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?