Wilson Dam

Alabama 133, Florence, AL 35630

A dam spanning the Tennessee River between Lauderdale County and Colbert County, Alabama.



Wilson Dam is a dam spanning the Tennessee River between Lauderdale County and Colbert County in the U.S. state of Alabama. It impounds Wilson Lake. It is one of nine Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) dams on the Tennessee River. The dam was declared a National Historic Landmark on November 13th, 1966.

Construction on Wilson Dam began in 1918 and was completed in 1924 under supervision of Hugh L. Cooper. The Wilson Dam actually predates the TVA, but was later placed under the authority of the TVA. The dam is 137 feet (42 m) high and stretches 4,541 feet (1,384 m) across the Tennessee River. The cost to build the dam was almost $47 million.

The main lock at Wilson Dam is 110 feet (34 m) wide by 600 feet (180 m) long. The lock lift is 94 feet (29 m). It is the highest single lift lock east of the Rocky Mountains An auxiliary lock has two 60 feet (18 m) wide by 300 feet (91 m) long chambers that operate in tandem. Over 3,700 vessels pass through Wilson Dam's locks each year.

The generating capacity of Wilson dam is 675 megawatts of electricity.

The dam is named for former President of the United States Woodrow Wilson.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 13, 1966
Reference number
Areas of significance
Industry; Commerce; Transportation
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic functions
Water works; Energy facility
Current functions
Water works; Energy facility
Period of significance
Significant years
1925; 1933

Update Log 

  • May 25, 2011: Added by WillyT