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Friday, February 27, 2009

Watauga Lake Butler, TN

Well, the update on Scott is he walked 21 miles today and is in Richmond, VA. Thus far he has walked 347 miles. Less than 100 to go. Good luck on your journey into Washington Scott.

After two days of talking about chickens lets talk about something else today. Here is another Point of Interest in Johnson County.

Watauga Lake covers approximately ten square miles in Johnson and Carter County. It was built by the Tennesse Valley Authority after devastating floods of the Watauga River. Part of the lake covers the town of Old Butler and the area where my father was born and raised. It has 109 miles of shoreline and is 16.3 miles long. It sits 1959 feet above sea level. It is a great source fo recreation in this portion of East Tennessee.

My friend, Carter, who lived in Old Butler told me about the flood of 1940. He said he was at school that day and the teacher sent him out to see how high the river was rising. He said you could see portions of houses and debris floating down the river, chickens were setting on top of chicken coops. Livestock were in the water, he says it was an awful sight. He talked about the water coming up to the knees of his britches legs. The teacher dismissed school and they all got to safety shortly before the schoolhouse was washed away.

The Tennessee Valley Authority began construction on the dam on February 16, 1942. Due to World War II construction was stopped on December 21, 1942 and resumed again on July 22, 1946. The gates to Watauga Dam were closed in December of 1948. My father worked for a time on this dam.

761 families and 50 businesses along with some cemeteries were relocated to New Butler and the surrounding area. The town of Butler has created a museum depicting life in Old Butler and every year they celebrate Old Butler Days.

And there you have it The Town That Wouldn't Drown.

For those of you who want to follow Scott's journey his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol here is the link

You can leave comments on this page or if you prefer to contact me you can do so at If you have memories you would care to share about living in Johnson County I would appreciate it if you would share those also.

That's it For Today.

1 comment:

Speedy said...

Now that is a good story. I want to visit such towns on my wonderings around this country. I think there is a lot of history in every town that would be fun to explore.

Joe and Sherri