“The weather was great,” senior vice president of River Operations John McCormick said.
Between 500 to 1,000 people joined in the special ceremony, food and entertainment as well as tours of TVA’s Powerhouse No. 1.
McCormick said 500 visitors received a commemorative coin depicting the dam and powerhouse, which was constructed in 1911 and opened Feb. 28, 1912.
“We wanted to re-engage the community in the rich history of the dam and powerhouse. A re-connection of sorts. It has been a great deal of fun and we were pleased with the turnout and interest of the visitors,” McCormick said.
McCormick said TVA has a new vision and wants to be a cleaner provider for energy production.
“You can’t get much cheaper or cleaner than hydroelectric power,” he said.
Ocoee Dam No. 1 is 840-feet long and 135-feet tall. The dam is constructed of 160,000-cubic yards of concrete.
TVA acquired the Ocoee dams in 1939, after passage of the TVA act in 1933, according to historical documentation. The acquisition was made from the Tennessee Power Co.
The dam also has another purpose.
Parksville Lake covers what used to be the Parksville settlement. Copper runners and loggers used the area for work, traveling the “Old Copper Road” to Copperhill in the east, which is now U.S. Highway 64, and runs through the Ocoee River Gorge.
In 1912, the waters of the Ocoee were dammed and formed the lake, covering Parksville, Caney Creek and others, and eliminating the toll road which ran eastward to Copperhill. A number of other communities are also buried under the 1,890-acre lake which is now used for recreation as well as flood control.
TVA took over Powerhouse No. 1 and No. 2 in 1939. Powerhouse No. 2 is fed water through the flume line which courses through the Ocoee River Gorge.
Ocoee Dam No. 3 was built in 1942 by TVA and utilizes a gravity-tube to deliver water which generates electric power.
According to TVA, after passing through the three dams on the Ocoee River and Parksville Lake, seven other TVA dams will produce power from the same flow which travels to the Ohio River. The waters flow from the Taccoa River in Georgia into Tennessee through Copperhill, then the Ocoee.
According to officials, “Today TVA’s hydropower serves 9 million electric consumers in the Tennessee Valley and attains its vision of being one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy by 2020.”