Cave Spring, Ga – In Vann’s Valley

The town is in Floyd County, 17 ½ miles SW of Rome.

Cave Spring is in Vann’s Valley, named for a Cherokee chieftain, The City of Cave Spring was established in 1832 by settlers of English and Scoth-Irish ancestry.   The town was named for the limestone spring which produces 2 million gallons of water daily inside a cave in the center of the village. Cave Spring was incorporated in 1852.  The cave and spring site is now the part of Rolater Park, formerly used by educational institutions such as Cave Spring Manual Labor School (renamed Hearn Academy) and others including Georgia School for the Deaf. The spring flows into a sparkling pond from Rolater Park and then into a 1.5-acre swimming pool, the pool is constructed out of stones.

The town is small but charming.  The Cave is open from May-October and I visited in March (oh well) so I visited a couple of stores and picked up a “historic tour” map at the Welcome Center.  The people at the Welcome Center was friendly and answered my questions.

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Welcome Center and Museum – The house is called the Asbury House on Rome Street – Dr. Culbertsen purchased this property from the Hearn Trustees in 1846.  In 1881 T. Asbury purchased the house.  Pick up a historic tour map – #25 on the map.

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The Hearn Academy – Rolater Park Dr. – In 1839, The Baptist church established the school.  In 1845, it was renamed Hearn Academy after Lott Hearn, who bequeathed $12,500.  The school closed in 1926. – #19 on the tour

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Hearn Inn 1839 – Rolater Park Dr. – The building was originally a boys dormitory for the Hearn Academy.  It later became a girls dorm.  The school closed in 1926.  The Cave Spring Historical Society restored the house as a bed and breakfast. – # 21 on the tour

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Fannin Hall – In 1849, the School for the Deaf was established Principal Teacher O.P. Fannin, began to work with a small number of children in 1846.  He soon made a trip to Connecticut to learn sign language.  When the school moved the building became City Hall. – #22 on the tour

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School for the Deaf – (see above picture)  the plaque in front of the school reads:  In 1833, a deaf man, John Jacobus Flournoy, of Jackson County, great grandson of Jacob Flournoy, a French Huguenot, urging education for the deaf, interested Governor Wilson Lumpkin and this Georgia Legislature in the educational movement. At first the pupils, few in number, were sent to the American Asylum for Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Conn. Distance, weather and the youth of the pupils made that unsatisfactory. On May 15, 1846, with four pupils in a log cabin, with O.P. Fannin, teacher, this school began as a part of the Hearn Manual School at Cave Spring, Georgia. This school grew rapidly and, in 1847, a brick building was erected and dedicated. Later, other additions were made. The school was closed during the War Between the States and used as a hospital by both Confederate and Union forces. It resumed operations in February 1867 and is still supported by the State of Georgia. In 1955 this school had 82 teachers and employees and an income of more than $500,000.

General Store – Rome Road – The store was built in the 1850s.  It was the first post office in Cave Spring and later became the “first filling” station. Legend is that an Indian Chief, Big Rattling Gourd, bit off his wife’s nose because she was unfaithful.  She is supposedly buried under the building.  #1 on the tour

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Rome, Ga – Seven Hills and Three Rivers

Rome was founded in 1834. The founders held a drawing to determine the name of the new city, with Col. Mitchell submitting the name of Rome because of the area’s hills and rivers Mitchell’s submission was drawn, and the Georgia Legislature chartered Rome as an official city in 1835. The County Seat was moved from the village of Livingston to Rome.

The city was developed on seven hills with the rivers running between them, some of the hills have been partially graded since Rome was founded. The City developed as a market and trading city due to its advantageous location on the rivers, by which it sent the rich regional cotton commodity crop downriver to markets on the Gulf Coast and export overseas.

In the late 1920s a United States company built a rayon plant in a joint project with an Italian company. The project and Rome, Georgia was honored by Italy in 1929, when its dictator Benito Mussolini sent a replica of the statue of Romulus and Remus nursing from a mother wolf, a symbol of the founding myth of the original Rome. (see picture below)

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Today, the city has 5 blocks of buildings with trees down the center.  The buildings and the architecture is impressive.  With Cafes/Restaurants, shops, bakeries and a theater the city is building lofts.

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Desoto Theater – 530 Broad Street. In early 1928 O. C. Lam, the owner of Lam Amusement Company, laid plans to construct a new movie theatre in downtown Rome, Georgia. Lam wanted to build a luxurious theater modeled after New York’s Roxy. Designed as a “talkie” theater, it the first venue in the South to be designed and built for sound pictures. Lam named his new movie palace for Hernando DeSoto.  In 1982 the theater closed, but soon reopened as a venue for a amateur theater group.

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Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home – The plaque in front of the museum says: At this house’s core is the 1790s log home of Major Ridge (c. 1771-1839), a leader in the Cherokee Nation. His 223-acre plantation supported numerous outbuildings, orchards and slaves while the family served as ferryboat operators and merchants. It was here the council negotiated the Treaty of New Echota in 1835, which promised the Cherokees land compensation for voluntarily moving to Oklahoma. Their forced removal became known as the “Trail of Tears.” Ridge knew death was imminent for selling tribal lands but believed the treaty to be the only means to save his people. He, his son, and nephew were murdered in 1839.  501 Riverside Parkway (see below)

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Martha Berry Museum – plaque at the museum says: This cabin, birthplace of The Berry Schools, (now Berry College and Berry Academy) was built as a playhouse for Martha Berry and her brothers and sisters shortly after the Civil War. Here, in the late 1800’s, three small boys from Lavendar Mountain received Martha Berry’s first Sunday School lesson. Word of her kindness and interest spread and soon the cabin was overflowing with people. In the evolution from this modest beginning to a day school at Possum Trot, a boarding school and finally a college, the Cabin was outgrown but not forgotten. Martha Berry chose the Cabin to represent simplicity on the school seal, along with the Bible for religion, the lamp for learning and the plow for work. On this foundation she built a world renowned educational institution extensively copied in the U.S. and abroad. 25 Veterans Memorial Hwy.

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ORIGINAL CABIN AT BERRY MUSEUM
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MARTHA BERRY MUSEUM

Myrtle Hill Cemetery – the cemetery has become the permanent home of more than 20,000 since 1857. Myrtle Hill Cemetery is located on one of Rome’s seven hills and is situated on six terraces. Out of reach of flooding, the cemetery provides dramatic and beautiful views.   Myrtle Hill Cemetery has over 35 different species of trees. Many trees are rare and many are not native to Northwest Georgia.  There is a mobile app available.

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VIEW OF ROME FROM TOP OF CEMETERY

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CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS

Fosters Mill Store – The original Fosters Mill store was constructed in the 1840s on the south side of Cedar Creek. It was moved to its present location sometime around 1900. Fire gutted the building in 1999. It was rebuilt and then ravaged when a tractor-trailer left the highway and slammed into the building in 2001.  The store sells sandwiches, drinks, snacks and bait. 5536 Blacks Bluff Rd.

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Tate, Ga – For All The Marbles

Tate is 5 1/2 miles south of Jasper – Hwy 53 runs through Tate.

“Widely known as the home of Georgia marble is the little town of Tate. The main quarries of The Georgia Marble Company were located here, as well as one of its large marble works. This is one of the oldest settlements in the County, and in fact was the site of the very first election and court held in the newly organized Cherokee territory in 1832.

The settlement was then called Harnageville, after Ambrose Harnage, in whose house the early court was held. The post office at this place was officially known as Marble Works for a period of years; then it was re-named Harnageville; and when the railroad came through in the early 1880’s the town received its present name. A high school building here was build of Georgia marble, made possible by the interest and liberality of Colonel Sam Tate, one of the founding fathers.”

…from the History of Pickens County by Luke E. Tate – 1935

In the land lottery Samuel Tate bought a plot of land along the Old Federal Highway where the Harnage House sat. It had been designated land lot #147 in the lottery. One of Samuel Tate’s sons, Stephen Tate, raised 19 children on the Tate property. Towards the end of the 19th century quarrying marble was a booming business in the area, with many small, independent producers. Stephen Tate tried to organize the independent producers, but died before he completed the task. Tate’s son Samuel, who was known as Colonel Sam, completed the task his father set out to do and created the Georgia Marble Company.

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In 1923 one of Sam’s quarries (on the old Nelson property) ran into a unique vein of pink marble. The Colonel decided to use for the home he was building. Sometimes called the “Pink Palace,” this is the mansion that is known as the Tate House.

The “Pink Palace” is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Plaque in front of the cemetery reads:  The Georgia Marble Company began in 1884 as one of many small marble quarrying operations in the region. In 1905 Colonel Sam Tate became the company´s president, continuing in that position until his death in 1938. Georgia Marble Company stone can be found in monuments and public buildings around the world, including the Lincoln Memorial and the twenty-four columns of the east front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. As the Village of Tate´s largest employer, Gerogia Marble Company provided housing, recreational facilities, and schools for workers and their families. Construction of a company power plant made Tate the first electrified town in the area.

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The train depot was recently moved across the road to its present site

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Tate Cemetery – established in 1840

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tate cemetery

The elementary school is two stories and built of marble, I do not usually take pictures of schools – but this is really something to see. Hwy 53

tate school

The Gymnasium is on the National Register of Historic Places – 5600 Hwy 53 E

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At the four-way stop of Hwy 108 & Hwy 53, there are a few businesses on the corners.

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Adairsville, Ga. and The Great Locomotive Chase – Shannon, Ga. home of Galey & Lord

Adairsville is a quaint and charming town in Bartow County. Adairsville is 18 miles northeast of Rome and 61 miles north of Atlanta.  The town has two blocks of stores that form a “T”.   The depot is one of the nicest I have seen, with the painting of the Great Locomotive Chase.  Pick up a “Tour of Homes” at the visitor center.

Adairsville used to be a small Cherokee village named after Walter (John) S. Adair, a Scottish settler who married a Cherokee Indian woman.  One of the developers was William Watts who had a lot of railroad business interest in this town. He had brought the Western and Atlantic from Atlanta. He deeded land to the railroad and surveyed business lots including hotels, mills, and blacksmith shops around the town.  Watts’ plan was successful and brought the town the nickname “Granary of the State”; it was incorporated in 1854.  After the removal of the Cherokees, the village became part of Georgia, and the residents built the town keeping the name Adairsville.

Nestled in the Oothcalooga Valley, Adairsville was the first Georgia town to be listed in its entirety on the National Register of Historic Places.

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This block faces the railroad tracks and depot

 

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This block is the top of the “T”

 

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Stock Exchange built in 1902
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Public Square Market built in 1905

Adairsville Depot – The depot was built around 1891, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The visitor center is housed in the depot.

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The Great Locomotive Chase –  the raid, led by James Andrews, began on April 12, 1862, when the northbound passenger train with the locomotive General stopped at Big Shanty, Georgia (now Kennesaw), The Raiders planned to cross through the Federal siege lines on the outskirts of Chattanooga and rejoin Mitchell’s army. The train’s conductor William Fuller and two other men, chased the stolen train, first on foot, then by handcar. The chase continued for 89 miles, when Andrews ran out of steam and he and his men fled, they were eventually captured.   The General is in the Southern museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Marietta.

“Rail travel at high speeds is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia”. —  Dionysius Lardner (1842 – 1914) US journalist, short-story writer

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Stop at the Visitor Center for the “Tour of Homes” map and description of homes and businesses.  Below is listed just a few:

Pretty Boy Floyd – Built around 1905, this was the childhood home of the most wanted gangster in America Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd. He was also known as the Robin Hood of the depression when he robbed banks he tore up mortgage papers. 102 S. Railroad, #1 on the tour.

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Watts/Bowdoin/Barton House – Originally a two-room Indian cabin, it was the home of the town founder, John Watts.  The Queen Anne façade was built around the cabin by Joe and August Pavlovsky, brothers from Poland, in the late 1800s.  Later resident, Dr. Joseph Bowdoin, was instrumental in getting the water works system in town and establishing the Bank of Adairsville. 115 South Main, #29 on the tour. (picture below)

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Pavlovsky House – Built around 1890 by the Pavlovsky brothers.  John was a cabinet maker, August and Joe were blacksmiths and wood workers.  Their craftsmanship is evident in many of the homes they built around town in the late 1800s. 103 North Main, #30 on the tour. (picture below)

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Old Courthouse (picture below) with two stone memorials

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Shannon

Adairsville to Shannon is 10 1/2 miles south off Hwy 140.  The small town has a pharmacy and the Galey & Lord factory.  The factory workers homes is on the backside and down one side of the factory.  The homes are well maintained, they are small but cute.

Galey & Lord started producing premium fabrics in 1886.  In 1931 the Company became famous for Cramerton Army Cloth (the first khaki), the military started using the cloth for uniforms.  Burlington acquired the company in 1946.  In June 2004, Galey & Lord announced the closing of the Shannon, Ga. weaving plant, thereby eliminating 450 jobs.

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Pharmacy established 1950 (picture below)

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Offices for Factory?

Pendergrass and Talmo, Ga – The Jewel of Jackson County and Georgia’s Largest Flea Market

Exit 137 0ff Interstate 85 – 45 minutes NE of Atlanta

Pendergrass

Pendergrass is a 122-year old community that was incorporated in 1891 and named after F. L. Pendergrass, a railroad director.  In the early 1900s there was several doctor’s offices, one bank, one church, numerous merchandise stores, a blacksmith shop, and a hotel.  The buildings did not survive to the 20th century except for the Pendergrass Baptist Church.

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Pendergrass Train Depot
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buildings behind depot

The small town of Pendergrass becomes host to over not 25,000 people each weekend who come from miles around for Georgia’s Largest Flea Market, The Pendergrass Flea Market. Pendergrass has a population of 422 people. 

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Post Office Pendergrass

Pendergrass Flea Market – Over 500 vendors from countries from all over the World and 700+ selling spaces with new and used merchandise.

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Talmo

Talmo was settled around 1840. Talmo is a small community, 13 miles south of Gainesville.  The Community began to grow in the early 1900’s when Gainesville Midland put a side track in the area. The businesses in the early 1900’s, included two large stores, a post office, a railroad depot, a blacksmith and repair shop, a large cotton ginning plant, two large warehouses, a rock quarry and a doctor’s office.

The origin of Talmo’s name is derived from the Creek Indian word Talomeco, which means “Home of the Chief Tallassee.”  Talmo was incorporated on August 9, 1920. Talmo calls itself “The Jewel of Jackson County.

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Train Depot Talmo
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Restaurant in Talmo

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Commerce and Homer – Shop Till You Drop and It Is All About The History

Atlanta to Commerce 70 miles – Interstate 85 exit 147

Exit 147 is all about shopping at the outlet stores.  The stores are on both sides of the interstate.  The Tanger Outlet, The Shops of Banks Crossing.  There are stores across from Banks Crossing, a large Wal-Mart, a Western Store and Jaemor Farms Store.

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Tanger Outlet Stores
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The Shops at Banks Crossing

Jaemor Farms – Has opened a second location in Commerce.  They carry fresh homegrown and local fruits, vegetables, homemade breads, jellies, jams, preserves, local honey & more

“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping”  Bo Derek
Commerce

Founded in 1818, the towns name was Harmony Grove, the town was incorporated in 1884 and officially changed its name from Harmony Grove to Commerce in 1909.  A local businessman started Harmony Grove Mills in 1893 and the town flourished as a cotton market. Most notably, the Harmony Grove Female Academy was the first school for girls in the state and was established in 1824.

Later, the city would serve as the setting for the novel “Cold Sassy Tree” written by Olive Ann Burns.

Larmartine G. Hardman served two terms as governor from 1927-1931. Mr. Hardman was physician who built a mansion in downtown Commerce known today as “The Hardman House.”  Mr. Hardman also owned the 162 acre Hardman Farm in White County, across from the Indian Mound. (see my Sautee Nacoochee post)

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HARDMAN HOUSE

On September 1, 1876, the North Eastern Railroad opened its line from Athens to Lula, which passed through the heart of Harmony Grove. Today the Norfolk Southern Railway owns the tracks.  The tracks run through the center of town with a road and buildings on each side of the track.

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Homer 

Commerce to Homer 11 miles

Homer was founded in 1858 and incorporated as a town in 1859.  Homer’s first courthouse was built in 1863, It is one of the four oldest courthouses in Georgia.  It was restored in 1987 and a new courthouse was built behind the old courthouse. Today it houses historic exhibits, the Banks Chamber of Commerce and the Welcome Center. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Another historical site is the Banks County Jail built in 1880, it still has its cells, bars on the windows and the “hanging trap” door. It also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. next to the courthouse

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In 1985 Homer was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world record for an Easter egg hunt – 80,000 eggs.  The event in the small town of 1,100 people is an Easter Sunday tradition that has lasted 47 years. The egg hunt each year draws about 5,000 egg hunters, children and adults. Even though it no longer holds the record, Homer has long touted its annual hunt as the world’s largest.

The town is small with a few buildings. Most of the buildings are vacant.

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Ragsdale Mill – On Mt Olivet Rd.  Was built by the Reverend Francis Marian Ragsdale.  The road is a short road with a old church and cemetery on the right and the old Ragsdale house on the left.  The gate at the mill says “You are welcome to visit the mill but stop at the at the residence first.”  I was there on a Saturday, unfortunately no one was home. I will be back so I can add a picture and more information.

January in Blairsville, Georgia

January in Blairsville

Atlanta to Blairsville 99 miles

The town is named after Revolutionary War veteran James Blair (From Wikipedia), (the Blairsville Chamber website says Blairsville was named for Frank (Francis Preston) Blair, a Washington, D. C. newspaper editor).  Blairsville area was known to have the purest gold in the mountains. Assayers in Washington, D.C. could tell by looking that gold ore was from the Coosa Mines because it was “the yellowest gold” submitted and its brilliant color set it apart.  Two-thirds of the Union County is in the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Pictures of Blairsville taken from the Courthouse square. Historic Union County Courthouse, built in 1899, has a military museum and dollhouse collection, it’s also the home of the Historical Society.

Hole-n-Wall Restaurant and Sunflower Gifts (below)

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Cabin Coffee

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Alexander’s – (below) Established 1953 – Everything Under the Sun. Clothing, shoes, appliances, furniture, accessories, guns and sporting goods. The store is 50,000 square feet –  4482 Town Creek School Rd.

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Sundance Gallery Gifts – (below) Glass Art, jewelry, woodcraft and American made pottery. The store is across from Alexander’s Store – 4397 Town Creek School Rd.

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Union County Farmers Market – 75+ vendors, locally grown produce and plants, beautiful hand-made crafts by local artisans, and delicious home-made food products. Seasonal –   148 Old Smoky Rd

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Odom Springs Vineyards is a family owned estate winery located in the lush rolling hills of north Georgia. For more than a century, the Odom family has owned land in the Young Cane valley. The vineyards and winery are situated on 16 acres of Odom land.

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Pappys Place and Pappys Riverside Restaurant on the Nottely River.  Gainesville Hwy/Hwy 19/129

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Pappys Country Store

Brasstown Bald (below) is the highest mountain peak in Georgia at 4,784 feet.. It has a park with a picnic area and a small observation tower near the peak with a movie chronicling the change of seasons and the impact of pollution on the mountain. There is a General Store at the entrance to the park. The mountain is known to the Cherokee as Enotah.

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Sunrise Grocery –  Opened in the early 1920s they are one of the oldest businesses in Union County.  Their website at www.sunrisegrocery.com says they have everything from crafts to crickets, they have gasoline, groceries, fashions, firewood, fishing licenses and fresh produce.  7568 Gainesville Hwy.

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Sunrise Grocery

Logan Turnpike Mill – sells grits white and yellow, stone ground cornmeal, pancake and muffin mix.  Check out their website at: www.loganturnpikemill.com  – 4494 Gainesville Hwy.

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Vogel State Park – 11 miles from Blairsville –  Lake Trahlyta is 20 acres. The lake has a swimming beach and boat launch for non-motorized watercraft, and offers seasonal rentals for pedal boats, kayaks, and paddle boards. It contains bass and bream and is stocked periodically during each trout season. The Park also has general store, miniature golf course and a museum and a waterfall. Within the park are a series of hiking trails. These include the Bear Hair Gap Trail (4-miles) and the more strenuous Coosa Backcountry Trail (12 miles).  The park also has a 1-mile Trahlyta Lake Loop Trail and the Byron Herbert Reese Nature Trail (.8 miles).Vogel Park has camping sites, cabins, swimming and boating. 405 Vogel State Park Rd. Off Gainesville Hwy/Hwy 129/19

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Byron Herbert Reece Farm & Heritage Center – 8552 Gainesville Hwy. Blairsville –  close to Vogel State Park

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Historical marker reads:  Renowned Appalachian poet, novelist, and farmer, Byron Herbert Reece lived most of his life near this site. Here he composed, to critical acclaim, four volumes of poetry and two novels, Better a Dinner of Herbs and The Hawk and the Sun. Reece was a five-time recipient of the Georgia Writers Association’s literary achievement award and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Bow Down in Jericho. He served as poet-in-residence at the University of California at Los Angeles, Emory University, and Young Harris College . Suffering from tuberculosis, Reece took his own life three months before his forty-first birthday. He is buried in Old Union Cemetery near Young Harris.

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Maysville and Gillsville – Cotton Gins and Pottery

8 miles from Commerce, Ga. – 21 miles from Gainesville, Ga.

Maysville – has several old homes that have beautiful ornate woodwork.

In 1847, Maysville was known as “Midway,” as it was midway between Lula and Harmony Grove (Commerce.) In 1869 a brick store was built, and the town’s residents started calling it the “Brick Store.” The name was later changed to Maysville, probably after John Mays, a prominent citizen who came to town with the railroad.

Maysville was incorporated on September 30, 1879. The town limits included parts of both Banks and Jackson Counties, and the original town limits were drawn to include ¾ of a mile in every direction from the Southern Railroad Depot.

Maysville was a thriving town in the early 1900’s.  There were 4 cotton gins, the largest of which was located on the property now occupied by the public library. There was a large cotton market, and each fall at least 18,000 bales were loaded on the trains for shipment.

The town has the Autumn Leaf Festival the first weekend in October.

The railroad runs beside Hwy 52/98 through the center of town.  From Interstate 85 take exit 147. The town has few buildings on two blocks

Gillsville – Maysville to Gillsville 7 miles

The town is in Banks and Hall Counties.  Gillsville was incorporated January 1, 1970.  Population was 245 in 2013.

The town has 1 small block of stores.  They also have a Dollar General and convenience store.

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First store vacant – then cafe and hardware store

Craven Pottery – 6640 Hwy 52 Gillsville  – The Cravens come from 11 generations of pottery makers

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Craven Pottery

Hewell Pottery – 6035 GA-52, Gillsville – 7 generations of Hewell’s have passed down the pottery making since 1850.

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 Dwayne L. Crocker Folk Pottery – 6717 Diamond Hill Rd. – making pottery since 1975

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Calhoun and The Trail of Tears – Hinton, Sonoraville, Fairmount and Ranger

From the Atlanta area I decided to take Hwy 5/515 to Hwy 53 to Calhoun, Interstate 75 goes to Calhoun but I have never been to Hinton, Fairmount, Ranger and Sonoraville.

Hinton   – A few buildings, the only business was Hinton Milling.  Hinton is in Pickens County.

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Nice house love the gingerbread woodwork

Fairmount The post office in Fairmount has been in operation since 1850. The city was named after Fairmont, West Virginia. Tate Park is in the center of town, with the buildings on all four sides.  There is a building that has City Hall, Police Department, Court Room and Library. There are several large vacant warehouses.

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Tate Park
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City Hall – Police Department – Court Room – Library

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Ranger – Turned right onto Hwy 411, a few miles to Ranger.  They have a nice sign on the other end of town. A post office called Ranger has been in operation since 1891. It is uncertain whether the town was named after Ranger, North Carolina or the Confederate rangers.

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Vacant Building

The nice sign in front of this shabby building says the City Clerk and Browns Best Buy.   The town has a few buildings besides homes. Turned around back to Hwy 53 and Calhoun.

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City Clerk, Browns Best Buy

Sonoraville – Seven miles outside Calhoun.  The post office was established in 1854, and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1909.  The community was probably named after Sonora in commemoration of the Mexican/American War.  There are 3 very large schools, elementary, middle and high school, also a Dollar General, nothing else but houses. ( no pictures of town)

Calhoun is a city in Gordon County, Ga.  It was incorporated on January 12, 1852.  It was originally called Dawsonville, named for the owner of a general store. Dawsonville was later renamed Calhoun to honor Senator John C. Calhoun following his death in 1850. A tornado on March 20, 1888, destroyed much of Calhoun. A devastating fire on October 23 of that year destroyed most of what remained.

Native Americans lived in the area, their capital of the Cherokee Nation was New Echota which today is a historic site. It is a must see site if you are in the area.

Calhoun holds two main festivals – the Cherokee Fall Festival in late October and the Red Clay Hill Arts and Crafts Festival in early November.

The town is off Interstate 75, so it has all the fast food restaurants and gas stations and a 50 store Premium Outlet.  It is also the home of several large factories like carpet and floor covering manufacturers, food processors, heavy machinery assembly companies, and distribution firms.

Calhoun’s downtown has several blocks of buildings.  The courthouse is in the center of town with stores around it.  The city is revitalizing the downtown with new sidewalks and repairing the buildings.  It is a nice town.

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Theater
courthouse
courthouse

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The train depot is on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Western & Atlantic was built in 1854, the depot was rebuilt within its existing walls in 1996-97. It was one of the sites of the “Great Locomotive Chase” of 1862.   There is a train car next to the depot a plaque with the history is in front.  109 S. King Street

Train Depot
Train Depot

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Rock Gardens – 1411 Rome Rd.  Behind the Seventh Day Adventist Church

There are flowers and greenery but the captivating artistry of the diminutive buildings mostly castles and churches is really charming. The structures, all crafted from tiny stones, pebbles, shells, china, rocks, ceramic tile, cement, wire and other materials was built by volunteers.   Free to the public and dog friendly.

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New Echota – Capitol of the Cherokee Nation

Across from a Calhoun golf course at 1211 Chatsworth Hwy NE.

The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  There is a couple of historic markers with the history of the site and a statue in front of the museum and store. After you pay admission you can tour the museum and see a 17-minute film.  Admission was $7.00

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There are 12 original and reconstructed buildings, including the Council House, Court House, Print Shop, Missionary Samuel Worcester’s home, and an 1805 store, as well as outbuildings such as smoke houses, corn cribs and barns.  There are a lot of plaques about the history of the Cherokee people around the site.

Cabin, corn crib and barn
Cabin, corn crib and barn
Meeting House
Meeting House
Tavern
Tavern
Rev. Samuel Worcester house
Rev. Samuel Worcester house – built 1828. There was a land lottery in 1834 and they were forced from the home.

New Echota  is one of the most significant Cherokee Indian sites in the nation and was where the tragic “Trail of Tears” officially began.  In 1825, the Cherokee national legislature established a capital called New Echota at the headwaters of the Oostanaula River. During its short history, New Echota was the site of the first Indian language newspaper office, a court case which carried to the U.S. Supreme Court, one of the earliest experiments in national self-government by an Indian tribe, the signing of a treaty which relinquished Cherokee claims to lands east of the Mississippi River, and the assembly of Indians for removal west on the infamous Trail of Tears.

I enjoyed walking around the site and reading the plaques but I kept thinking what the heck was wrong with President Andrew Jackson?    Would it have been different if women would have been allowed to have an say?