Gaylesville, Alabama is a town in Cherokee County, Alabama, United States. The population was 144 at the 2010 census. Gaylesville is named for George W. Gayle, an Alabama politician. However, Gayle may also be the name of a local Cherokee Indian. A post office has been in operation in Gaylesville since 1836.
Fort Likens was established at Barry Springs in northern Cherokee County. All Cherokee Indians including men, women and children living in the area surrounding the fort would have been rounded up and held there until they were sent to Fort Payne. Ft. Likens housed the federal troops responsible for rounding up the Cherokees on May, 24, 1838 and placing them in an internment camp located nearby at Barry Springs where they were held until they were transported to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) on the infamous Trail of Tears.
During the Civil War, Cherokee County Alabama was a center of iron manufacturing. The famous Cherokee chief Pathkiller, who led the Cherokee in the Creek War of 1813-14, lived in Turkeytown, near the present-day town of Centre.
The river and canyon have formed a wild and rugged landscape that allows for a range of peaceful and challenging recreational opportunities. The river supports world-class whitewater paddling and the canyon supports exceptional climbing opportunities. The opportunity for hiking, swimming, and fishing in natural areas away from city life are exemplified at Martha’s Falls and Canyon Mouth.