Historic Markers Across Alabama

History of Guntersville

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: at the intersection of Florida Short Route/Gunter Avenue (U.S. 431) and Lurleen B Wallace Drive, Guntersville, Alabama
County: Marshall
Coordinates: N 34° 21.822    W 086° 17.451
  34.3637    -86.29085
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMD62N


Side 1:
This area's proximity to the Tennessee River and Indian trails made it a crossroads for early habitation, settlement, and trade. Archaeological studies reveal it was first inhabited about 12,000 years ago by Paleo-Indians. They were followed by various tribes of Native Americans. The Cherokees arrived in the late 1700's and called the area Kusa-Nunnahi, meaning Creek Path. In 1785 John Gunter became the first white man to settle here and married the daughter of the local Cherokee chief. He was given land here and raised a large family (among his descendants is Will Rogers, his great grandson). Gunter and his wife died in 1835 and are buried near their old home site. General Andrew Jackson came through the area in October of 1813 and recruited several Cherokees to help him fight the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. John Gunter's son, Edward, established a ferry here in 1818. As the small village grew, it became known as Gunter's Landing.

Side 2:
Gunter's Landing was involved in the tragic removal of Indians during the late 1830's, when Creeks and Cherokees passed through the area on their way to the West. The John Benge Detachment of over 1,000 Cherokees crossed the river here in early October of 1838 on their way to the Oklahoma Territory in what has become known as the Trail of Tears. John Allan Wyeth, the town's most famous citizen, was born in a log cabin near here in 1845 and later became president of the American Medical Association. Guntersville was practically destroyed during the Civil War by Union raids and canon bombardments. One building to survive is the Col. Montgomery Gilbreath home which still exists. By the 1890's the town had become a major port for commercial and passenger steamboats traveling between Knoxville and Decatur. The area was forever changed in 1939 when the TVA constructed Guntersville Dam a few miles south of here and created Lake Guntersville

End of History of Guntersville