The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of J. Percy Pries Dam and Reservoir on June 29th, 2018. As part of the ceremony, La Vergne Mayor Dennis Waldron was invited to be participate in the celebration, along with Nashville Mayor David Briley, Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed and Nashville District 14 Councilmember Kevin Rhoten.
With the dam setting the stage, the celebration will take place exactly 50 years to the day after President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated J. Percy Priest Dam and Reservoir on June 29th, 1968. President Johnson highlighted how the lake would reduce flooding, supply water to the region, create hydroelectric power and provide water recreation within 10 miles of Nashville.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. City mayors, along with Deputy District Commander Major Justin R. Toole and J. Percy Priest Biographer author Rebecca Stubbs, will speak before unveiling a commemorative plaque. The public is invited to attend. As a security precaution, the public is asked not to bring backpacks or coolers. Lawn chairs are allowed, water bottles are permitted and carpooling is recommended.
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, J. Percy Priest Lake supplies an estimated $132 million of recreational economic impacts annually to local communities. The Nashville District operates three campgrounds, six picnic areas and 15 launch ramps while also maintaining lease agreements with five marinas, four local municipalities for greenways, ball fields, and parks, the YMCA, and the state of Tennessee for wildlife management areas, the Stones River Hunter Education Center, and Long Hunter State Park.
The dam is visible from Interstate 40 and is located between miles six and seven of the Stones River. This 2,716-foot long structure stands 130 feet high and its hydropower unit can produce 28,000 kilowatts of hydroelectricity per hour. J. Percy Priest Lake is named in honor of Rep. James Percy Priest, who was a high school teacher, coach and reporter/editor for the Tennessean before being elected to Congress. After his death, Congress officially changed the project name from Stewart's Ferry to J. Percy Priest July 2, 1958. The project’s groundbreaking took place June 29, 1963.
In the case the event is rained out, information will be updated on J. Percy Priest Lake’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jpercypriestlake. For more information about the ceremony call the Resource Manager’s Office at 615-889-1975. The anniversary website, with historical video and imagery, news articles and resources is available at www.lrn.usace.army.mil/jpercypriestdam50/.