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West Tennessee Treasures - Pickwick - Pickwick Landing Dam

By Brittany Patterson
By bpatterson@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - Built in the 1930's as a part of the New Deal-era initiative, the Pickwick Landing Dam is one of nine TVA dams on the main channel of the Tennessee River.

"It was the third TVA-built hydroplant and the first one TVA had designed an built," said Gary Alan Smith of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The hydroplant was built to bring prosperity to the area.

"It was also built for flood control and for navigation. And as a side thing the hydrogeneration was a big part of it," said Smith. "It was actually the first power to come to this area. A lot of people had no electricity at that time and hydroelectric power came and was used as the primary electricity source for the area."

Nearly 75 years later, the dam is still a significant provider of energy to the Pickwick area.

"I think the clean, low cost power definitely helps bring business to the surrounding areas and helps promote economical growth in the Valley," said Smith.

Along with the economic opportunity, the reservoir also provides excellent outdoor recreational opportunity.

"If you look out over the lake today, or on any day, there's a lot of fisherman out fishing, there's a lot of campers out on the campground camping, and there's a lot of people riding around on boats just having a good time," said Smith. "I think it brought the exact thing TVA was really focused to do."

When the Pickwick reservoir is full during the summer, it has nearly 490 miles of winding shoreline, and over 43,000 acres of surface water.