Percy Priest Dam celebrates 50 years in service - WSMV News 4

Percy Priest Dam celebrates 50 years in service

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It’s been 50 years since Percy Priest Dam was dedicated.

On Friday, people came out to celebrate the anniversary.

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated J. Percy Priest Dam and highlighted how the lake would impact Nashville.

The dam stands 130 feet high and all of the outdoor fun it provides pumps about $132 million into the areas around it.

Nashville Mayor David Briley said it’s more than the economic impact that makes the dam special.

“My father passed away four years ago,” said Briley. “My fondest memories are coming here to fish with him. I put that in quotes because I don’t think we ever took anything home with us.

“I know there are a lot of parents who come to spend time with their kids here. That quality time together is a really important part of how we live in our region and the quality of life here.”

Briley said his grandfather, former Nashville Mayor Beverly Briley, was with President Johnson when he dedicated the dam.

Four million people visit the dam and lake every year to fish, camp or walk on the greenway.

It took five years to build the almost 3,000-foot long structure.

The lake and dam are named in honor James Percy Priest, who represented the city for 16 years in Congress in the 1940s and 1950s.

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