Loudon County Genealogy & History Website  and Photos
Loudon County Dams

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Submitted by: Charles Dial

Fort Loudon Dam

Fort Loudon Dam, Lenoir City, Tennessee

      The first and largest is Fort Loudoun Dam on the main Tennessee River at Lenoir City. It was built in 1940-1943 and at one time was the highest single lift dam in the world, but lost that distinction rather quickly. Its single lock lifts watercraft about 70 feet from Watts Bar Lake to Fort Loudoun Lake, and can empty the lock in 13 minutes if needed. The bridge across it was built in 1963.

Tellico Dam

Tellico Dam, Lenoir City, Tennessee

       Tellico is sometimes known by the Snail Darter fame. In the 1970s, construction was begun and about two thirds finished when a suit was brought in court that stopped work on the dam because of a three-inch fish that was said to only live in the Little Tennessee River. It was known as a Snail Darter. By the time the suit was settled and the dam was finished, the cost was about doubled.

      The waters of the Tellico Lake are fed into Fort Loudoun Lake via a canal and through the generators there. Tellico has the ability to open floodgates, but this is controlled through Fort Loudoun Dam. It does not generate power.

Melton Hill Dam

Melton Hill Dam, Loudon, Tennessee

      Melton Hill dam is constructed on The Clinch River with its northern side anchored in Roane County and its southern side in Loudon County. It is located about half way between Lenoir City and Oak Ridge, Tennessee off of highway 95/321. It has a powerhouse with generators and also has locking capabilities, between Watts Bar and Melton Hill Lake. It was built in the 1970s. `

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