Beautiful Paint Rock Valley, Alabama “Little sister to Virginia’s Shenandoah” [pictures and story]


(posted to public stories Ancestry.com by


Flanked by steep mountains and threaded by a meandering river, Paint Rock Valley in the northeast corner of Alabama is one of the most beautiful valleys in the state.  Lush and green, it has been called “a little sister to Virginia’s Shenandoah”, which is a name derived from a Native American expression meaning, “Beautiful Daughter of the Stars”.  Isolated from the rest of the state in the northeast corner of Jackson County, it is a “little kingdom”, set apart… unspoiled.

Until comparatively recent times, the residents of some of the outlying communities lived in a state of isolation that is hard to envision today…As late as 1916 a report of roads in the area noted that the one dirt road heading up to the town of Francisco on the Alabama/Tennessee state line, about 10 miles up from the main valley, crossed the Larkin Fork twenty-five times in one five mile stretch, when the road wasn’t actually running in the creekbed itself.

Francisco, Alabama (from Lands of America)

Francisco, Alabama

Paint Rock, Alabama highlighted (Wikipedia)

Paint rock, Jackson_County_Alabama_Incorporated_and_Unincorporated_areas_Paint_Rock_Highlighted

Paint Rock River (Wikipedia)
Paint_Rock_River wikipedia

Water is a peculiar shade of blue-green

The waters of Larkin Fork run a peculiar shade of blue-green, a color imparted when the water percolates through limestone underground.  The primary sources of all the valley’s streams are springs emerging from limestone caves at the base of the Cumberland plateau. These feed into the Paint Rock River which supports a hundred different species of fish and 45 mussel species, two of which are found nowhere else in the world, the pale lilliput and the Alabama lampmussel.

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When Grandfather John Henry Kennedy, who was born in Francisco, decided to take his wife Minnie Jo, son John, and daughter Dixie to visit the remnants of his old home and a few remaining family members, it was an arduous journey. This was probably around 1924. Driving up from Montgomery, they had to leave their automobile in Huntland, Tennessee and hire a wagon driver with horses to make the trip back down into Alabama.  Dixie remembers this as, “a bumpy ride on a winding dirt road”.  They had to ford the creek in the wagon to arrive at her Uncle’s “nice white frame house”.  She said, “It was in a pretty valley.”  She also remembers seeing only a chimney standing, where the now burned out log home of her grandparent’s had once stood; the home of Samuel and Tennessee Kennedy.  Her father, John Henry, would not look at it; he turned his head to look the other way.

John Henry Kennedy worked on the Wilson Dam Project

John Henry Kennedy, born in 1860 just before the outbreak of the Civil War, pointed out to his family the location of the one-room schoolhouse where he had taught school when he was just a youth of about 16 or 17 years old.  In those days there were no “free schools”, that is, taxpayer supported schools. Each community had to establish such schools as they saw fit.  John Henry later served as Chairman of the Board of School Trustees in Montgomery, Al. around 1910. Also, he worked on the Wilson Dam Project in Florence, Al during 1918-1924, which, when completed, had a generating capacity of 675,400 kilowats of electricity.  In 1933 the completed project so amazed and inspired the newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt, he created the Tennessee Valley Authority.  Wilson Dam was the first of nine TVA dams on the Tennessee River, setting the standard for the nation for future waterways improvements.

Wilson Dam


Electricity in 1949

In contrast, electricity didn’t reach the upper Paint Rock Valley until 1949.  Today, the little settlement of Francisco on the Alabama /Tennessee state line is marked by hardly more than an old tumble-down shack once known as the Francisco Post Office.  The Beech Grove Cemetery on the other side of the road is the final resting place of some of Paint Rock’s early pioneers… Among them, John parents. Samuel Kennedy, murdered by Bushwhackers during the Civil War, and Samuel’s wife, Tennessee Leander Wilson Kennedy, witness to this tragic event.  Samuel had been hung in his own cornfield for selling corn to the Union army upon their demand in 1864.  Afterwards, Tennessee, expecting their fourth child was left, a widow to rear their four children, overcoming unbelievable odds. She lived until 1915, also raising two of her grandchildren whose mother, Susan had died shortly after childbirth.  Also buried at Beech Grove Cemetery is Samuel & Tennessee’s oldest son, Squire Elias James Daniel Kennedy, who became Justice of the Peace for that jurisdiction and a life-long contributor to the newspaper, “The Progressive Age”, in Scottsboro, the county seat. Squire E.J.D. Kennedy died in 1940.

Paint Rock Valley (from Paint Rock Valley Lodge and Retreat

paint rock valley

Neutral residents were called Nickajacks

Samuel was the youngest of several sons of Stephen Kennedy.  It is generally believed that Stephen was married twice.  Sons by his first wife were thought to have been supportive of the Union and sons of the second wife, supportive of the Confederacy.  For the most part the residents of Paint Rock Valley were attempting to remain neutral. The citizens in this area of north Alabama and east Tennessee who had held firm in their stance of neutrality became known as Nickajacks.

Recognizing the strategic importance of the Tennessee Valley, Union forces occupied all of Jackson County north of the Tennessee River during most of the Civil War. This made foe considerable uneasiness among the residents.  Small units known as “wedges” were sent through the county to plunder and demoralize Southern supporters.  These raids led to retaliation by Confederate partisans and, as the war dragged on, to savage guerrilla skirmishes.  Tennessee Kennedy would hide her children in a hollow tree for protection when these men came through, burning their fences, stealing or running off their livestock. These were terrible and terrifying times in the South.

Samuel had been caught in this awful “fratricidal conflict”, and had intended no harm to anyone.  His wife, Tennessee thought she knew who his attackers had been and stated in a letter many years later, that she had forgiven them.  This band of hooded men had burst into their home on a Saturday mid-October morning as Samuel sat at the breakfast table, eating his cornbread, and marched him out into his cornfield, where he was hung as an example to intimidate those who might be willing to share their crops or livestock with their Union “brothers”.  The names of these men is not known, nor was anyone ever prosecuted for this senseless crime.  The name of Samuel Kennedy is, however, remembered well and he was thought of as a very fine man throughout the Valley.

They came to build a good life

These settlers had come to Paint Rock valley, not with retinues of slaves and old family silver to build plantations set in acres of cotton fields, but to build a good life for their families as honest farmers. They were true pioneers, raising corn, oats, wheat, pumpkins, sugar cane and perhaps a little cotton, but not much in the way of cash crops. Most would never become rich. They kept horses, mules, cattle, sheep and hogs; and corn was the staple. This was just the sort of agrarian society that Thomas Jefferson had envisioned for the nation; a society comprised of medium-sized self-sufficient farms upon which a truly republican government could be founded.

Pristine and unspoiled was the way they had found this place.  Jackson County historian, John Robrert Kennamer, describes the virgin timber and Sycamore trees so large that “W. W. Thompson’s father led his horse with the saddle on through a big hollow cut.”  Since W. W. Thompson was a preacher in 1862, we have no reason to doubt his word in this  or other religious matters.  Kennamer also states that deer, bear, panther and wolves abounded in these woods and caves and wild turkey were as plentiful as barnyard chickens. The bear welcomed their new neighbors with open paws, usually paying them nocturnal visits where they would partake of the generous fare as found in a farmer’s cornfield..  A typical black bear could sit down for supper and easily consume a heap of 50 ear of corn.

See author’s Alabama historic books

Davy Crockett explored Jackson County

Early in the nineteenth century, Davy Crockett had explored most of what is now Jackson County and is said to have carved his name on a tree in upper Paint Rock Valley.  The Paint Rock River is a free-flowing tributary of the Tennessee River.  According to the Nature Conservancy, it is one of the most biologically important regions of the state for both aquatic and plant and animal associations.  The Watershed encompasses about 318 square miles.  On top of the plateau within the watershed, isolated ponds dot the landscape.  White fringeless orchids are often found around the pond perimeters and rare dragonflies are found in the waters. In 1996, a group of local residents and landowners formed a nonprofit organization known as the Paint Rock River Initiative for the purpose of protecting the river and its watershed.

Davy Crockett


This initiative received federal funding for such purposes as building a riparian buffer along the creeks that feed the river to prevent livestock from entering and contaminating the water.  Funds were made available for drilling for well water for the livestock and fences to protect these beautiful streams from becoming drainage ditches for agricultural runoff.

Unique rock formation called the Walls of Jericho

The watershed harbors a massive and unique rock formation known as the “Walls of Jericho” by local residents.  The underlying limestone of the watershed is riddled with caves, springs and sinkholes and is a well-known destination for cavers and spelunkers throughout the U.S.  Some 700 caves have been documented in Jackson County with virtually all of the entrances located on private property.  Literally hundreds of caves are discovered every year.  One previously unknown side entrance to Guess Cave, located in a side cove of Paint Rock Valley, led to five miles of passages with spectacular formations, and an underground stream with a twenty-five foot waterfall.

Walls of Jericho


White settlers were by no means the first people upon the land.  They were preceded by many waves of native American folk, the most recent of which were the Cherokee Indians.  This land was only opened up for white settlement in 1819.  Alabama became a state in that year, and the new legislature, meeting in Huntsville, created Jackson County from territory acquired from the Cherokee. Previously, Chief Dragging Canoe and his followers, known as the Chicamaugas, had kept the Tennessee River blockaded and stood their ground where Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia come together, near Chattanooga, Tenn.  The name Chattanooga was Creek Indian meaning “Lookout Mountain”. They say you can see seven states from the mountain.   Chief Dragging Canoe died in 1792, and within two years the power of the Chicamaugas was broken.

With the opening of these new lands, white settlers surged into northern Alabama.  The Tennessee River, then wild and untamed, was the means by which many of these pioneers reached Jackson County.  Struggling over the gaps in the Appalachians or coming down from the western valleys of Virginia, they converged at Knoxville.  From this point, they set off down the river, drifting along its broad reaches in flatboats.  Their final challenge was “The Narrows”, where between present day Chattanooga and the Alabama line, the river bends around on itself and cuts through a mountain range.

Rapids had unusual names

Here in the Gorge of the Tennessee, they had to run the gauntlet of thirty miles of treacherous rapids, bearing such names as “The Boiling Pot”, “The Frying Pan”, “The Suck”, etc…When the river finally calmed down, widened out and emerged into the magnificent Tennessee Valley of North Alabama, it must have seemed to these adventurers that they had indeed reached the Promised Land. The stained bluffs at the mouth of the Paint Rock River where it flows into the Tennessee must have seemed like an awesome sight to these nineteenth century explorers.  Some say they were painted this orange hue by the Indians to mark the entrance to the river, hence the name.

Paint Rock River

bluff at paint rock, alabama

Because of its remote mountainous location, the county was known for many years throughout the Tennessee Valley as “High Jackson”.The new county was named for Gen, Andrew Jackson, who was showing racehorses in Huntsville at the time.  Jackson, national hero in the War of 1812 and best known locally for his military efforts in the Creek War in Alabama, a future U. S. President, became, if nothing else, controversial in matters pertaining to the Cherokee Indians…An advocate of the Indian Removal Act, he was at cross-purposes with such notable figures as Davy Crockett who lived just over the Tennessee state line at Bean’s Creek on his farm called “Kaintuck” from about 1813 with his wife, Mary Polly Finley until after her death in about 1817.   Her mother was supposed to be a Jean Kennedy, but little else is known about her…

Fertile Valley coves drew farmers

It was the deep fertile soils of Paint Rock Valley’s coves that drew yeoman farmers of English and Scotch-Irish ancestry down from Virginia and the Carolinas in the early 1800’s.  One of them became known as Kennedy Cove and home to several generations of the Kennedy family.  Stephen Kennedy, sometimes referred to as “The Patriarch”, was in the Valley by 1830 and settled around Trenton, near Guess Creek.  Stephen is thought to be buried in Latham Cemetery at the headwaters of Guess Creek.  A grandson at a much later date placed a marker on what was believed to be his grave.

Stephen’s descendants still remain in the area, with some in Madison County near Huntsville, others just north of the Alabama state line in Franklin and Lincoln counties.  Stephen first appears in Alabama records in 1830, but was probably in Jackson County several years earlier.  He came through Tennessee, leaving records in Bedford County in 1819.  His roots were believed, by his grandson, John Henry Kennedy, to be in Virginia, possibly in Berkeley County and the Shenandoah Valley.  Paint Rock Valley would have seemed familiar to this Scots-Irishman and perhaps a little like coming home.. Or as the slogan on the masthead of the “Progressive Age” reads, “High Jackson—Home of Hogs, Hominy, Health and Happiness”.  Later songwriter, Claude “Curly” Putnam, Jr., who was born in the Valley, introduced “The Green, Green Grass of Home”, first sung by Porter Wagoner in 1964.  The song recorded by just about every famous country music artist since, expressed  his sentiments about Paint Rock Valley and the sentiments of just about all the folks who ever lived there.

VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the past This book is a collection of household tips, medical cures, clothing care and old recipes from the 1800’s and 1900’s. Many of the tips, such as the household cleaners, cooking tips and ways to control pests, still work and are helpful in today’s ‘green’ environment while others such as ‘how to cure a dog of eating eggs’ will make you laugh. Either way, this book will help you appreciate the difficult life your grandparents endured.

With Bonus: First two chapters of novel Ribbon of Love



  1. Nick Byram here’s you one closer to home

  2. Yes it is a beautiful place. Only ten minutes from me love it out there

  3. Peggy Cross ,Your hometown is beautiful.

  4. Beautiful place. My mother’s family were early settlers in Jackson Co.

  5. That’s looks awesome and I must see it

    1. I feel like it’s somewhere I could spend the weekend and never get bored

  6. Kathy Dodson Wray

  7. My Turner/Daniel family is from Paint Rock.

    1. Paint Rock Valley is North of Hwy 65. Paint Rock is right past Gurley when you enter Jackson County before Woodville. Paint Rock Valley you turn left in the curve at the railroad tracks before you get to Paint Rock and drive about 15 miles to get to Paint Rock Valley High School. Hope this helps. I live in Gurley Al now but have lived in Paint Rock Valley all my life. It my home and I know that place like the back of my hand.

      1. Thank you for the clarification. Stories from the past often use old landmarks that have disappeared over time and it is good to have someone provide information based on current roads and highways.

  8. that area of Alabama is beautiful, i love going through there.

  9. I used to work in that area in the mid 90’s. It is indeed a beautiful place

  10. Will be going there. My ancestors came from the general area.

  11. I have spent some time here and it is a very special place.

  12. my great grandfather is buried in the old Paint Rock cemetery.

  13. Tara Pennington

  14. I grew up in PRV. As a younger child, you couldn’t ask for a better place to grow up. We lived within walking distance of the river, caves, waterfalls, creeks, and the mtns were our backyard. I loved it.

  15. Paint rock valley is the home of my parents, both sets of grandparents as well as my grandparents. A truly beautiful and special place full of wonderful people.

  16. I was raised in Paint Rock Valley, in the Trenton area. Still have lots of family that live there. We Slept with our doors open with screens of course. There is lots of uniqueness about Pair Rock Valley that makes it one in a million places to raise a child. Fresh air farm land, cattle horses, pigs, goats and chickens and turkeys. The caves and mountains have there own little surprises. You never know what you may come across. The people are absolutely amazing country folks. The river is amazing and like non other anywhere. I have play in the streams fished and attempted to swim. That is my home sweet home. Most beautiful place, if you haven’t visited in person and love nature must take a few days and enjoy. !

  17. My Mother, Kittye, use to say, God created the rest of the earth, and then he said Let me show you something really special, then created Paint Rock Valley.

  18. I grew up in Woodville, AL near paint rock valley, but left for 22 years.
    I moved back in 1983.
    Now I wonder why I ever left.

  19. Been there! Loved it! My ancestors were from there…a very colorful family with quite a history.

  20. Beautiful country I grew up around!!!

  21. Very interesting article. Who knew translated “Chattanooga” means “Lookout Mountain”? Guess it must have been the people who named Lookout Mountain outside Chattanooga but I didn’t.

  22. love this area, i’ve family from there all the way over to Fort Payne / Fyffe

  23. Used to work in that area, many years ago.

  24. My mother’s family is from Jackson County, Alabama.

  25. Remember my dad telling me when I was a kid that folks in Paint Rock Valley could look up their chimney and see the cows coming home. Back in the sixties lots of the homes had swinging foot bridges from where you parked to homes on the other side of the river. Beautiful place!

  26. Drove by Paint Rock many times going back and forth from Florence and Ft. Payne. Beautiful!

  27. Once again,Alabama the Beautiful!

  28. Both my mother and father were born and raised there (Hollytree). My mother was a Maples…their lineage goes back many generations in PRV. Her mother (my grandmother of course) was a Crowell…their lineage goes back a ways from both the PRV area and across the line in TN. My grandmother’s mother was a Swafford. My father and I were able to trace back 7-8 generations of the Williams side of the family from the area. Williams Cove is right beside Hollytree off of 65. Most of both sides of the family are buried in Clay Cemetery in Princeton – a wealth of information can be had just by wandering amongst the headstones.

    1. That is where I grew up was in Williams Cove. My grandmother was Eva Sanders/Peacock. My mother was Peggy Peacock Thrower. she married James Loyd Thrower

      1. I have had a farm for over 40 years at the Little Nashville bridge and Throwers Point is at my north property line which is now Forever Wild land. I love the history of this area and wonder who walked the mountains before me.

  29. Patricia my grandmother Lois Kennedy Cobb was born in Trenton,AL, and I can remember Daddy telling me about the fun he’d have visiting family there in Trenton and along the Paint Rock Valley.

  30. I killed my one and only dear in Paint Rock back in 1983. Beautiful country.

  31. If you are a history buff like me, you’ll love reading these posts.

  32. My favorite place in the whole world…

  33. Every time I go home to Morgan County, Alabama, from Knoxville, Tennessee, I am in awe of the beauty of that area. I love it.

  34. There’s also a lot of “folksy” goings on there in the fall. Paintrock Valley Lodge is a gathering point for those who enjoy genuine Bluegrass music and ole time buck dancing! We’ve been going for years and throughly enjoy the fellowship, beautiful scenery and a reminder of things associated with country living of the past.

  35. I like Bucks Pocket, where politicians go and jump off when they lose an election.

  36. Most beautiful place on earth!!

  37. Preston Lee David Schmitt Caleb Gautney

    1. Great read and a lot of historical info for such a small article.

  38. Hear tell somewhere around the end of February each year you can hear old Hank and new Chris Stapleton emanating from a rustic front porch.

  39. I have several families in my history from that area: Maxwell, Aldridge, Knight, Mullican; and by marriage, Crowell, Shores, and others. We lived in Paint Rock Valley, near Hall’s Store, when I was very young. My dad grew up on Maxwell Mountain and his trips to Hall’s Store could take a couple of hours, depending on who he ran into there. I remember it being a very friendly place.

  40. Many of my bloodlines have graced the PRV….Williams, Maples, Thompson, Crowell…just to start the line off for the last 3 generations. Also related to many others. Generations of my father (Williams) can be traced back 8 generations and my mother’s (Maples/Crowell) back to the Revolutionary War. It is a beautiful and tranquil area I have known for all of my 60+ years….and would love to return to now that I am in my retirement years. My father and one of my uncles used to remark that they should put up a fence at US Highway 72 and the Tennessee border to enclose and preserve the area from “outlanders”. Wish they had!

  41. Paint Rock Valley is one of the most beautiful, hidden valleys in the south east. Back in the early 90’s, when I was just a young girl, my father, Rocky Frazier, bought the old Husky farm, which is located in Fransisco, AL, just on the AL/ TN state line. We have made many memories over the years in Fransiciso, AL. To us, it is “The Farm”..”Cross Creek Farms” to be exact.
    Whether it was a day ride up the creek to go to the nearest town, Huntland, to get an ice cream, hiking in the woods to the waterfall (Granny Creek), or going for a late night ride up the creek (Pigeon Creek), we have made memories that will last a lifetime.
    The world is spinning faster and faster, but it amazes me that when you enter Paint Rock Valley, there’s a sense of peace that comes over that makes you feel just a little closer to a God. It takes me to a place of what is must have been like in the more “simple” days. No cell phone service in Paint Rock Valley.. I say it’s a gift for God.
    I have four boys that are currently making memories at “The Farm”. They love the outdoors, love hunting , and love just getting out in the field and running free.
    Also, coffee time at the farm is highly cherished. There’s a sense of peace when awakening to catch the sun rising in the east while sitting on the front porch, and hearing the creek run from a night’s rain.
    Paint Rock Valley is definitely a little taste of heaven on earth!

  42. […] The Gray’s Chapel that concerns me is, in some documents, called Old Gray’s Chapel. I am not certain for whom Gray’s Chapel is named, yet Grays had been living nearby since at least 1830, when Terrel Gray (1806-1880) is recorded according to the 1830 Census living in south Franklin County Tennessee, most likely not far over the Alabama-Tennessee state line from Gray’s Chapel. Terrel Gray is the author’s fourth great-grandfather, and by 1860 was living in Jackson County (see Photograph 1). The area in and surrounding Gray’s Chapel is part of a larger area sometimes collectively called the Paint Rock Valley (see http://alabamapioneers.com/paint-rock-alabama/). […]

  43. I was raised in the valley and graduated from PRVHS and have always been proud to have done so. Still call it home even tho I don’t live there any more.

  44. ABSOLUTELY IS GOD’S COUNTRY!! Most beautiful and peaceful place on earth in my opinion. Complete and pure serenity. Great people in each of the small communities that make up the valley, keeping the term “southern hospitality” in its proper meaning. I have lived in the valley for over 18 of my 26 years alive and would never want or will be able to forget the absolutely memorable experiences I have calling Princeton MY HOME. There is no place on earth I would rather live.

  45. Was raised in the valley my whole life and graduated from PRVHS (paint rock valley high school) which is probably one of the smallest public schools in the nation which just helps you value and appreciate a good education. PRV is a very educational place in terms of environmental or wildlife research. And is most definitely a place that one learns to truly appreciate nature. If you enjoy hunting, fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, four wheeling, or hiking then welcome to heaven on earth.

  46. I went to school in Gurley near prv and spent a lot of time there as some of my classmates were from there, a beautiful place. I’m lucky in the fact I now live in the Hampton cove area and my wife and I have a can am spyder (motorcycle ) and one of our favorite rides are in prv and the Jackson County area, the roads are great for that and the area is beautiful. So some 55 years I still enjoy prv.

  47. My dad’s family still leaves in Paint RockValley. He is Martin Atchley. His father and mother was Sid and Victoria Littles Atchley. Still have aunts and uncles who live there now.

  48. PRV, gods country. Not much has changed there in 40 years.

  49. I grew up in Montgomery but now live in the Shenandoah Valley in VA, Paint Rock Valley’s big sister.

  50. I live 30 miles from PRV in Scottsboro and my family is from there! It is a beautiful place!

  51. We took a couple of days at Christmas and explored this area it is truly breathtakingly beautiful

  52. Been to PRV many times growing up we lived in Huntsville & had family and friends who lived there.

  53. Is there camping nearby???

  54. Tamara Thomas Alston

  55. we may have to camp, in someone s yard.!

  56. Trouble is there is no campground or anything to do there

  57. A bazillion small plots of land are owned by hunters. You would never know it by driving through. Most are remote 4 wheel drive access areas. Plenty of rattlesnakes in those mountains.

  58. My father’s family (Halls and Lindseys) are from Paint Rock Valley. I practically lived at my grandfather’s farm on highway 65 weekends and summers. Great memories of that place.

  59. is there places to stay in Paint Rock Valley? Just found this on internet, and may come visit, but we live in Blount Co and would have to spend the night.

  60. My great grand parents were Ben and Mary Fowler. They lived just a little south of the Methodist Church right before you get into Princeton. My grandparents moved them here to Hazel Green in 1962. Pa died the day they moved. I have always felt lucky to have Ma , my great grandmother as long as I did.

  61. i was just thru the area today and always enjoy it. I always try to imagine what the area was like some 150 yrs. ago. I was actually trying to find info on Bucks Pocket. I always heard my grandmother, deceased over 30 Yearate came from bucks pocket to Stevenson , Ala where they boarded steam boat to chattanooga, north ga area.
    thank you for all interesting info

  62. Spent first several years of life living on side of mountain in Francisco, attended church in Francisco, father owned big tract of land there. Mountains, valleys, streams , plentiful wildlife (including lots of big poisonous snakes, almost everywhere), small to medium waterfalls, meadows, gorgeous views. Micro climates- you can be on the sunny side of a hill and be warm but go over a ridge into a gully and suddenly get cold. It’s one of the most beautiful parts of southern TN/northern AL. When I was very young people lived there on small farms (some on the sides/tops of mountains). Most of the land in the region is now owned by big hunting clubs and timber cutting companies. About 15 years ago I walked up to the old homestead area with a childhood friend and was confronted and then encircled by several hunters, who aimed their guns in our general direction and basically told us to get off their property or else. So if you are thinking of visiting, just realize it is not a national/state park or anything like that- much of it is very remote and rugged, with no facilities of any kind, no police or forest rangers, no nearby hospitals or clinics, and most land is privately owned by hunting clubs who do not want visitors and who are potentially dangerous. It’s probably better for a quick scenic drive, staying on the main highways only.

  63. […] record who was first to visit this land. It is said David Crockett left his name on a tree in upper Paint Rock Valley, but he has left no record of his impression as he stood upon some lofty hill-top in the wilds that […]

  64. […] settlers first came to Madison Co. AL and then moved to this county. Upper Paint Rock Valley was settled largely by people from Franklin, Warren, and other TN […]

  65. […] 1814 Paint Rock Valley (Jackson County, Alabama) was getting her first settlers. Captain James Doran settled in Doran’s […]

  66. My Hall/Sanders family settled in Paint Rock Valley. Great memories.

  67. My family is from Francisco ala. My mom still lives there. The curly putman highway begins there. It is a beautiful area

    1. Debbie Shafer who is your mom Debbie? My parents are from Francisco too.

    2. Carla Brewer Wilson they are William and lois fanning

    3. Debbie Shafer I’ll ask my mom if she knows them. Dad is James Brewer, my mom is Jewel Scott Brewer.

    4. I’m sure mom knows them, daddy passed away 4 years ago

    5. My husband was born in Francisco, Ala. His parents used to live on Round Mountain

      1. Who was your husband?? Part of round mountain is located on The Cagle Place. I do not know where they may have lived because I do not know of any one living on round mountain.

  68. OR is tis a scene from DELIVERANCE?!

  69. My bones will rest in an area called Estillfork.

    1. Hi Donna! My pastor from Illinois was from Estillfork

  70. Love your writings. Do you have these stories in a book . If so which one is it. I would like to purchase these particular stories. Thank you.

    1. I’m glad you enjoy the articles. Some of the stories (but not all) are in my Alabama Footprints series on Amazon.com https://amzn.to/2IX4i7G
      Thank you for asking.

  71. Lucien Scott this is next

  72. Yes ; I miss the Blue Grass festival they used to have in that area

  73. Hwy 65 is good ride to Tenn near there

  74. A favorite drive of mine. At Garth there are two caves.

  75. My mother,, named Jimmie Olene McAnally, was born in Paint Rock in 1915. She lived there a short time with her parents and three half sisters, whose last name was was Goolsby. Shortly after my mother’s birth, my grandfather died. He is buried in an old cemetery in Paint Rock. My grandmother, my mother, and the three half sisters moved to Huntsville, where my grandmother married a Mr. Cole. Huntsville remained the home for all of the family until all died. They are buried in Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville. Regrettably, I know nothing almost nothing about my grandfather, Mr. McAnally.

  76. […] the Slicks would have hunted people who used caves in any county. Jackson County alone has over 700 caves. The Aniyvwiya/Cherokee who lived in Northern AL had been termed many variations of “people of […]