DeKalb County was once a part of the territory occupied by the Cherokee Indian nation. The coming of white men to the county occurred during the American Revolution when a British agent, Alexander Campbell, was sent here for the purpose of arousing the Cherokees against the southern colonies. In 1777, Campbell made his headquarters at Wills Town, a Cherokee Indian village located on Big Wills Creek near the present community of Lebanon. Campbell was successful in arousing a number of the Cherokees by promising them clothing and conquered territory in exchange for the scalps of white settlers.
Hike the two mile Desoto Falls Trail near Helen to a pair of waterfalls where, legend holds, a piece of armor was found from DeSoto’s expedition in the mid-1500s.
In 1823 Cherokee leaders John Ross, Andrew Ross, and George Lowery persuaded the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to open a mission/school for the Cherokee in Willstown. Situated on the main road from Ross’s Landing to Willstown, the property was adjacent to a council ground frequently used by the Cherokee during the 1820s and 1830s. Several structures were constructed that year, including a 2-story log house for the missionaries, separate classrooms for the girls and boys, cabins for the students who boarded, and numerous outbuildings. Teachers included Reverend and Mrs. Ard Hoyt, Reverend and Mrs. William Chamberlain, and Reverend Daniel Butrick. In February of 1828, Reverend Ard Hoyt died after a brief illness and was buried on the property in a marked grave.
Location: At the east end of 4th Street SE (just east of Gault Avenue S), Fort Payne
Telephone: (256) 845-6888 (Landmarks of DeKalb Company, site owner)
Access: Open to the public by appointment
Historical Significance: In 1837 federal troops arrived in Wills Valley to establish a fort to remove the Cherokee Indians from the area. The cabin site is part of local property seized by the military for Fort Payne, one of over 20 removal forts (stockades) established in Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. Principal Chief John Ross and other leaders had lost their political and judicial battles with The United States and the Cherokee would be forced to leave their homeland in Northeast Alabama, as part of what’s now known as the Trail of Tears. To accommodate officers, soldiers, Cherokees, supplies and animals, the local property included a fort, water supply (the Big Spring), holding pens, cabins, encampment areas and associated outbuildings. Some structures were built specifically for the compound, while others, owned by the Cherokee, were confiscated for use as part of the fort. Research indicates the cabin belonged to Cherokee John Huss (Spirit the Preacher), and was built circa 1825.
The Andrew Ross Home
Visitors to our area will soon discover new signs identifying the Andrew Ross Home, along with the Willstown Mission Cemetery and old Fort Payne Cabin Site, as official components of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. The congressionally designated trail commemorates the tragic history of the 1838 removal of the Cherokee people from their ancestral homelands to territory in the west.
Illustration of the Andrew Ross portion of Cherokee Plantation.
Illustration of the Andrew Ross portion of Cherokee Plantation. Source: “The Cherokee Plantation, Fort Payne, Alabama”, by Royce Kershaw, Sr., 1970. The logs are still in the walls of the existing home.
Located just off the intersection of 45th Street and Godfrey Avenue NE, the Andrew Ross home is privately owned by Dr. Stephen Brewer. The present structure retains intact portions of the original home built in 1821 by Cherokee leader Andrew Ross and his wife, Susannah (Susan) Lowery Ross, who was the daughter of Assistant Principal Chief George Lowery. Long thought to be the home of Daniel Ross, Andrew’s father, recent research has revealed the home’s true origins. In addition to the home, which had an impressive second story balcony across the front, the property included stables, numerous outbuildings, farmlands, orchards and pastures.
Saddle Rock Golf Course
721 County Road 614
Mentone AL 35984
Open seven days a week year round (weather permitting). Nine holes from 18 tees. Carts and clubs available.
Fort Payne AL
Farm & Garden Fest
DeKalb County Alabama
September 20, 2014
Little River Canyon Center
4322 Little River Trail NE
Fort Payne AL 35967
A day celebrating agriculture, gardening, and livestock…Ag in Action interactive, farm fun, Alabama 4H, garden info, displays, animals, music, arts, food and more! Date: Saturday September 20, 2014
Time: from 10:30 am—3:30 pm
11:00 am Farm Trivia Game – Dr. Jim Rayburn, JSU
Noon Old Style Appalachian Fiddling- Dr. Jimmy Triplett, JSU
1:00 pm Alabama Farms: A Story in Pictures- Patty Tucker, Lookout Mountain Artist
1:30 pm Butterfly Talk & Walk- Dr. Vitaly Charny, author of Alabama Butterflies
Ongoing Activities and Exhibits:
Ag in Action Agricultural Lab on Wheels: Interactive Farm Fun for Kids of All Ages
Alabama Cooperative Extension 4H Exhibits
Alabama Cotton: From Seed to Field to Cloth, hands-on exhibit
Shepherd’s Hill “From Scratch” Soap, Candles, Candy, Forging, Wood Works & Quilts
Alabama Land Trust: Farm Samples & Stories
Bethany Village at Camp McDowell: Agricultural Education & Retreat Center
Livestock: Chickens, Mule, Cattle & More
Garden Exhibits and Information
Prichard Leather Company: Leather Crafts & Goods
Alabama Kettle Corn: Roasted Corn & Lemonade
Fee: FREE (Donations appreciated) For more information: call 256-845-3548 or email or email email@example.com
DeKalb County Alabama
Mentone is a quaint, welcoming mountain village nestled atop the west brow of Lookout Mountain, in northeast
Alabama. Natural beauty abounds, from scenic mountain-top views to the mists of a 104 ft. waterfall. Generations of wonderful people have made Mentone an ideal place to live, work, and visit.
Fort Payne AL
DeKalb County Alabama
In 1838 Fort Payne was the site of the Trail of Tears. This was the forced evacuation of the Cherokee Indians to Oklahoma.
DeSoto Falls is a magnificent 100-foot waterfall on the outskirts of the charming town of Mentone, Alabama. Formed where the West Fork of the Little River plunges off a Lookout Mountain cliff, the waterfall is one of the most beautiful in the South.