History of Cherokee Lake

Cherokee Dam Flood Gates

The dam was build in the early 1940’s to meet the urgent need for electricity. World War II created huge demands for energy in production of aluminum in Alcoa/Maryville. Today, the Cherokee Lake is one of the three reservoir lakes for flood control in East Tennessee.

Cherokee Dam is more than 6,700 feet long and 175 feet high. Other records show that 875 family and 51 cemeteries were relocated, 6,000 wooded acres were cleared, 99 mile of roads were rerouted, 14 new bridges were built, and the historic tavern at Bean Station was flooded.

The amazing fact is that this dam was built in slightly more than one year.

Today, the Tennessee Valley Authority maintains control of all shoreline around the lake. Some areas allow for fixed docks, some for no docks and some allow for community docks/marinas. Regardless, all shoreline required property owners to obtain a 26a permit from TVA before shoreline changes can be made.