The Piers of Dunnottar
The piers of Dunnottar are unique, probably in the world. When
people think of piers they tend to think of the large carnival piers of
England, Florida or California that allow beach visitors to walk out
over the ocean to fish, dance or enjoy amusements. For the three
communities of Dunnottar: Matlock, Whytewold, and Ponemah, the
reason for the piers is more practical. They carry swimmers out over
the shore rocks to the sandbars of the lake. Swimmers tend to wear
water boots to navigate these rocks which are frustrating and
dangerous to walk over as they range in size from pebbles to
boulders, some larger than the swimmer. In the late 19th Century
settlers to the region built narrow piers, one or two planks wide in
order to go out to their sailboats. Formal piers for swimmers soon
followed, each ending in a patio like platform to hold groups of
bathers and stairs down to the water.

The piers are more unique in that they are seasonal. Due to the
ice of the lake being so dangerous, they are built each season in
the spring and then taken down in the fall. As such, the piers
bracket the summer season itself announcing its beginning and
end. For residents, they hold powerful associations and memories
of summer itself.