Tours of Dale Hollow dam scheduled as part of 75th anniversary celebration

CELINA-The public will have the opportunity to get a rare glimpse inside of one of the region’s most famous landmarks here in the coming months, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District offers free tours of the Dale Hollow Dam Hydropower Plant in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the massive engineering feat. Besides opening the doors to the public four times daily on five different dates, special tours for eighth-grade students and above will also be held.

Tour dates

Student tour dates are Thursday, May 3 and Thursday, May 17 and teachers are encouraged to call 931-243-3135 for information and to make reservations for their classes. General public tours will be held Saturday, June 16; Saturday, June 30; Saturday, Sept. 15; Saturday, Sept. 29; and Saturday, Oct. 20. Tours of the facility are limited to 25 persons and four separate tours will be held daily beginning at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 12 noon CST. Pre-registration is required for all tour guests (including minors). The deadline to register is Friday, one week prior to each tour date. Personal information collected during sign-up is used for security background checks. Sign ups can be completed online at


Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938, the dam continues to provide flood risk reduction and support its other intended purposes such as hydropower, water supply, environmental stewardship, and outdoor recreation. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District designed Dale Hollow Dam and Morrison-Knudsen, private contractors under the supervision of the Corps, built the dam. The Corps awarded the contract Dec. 30, 1941 and mobilization, clearing, and construction of roadways and support structures began immediately. Construction of the dam began March 2, 1942. With sister construction of civil works projects suspended due to war, Dale Hollow Dam was rushed to completion Oct. 20, 1943, but discontinued construction of the powerhouse. Dale Hollow Dam was the first of its kind completed in the Nashville District. The Corps fully impounded Dale Hollow Lake May 7, 1944. Work on the power house resumed in July 1946. Three Francis turbines were installed in December 1948, January 1949, and November 1953. Each unit generates 18,000 kilowatts for a total of 54,000 kilowatts, enough power to electrify a community of 45,000 and provide support to the national grid. The dam impounds a length of 61 miles of the Obey River creating Dale Hollow Lake with 620 miles of shoreline, 27,700 acres of water, and 24,842 acres of land for recreational opportunities.

Tour details

Upon registration, a full name, address, phone number, drivers license, state of issue, for every person 18 and over signed up for the tour must be provided. If it is not provided that person will not be allowed to participate in the tour upon arrival. When signing up, each individual must have a different e-mail address or the website will not accept additional signups for additional family members. Only visitors with approval and confirmation will be permitted on the tour. No substitutions or additions are allowed. All participants over 16 years of age must provide photo identification upon arrival for the tour. Visitors may not carry packages, backpacks, or other containers during the tour. No high-heel, open heel shoes, including clogs and crocs or bare feet, will be allowed on a tour. Tennis shoes are recommended. All children 16 and under must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or responsible adult during the tour. Any increase in threat conditions can result in approved tours being canceled with little notice. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. An e-mail will be sent to anyone signed up for a tour if for any reason a tour is canceled. All guests should arrive at the gate next to the Hydropower Plant at least 15 minutes prior to the tour time for check in. All facilities are not ADA accessible. Every effort will made to accommodate any need that is known in advance of the tour. Photographs and video recording of the interior of the power plant is strictly prohibited. Information is solicited in accordance with Title 10, U.S. Code Section 552, and is used to provide information necessary in preparation for a scheduled tour of the facility and to verify positive identification of visitors. Solicited information is voluntary; however, failure to provide information may result in denied visitor access. The information provided to the Corps of Engineers will not be retained digitally or by hard copy after the scheduled tour date.

The public can obtain news, updates, and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at, on Facebook at, or on Twitter at

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