Guide to the Hales Bar Dam Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1051
Creators:
Chattanooga and Tennessee River Power Company
Dates:
1905-1968
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1 Cubic foot
2 boxes
Repository:
The Hales Bar Dam was built on the Tennessee River to improve river navigation and produce hydroelectric power. Construction work on the dam, which took place from 1905 to 1913, faced engineering challenges and leaks due to the broken and creviced limestone beneath the dam. The collection spans 1905-1968 and includes papers, reports, drawings and photographs related to the construction of the dam, as well as documents related to its maintenance in the decades following its completion.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection includes papers, reports, drawings and photographs related to the construction of the Hales Bar Dam, as well as documents related to maintenance on the dam in the decades following its completion.
Series 1, Historical Background, 1905-1968, includes papers, reports and publications related to the construction of the dam and its maintenance. Construction engineers Jacobs and Davies Inc. produced an undated reportDescription of Hales Bar Dam, that discusses the history of the project, its design, construction methods, a contractor's account of work, materials used, transportation, organization, camp, liability insurance, and closure of the dam; copies of the 1905 grant and contract with the Chattanooga and Tennessee River Power Company for construction; reports on leakage problems after construction completed, Report on the Present Status of the Work of Sealing the Crevices and Stopping the Flow of the Water Under the Hales Bar Dam (George W. Christians, 1919), Leakage Under Hales Bar Dam (Consulting engineer John R. Freeman, 1921); a Tennessee Valley Authority report Geology of Hales Bar Dam (Assistant Geologist John W. Frink, 1944) including the geology of the river, choice of the dam site, geology of the site, construction and treatment of leaks; published articles fromThe Engineering Record, Engineering News, Civil Engineering, and TVA publications discussing construction, hydroelectric power, leakage problems and maintenance work.
Series 2, Drawings, 1912-1966, contains ten blueprint drawings by Jacobs and Davies Inc. detailing cross-sections of the dam, its foundation, caisson, and other proposed construction methods, 1912-1913; microfilm of original construction drawings on twenty-two engineering drawing aperture cards depicting powerhouse details and foundation conditions. Some of the drawings were done by E. W. Clark and Company Management Corporation and were photographed for microfilm purposes from 1962 to 1966.
Series 3, Photographs, 1910-1940, consists of two scrapbooks of exterior and interior views of the dam during and after construction, as well as the lock, the power station, the dam during a flood, geology, caissons, and workers.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is organized into three series.
Series 1, Historical background, 1905-1968
Series 2, Drawings, 1912-1966
Series 3, Photographs, 1910-1940

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Hales Bar Dam was proposed as a permanent solution to improve navigation of the mountainous section of the Tennessee River. Hydroelectric power was an additional benefit of the dam's construction. Congress approved the project in 1904, and the Chattanooga and Tennessee River Power Company began construction in 1905 and finished in 1913. Building plans included a cyclopean concrete masonry dam, lock, spillway, power house, and transformer house.
The dam was built on broken and creviced limestone that made its construction challenging. Engineers used caissons to aid construction. After completion, leakage became a problem and in the 1920s, efforts were made to pump asphalt into the crevices to seal the leaks. This method was mostly successful, but the dam continued to have maintenance problems. The Tennessee Valley Authority acquired the dam in 1939 and ultimately decided to replace the dam rather than continue repairs. The Nickajack Dam was completed a few miles downstream in 1967, using two generators and parts of the switchyard from the Hales Bar Dam. By 1968, the Hales Bar Dam had been dismantled. The Hales Bar Dam powerhouse is one of the few surviving structures of the project. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008 and is used by the Hales Bar Marina as a boathouse.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Cara Whiting (intern), April, 2011; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.
Author
Cara Whiting
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1969.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Preferred Citation
Hales Bar Dam Collection, 1905-1968, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Custodial History
Custodial History
Transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering in 2007.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Dams Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Articles Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rivers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photograph albums Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Specifications Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Power stations Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reports Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blueprints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Caissons Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Contracts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tennessee Valley Authority Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives