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Known world-wide as the "town that wouldn't drown!"  

Witness the resilience of its people who persisted despite the relocation and flooding of their town as you view a glimpse of life from a by-gone era.

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The Butler TN
History Museum

The Butler and Watauga Valley Heritage Museum opened in 2000 to honor the citizens of Butler and all others of the Watauga Valley, Roan Valley and Elk Valley. This first class Museum showcases the history of Butler and the relocation of the town to higher ground to make way for Watauga Lake to provide flood control and cheap electricity.

As soon as you walk into the exhibit area, you will notice that this is not your typical small town Museum. The historical exhibits bring to life the early days of Old Butler and depict the extraordinary effort in relocating this small town, showing why it is known as “the town that would not drown”.

The Museum provides a great snapshot of a typical East Tennessee farming and lumber community and tells you a lot about life in a bygone era. It also reminds us of the price paid for the luxuries we enjoy today.


Our Tours

See and hear the history of Butler and Watauga Lake. The Museum depicts early life in Old Butler and the relocation of this small town to make way for Watauga Lake.

Visit our History Museum 

W.S. Stout General Store

American Veterans Memorial Walk

Museum Gift Shop


A glimpse
into our past.

A walk through our museum is an adventure into the past lives that made the Watauga Valley and the surrounding area their home. There is much history in this part of Tennessee dating back to the 1700's, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.


The Museum of Butler, TN is under the direction of the Butler & Watauga Valley Heritage Association, Inc.

Juanita T. Wilson  |  137 Arrow Drive  |  Elizabethton, TN 37643

423-542-4430  |  423-677-5089  |


Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00-5:00pm until further notice.

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