A Bite-Sized History Of Smith Mountain Lake

A Bite-Sized History Of Smith Mountain Lake

I just recently learned the history of how this majestic lake came to be and it is fascinating!

First, let me set the stage. In order to appreciate the enormity of SML’s beginnings, I think it is important to understand just how absolutely impressive this lake is.

Smith Mountain Lake spans over forty miles, and holds twenty thousand acres of water.

It is Virginia's largest lake that is entirely in Virginia. Bugg’s Island/Kerr Lake is the largest, but it is on the Virginia/North Carolina border.

It all began here, at Smith Mountain gorge.

Proposals to dam the Roanoke River and Blackwater River at the Smith Mountain gorge started as early as 1920. The plan was to build a hydroelectric dam to harness energy and produce electricity.

Construction finally began on the Smith Mountain Dam in 1960.

The dam was completed in 1963. Now it was time to wait for the dam to do its job!

Watching the water rise. It took three years for the lake to reach its normal (max) water level.

I love the rich history of this lake! The knowledge of it just makes Smith Mountain Lake seem even more beautiful.

If you want a more in-depth view of SML's history you can find a great article here.