While visiting Johnson County, visit Watauga Lake and learn the history of Butler TN. The best way to do this is to walk through the Butler museum. It is an adventure into the past lives of those that made the Watauga valley and surrounding area their home. There is much history in this part of Tennessee dating back to the 1700s and the first settlers, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil war.
Those that lived in this area lived off the land farming, manufacturing, and lumbering. The equipment that was used to make a living is displayed as you begin the tour through the museum.
At the far end of this exhibit is a photo mural of Main Street of Butler before the Watauga Dam was built.
An abundance of water resources made Butler a good location for habitation;however, the overabundance of water in the form of floods caused the town’s death knell. With the advent of the violent killer flood of 1940, the powerful Tennessee Valley Authority made a decision to build a dam flooding the town of Butler and all the valleys surrounding it. Butler is the only town ever flooded by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The Butler and Watauga Valley Heritage Museum opened in 2000 to honor the memory of the citizens of Butler and all others of the Watauga, Roan and Elk Valleys. Butler lives on in our minds and especially in our hearts.