SML50Smith Mountain Lake is looking ahead to its golden anniversary. The lake reached full pond in March of 1966. Officials are asking for your help in marking the 50th anniversary in 2016. Bill Piatt, chairman of the 50th Anniversary Steering Committee, says they’re planning a special summer of ’16, and are looking for volunteers and ideas.  Barb Nocera with the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce is working to put together a 2016 calendar featuring photos and milestones in lake history.  If you have old photos to share, the chamber would like to hear from you. The phone number is 540-721-1203.

Extended interview with Bill Piatt and Barb Nocera:  06-16 sml at 50 for web-WEB


(Continue reading for news release from Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce)


SML 50th Anniversary Celebration Seeking Community Support

Moneta, VA (June 9, 2014) – With the 50th anniversary of Smith Mountain Lake approaching in less than 18 months (2016), the Steering Committee for the celebration is seeking community involvement. According to Chairman Bill Piatt, “The goal is to celebrate 50 years of making memories at the Jewel of the Blue Ridge™, Smith Mountain Lake, by holding a series of fun events and activities that celebrate the past, present and future of Smith Mountain Lake.”

Moving to the next phase of organizing for the anniversary, community involvement and support becomes critical. A recent local marketing meeting led by Jerry Hale produced a lengthy list of potential activities and events that could become part of the official calendar of events for 2016. However, Hale notes, “We now need to put ideas into action; we hope people in the community will raise their hands and volunteer to lead an event or activity that interests them.” Piatt will soon begin an outreach program to local clubs and organizations to solicit their help in organizing events. Clubs, businesses or individuals interested in helping organize an event should contact Jerry Hale at

One anniversary project already underway is a 2016 commemorative calendar featuring both historical- and present-day photos and historical facts about Smith Mountain Lake. AEP’s Larry Jackson comments, “We are looking for additional historical lake photos, dates and facts to add to the collection of materials being assembled. While AEP has an extensive collection of photos focusing on dam construction, we would especially like to gather photos of people enjoying the lake during the early years, before and after it reached full-pond,” Jackson says. The calendar photos need to be of high quality (at least 300 dpi in 9” X 12” size) and submitted to Barb Nocera, prior to August 15.