The current town of Butler, TN, was founded in the late 1940's after TVA built a dam. Butler, Tennessee creating the lovely Watauga Lake
in Northeast Tennessee to control flooding. TVA flooded the old town, moving 100 residents initially. By the time the TVA project was completed, 761 families had been moved. A museum which has been rated as #1 in TN is now located in "new" Butler, and a celebration is held the second Sunday weekend in August to remember the old town of Butler. This celebration is called Old Butler Days. At the festival visitors and celebrants will find music, games, exhibits, food, and museum tours.
Along with Hampton, TN, the two small towns are now known to tourists and recreational enthusiasts as 'Home to Watauga Lake' and the home of "some of the friendliest residents in the entire state"! Great southern, home-style, country cooking can be found at Shirley's Restaurant, where the parking lot is usually so full, a gnat wouldn't fit.
Approximately once every 30 years, the lake level is dropped to allow inspections and repairs to the dam. At that time, the "Old Town of Butler" is revealed, with steps to former homes, chimneys, and other landmarks familiar only to those who were alive during the years of relocation. Very few former residents are alive today, and it will soon be time for another dam inspection. Once again the draw-down should attract many history buffs and other interested tourists.