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 Legend Of Bell Tree Smith
Taken From: The Gadsden Times, Gadsden, AL 1920
Written By: The Gadsden Times, by Will I. Martin. While the writer was driving through Rock Run the other day he recalled the story of Bell Tree Smith, a fantastic character who flourished in Cherokee county back in the nineties and who met the fate of almost all bullies, who respected no law and the rights of no man.
He got his nickname from the fact that he operated a blind tiger under a tree near his place of business. His illicit liquor sales were out in the open air to be seen by any officer or citizen who dared to take the risk of peeping or spying, for it was generally understood or believed that monkeying with what Bell Tree Smith considered his inalienable rights spelled sudden death or, at least a good pistol whipping and such like punishment as would call for silence on the part of any person who happened to be unduly nosey. The man’s real name was William (Bill) Smith.
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.
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.