Lake Winfield Scott - History


Completed in early 1942, Lake Winfield Scott is a man-made reservoir created as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps' efforts to establish recreational areas in north Georgia. It was the final CCC project in Georgia and one of the last in the nation, completed just after the United States' entry into World War II. It is located in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains near Blood Mountain.

The lake was named after General Winfield Scott, a 19th century United States Army general, diplomat, and presidential candidate. Known as "Old Fuss and Feathers" and the "Grand Old Man of the Army", Scott was a hero of the Mexican-American War and the first American since George Washington to hold the rank of lieutenant general.

By the late 17th century the Cherokee and Creek had begun to compete for the same resources and fought a battle at nearby Slaughter Gap. The Creek lost, ceding the Blood Mountain area to the Cherokee, who considered it a holy place. Archaeological evidence has been discovered that tends to back the story of the battle, but the date of the battle and its participants are still disputed.

In 1838, the American Indians were removed from the area by General Winfield Scott and forced westward along the "Trail of Tears." Farmers moved in later, and by the 1880s lumber companies began logging the area. On May 14, 1938, the lake was first opened to the public as part of the Forest Service's multiple-use plan for administering the Chatahoochee National Forest for the "greatest good for the greatest number of people." During the 1990s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rebuilt and strengthened the lake's dam.

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