On this day in Alabama history: Work began on Guntersville Dam

On this day in Alabama history: Work began on Guntersville Dam
Guntersville Dam and powerhouse, between 1933 and 1945. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

Dec. 4, 1935

It took the Tennessee Valley Authority more than three years to complete Guntersville Dam, which gave Alabama its largest lake. The structure is 94 feet tall, and almost 4,000 feet wide. Before the dam, the Tennessee River was shallow in that section of Marshall County, and area farmers alternated between losing crops to droughts and losing crops to flooding.

As part of The New Deal, the Guntersville project had three purposes: make the river more navigable for trade; mitigate flooding; and generate electricity to stimulate growth. But before they could build the state’s largest lake, the TVA had to commission the state’s largest archaeology project. Thousands of artifacts from Cherokee sites were preserved and cataloged before the area above the dam was submerged.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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