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Hales Bar Marina
May 11th, 2012



Brief History
Hales Bar Dam was built on land that was originally Cherokee territory. When the white man came though, they started to take their holdings and their lands dwindled down to almost nothing. During the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals on March 17, 1775 Cherokee leaders Attakullakulla, Oconastota, Willanawaw, Doublehead and Dragging Canoe cursed the land, vowing to turn the land “dark and bloody” if anyone attempted to settle there. Construction of the Dam began in 1905 when the Chattanooga and Tennessee River Power Company began to build this hydroelectric dam which was completed in 1913. The dam was to be one of first multipurpose dams built in the U.S.. When the dam was built it flooded everything which once stood below the dam. Although the extent of the structures which were flooded is unclear, there is a known graveyard standing under the water from which none of the graves were relocated before the flood. Ironically if you consider the curse, leaks began to show up almost immediately after the dam was built and it was in constant repair status. Tennessee Valley Authority took over the dam in 1939, but after spending 20 years repairing leaks and damages they decided it was just too expensive to continue to repair the failing dam. They decided to replace the dam and built Nickajack Dam 6 miles downstream in 1968. Today, the Dam sits empty and abandoned but is available for tours and used as a marina.