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West Tennessee Treasures - Lexington - Beech Lake

By Brittany Patterson
By bpatterson@wbbjtv.com

Beech Lake and summertime go hand-in-hand for many West Tennesseans, but the man-made lake was designed by the TVA for much more than a get-away close to home.

"One, being flood control," said David Jowers, executive secretary of Beech River Watershed Development Authority. "Number two, being the economic development of this area - it was less than prosperous in the 50s and 60s."

Over the years, the lake enticed industry development in the city of Lexington, drawing in Fortune 500 companies as well as stunning home properties.

"The economic development to Henderson County off these lakes is tremendous," said Jowers. "As you look around the Beech Lake area, you see all the modern, beautiful homes and they all pay property tax."

And do not forget about the economic draw from tourists.

"People come in, they're going here, they're staying here, they're going to the lake," said Mayor Tim Pierce. "So it really is a big boost to our economy during the summer months when people come in."

But more than anything, "The big thing was water," said Jowers.

All of the water used in Lexington and Henderson County now come from Beech Lake.

"About 4 million gallons a day comes out of this lake," said Jowers. "Excellent drinking water and we're real proud of it, we really are."

Jowers considers the man-made lake a success.

"It accomplished all of the goals that were set out in the 1960s, early 60s," said Jowers. "And they've all come to fulfillment and we're very proud of what we've done."