Guntersville is located at the southernmost point of the Tennessee River on Lake Guntersville, formed by the Guntersville Dam. Geologically, the lake occupies a southern extension of Sequatchie Valley, which continues south as Browns Valley.

Guntersville was founded by German immigrant John Gunter, the wealthy owner of a salt mine in the early 1800s. In order to obtain more land to mine, Gunter struck a deal with the Cherokee tribe that inhabited the area. As part of the deal, Gunter married the daughter of the tribe's chiefs and agreed to give salt to the tribe. A town sprung up next to the mine and was named after Gunter.

 

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