Cherokee Dam is a hydroelectric dam located on the Holston River in Grainger County and Jefferson County, Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. The dam is operated and maintained by the Tennessee Valley Authority, which built the dam in the early 1940s to help meet urgent demands for energy at the outbreak of World War II. Cherokee Dam is 175ft high and impounds the 28780acre Cherokee Lake. It has a generating capacity of 135,200 kilowatts. The dam was named for the Cherokee, a Native American tribe that controlled much of East Tennessee when the first European settlers arrived in the mid-18th century.LocationThe South Fork and North Fork of the Holston River merge to form the Holston River proper in Kingsport, Tennessee, from which the river proceeds southwestward for just over 140mi across northeastern Tennessee before joining with the French Broad River in Knoxville to form the Tennessee River. Cherokee Dam is located approximately 52mi upstream from the Holston's mouth. The dam was built immediately downstream from a point where Mossy Creek, which flows northeastward from Jefferson City, joins the Holston to create a T-shaped formation. The dam's immediate headwaters and tailwaters still resemble this formation.