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More WataugaLakeMagazine articles:

The Butler Museum

Learn how and why Watauga Lake was formed and how the citizens of "Old Butler" Tennessee were changed forever. . . .

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Blue Hole Falls

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Jonesborough TN

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Rat Branch Boat Ramp

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Watauga Point

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The Carter Mansion

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Doe River Gorge

See the beautiful gorge and ride the rails where the Tweetsie Train traveled ...

Gray Fossil Site

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Colonel Roderick Butler

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Fish Springs Marina

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Old Butler Days August 10, 11 2007

Babe Curtis Park on Old Butler Days near Watauga Lake Tennessee Email this page to someone
All photos and illustrations by Pat Johns ©2007 -present
All Rights Reserved
See links to article references at the end of the article.
August 10-11, 2007
"The town that wouldn't drown"? That is Butler, Tennessee. Today's "new" Butler Tennessee was created when the TVA decided to take steps to improve flood control in the Watauga River and Roan Creek Valleys of far Eastern Tennessee by building the Watauga Dam and creating the Watauga Lake. Unfortunately the town of Butler, now known as Old Butler, was sacrificed for this project.
Games at the Old Butler Days at the Butler Museum near Watauga Lake Tennessee

Old Butler Days is a tribute to the citizens of Old Butler who sacrificed their homes and community for the improvement in flood control, power generation and water ecology for many more Tennessee citizens.

The Old Butler Days celebration takes place at Babe Curtis Park next to the Butler Museum. Babe Curtis was the town's piano teacher. She lived in a house filled with antiques. Someone burglarized her house and burned it down and she gave the Watauga Academy alumni and the Butler Ruritan 4+ acres for the park and museum. In addition, she donated $20,000 which was the start of the funding for the Butler Museum. (For more information about the Butler Museum click here.)

Covered Wagon at Old Butler Days at the Butler Museum near Watauga Lake Tennessee

Activities during the festival which started at 3:30 on Friday included:

* The fire department ran the "Butler train", three cars for children pulled around by a tractor. (See photo below)

* The National Guard’s rock climbing wall.

* Horseshoes, face painting, bingo, hula hoops, and a Twist contest.

* Food included barbeque, hamburgers, hot dogs, funnel cakes, ice cream and french fries.

* Bill McCall & Southern Country played bluegrass and country music.

Local vendors at Old Butler Days at the Butler Museum near Watauga Lake Tennessee

Raffle tickets were sold for $10 with a big payoff for the winner. . . a Jon boat, motor, trailer, and accessories. The prizes are worth $7000 and are provided by Fish Springs Marina. Ticket numbers were called throughout the 2-day festival for many more prizes.

Fun and games at Old Butler Days at the Butler Museum near Watauga Lake Tennessee

This year's festival was under bright blue skies and hot August sun, perfect for summer games, activities and picnicking. Local businesses and craftspeople set up booths to sell their wares or provide community information to the visitors.

But the setting stole the show. The beautiful park location on this fine summer day was enough to make this a very special day for all.

The Train at Old Butler Days at the Butler Museum near Watauga Lake Tennessee Many visitors took the opportunity to visit or re-visit the wonderful Butler Museum, the winner of the Award of Excellence by the Tennessee Association of Museums for the year 2002. The building itself was a great undertaking by many including the Watauga Academy Alumni and inmates from the Northeast Correctional Facility nearby.

The vignettes throughout the museum give visitors a feel for life in the 1930s and 1940s in Old Butler. And it would be difficult to finish your tour without feeling the pain of sacrifice of those citizens of that community.

Links to references in this article and to sites related the Old Butler Days: