Discover the diverse history of DeKalb County, Alabama.
DeKalb County is comprised of 778 square miles with many natural scenic wonders that reach across two mountain ranges and through a rugged valley. Sights such as Buck’s Pocket State Park, DeSoto State Park, High Falls Park and Little River Canyon National Preserve, combined with the historic and quaint communities of Fort Payne, Mentone, Rainsville, Fyffe and others are just a few of the reasons why you should plan your visit today and see for yourself that DeKalb County is where your Appalachian adventure begins!
Heritage & Hosiery
Fort Payne, located within DeKalb County, was the Sock Capital of the World! That’s right! Fort Payne shipped out 1,350,000 Dozen Pairs of socks each week and produced 67,500,000 Dozen Pairs of socks each year. It would take 124,000 acres a year to grow the 62,000,000 pounds of cotton it took to create those socks.
The Hosiery Industry was the backbone of DeKalb’s Economic Stability for over three quarters of a century. It is here that the Tube Sock was born and is still manufactured along with infants, children’s, men’s & ladies athletics and casual socks.
Superior quality workmanship of the Civilian Conservation Corps is evident in Desoto State Park; named one of the top 10 State Parks in America. Hand-cut stone and timber cottages, pavilions and buildings have stood the test of time and make this mountaintop resort a wonderful place to visit.
Nestled in the woods along the west fork of Little River, this park offers majestic waterfalls, sheer rock cliff views, hiking and biking trails, naturalist programs and a glimpse into our past that shows how men challenged the fear of the great depression and created a lasting monument for generations to come to enjoy.
A Gateway Gathering
Every August comes the World’s Longest Yard Sale which follows our Lookout Mountain Parkway; named by Reader’s Digest as one of “America’s Most Scenic Drives.”
The yard sale gains popularity each year as avid shoppers enjoy driving the scenic byway and hunting bargains at more than 4,000 yard sales that businesses and residents along the Lookout Mountain Parkway and the US 127 Corridor sponsor every year.
Many businesses along the Lookout Mountain Parkway, such as the Multi-Generation, 104,000 square foot Akins Furniture Store, participates and invite you to stop in and see the unique things they have to offer.
The Little River is the only river in the world to run its full length across the top of a mountain. The river stretches across Lookout Mountain, forming Desoto Falls – a 104-ft waterfall.
The river is knows for providing boating and kayaking opportunities, and opens up to form the Little River Canyon National Preserve. The Canyon reaches depths of 700 feet and has a 23-mile canyon rim drive that offers breathtaking views of sheer rock cliffs and canyon rim walls.
Language & Leadership
Cherokee Indian Chief Sequoyah perfected his “Talking Leaves” alphabet here in DeKalb County that incited a whole Cherokee Nation to learn how to read and write in a matter of a few weeks. He resided for a time in Willstown, present day Fort Payne.
Wills Valley, present day Fort Payne, was home to the Cherokee Nation. The tragic era of the Trail of Tears in the 1830’s saw a forced removal of this and other Indian Nations from their homelands east of the Mississippi to new lands in Oklahoma. “Fort Payne” was 1 of 5 stockades built in Alabama during this forced removal.
A cooperative effort of DeKalb Tourism and the Alabama/Tennessee Trail of Tears Corridor Association has seen markers placed along the John Benge TOT Route with a dedication ceremony that took place September 14, 2001 with the placement of a historic marker denoting this trail. The dedication was followed Saturday morning, September 15, with the first annual John Benge Commemorative Motorcycle Ride that met a contingent of riders in a nearby county, joining the 8th Annual Trail of Tears Motorcycle Ride.
This ride began with a handful of motorcyclists and grew to over 80,000 participating in the event. It has brought great awareness to this tragic act, an act we hope to never see repeated to any race of people in America again.
To learn more of the interesting features about the beautiful Northeast Alabama Mountains contact the DeKalb Tourism office. We would be delighted to share story ideas with you about the events, attractions, people and places that make Lookout Mountain Alabama a special place we call home.
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