Pickwick Lake was created in December 1937 when the new dam was closed across the Tennessee River and flooded the farmland valley. The lake was dedicated June 2, 1940, and a crowd of 30,000 people gathered on the Pickwick south earth dam for the celebration.
On Aug. 20, 1935, the Tennessee Valley Authority's new dam was named after the Pickwick Post Office, which had been named by postmaster Richardson K. Baird in 1883. He changed the name of the newly established post office from "Broadway" to "Pickwick" in honor of the short story "Pickwick Papers," due to his fondness for the works of its author, Charles Dickens.
TVA's Pickwick Village housed some 1,000 workers during construction and after completion, TVA donated the 661 acres of land to the State of Tennessee for the present Pickwick Landing State Park. The park was opened in August 1972 and eight of the village houses remained for park employees. In addition to its intended purposes--and the creation of the lake and ultimately the park--Pickwick Dam brought thousands of jobs to a depressed area. At that time, the average household income in the rural area was $300 per year.
Walnut Grove Elementary School is just 8 miles south of town. However, education is primarily provided by the schools of the county seat, Savannah, which is just over 12 miles away. Savannah is home to 8 public schools and 2 private schools. Higher education is offered through the University of North Alabama, Northeast Mississippi Community College, Northwest Shoals Community College - Muscle Shoals and the University of Tennessee - Martin. All are located within 60 miles or less of Pickwick.
Health care needs are served by Hardin County General Hospital in Savannah. Opened in 1952, the hospital has grown over the years to include an acute care facility, 24-hour emergency services, a nursing home with a skilled nursing unit, a home health agency, and a medical equipment sales and supply service. It also provides ambulance services for the county.
Located halfway between Memphis and Nashville, Pickwick Lake offers 496 miles of shoreline. The area offers excellent fishing, 5 golf courses and numerous outdoor activities. The nearby Aqua Yacht Harbor is the second largest inland marina in the country, providing easy access to the Tombigbee Waterway. If boating or sailing is your passion, Pickwick Lake has water access to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico via the Tombigbee Waterway.
Pickwick Landing State Park was first opened in August 1972. Today it stands as one of the most visited parks in the state system. It contains an inn, cabins, marina, picnic shelters and more. In addition to Pickwick Lake, there are many other attractions in the area.
History buffs are delighted by Shiloh National Military Park, the site of the Civil War battle of Shiloh and the Tennessee River Museum nearby.Other popular attractions include the Pickwick Landing State Park, Cherry Mansion, Pickwick Plantation, Delta Queen, Riverfront Park, Buford Pusser Home & Museum. There's also the dam where you can observe boats traveling through the lock system.
Contact us now to learn more about the Pickwick area. With so much beauty all around and so much to do, we know you'll want to make your home here soon.