Welcome to SWAHA Lodge, located in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains on beautiful Lake Greeson. We are located just 6 miles north of Murfreesboro on highway 19, and only 8 miles from the Crater of Diamonds State Park that is the home of North America’s only diamond mine.
SWAHA is family-owned and operated by Janelle Fant, her son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Janet Fant, and their grown children, Hunter and Aspen (manager). They also take pride in helping raise the grandkids just as they were raised…on the water! We are now starting the fourth generation, with Aiden and Easton, to carry on the family tradition.
Hershell and Janelle bought the business in 1968 after the first massive flood that descended over the Narrow’s Dam. At the time the Fant’s bought the business there were only 2 wooden docks that housed a total of approximately 25 stalls that floated on 55 gallon drums, a restaurant, only 4 rustic cabins, and a tiny store.
In 1982, Hershell suffered a massive heart attack and died unexpectedly during Kevin’s senior year of high school. Kevin immediately began helping Janelle take over the operations with a long-time friend, Willie Williams, who lived on the premises and had previously helped Hershell as a part-time employee. During the 80’s, Janelle, Kevin, and Willie ran the business but later Willie retired and moved into Murfreesboro; Kevin continued to learn from experience. Willie died in the fall of 2012.
In 1988, they built a modern store to replace the old one and every year there were expansion projects. In previous years, SWAHA was a seasonal business that extended from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year but as business expanded and more modern lodging facilities were built, they began catering to trout fishing and “diamond diggers” during the off-season. This grew into a year-round business. Now, SWAHA is open 365 days per year.
In 2004, a floating store was built and additional stalls were added as a courtesy dock. Also, the Dam Grill and its open-air dining facility were added as a concession for SWAHA’s guests in 2009. The grill serves a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu items and is open seasonally. Chicken Quesadillas and homemade burgers seem to be the favorites, as well as the fried green beans. The new kitchen construction and Friday Night Catfish was added in 2015 and really boosted business. Kevin and Janet hand-cut every piece of farm-raised catfish to ensure quality fillets; homemade slaw and pepper pups, pinto beans, French fries, and trimmings complete the delicious special.
Currently, SWAHA is proud of the fact they have grown to employ 3 full-time, and approximately 15-20 part-time, as well as the Fant’s and their families. SWAHA is also proud to boast about their floating store, the Dam Grill, 2 rustic cabins, 2 private cabins, 8 condo units, 5 modern cottages, the Captain’s Quarters and the SWAHA House. In addition, 2 new treehouse units and one 1 bedroom unit was completed in 2016. The original 25 slips have increased to 231, and they house a variety of boats that range from 18’ fishing boats to 95’ houseboats. In fall of 2017, Action Fishing came to Swaha to offer a full guide service and later Reel M N Guide Service joined the fleet as well. That prompted the need for more live bait, so a minnow house was erected in 2018. New in 2019, condos were restructured and a laundry warehouse was built, as well as the addition of The Frozen Flamingo Shaved Ice dock because there is nothing better than a delicious shaved ice drink on the lake. That’s not all; they hope to continue expanding to accommodate the needs of their guests. They hope to help build and maintain a new ATV/Nature trail around the lake and continue with more lodging and possibly an event venue in the future.
SWAHA would like to thank all of their loyal customers who have helped them grow into such a successful business. Hard work and dedication have been a big factor but the Fant’s agree their guests make it worthwhile. They have numerous repeat customers and they have noted several families on the second, third, and fourth generations returning for family vacations and reunions. Many of the families have made SWAHA an annual trip for generations and that is what we, here at SWAHA, love to see. Please let us extend our greatest appreciation to you as a valued customer and let us include you in our family. We hope you make this your home away from home and make lots of lasting memories here at SWAHA Lodge. Please enjoy your stay and be safe on your journey home.
50 years and counting!
-The Fant Family