Holston, river, c.120 mi (190 km) long, formed by the uniting of its northern and southern forks, NE Tenn., and flowing SW through the Great Appalachian Valley, joining the French Broad River at Knoxville to form the Tennessee River. Settlement along the Holston began before the American Revolution, and it was a major route of westward migration. On the river is Cherokee Dam, a flood control unit of the Tennessee Valley Authority that impounds Cherokee Lake; there are several smaller dams on the Holston's southern fork.
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