In the Staunton News Leader in 2017, Dale M. Brumfield wrote an article about the history of the proposed Verona Dam Lake Project that was under consideration in the 1960s and 1970s.
Had the project gone through, Brumfield wrote, we would now have a "97-ft tall [dam] on Middle River just southwest of New Hope that would flood almost the entire area bounded by New Hope, Fort Defiance, Verona and Barren Ridge with a 6,150-acre reservoir. The scope of the proposed Verona Dam Lake was mind-boggling: after filling, the community of Laurel Hill would be an isolated peninsula..."
The project was considered and pursued from the early 1960s until 1977. Read the full article here: https://www.newsleader.com/story/news/history/2017/09/25/we-almost-went-water-skiing-verona-history/700370001/
Sketch of the proposed lake, Courtesy of The Staunton Leader, Feb 2, 1968.