Old Copper Road

The Old Copper Road

In 1851, a gentleman by the name of John Caldwell hired a crew of Cherokee laborers who had evaded the removal in 1838 and was living in the nearby post-removal community of Turtletown.  By 1853, the Old Copper Road was complete and wagon trains carrying copper ore began making their way to the railroad in Cleveland, Tennessee. 

The completion of Ocoee Dam Number 1 in 1911 was the first dam built by the East Tennessee Power company, creating the first manmade lake in Tennessee.  Locally this lake is known by two names:  Parksville Lake or Lake Ocoee.  

Construction of the flume line, Ocoee Dam Number 2 and Powerhouse began in 1912.  Caney Creek Village closed in 1942.  The flume line which snakes its way through the Ocoee River Gorge is the only wooden flume line still being used for power production in existence in America and is on the national register of historic places. 

1976 –   Birth of whitewater recreation on the Ocoee River when the flume line fell into descent, creating a $44 million dollar industry annually.

1988 – Stretch of highway along Lake Ocoee and the Ocoee River, and 7 miles up the side of Chilhowee Mountain was designated as the first National Forest Scenic Byway in the country.  

1996 – Ocoee River hosts Canoe and Kayak Competitions for 1996 Summer Olympics