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Tellico Village Area - History

1930’s to 1940’s:   The TVA envisioned a community around the body of water that would become the Tellico Reservoir. TVA had a “map section” in the organization that described the land use for all of the Tellico Lake area. It is remarkably close to the actual usage today.

  • 1944 The structure of Fort Loudon Dam was completed, but Tellico Reservoir not formed due to WWII

Late 1950’s:   The planning stages for the Tellico Dam began

Late 1959 or Early 1960:  Public disclosure of the plans for creating Tellico Dam. The TVA planned the acquisition of additional land to justify the project. The additional benefits stated were flood control, recreation & power generation – the name given to the project was “Timberlake”.

Mid-1960’s:  The purchase of approximately 35,000 acres of land around the Little Tennessee river was consummated.

  • Approximately 1/3 of the land (under the 820 elevation) was dedicated to create the lake and shoreline
  • Another 1/3 designated for public use and emergency flood control
  • The remaining 1/3 for developments.

This is the land conveyed to TRDA.  While TVA had always included land for recreational use in their previous dam developments, this project was unique in its large size and the inclusion of land for commercial development.

1979:  The project was approved for completion by Congress in November 1979,  after about a 3 year delay caused by the snail darter being added to the endangered species list in 1976.  This approval came 11 years after the project was begun!   The river was impounded starting in late 1979 and the new lake fully filled in 1980.

1982:  The State and TVA created TRDA in 1982, TRDA and TVA signed the deed to transfer title to the property in late 1982.  Contract "TV 60,000 A" was a part of the deed.  Jack Hammontree was employed as the first full-time Executive Director in February 1983.  TRDA assumed responsibility for developing what is now the Tellico Village and the areas for commercial development.  The Initial issue encountered by TRDA was that no single developer wanted the whole project.

Sept, 1983:  Cooper Communities, Inc., John Cooper Jr., President & CEO, presented a proposal to TRDA to develop the entire site that would become Tellico Village.  4592 acres of land was sold or leased to Cooper Developments.

  • Please Note: Contrary to urban legend, the land occupied by the Kahite neighborhood was initially included in this ~4600 acres.

1985:  Public celebration and a “Ribbon Cutting/Ground Breaking” of the Tellico Village project took place on a Saturday afternoon in June of 1985.  The celebration was on the shores of the canal between Tellico and Fort Loudoun Lakes.  

  • The TRDA office was destroyed by arson the Tuesday night following the celebration.

1986  Infrastructure Construction Began:  The first Cooper construction projects were the Toqua Golf Course,  the Yacht Club and the Infrastructure necessary to support Tellico Village.  They had a very tight time allowed for completion of segments

  • When Cooper investigated purchasing the land which is currently Rarity Bay, it was determined that this area would NOT be covered by the Master Plan, so they did not purchase that land.
  • The agreement with TRDA for the annual lease allowed ~ $8.4M of the acquisition price to not be included in the basis used to determine lot costs

In March, 1986 the first home site in Tellico Village lot was sold

In 2017, Tellico Village celebrated its 30th anniversary

Here are some interesting links to the history of our area: