My 2nd great-grandfather, William Henry Taylor, Jr., was born in October 1844 in Marshall County, Alabama (probably on Taylor Mountain). He was the third child and first-born son of William Henry Taylor, Sr. and Sarah Maysure.
In 1877, William Henry Taylor, Jr. married Frances Adaline Dorsett. Frances Adaline Dorsett is believed to be the daughter of Thomas Dorsett and Rachael Strange Dorsett. I’m still working on this one.
William Henry Taylor, Jr. and Frances Adaline Dorsett Taylor had eight children; 6 girls and 2 boys. I have been unable to find very much on these children, but the land at Taylor Mountain had to go to one, or more, of them or their children.
History of Lake Guntersville State Park
Lake Guntersville State Park was owned privately prior to the 1930’s. Some of the landowners were Taylors, Ellenburgs, and Kings. Two of the mountains in the park are named in honor of these families: Taylor Mountain, upon which the Lodge sits, and Ellenburg Mountain. King’s Chapel Cemetery, also in the park, is also a namesake of its previous owner. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) acquired the land from the local landowners to give room for the backwaters of the Tennessee River’s Guntersville Dam.
The land surrounding the Guntersville impoundment that is now Lake Guntersville State Park was donated to the State of Alabama in 1947 for public use and was named Little Mountain State Park. This only comprises a piece of what is now Lake Guntersville State Park, with the rest of the land acquired at later dates. A small campground was established in what was a private fishing camp at Town Creek. When the state created a bond issue in the late 1960’s, a large sum of the funds generated was used to create the current campground, lodge, and golf course. Beginning in 1970 and going until 1973, the Lodge was built on the top of Taylor Mountain, overlooking 69,000 acre impoundment of the Tennessee River: Lake Guntersville. The name of the park was changed to Lake Guntersville State Park in the late 1970’s.
The park now encompasses nearly 7000 acres and boasts the third largest campground in the state park system. A nature center is located within the campground. There is also a newly renovated, 18 hole, championship golf course, as well as 20 bluff side chalets, 15 lakeside cabins, and the largest lodge and convention building in the state park system. There is also another campground and fishing center at Town Creek, which has everything you need for a day of fishing, and one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country. Seven boat ramps are located in the park, which facilitates one of the main draws to the park: aquatic recreation.
The hiking trails in Lake Guntersville State Park traverse easy to difficult terrain and vary in length from 0.8 miles to about 3.5 miles, yet connect with one another to form a network of trails that add up to over 35 miles. The trails are varied with some following alongside the banks of the Tennessee River/Lake Guntersville, others lead to seasonal waterfalls, and some that pique your interest just by their names alone, such as the Old Still Path and the Moonshine Trail. The majority of the hiking trails were carved out of the mountainsides primarily by Rex and Ruth Seale, who were avid admirers of Lake Guntersville State Park. Several trails have now been designated as multi-use, and allow mountain bikes on them. In addition, new trails are being added to the park by the work of a local mountain biking club, which includes several local business owners.
Lake Guntersville State Park is blessed with a diversity of habitats, from low wetland areas to rocky bluffs along the mountains, providing a rich variety of flora and fauna. Bald Eagles and Cardinal flower can be seen along the waterways, while Wood Thrushes and American Ginseng can be found deep in the mountain forests. No trip to Alabama would be complete without a stop at this treasure in our state park system.
There must have been a good profit from the sale of the land. I remember when my grandfather got his share in the 1970’s. He purchased a home and 10 acres of land for him and my grandmother to retire on. I still have not found any record of his inheritance.
William Henry Taylor, Jr. passed away on November 19, 1934 at the age of 90. He could have had some dealings in selling the land, but according to his age, I would think that some of his siblings, children, and possibly even some cousins, grandchildren, nephews, and/or nieces were involved also.