Hartwell The Best City by a Dam Site & Royston & Carnesville

Atlanta to Hartwell 110 miles

Incorporated as a town February 26, 1856, the City of Hartwell is the county seat of Hart County, Georgia. The city was named for Nancy Hart, a heroine of the Revolutionary War who served as spy and captured a group of Tories who threatened her home.

The courthouse is in the town square. Hart County’s first courthouse was a two-story, wooden structure built in 1854, it was destroyed by fire. The second was destroyed by fire.  The third destroyed by fire in 1967. The present courthouse was completed in 1971.

The town has unique gift shops and antique stores.

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Downtown Hartwell

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Hartwell Lake and Dam. The Big Oaks Recreation Area is located adjacent to the visitor center. At Big Oaks, you will have a great view of Hartwell Lake from the picnic area. The walking trail is along the edge of Hartwell Lake and leads to the top of Hartwell Dam, where you have a scenic view of the lake, dam and the Savannah River.

The lake has sandy beaches, fishing, camping, parks and marinas.  It covers 56,000 acres and has 962 miles of shoreline. 21 species of edible fish, the lake has a depth of 202 feet.

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Hart County Botanical Garden at 1277 Elberton Highway (Hwy 77) – Its a small garden at this time but they have room to grow.  Was there in February nothing in bloom but they have plant sales.  I hope this does well.

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Botanical Garden – Hartwell

Hartwell to Royston 13 miles on Hwy 29.

Royston, Georgia

Incorporated January 1, 1879.  The city is named for store owner, Mr. W. Asbury Royston who settled in the area in the early 1800s.

Downtown is a little rundown, but it has a lot of potential, if and when the town decides to revitalize the area.

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Train Depot?

Ty Cobb Museum – honors Baseball Hall of Fame player Tyrus Raymond Cobb. The museum contains art, film, video, books and historical archives of Cobb as well as several other notable people from Franklin County.  I was there on a Saturday in February and it was closed, a sign out front stated they were open on Saturdays.

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Victoria Bryant State Park – has a 18 hole Highland Walk Golf Course, camping, cottages, hiking trails, two ponds for public fishing,  swimming pool open in the summer, archery range,  geocaching, etc.  It is a really nice state park. 1105 Bryant Park Road

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Carnesville, Georgia

Carnesville was founded in 1805 as the seat of Franklin County. It was incorporated as a town in 1819.  The town is named after Judge Thomas P Carnes, a lawyer and Congressman of the Revolutionary War era.

The town is small 2 small blocks of buildings. The 2010 census was 577 residents.

 

 

 

Lavonia and Gumlog – “Big Time Small Town” or “Land of Spirits”

Lavonia, Georgia –motto: “Big Time Small Town”

Lavonia is a town in Franklin County. Just off Interstate 85 exit 173 – 94 miles from Atlanta

The founding of the town of Lavonia came as the result of the expansion of the railroad in northeast Georgia. A railroad line known as the Elberton-Airline Railroad desired another station further to the north. In a move typical for the time, businessmen in the area determined to build a town around the new railroad station. Most of the buildings that were built in the late 1800s and early 1900’s is still standing.

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The Depot has the Welcome Center, museum and a small library about the history of the town.  The welcome center is not open on the weekends.  They supposedly have a walking tour map. (definitely not for tourists).

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Lavonia Depot

 

Carnegie Library – The Library was completed in 1911, after financier Andrew Carnegie donated $5,000 at the request of the Lavonia Woman’s club.  On the National Register of Historic Places.

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Carnegie Library

Tugaloo State Park – The name “Tugaloo” comes from an Indian name for the river which once flowed freely prior to the construction of Hartwell Dam. The park is on a peninsula on Lake Hartwell a 55,590-acre lake. The Park has cottages, yurts, tent and RV camping. There is also hiking trails, volleyball, tennis, horseshoes, geocaching and miniature golf.    During the summer, the lake is a popular destination for swimming, water skiing, sailing and boating. I visited in February and it is a nice state park and the lake is beautiful.  There was people there camping and staying in the yurts. The sun was shining but the air was cool.

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Tugaloo Trading Post
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Yurt

Gumlog – Land of Spirits

The Gumlog area was once known for its beverages (Gumlog drinks its corn) which is where the motto, Land of Spirits, comes from. Back in the day, when teenagers visited Gumlog, they did not tell their parents. Since Gumlog is “a shame and a disgrace,” it is not an acceptable word for proper society, so it is understandable why Gumlog would never show up in a chamber of commerce brochure. Certainly, the Church has forever been trying to clean up Gumlog. North Georgia’s old-money would just as soon see Gumlog disappear. Indeed, there have even been conspiracies to do away with Gumlog entirely. So far, the neighboring jurisdictions have diminished Gumlog at every opportunity.

The above comments about Gumlog was taken from Wikipedia.  When I read this I could not wait to visit Gumlog.  The review must have been about the area when moonshine was a family business.  A lot of areas in Georgia has a history of moonshine, Dawsonville even has a festival in the fall celebrating their moonshine history.  The area has a Barbecue restaurant and bait shop.  It’s a nice area they need to have someone tout the benefits of the area. Road to Tugaloo State Park goes through Gumlog.

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Gumlog Barbecue and Fish Lodge
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Whitworth School Building established 1770 – on same road as barbecue