall, nearby Lake Lure and other scenery were an integral part of the setting for the low-budget film that became a box office hit.
Firefly Cove at Lake Lure, the development with houses ranging in price from the $400,000s to more than $1 million, acknowledges the property’s history both as a summer camp and a film set on its website.
A page about Dirty Dancing notes that there is little left standing of the camp structures:
“Although most of the structures have since been destroyed, Firefly Cove treasures the land’s history and has preserved the remaining ruins of the camp’s gym and dining hall as integral parts of the community. Whether it’s the shadow of children’s laughter from Camp Chimney Rock, or because of the fictional family summer camp contrived for film – there’s no denying, Firefly Cove at Lake Lure is absolutely enticing.”
The film’s legacy on the property and the local community continues to be celebrated with signs marking different scenes from the film and at a Dirty Dancing Festival that’s been held over the summer since 2010. It’s scheduled for August 19-20 this year.
Memories of the property’s long and rich history as a summer camp have been preserved by alumni, which have organized reunions and have a Facebook group with a treasure trove of old photos.