We have driven past the sign for Norris Dam State Park many times over the years, but this last weekend we finally decided to drive over and see the first major project for the Tennessee Valley Authority (mid-1930’s). We didn’t quite know what all was there, but we needed a stretch break and were ready to learn a little history while we discovered some pretty scenery.
There is a great overlook that allows you to see the dam from the top. Then you can drive on down around the park and see more of the area. Restrooms and picnic areas are available after you cross the dam.
We discovered the Lenoir Museum Cultural Complex while we were there. (No admission charge) This was a unique look back at the mid 1930’s way of life.
The Lenoir Museum Cultural Complex is a must-see for park visitors. The complex includes the Lenoir Pioneer Museum, an 18th Century Rice Grist Mill and Crosby Threshing Barn. Exhibits also include Appalachian artifacts, a pre-dam pictorial account of the area submerged by the lake. The Museum has at times been referred to as a ‘mini-Smithsonian’.
18th Century Rice Grist Mill – Originally constructed in 1798 along Lost Creek, this mill was operated by four generations of the Rice family. The mill has had many changes throughout its history. At times, the mill was also rigged to power a sawmill, a cotton gin, a trip hammer, and even to operate a dynamo that supplied electrical lights for the Rice home in 1899.
125 Village Green Circle
Lake City , TN 37769-5932
I would love to visit the Norris Dam again when the trees are green and the weather a bit warmer. What’s your favorite state park near you?