Watauga (wŏtôˈgə) [key], river, 60 mi (97 km) long, rising in the Blue Ridge Mts., NW N.C., and flowing NW to the south fork of the Holston River near Kingsport, Tenn. Watauga Dam (completed 1949), a unit of the Tennessee Valley Authority, provides flood control and hydroelectric power. Settlement on the river began in 1768. Sycamore Shoals Monument, a national historic landmark, marks the site of early historic events on the river (see Elizabethton, Tenn.).
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