Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Noccalula Falls Park

Noccalula Falls Park is a 250 acre (101 ha) public park located in Gadsden, Alabama.

The falls are located on land once owned by R.A. Mitchell, who gave the site to the city of Gadsden, so that the area could be improved, and everyone could enjoy the majestic falls. Across the street from the falls you will find R.A. Mitchell Elementary School, named in his honor. The main feature of the park is a notable 90 foot (27 m) waterfall with a gorge trail winding through its basin and past caves, an aboriginal fort, an abandoned dam, pioneer homestead, and Civil War carvings. The park also features a petting zoo, mini-golf course, the Gilliland-Reese Covered Bridge (built 1899) and a replica 1863 C. P. Huntington train ride.

The Noccalula Falls Botanical Gardens is an extensive botanical garden displaying over 25,000 azaleas.


Originally known as the Black Creek Falls, the legend as written by Mathilde Bilbro:

"Long ago, on a mountain summit within sight and sound of a rushing waterfall, lived a great Indian Chief whose young daughter, Noccalula, was famed far and wide for her beauty and lovliness of character. Many gallant braves sought the old chief for the hand of Noccalula, but only one was favored by the girl's father, a rich chief of a powerful neighboring tribe, who had much to offer in exchange: wampum, horses, and blankets. Vainly Noccalula pleaded that her heart was already given to a young brave of her own tribe. But this young warrior, though noted for his skill and valor, possessed little in wordly goods. The old chief refused to listen and ordered his daughter to make ready for the marriage he had arranged. What was a maiden's silly fancy against many horses, much wampum and union with another strong tribe? The girl's lover was driven from the tribe, and a marriage agreement was made with the neighboring chief. The wedding day came and a great feast was prepared. In silence Noccalula allowed herself to be arrayed in festive wedding robes. It was incredible!...To be sold to a stranger by the father she loved! Her chosen lover forever banished! Overcome with grief, she quietly slipped away from the merrymakers during the festivities..the soft rhythmical rush of waters called her...a moment she stood poised upon the brink of the yawning chasm. One leap - and her troubles were over. Heartbroken, the remorseful father gave the great cataract his daughter's name. Since that day the waterfall has been called Noccalula."


The bronze statue of Noccalula was, at the time of its creation, the first statue of a person jumping off a cliff. The bronze used in the statue was made from pennies collected from local school kids in the mid 1960's.

from wikipedia.org

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