In 1925 the Southern Railway built a coaling tower just outside of Newport Tennessee to load coal into steam engines pulling trains between Knoxville and Ashville, and also for trains coming and going from Bristol and Ashville. In 1942 TVA started building the Douglas Dam on the French Broad River, which created a lake covering one million acres, forcing the Southern Railway to move its tracks south 300 feet and abandoned the coal tower. In 1943 when the lake was created and water started backing up, and when it was all said and done, the lake covered the base of the tower by two feet, making it impossible to get to during the summer. But once TVA drops the water it is very easy to get to by vehicle. The land now sits on TVA public land is a great place to bird watch. If it hadn't been for the building of the lake, the Southern or later Norfolk Southern, might have torn it down, but when it was abandoned the railroad saw no point in spending the money to tear down this structure. The state of Tennessee is now looking into adding it to the National Register of Historic Places.