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)
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.
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.
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
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.
Pappys Place and Pappys Riverside Restaurant on the Nottely River. Gainesville Hwy/Hwy 19/129
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.
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.
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.
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
Byron Herbert Reece Farm & Heritage Center – 8552 Gainesville Hwy. Blairsville – close to Vogel State Park
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.