Fontana Dam, North Carolina

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Fontana Dam, North Carolina
Fontana Dam is located in North Carolina
Fontana Dam
Fontana Dam
Fontana Dam is located in the United States
Fontana Dam
Fontana Dam
Coordinates: 35°26′08″N 83°49′09″W / 35.43556°N 83.81917°W / 35.43556; -83.81917Coordinates: 35°26′08″N 83°49′09″W / 35.43556°N 83.81917°W / 35.43556; -83.81917
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 • Total0.62 sq mi (1.62 km2)
 • Land0.62 sq mi (1.62 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,821 ft (555 m)
 • Total7,187
 • Estimate 
 • Density11.22/sq mi (4.33/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)828
GNIS feature ID1020300[3]

Fontana Dam (also known as Fontana Village) is a town in Graham County, North Carolina, United States. Fontana Dam is located on North Carolina Highway 28 near the Fontana Dam and the Little Tennessee River. The town incorporated in 2011 and has a full-time population of 33.[4]


"Downtown" at Fontana Village, N. C, 1930 - 1945
(Tichnor Brothers collection)

The town is based around the village built to support the dam construction from 1942 to 1944, so that the dam could produce electricity to power the ALCOA (Aluminum Company Of America) in nearby Alcoa, Tennessee which is south of Knoxville, Tennessee. The company was producing aluminum to make military aircraft in the War. The cottages now rented out for visitors were employee houses. The dining hall is now a cafeteria and the commissary is now the village store. The old lodge was once a hospital and a school was also on the grounds. The children who grew up there during the dam construction times now have an association called "Dam Kids" and they keep in touch and have reunions.

The property was transferred to Guest Services of America (GSA) then sold to Peppertree Corporation of Asheville NC in 1987. The CEO, Wayne Kinzer was later convicted of a felony and the property changed hands several times thereafter. Police services were once handled by village company police of the resort, but with Kinzer's felony conviction, the agency disbanded. The TVA police also patrolled the property which was part of a 100-year ground lease from TVA. With the disbanding of TVA police in 2012, the Graham County Sheriff Department and the NC Highway Patrol are the only police services to the area now.


Fontana Dam incorporated as a Town in June 2011.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)7[2]
U.S. Decennial Census[5]


The town's main employer is the Fontana Village Resort, which serves 100,000 visitors annually.[citation needed] Fontana Dam has a post office with ZIP code 28733.[6][7] In addition to residents and resort guests, the post office also serves hikers on the Appalachian Trail, which crosses the Fontana Dam; it is the first post office on the trail north of its southern end in Georgia. The Fontana Dam post office was one of several scheduled to be closed in 2011, though the closings have since been postponed.[8]

Slot Cut[edit]

The dam gets cut along slots every 4–5 years to stop its growth (alkali aggregate reaction) from causing cracks at top of the dam which expands quickly.[9]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Fontana Village". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  4. ^ Ellison, Quintin (June 22, 2011). "New town of Fontana Dam springs up in the middle of nowhere". Smoky Mountain News. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. ^ United States Postal Service (2012). "USPS - Look Up a ZIP Code". Retrieved 2012-02-15.
  7. ^ "Postmaster Finder - Post Offices by ZIP Code". United States Postal Service. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  8. ^ Ellison, Quintin (January 5, 2012). "Fontana Dam gets a temporary reprieve from post office closure". Smoky Mountain News. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  9. ^ "TVA - Good Medicine for Fontana Dam".