Guntersville (previously known as Gunter's Ferry and later Gunter's Landing) is a city in Marshall County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 8,197. The city is the county seat ofMarshall County. Guntersville is located in a HUBZone as identified by theU.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Guntersville is located at(34.348197, −86.294523).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 42.4 square miles (109.9 km2), of which 25.4 square miles (65.8 km2) is land and 17.0 square miles (44.1 km2), or 40.14%, is water.
Guntersville is located at the southernmost point of the Tennessee River onLake Guntersville, formed by the Guntersville Dam (built by the Tennessee Valley Authority). Geologically, the lake occupies a southern extension ofSequatchie Valley, which continues south as Browns Valley.
Guntersville was founded by John Gunter (1765–1835), the great-grandfather of American humorist Will Rogers. John's own great-great-grandfather, of Welsh-English descent, had emigrated to the New World in 1644. John Gunter was the wealthy owner of a salt mine in the early 19th century. In order to obtain more land to mine, John struck a deal with the Cherokee tribe that inhabited the area to use in his household as servants. As part of the deal, John married the daughter (Ghe-No-He-Li, aka Katy and Cathrine) of the tribe's chief (Chief Bushyhead of the Paint Clan) and agreed to give salt to the tribe. A town sprung up next to the mine and was named after Gunter. The town of Guntersville puts on a festival every July to celebrate (Will Rogers), this festival involves many activities that Will Rogers was into.
Guntersville sits on a 69,000 acre lake, Lake Guntersville, that is the biggest lake in Alabama. The lake is maintained and managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Bass anglers from around the country recognize this lake as one of the best in the country. Researchers have put this lake as the third best bass fishing lake in America.
Guntersville has one school system in the town which is made up of four schools; Guntersville Elementary School (Kindergarten-2nd grade), Cherokee Elementary School (3rd–5th grade), Guntersville Middle School (6th–8th grade), and Guntersville High School (9th–12th grade). In 2006 Guntersville High School won the 4A football state championship, which is the only football state championship recorded by a school in Marshall County, Alabama.
The current mayor is Leigh Dollar, the daughter of a previous mayor, and the first female to hold mayor's office in Guntersville.
Guntersville made national news on February 25, 2013 when it was announced the mayor was asking the city council to pass an ordinance allowing police to confiscate firearms of certain individuals in the event of a disaster.
Guntersville was the last place in which Ricky Nelson ever performed as a singer. His last performance was at PJ's Alley in Guntersville on Monday, December 30, 1985. His private plane departed Guntersville the next day, New Year's Eve, and crashed near DeKalb, Texas.
In Hunting Mister Heartbreak: A Discovery of America, the British author Jonathan Raban becomes a temporary resident of the city, to which he takes a liking in his conservative persona as John Rayburn. He is aware, however, that were his real views known the people of Guntersville might have been less welcoming.
Scratch John Rayburn, and he'd confess my own thoughts on politics, books, religion − thoughts that wouldn't wash in Guntersville.