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The entrance for Camp Dixie in Soddy Daisy opens to a nearly 25-acre lakefront site with a 9,704-square-foot house and a separate 4,435-square-foot lodge. The site on the Chickamauga Lake in Soddy-Daisy, which was once used for the Dixie Yarns employee recreation area, sold for $4.25 million last week.

The former Camp Dixie on Lake Chickamauga has a new owner.

The 25-acre lakefront property — one of the largest remaining private recreation facilities on the lake in Hamilton County — was acquired last week for $4.25 million by a Nashville investment group organized as Rcej LLC, according to property records filed with the Hamilton County Register of Deeds.

The former owner, Gaye Y. Smith who owned the parcel since 2003, had listed the site for $5.5 million.

It is not apparent yet how the new owner may use or develop the land, which has been used as a wedding venue, boat and swimming facility and a private residence over the past seven decades.

The registered agent for Rcej LLC, — attorney Michael Sontag of the Nashville law firm of Bass Berry & Sims — did not respond to requests for comment about the purchase.

The lakefront recreation area near the town of Lakesite in northern Hamilton County was originally developed in 1954 by the former Dixie Yarns. The Chattanooga-based textile company used the lakefront property as an employee recreation area for decades.

Dixie later sold the site and the property has been rented for special events, weddings and other parties.

According to the Paula McDaniel Group that marketed the property and handled the sale, the parcel includes a 9,704-square-foot house with four bedrooms and 3.5 baths, and also features a separate 4,435-square-foot lodge with an apartment that is used for wedding and other special events. The site also has a picnic area, three covered pavilions, a detached 10-car garage, a floating boat dock and a swimming area along its 2,365 feet of waterfront.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which helped create the Chickamauga Lake after building the Chickamauga Dam in 1940, provided land along the lake after World War II to major employers if they agreed to develop recreational facilities on the waterfront as a way to encourage use of the TVA-built lakes.

Dixie Yarns was among a handful of major local businesses that developed recreation areas on Lake Chickamauga for their workers to use and gain access to the lake. Similar employee recreation areas were developed by the former Provident Life & Accident Insurance Co., American National Bank, and The Chattanooga News-Free Press, along with the YMCA. All of those properties were eventually sold and most have been redeveloped with more lakefront homes.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6340.

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