“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
South Pittsburg in Marion County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

The TVA System of Multipurpose Dams

Nickajack Dam


—Built for the people of the United States of America —

The TVA System of Multipurpose Dams Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, August 8, 2011
1. The TVA System of Multipurpose Dams Marker
The Tennessee River has its headwaters in the mountains of Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. The main stream forms at Knoxville, where the Houston and the French Broad Rivers join.

The valley, 41,000 square miles in area, receives an average of 52 inches of rain a year. In terms of water discharged into the Ohio and Mississippi, the Tennessee River is about equal in size to the Missouri.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has harnessed the river with a multi-purpose system of dams and reservoirs which regulates floods, improves navigation, and generates electric power.

High dams on the tributaries create large storage reservoirs which hold back flood waters, releasing them when necessary to maintain navigation depths downstream, and at the same time generating electric power. The system also helps protect the lower Ohio and Mississippi Valleys.

The nine main river dams, with their locks, form a navigable channel 650 miles long, from Knoxville to the Ohio River, an important arm of the nation's inland waterway system connecting 20 states.

Having developed virtually all the river power resources, TVA has built huge coal-burning steam electric plants to help serve the region's growing power needs. TVA power is sold at wholesale to cities and rural electric cooperatives which, in turn, distribute
Nickajack Dam image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, August 8, 2011
2. Nickajack Dam
downstream side and power plant (to the right)
it at retail to homes, farms, business and industry. A few industries and U.S. Government Defense installations that use large amounts of power are served directly by TVA. The largest of these, using more power than a great city, are the atomic plants at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Paducah, Kentucky.


You are now at Nickajack Dam, a multipurpose dam on the main stream of the Tennessee River. It generates electricity and forms a 46-mile link in the Tennessee Waterway. Nickajack was built 1964-1968 to replace Hales Bar Dam 6 miles upstream. Completed in 1913, Hales Bar was built on leaking limestone foundations and had to be demolished.
Erected by Tennessee Valley Authority.
Location. 35° 0.167′ N, 85° 37.367′ W. Marker is in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, in Marion County. Marker can be reached from Hogjaw Road north of Shellmound Road (Tennessee Highway 156), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located near the parking lot/fishing pier at the south end of Nickajack Dam. Marker is in this post office area: South Pittsburg TN 37380, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Love's Ferry (approx. 0.8 miles away); Nickajack Cave (approx.
Nickajack Dam image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, August 8, 2011
3. Nickajack Dam
upstream side
3.9 miles away); Civil War in Tennessee (approx. 4 miles away); Fort McCook (approx. 4.2 miles away); Federal-Georgia Road (approx. 4˝ miles away); Bean-Roulston Graveyard (approx. 4.6 miles away); Chiaha (approx. 4.6 miles away); Birthplace of Jobyna Lancaster Ralston-Arlen (approx. 4.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in South Pittsburg.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 9, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 706 times since then. Last updated on September 23, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 9, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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