about Lake Jocassee
Jocassee is a popular recreation area surrounded by mountains and waterfalls. The name means "Place of the Lost Ones" and comes from the legend of the Indian maiden, Jocassee, who was said to have drowned herself in grief over the murder of her lover. Constructed by Duke Power Company to generate hydroelectric power, Lake Keowee covers Keowee Town, site of the capital of the Lower Cherokee Nation. Keowee, meaning 'Place of the Mulberries', was visited by Spanish explorer DeSoto when he came through the area in 1540. A 300 mile shoreline and 18,500 acres of water make Keowee a popular place for boating, fishing, water-skiing, swimming, camping and picnicking. Both lakes are located in Oconee and Pickens counties.
Duke Power Company (DPC) announced construction of the Keowee Toxaway Project on January 2, 1965, and began development in 1967. The construction resulted in the formation of Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee. Crescent Resources has managed the Jocassee property since that time. Under Crescent's management, consideration was given to social and environmental concerns for the first time. At that time, Crescent Resources continued to harvest timber and began reforestation efforts to meet future forest products needs. In December 1964, the South Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (currently the SC Department of Natural Resources) negotiated a formal agreement with Duke Power Company and Crescent Resources Inc. to include the lands of Jocassee Gorges in the Department's Game Management Area Program (currently WMA Program).
Although past timber companies had allowed access to hunting and fishing, this landmark agreement established formal public access and led to more intensive wildlife management programs. Biologists have long recognized the tremendous biodiversity of plant and animal life in the Jocassee Gorges area. They have conducted preliminary surveys of plant and animal communities and have documented the occurrence of rare, threatened and endangered elements. The positive relationship between the WMA and Duke Energy fostered the Jocassee Gorges land acquisition project for the state of South Carolina. For information on the development of Lakes Keowee and Jocassee, contact the World of Energy at 800.777.1004.