11.27.20 – TEN ISLANDS
(1) A family waits for water to be released upriver after their boat ran aground in the lock; (2) fishermen’s footprints in the riverbed.
In July of 1540 Hernando de Soto and his men forded the Coosa River near this point at Ten Islands, moving from the indigenous city of Coste to nearby Tali. In tow were enslaved natives, forced to accompany the Spaniards and carry their supplies. Some 250 years after de Soto’s visit, the site became home to General Andrew Jackson’s Fort Strother, from which he began his campaign against Red Stick Muscogee Creeks during the Creek Wars in 1812. Ruins of an 1880’s-era river lock remain in the river, which when constructed opened an additional 25 miles of the Coosa to commercial shipping. Today the river and dam, along with five others like it along the Coosa, is controlled by the Alabama Power Company.