US Army Corps of Engineers
Nashville District

Old Hickory Lake History

View upstream of lock two on the Cumberland River from the right bank, June 17, 1937, Nashville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
A view of lock three on the Cumberland River from the downstream side, June 14, 1915, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Front view of the lockmaster's house at lock four on the Cumberland River, Jan. 16, 1937, Gallatin, Tenn. (USACE photo)
A view of the lockmaster's house at lock five, Jan. 16, 1937, Lebanon, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Lock six with the low head dam in the background, Oct. 18, 1938, Hartsville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Lock six lockmaster's house, Jan. 16, 1937, Hartsville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
View of lock seven and reservation on the Cumberland River, Oct. 25, 1935, Carthage, Tenn. (USACE photo)
The back and downstream side of the lock seven lockmaster's house on the Cumberland River, Jan. 15, 1937, Carthage, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Old Hickory Lock and Dam's first bucket of concrete, Aug. 20, 1952, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Contractors set first coffer cell and template, April 16, 1954, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Overall view of the excavation, Oct. 25, 1954, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
The first commercial barge locking through Old Hickory Lock, June 14, 1954, Old Hickory, Tenn. (USACE photo)
View of the excavation of units 3 and 4, Oct. 26, 1954, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
View of the excavation in the tailwater at 1339 hours, Jan. 18, 1955, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
View of an upstream grout seam, March 1, 1955, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Overall view of high water during mid-construction of Old Hickory Dam , March 22, 1955, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
High water inside coffer, March 22, 1955, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Diving operation to close flood pipe, March 29, 1955, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
View of the overall excavation, April 11, 1955, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
View of the bucket section and sump, May 31, 1955, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
View of the upstream side of the dam from the upstream coffer, Aug. 31, 1955, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
An overhead view of the 447 service slab, Sept. 22, 1955, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
View of the 447 service slab, Sept. 22, 1955, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Inspection of the 413 floor, Column 2D, Sep. 1, 1955, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
View from the downstream coffer dam of the '56 flood, Jan. 31, 1956, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Drilling holes in switchyard for electrical grounding system, March 2, 1956, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Painting trash rack sills on units three and four, June 24, 1956, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Overall view of the intake section before the coffers were removed, June 29, 1956, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Aerial view of Old Hickory Lake taking shape, Sept. 22, 1956, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
During the official grand opening of Old Hickory Lock, an extimated 10,000 visitors watched as the Avalon locked through, Sept. 9, 1956, Old Hickory, Tenn. (USACE photo)
An estimated 10,000 visitors packed Old Hickory Lock and Dam to view the first official pleasure craft lock through, Sept. 9, 1956, Old Hickory, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Lowering unit four runner and head cover into place, June 11, 1957, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Unit four rotor being lowered into place, Sept. 4, 1957, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Crane lowers the unit four rotor into place, Sept. 4, 1957, Hendersonville, Tenn. (USACE photo)
View of all four units generating, Hendersonville, Tenn., December 1957 (USACE photo)
View from the downstream lock wall of Old Hickory Dam, Dec. 27, 2013, Old Hickory, Tenn. (USACE photo)
View from downstream of the upstream lock wicket gates. These gates blocked the flow of water during early lock dewaterings at Old Hickory Lock, undated photo, Old Hickory, Tenn. (USACE photo)
Lock dewatering team pull up wicket gates to block the flow of water into the lock, undated photo, Old Hickory, Tenn. (USACE photo)

History

Old Hickory Lake History


The Old Hickory Lock and Dam, located on the Cumberland River at mile 216.2 in Sumner and Davidson Counties, Tennessee, and are approximately 25 miles upstream from Nashville, Tenn. The City of Hendersonville is situated on the northern shoreline of the lake and the City of Old Hickory is located on the southern side of the lake, just upstream of the lock and dam. The lake extends 97.3 miles upstream to Cordell Hull Lock and Dam near Carthage, Tenn.

 

Old Hickory Lock and Dam was authorized for construction by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1946 as a unit of a comprehensive development plan for the Cumberland River Basin. The project was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and built by private contractors under the Corps of Engineers' supervision. Construction started in January 1952, and dam closure was completed in June 1954. The project was completed for full beneficial use in December 1957 with the placement of the final hydroelectric power unit in operation. The lock, dam, powerhouse, and lake are operated and supervised by Corps of Engineers' personnel under the direction of the Nashville District Engineer. Old Hickory Lake is a mainstream storage impoundment on the Cumberland River operated by the Corps of Engineers. The reservoir contains 22,500 surface acres at an elevation of 445 feet above mean sea level (MSL). Water level fluctuations are minimal with minimum pool elevation at 442 feet MSL. Public facilities include eight marinas; two Corps operated campgrounds, and 41 boat access sites.