(Many thanks to Pat Bernard Ezzell, Senior Program Manager, Tribal Relations and Corporate History, Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, for extremely valuable information on this steam plant)
This steam plant was constructed in 1921 by the Tennessee Eastern Electric Company (later East Tennessee Light & Power Company). The plant was acquired in 1940 by TVA (which took over the whole company in 1945) and retired in 1960. It once had a railroad spur line to bring in coal, but all that’s gone now (the concrete supports are mostly there). In fact, the thing that caught my attention about it in the first place was the smoke stack. It looks like someone has been chewing on it. My buddy checked the topo and found it belonged to the Watauga Steam Plant. We decided to check it out. It’s heavily overgrown and has been vandalized, big surprise. But it’s still impressive for the length of time it’s been inactive.
Here’s the long shot of the deteriorating stack:
This is the best shot I could get of the exterior:
These are interior shots:
An overhead crane still sits in place above the second floor: