Fontana Dam in Swain County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Welcome to Fontana Dam
Highest Dam in the TVA System
Fontana is the highest concrete dam east of the Rocky Mountains.
Construction of Fontana Dam began in 1942 and was completed in 1944.
Fontana provides 238 miles of shoreline and 10,230 acres of water surface for recreation activities.
Fontana Dam is 480 feet high and stretches 2,385 feet across the Little Tennessee River.
Fontana has a flood storage capacity of 580,000 acre-feet (one acre-foot is measured as one acre with a foot of water on it).
The water level in Fontana Reservoir can vary about 50 feet in a normal year.
The powerhouse at the dam has three units that can supply 238,500 kilowatts of electricity. (A kilowatt equals 1,000 watts. Ten 100-watt light bulbs, all on at the same time, equal 1,000 watts.)
Your visit to Fontana Dam should include the visitors center and the observation deck atop the visitors center; the overlook on the west side of the dam, offering the best view of the unusual discharge tunnels; and the emergency spillway, which is a short walk up the visitors center access road.
The Appalachian Trail crosses Fontana Dam, and a hikers' hut is available just up the access
Interpretative displays and exhibits are provided at the visitors center to make your visit informative and fun.
TVA operates the Tennessee River system and its tributaries — the Little Tennessee River is one of them — to provide multiple benefits to the surrounding area. These benefits include navigation, flood control, water quality, power supply, recreation and land use.
Enjoy the beauty and please protect it for those who follow you.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Parks & Recreational Areas • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 35° 27.005′ N, 83° 48.317′ W. Marker is in Fontana Dam, North Carolina, in Swain County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 28 7.8 miles east of U.S. 129, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located beside the parking lot at the Fontana Dam Basin overlook on the west side of the dam. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fontana Dam NC 28733, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The TVA System of Multi-purpose Dams (a few steps from this marker); Fontana's First Stewards: (approx. 0.2 miles away); Appalachian Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fontana Dam:Fontana Dam (approx. Ό mile away); a different marker also named Appalachian Trail (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Fontana Dam (approx. 0.6 miles away); Civil War in Graham County (approx. 8.8 miles away).
Regarding Welcome to Fontana Dam. Fontana Dam and associated infrastructure was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017. Fontana Hydroelectric Project, NRHP #100001462.
Also see . . . Fontana Dam. Fontana was built during World War II to provide electric power for the war effort. A new town, housing some 5,000 people who worked around the clock in three shifts, sprang up in the forest, and the project broke construction records. (Submitted on November 22, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 21, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 17 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 22, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.