Our History Flows Through These Waters.
Livingston Boat Dock was one of the “old-time” docks on Dale Hollow Lake, having been around since the 1950s. Dale Hollow Lake may have been formed for flood control and hydroelectric power, but a few years after its impoundment, privately owned marinas began to dot the shoreline surrounding Dale Hollow Lake, attracting families and fishermen. Livingston Boat Dock quickly became a popular hotspot, serving the area of the lake between Celina and Livingston.
In 2006, the dock was sold at auction to our late owner, Doug Smith, and Mitchell Creek Marina & Resort was born.
Since 2006 Mitchell Creek Marina & Resort has grown to include five new docks, parking lots and a completely new infrastructure. We are very proud of our family-friendly amenities, including an expansive game room, bumper boats, splash pad, volleyball courts as well as our iconic “steamboat” that houses our marina store, restaurant and the new Boutique at Mitchell Creek.
We are always looking toward the future and as more families choose to create memories at our resort we continue to grow, offering even more amenities, additional cabins and our upcoming spa and fitness center.
How It All Started
Our sister property, Swan Ridge Development, was our late founder’s first big venture outside the wood products industry, but it wasn’t his last.
Swan Ridge is a private, gated community located “just around the corner” via water, and just a few minutes away by land.
A few short years after Swan Ridge was under construction, Doug bought Livingston Dock placing the creation of Mitchell Creek Marina in motion. Doug had a vision of providing the residents at Swan Ridge the ability to access Dale Hollow Lake. The best way to achieve this was the creation of a marina.
“With Swan Ridge being so close to the lake and having the great views of Dale Hollow, having a marina nearby to serve our residents just seemed like the thing to do,” explained April Patterson, Doug’s daughter, who now manages both businesses. “We feel like we have one of the best marina facilities on the lake. If you want to go out and play or stay on the water, we have everything you need! If you need a place to keep your boat, we can take care of you. We have a great restaurant run by a proven restaurateur and a top-flight gift shop that features a lot more than just souvenirs. On top of that, we have plenty of lodging if you want to come down for a visit.”
Mitchell Creek and Swan Ridge are just two of several companies Doug Smith founded. Our sister companies include Honest Abe Log Homes, Barky Beaver Mulch, McFarland Creek Outdoors, as well as a variety of sawmill, lumber and trucking companies.
Doug’s father, Lemuel, who operated a sawmill to supplement income from the family farm, introduced Doug to the wood products industry after he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Tennessee Technological University. He worked as an engineer for a few years in the private sector, but his home on the Northeastern Highland Rim came calling, as did the desire to get back in the “family business.” Always the entrepreneur, Smith’s first company actually created mop and broom handles.
“Dad learned quickly there wasn’t a lot of profit in mop and broom handles, so he started a small sawmill, using the tools of the trade he learned from grandpa,” said April.
Not long after that, Green Forest Wood Products opened for business in 1970. This family sawmill is now overseen by Smith’s son, Shane.
Belief in Stewardship of Natural Resources
The family business operation and all the conservation measures associated with it continues today as the next generation of Smiths farm several thousand acres in Tennessee and Kentucky.
Early in Doug Smith’s career he understood the importance of not only needing to utilize every part of a tree but to also put measures in place to renew this precious lumber source. Smith used to say, “That’s not just a good business practice, it’s proper stewardship.”
That principle continues with all of Smith’s businesses, including Swan Ridge and Mitchell Creek Marina. We practice what we preach and also preach what we practice. We not only do these things as a part of our everyday business, we encourage our customers and our suppliers to get involved as well.
We sell “green and safe” products in our store. We have installed geothermal heating and air units in our store and restaurant and hand dryers in the restrooms rather than paper towels. We email statements when possible instead of using paper, and we purchase recycled products for our rentals and store sales. Without a doubt, we’re proud to be green!