In 1769, Nicholas Smith received a king's land grant for a lake and 50 acres of land. The mill he built on the lake was used to grind corn for rations during the American Revolution. In 1865, William Thagard, for whom the lake is named, built a new mill.
Early in the 20th century, a rock and concrete dam was built by I.G. Chandler. A power plant operated there until 1927. With the purchase of the lake and 475 adjoining acres in 1959, A.B. Hardee began the development of a golf course and residential community. It has grown to 3,000 acres with six lakes and two semiprivate golf courses. Whispering Pines was incorporated in 1969 and includes the Whispering Woods and Whispering Winds neighborhoods.