According to area historians, not much is known about Amicalola Falls prior to the 19th century. One of the earliest documents that speaks of the falls in great detail was written in 1832 by a local surveyor named William Williamson, who was looking for land that he would claim as his own during the Sixth Georgia Land Lottery. Upon seeing the falls, Williamson had this to say about his experience–
“In the course of my route in the Mountains I discovered a Water Fall perhaps the greatest in the World the most majestic Scene that I have ever witnessed or heard of the Creek passes over the mountain & the fall I think can’t be less than Six hundred Yards. The Mountain is a least three fourths of a mile high. I made great exertions to get on the summit but the ascent was so great that I was completely exhausted by the time I reached half way. My position was such that I had a perfect view of the entire Fall The Steam is Called Um-ma-eolola from the Fall (Sliding Water).”
A settler whose name was lost to time was given this land after the lottery had ended. The man refused to settle on the land, citing that the terrain was too rocky and steep for anything productive to be done to it.