Approach to the CCC built resturantPhoto courtesy of Ernest Everett Blevins, MFA (http://ernestblevins.com).
Cove Lake State Park, originally planned as Fort Mountain Park, was the third joint effort of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the National Parks Service (NPS). The initial 668-acre park was built along the banks of the lake created by the Caryville Dam (1936). The dam was built to minimize the flooding to Caryville from the Norris Dam (1933-1936) project down stream. Even with the Caryville Dam, some 70 structures including the First Baptist Church and a high school were demolished. In addition, Tennessee Highway 63 and US Highway 25 (Dixie Highway) required relocation. Early topographic maps cite the area as Bricetown.
CCC Company 4493 was established on October 20, 1933 to work on project Camp TVA P-1 constructing the infrastructure such as the water lines, parking lot, fences, roads, retaining walls, stone curbs, and other amenities. In addition, the CCC built a boat dock, picnic shelters, power building, park office, and a restaurant (still in operation).
In addition, CCC Company 284 was assigned to TV-8 (under the Forest Service) and TVA-12 on October 20, 1934. This company worked under the forest service and was designated as Company TVA-8. In August 1934, companies from New York and New Jersey were replaced with men from Tennessee.
Beginning with July 2, 1937, the CCC camp designation became SP-9.
In 1950, the park was deeded to the state of Tennessee, and several modern facilities have been added to those built by the CCC.
In addition to the modern work on the site, TVA discovered Native American occupation from about 1000 to 1200 AD (Mississippian Period). Archaeologists from the University of Tennessee excavated the mounds and habitation sites in 1937. Portions of these sites remain visible on the Duck Island located in the park.
“Cove Lake State Park”: (http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/cove-lake), accessed November 27, 2017.
CCC Camps Tennessee: (http://ccclegacy.org/CCC_Camps_Tennessee.html), accessed November 27, 2017.
Van West, Carroll, Tennessee's New Deal Landscape: A Guidebook, Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2001, p. 160-161.
CCC Memorial Monument near Park Ranger Office at Cove Lake State Park.
Project originally submitted by Ernest Everett Blevins on November 27, 2017.
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