However, there are at least three photos at the Butler Museum that show people digging up old graves. There is equipment that was used in the Butler post office, a horse-drawn hearse and several coffins, furniture from homes, equipment from Whiting’s lumber mill and even the chair from Kyle Stout’s barber shop. Town native Herman Tester gives a tour at the Butler Museum. The original Butler was prone to flooding and the abundance of water in the area made it a great place for the dam. Not only did these floods destroy hundreds of homes and businesses in Butler, it did the same in every community downstream (Elizabethton, for instance). There are photos of structures being moved to higher ground. Take a look! This One Creepy Ghost Town In Tennessee Is The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of. And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: Curious what happened to that pretty city? And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: The Butler you can visit nowadays is actually the second version of this sweet Tennessee abode. They speak volumes about the grim, personal impact that such forced relocations had on long-term residents. Which means we lost mills and schools and churches, homes and memories under the water. Love Tennessee? Interesting fact? The location at which Watauga Dam was built (TVA photo), Get Out, Go Wild and Take in the Great Outdoors, Tennessee’s Three Nursing Heroes at Bataan, Starship Theater Films: “Journey to Space” and “Wild Africa”, “To Make Our Voices Heard, Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote,” “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” and “Rightfully Hers” exhibits, Hillis’ Highway 30 Market Biggest Buck Challenge. Thank you! A town lost completely beneath the water. 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These lakes formed after the damming of several sections of the Little Tennessee River and hide perhaps the deepest history of all. By the time it resumed work on the dam in 1946, many residents of Butler doubted that TVA would ever finish. TVA and the Army Corps of Engineers built dams and flooded valleys all over Tennessee and north Alabama between the 1930s and 1960s. There is nothing unique about this. Many residents decided to move together and organize a new planned community on a subdivided farm. It's only a few, the lucky few, that know the water they're puttering around in? Henry and McKee islands and other portions of Guntersville were submerged beneath Lake Guntersville when TVA built Guntersville Dam on the Tennessee River. Copper, under Applegate Reservoir. The 1940 flood destroyed the railroad line from Elizabethton to Mountain City, and it was never rebuilt. The dam they built is also the only earthen dam created by TVA. The real question is: do you know the secret of Butler? Meghan Kraft loves to travel the world, but she makes her home right here in Nashville, Tennessee. At the museum, you can see many of the things that were moved when the water started to rise. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! I highly recommend visiting the museum and suggest that you go to www.thebutlermuseum.com for more information like operating hours and more. I recently reflected on this irony on a visit to the Butler Museum. They earned the town the name, "The Town that would not Drown," giving Butler a solid foothold in Tennessee history. A group of men remove a coffin from a grave in preparation of the manmade lake that covered the former community of Butler. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We aren’t real sure if you have, because only watery ghosts walk the roads that once shuddered with life. Because of this, Butler of the early 1900s may be the best-preserved and -documented small town in Tennessee. A world flooded by the convenience of the future, the past washed clean by necessity. Updated March 15, 2020. She holds a degree in English, and has worked in the digital marketing realm with companies such as Apartments.com, USA Today and HarperCollins Publishing. Check out some other creepy Tennessee secrets! It still lies deep beneath Norris Lake, in an area known as Loyston Sea. You can learn a lot there about what communities such as Butler were like, why TVA flooded such places and what the residents went through. The sunken ghost town is now a popular site for divers, who want to explore the underwater prison in clear, blue waters. Orleans, destroyed by the Great Flood of 1862. There’s an eerie tinge to it, don’t you think? Herman Tester, a native of old Butler and the chairman of the Butler Museum board of directors, told me on my recent trip to the museum that he was still learning about things that were destroyed by the Watauga River’s many floods. Celilo, flooded by Lake Celilo. The Tennessee Valley Authority built a dam in Johnson County in the 1940s, permanently flooding the valley that included the small town of Butler and creating Watauga Lake. Get more stories delivered right to your email. If you visited now, you’d know it’s a small town on the banks of Watauga Lake, just a stones throw from Boone in neighboring North Carolina. They found roads, stone walls, foundations and even the solid rock walls of an old shoe shop in the middle of town. There are photos of old houses, children growing up in Butler, dam construction and people from Butler who served in the U.S. military, including a longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives named B. Carroll Reece. This unusual event is well documented at the museum, and you can even see television news broadcasts about what was for many former residents of Butler an emotional homecoming. The dam was completed in 1944, and the entirety of Birmingham was submerged under the resulting lake, the largest man-made lake in the world at that time.
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