RUTLEDGE, Tenn. — A 52-ton piece of history is now permanently on display at the foot of the Cherokee Dam after serving East Tennessee since World War II.
The Tennessee Valley Authority recently upgraded one of the original turbines at Cherokee Dam Unit 1 that had been in service for nearly 80 years.
Unit 1 was put into operation on April 16, 1942 to boost power production in the U.S. during WWII. TVA said the turbine helped generate much-needed power during the war, but the time finally came for it to be replaced.
So what do you do with a 52-ton decommissioned turbine? TVA turned it into a permanent display at the foot of the dam!
TVA said the new turbine it installed at Unit 1 is more efficient and can handle 30,872 gallons of water per second. The new turbines also aerate the water downstream, which TVA said benefits the aquatic habitat.
Cherokee Dam is located on the Holston River, 52 miles upstream from where the Holston and French Broad rivers converge to form the Tennessee River.