Bays Mountain reservoir dam - Kingsport, TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member vhasler
N 36° 30.530 W 082° 36.730
17S E 355632 N 4041596
Quick Description: This cut stone dam created a reservior to supply drinking water for the planned city of Kingsport, TN.
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 11/3/2008 2:47:54 AM
Waymark Code: WM52ZY
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member manchanegra
Views: 16

Long Description:
From the park website (, "In 1907 a group of businessmen began buying land on top of the mountain. Their plan was to build a dam and create a lake which would be the water supply for the future city of Kingsport. The site was particularly well-suited for this because the formation of the two parts of the mountain made it possible to only build a small dam to create the lake, complete with its watershed well protected. In 1914 these men sold the property to the Kingsport Waterworks Corporation. By that time the property included the entire watershed, 1300 acres."

"In 1915, trees and buildings were removed from the area to be covered by the lake. On April 1916 work began on the dam. Stone was quarried about a hundred and fifty feet below the dam itself. The remains of this quarry has been partially covered by the present park access road. The stone was hauled to the dam site by teams of mules. A crane at the spillway, powered by a mule, was used to hoist the stones up on the dam. Water began flowing to Kingsport in November of 1916, three months before the city was incorporated."

"As the city grew the reservoir failed to meet the needs of the expanding population. The Holston River became Kingsport's main source of water, and the use of Bays Mountain Lake for water supply was discontinued in 1944."

Bays Mountain is now a wonderful city park and nature preserve. Restricted fishing is allowed from the dam on Mondays and Saturdays.

Waterway where the dam is located: Bays Mountain Lake/Dolan Branch

Main use of the Water Dam: Water Supply (Drinkable)

Material used in the structure: masonry

Date built: 11/01/1916

Fishing Allowed: yes

Height of Dam: Not listed

Motor Sports Allowed: Not Listed

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