New Hope Valley has witnessed the passage of man for ten thousand years. Archaeologists have investigated 450 historic and prehistoric sites within the Jordan Lake area and have found remains of a broad range of cultures. New Hope Valley was included in the Granville Grant and was first settled by Scottish Highlanders in the 1740's. It has been the scene of both Revolutionary and Civil War activities and supported an agrarian way of life.
B. Everett Jordan Dam and Lake can be traced to a disastrous tropical storm that struck the Cape Fear River Basin in 1945. Congress directed the Corps of Engineers to undertake a comprehensive study of water resource needs the following year and authorized construction of the project, then known as New Hope Reservoir, in 1963. Actual construction began in 1967, and congress changed the project name in 1973 to B. Everett Jordan Dam and Lake in honor of the former Senator from North Carolina. Impoundment of the reservoir was started in September 1981 and the lake initially reached normal pool stage in February 1982.