Mentone, Alabama
A unique collection of shops,
cafes and more make the
little Lookout Mountain town of
Mentone one of Alabama's
most charming communities.
DeSoto Falls
This 100-foot waterfall on the
edge of Mentone is one of the
most popular natural places
in Alabama. - Historic Town of Mentone, Alabama - Historic Town of Mentone, Alabama
Mentone, Alabama - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Historic Mentone Springs Hotel
This beautiful structure dating from 1884 is a focal
point of the quaint town of Mentone, Alabama.
The Town on Lookout Mountain
Named for a French community noted for its
"musical mountain spring," the charming and
historic town of Mentone was established as
a health resort high on Lookout Mountain
during the late 19th century.

One of the most unique places in Alabama,
Mentone is now a popular destination for
vacationers and tourists making their way
along the Lookout Mountain Parkway. Its
history and legends are among the most
colorful in the South.

Many locals firmly believe that the Welsh
prince Madoc visited Mentone in around 1170
A.D. While the claims are controversial, area
tradition holds that Madoc landed on the
shores of Mobile Bay that year and pushed
north into Alabama with a party of followers.
Several small caves in the steep bluffs at
DeSoto Falls are said by legend to have
been part of a fort constructed by Madoc and
his followers.

The Madoc legend, of course, is disputed by
many archaeologists and historians, but it
remains a charming part of Mentone's
folklore and has yet to be proved or disproved.
Hernando de Soto's expedition likely passed
somewhere south of Mentone in 1541 and it
does not appear likely that the Spanish
conquistador ever visited the beautiful
waterfall that now bears his name, although
another local legend holds that Spanish
artifacts have been found in the vicinity.

Better documented is the Mentone area's
history as part of the Cherokee Nation. The
famed Cherokee scholar Sequoyah lived for
a time in the valley below and it was during
his sojourn in Alabama that he developed his
Cherokee alphabet. Sequoyah's remarkable
accomplishment gave the Cherokee the
distinction of being the only Native American
tribe ever to develop a written language.

Following the forced removal of the Cherokee
on the Trial of Tears in 1838, settlers began
to drift to the Mentone area. A mill and several
homes existed on Lookout Mountain at the
future town site by the time of the Civil War.

The vicinity played a role in the 1863 Union
campaign that resulted in the Battles of
Chickamauga and Chattanooga. Advance
cavalry forces camped just upstream from
DeSoto Falls on September 3, 1863, and the
entire 20th Corps of the Union Army crossed
Lookout Mountain at Mentone seven days
later. No significant fighting took place in the

The modern community of Mentone came
into existence during the 1880s when Ed
Mason, an early settler and surveyor,
launched a promotional campaign for the
mineral springs that flowed from Lookout
Mountain at the site. People of the era
believed that mineral water held properties
that could relieve or cure a number of
The massive Mentone Springs Hotel was
built in 1883-1884 to host visitors to the
springs and Mentone began its existence as
a health spa high on the mountain. The
community's early decades were a time of
prosperity, but the Great Depression ended
the initial glory days of the community.

Unlike many such resort communities,
Mentone rebounded in the years following
the Depression and remains a noted tourist
destination to this day. Instead of mineral
springs, however, visitors now come to enjoy
bed and breakfast inns, mountain cabins,
dining, unique shopping and beautiful
natural settings.

DeSoto State Park attracts tens of
thousands of outdoor lovers each year and
Mentone has established itself as one of the
most popular stops on the Lookout Mountain
Parkway. The park features beautiful scenery
and numerous small waterfalls, as well as a
lodge, restaurant, cabins, campgrounds,
picnic areas and more.

A number of events take place in and around
Mentone each year. The Rhododendron
Festival is held on the third weekend in May.
The Fall Color Fest is on the third weekend of
October, and the community also hosts an
annual Musical Mountain Christmas during
the holiday season.

Please click here to learn more about the
Mentone area.
Charming Cafes and Shops
Mentone is known for its
unique cafes and shops. Its
quaint appeal makes it one of
the most visited places on the
Lookout Mountain Parkway.
The Town on the Mountain
Mentone is located on the
Lookout Mountain Parkway, a
scenic drive that winds its way
along the beautiful mountain.
Howard's Chapel
This beautiful little church
near Mentone was built using
a massive rock as one of its
Custom Search
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.