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Official Website of Lookout Mountain Alabama

The Dekalb County Tourist Association welcomes you to Lookout Mountain Alabama


Suggested travels plans to Lookout Mountain 

The History of Hernando DeSoto in Alabama

Horace Holt has spent many years traveling and researching the explorations of the Spanish Adventurer, Hernando DeSoto. This fascinating hobby has taken Holt to many of the areas visited by DeSoto and his journeys as they relate to North Alabama.

DeSoto had heard rumors of gold to be found in the hills and valleys of Lookout Mountain. His thirst for gold finally won and he sent a small group of men, under the leadership of two of his lieutenants, named Silva and Vilabo, on a side trip exploration into Lookout Mountain.

So it was in 1540 that these men made their way up Lookout Mountain somewhere between the present towns of Blanche, Alabama and Menlo, Georgia and eventually making their way to DeSoto Falls near the present town of Mentone, Alabama. They camped at DeSoto Falls at least two days, and perhaps longer, and searched the area for gold and precious stones.

From DeSoto Falls this small group of brave men went west across Big Wills Valley near the present town of Henagar, Alabama. From Henagar they followed the east side of what is now called South Sauty Creek through the area of Sylvania and arrived at what is now known as the Point Rock area of Buck’s Pocket State Park. They arrived at this place on July 9, 1540, the same day DeSoto and the main body of his expedition reached Coste in present day St. Clair County.

Silva and Vilabo, and their small group of companions must have reacted in a special way to the beauty of the scene as they stood at this scenic vista on Point Rock and looked into the mighty canyon below. DeSoto’s historian makes a note of their experience by saying "They came to this place and found no gold, an area of lofty hills and stupendous rocks". The yellow substance, thought to be gold, is iron oxide and is found in abundance in the high cliffs of Buck’s Pocket State Park.

There is no historical evidence that any one in DeSoto’s expedition ever went further west in north Alabama than the vista overlook at Buck’s State Park, or that any of them ever caught a view of the mighty Tennessee River.

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