You would never believe it, but over 70 years ago, this serene lake known today as Calderwood Lake never existed. In its place was the majestic Little Tennessee River, which once flowed peacefully throughout the Little Tennessee River Valley.
Following the completion of Calderwood Dam in 1930, the river that was held back by the dam was released, flooding the valley and swallowing up land that had once belonged to the many nameless people who once lived there. A railroad once came through here—its ruins are now underwater. The same fate also befell the land around Chilhowee Dam as well. The small community known as “Chilhowee Town” was also swallowed up by the lake. Its ghostly ruins can be seen beneath the crystal clear waters of Chilhowee Lake today.