Lake Blue Ridge was formed when Blue Ridge Dam was constructed on the Toccoa River in 1930 by the Toccoa Electric Power Company. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) purchased this asset in 1939, including much of the lands around the lake known as the flowage easement lands. These lands lay between private lands and the typical full pool elevation of Lake Blue Ridge.
This land is controlled by the TVA and reserved for flood control events, as they could happen to prevent damage to private lands. In addition, many tracts of land around the lake are owned by the U.S. Forest Service and considered public lands. These areas include the Morganton Point Camp Ground and other such areas around the lake.
While it is called a “lake,” this body of water was constructed and arranged as a reservoir with a hydro-electric dam. It is linked to a much larger series of other reservoirs and dams running toward the northwest to form an integrated water management system.
The system is designed to collect water during spring rains, and then release as necessary to prevent flooding downstream, production of cheap electrical power for commercial and residential development and to help maintain adequate flow to support commercial barge traffic as far west as the Ohio River. Eventually, in recognition of likely seasonal rainfall levels, a “guide” for filling and draining the lake was established.
Because the water level fluctuated widely during the year, a group of concerned citizens in the 1970s formed the Lake Blue Ridge Civic Association. In particular, they challenged the TVA to leave more consistent level of water in the “lake” for a longer period of time across the annual calendar. Attempts to keep more water in the lake have been the purpose of the civic association for much of its life.
A few years ago, the civic association broadened its purpose to consider other goals besides lobbying for more water. Today, we maintain good relationships with the TVA, the US Forest Service, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as it is their mission to preserve and protect the health of Lake Blue Ridge.
The LBRCA provides an annual scholarship to Fannin County High School students that plan to continue their education beyond high school. We also consciously communicate with Fannin County, the City of Blue Ridge, and the Chamber of Commerce to improve the asset value of the lake for the community.
And most of all, we work hard to support a most enjoyable lake lifestyle for our members. We on the Board will continue to promote activities that allow us to enjoy the beauty of our environment, and we welcome your input. Thanks to you all for your support!