Thursday, May 14


My first introduction to the concept of submerged towns happened while I was going to school in Redding, near Whiskeytown Lake. Though I'm not sure if this is true, I was told that there is a ghost town under the water at Whiskeytown Lake. The concept of a submerged town is eerie, but extremely alluring. Much in the same way that I am both intimidated by, and drawn to, a darkened archive or archeological sight I am drawn to the concept of an abandoned history. Both destroyed by and preserved by the water, I imagine foundations at the bottom of the lake, bridges no longer traveled, windows no longer looked through. I imagine the town in black and white, like a photograph from a time I can only imagine through archival images, as though the people of that period couldn't see in the visible spectrum we technicolor decedents now see in. I know it's a ridiculous idea, but that is the image I remember while swimming in that lake. My imagination went wild, what if my toe grazed a roof top while swimming across the surface? Like stepping on the splayed out rodents carcasses left out by my cat, would adrenaline rush through me at the recognition of the texture as I swam to shore to escape the ruin at my feet? Before returning to the spot to gaze at the discovery? This never happened. In all our lake visits I never once found anything but the all too familiar lake like things, but I am still fascinated with submerged towns. I am not a diver, so this fascination is lived through google searches and tales from other people. Here are some of the pictures I've found recently, so cool.


Anonymous said...

In the 'Cooke' letters I found postmarks for the town of 'Carp, TN'. Found out from one of my contacts that it is now @ the bottom of a Tennessee Valley Authority lake. Mom

Lee Aldrich said...

Yes, there is a town at the bottom of the lake. I grew up there until I was 7 and they moved us all out. The main part of town is over 300 feet underwater. There are old brick buildings that they just left. There also was a town of Oak Bottom near the campground of that name. It's probably not nearly as deep, but I don't know what was left there.