Old Butler

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In 1820, Ezekial "Zeke" Smith built a gristmill on the bank of Roan Creek, forming the community known as Smith Hill. Following the Civil War, it was renamed Butler in honor of Col. Roderick Random Butler. Much of the city's early development can be attributed to the establishment of the Aenon Seminary in 1871 and the advent of the Virginia and South Western Railroad, which provided transportation for residents and the developing logging industry. In 1933, the scenic landscape of the Watauga Valley was altered forever when the Tennessee Valley Authority was created by Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislation. TVA provided electric power for the state and controlled the flooding of the rivers in the region. In December 1948, the gates of the Watauga Dam were closed and water began to fill the Watauga Reservoir until Butler, Tennessee, was laid to rest at the bottom of Watauga Lake. The residents of Butler and the surrounding communities were forced to relinquish, demolish, or relocate more than 125 homes and 50 businesses.
ISBN: 9780738541716
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Tennessee
Series: Images of America
Images: 200
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Drawing from the records of the Butler Museum and several private collections, Images of America: Old Butler portrays the early history of the town. This book presents its academic and social development, as well as the many floods that disrupted the lives of residents. Co-author Michael Depew holds a master's degree in history from East Tennessee State University, where he has also taught. Co-author Lanette Depew, historian and author of A Bridge Spanning Time, has a degree in education from Tennessee Temple University and has taught elementary and middle school for 10 years. They are also the authors of Images of America: Elizabethton.
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