Jasper • Talking Rock • Tate • Blaine • Marble Hill • Nelson • Pickens County • North Georgia Mountains
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Cradled against the southern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North
Georgia is Pickens County. The county was formed in 1853
and named after Andrew Pickens. Prior to that the land
was owned and occupied by the Cherokee People until their removal
in 1838 due to a gold rush that began in the early 1830's. The
Cherokee lands were a part of an 1832 lottery conducted by the
state of Georgia; their lands were given to white settlers whose
real pursuit was driven by gold fever.
Although gold was the original intent for most
white settlers in the region, it wouldn't become Pickens
County's future claim to fame. It seems that a grade
of exceptionally pure marble laid in abundance in Pickens County,
a deposit of marble that ran five to seven miles long, a half-mile
wide and 2,000 feet deep. The Native Americans in this
area including the Cherokee People who arrived in the region
during the early 1500's had used and traded marble as early
as 800 A.D.
Fitzsimmons who was also credited for creating the first marble
mill dating back to the 1830's established the Georgia Marble
Company in Pickens County, in 1884. With the coming of the
railroad in 1883 Georgia marble became available and was highly
sought after by the outside market. The hot bed for this
valuable marble business was located on the Tate properties, leased
by the Georgia Marble Company. Colonel Sam Tate became President
and General Manager of the company in 1905.
This pure grade of marble was transported across
the country by railroad and used in several notable buildings.
Some of these structures included the Lincoln Memorial, House Office
Building, the East wing of the National Gallery of Art, the Bok
Sing Tower in Florida, the Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, New
York's Stock Exchange Annex and the Cleveland Federal Reserve
Visitors to Pickens County can witness an example
of this fine marble in the form of a marble-mansion adjacent to
the marble company's headquarters in the local community
of Tate. Colonel Sam Tate built the beautiful and privately
owned home in 1926. Constructed of pink marble, the structure
stands as a testimony to the county's famed marble industry.
Much of Pickens County rests in the southern
reaches of the Blue Ridge Mountains and flows into what's
referred to as the Great Valley in North Georgia. The mountainous
country of Pickens county is in North Georgia's Chattahoochee
National Forest with some private mountain lands available for
residential living. The heart of the Pickens County lies within
its quaint communities; Jasper, Talking Rock, Tate, Blaine, Marble
Hill and Nelson make up the local towns.
Jasper, the county seat is the largest town in
Pickens County, named after Sergeant William Jasper, a Revolutionary
War solider of fame. During the Civil War the county had many northern
sympathizers who continued to fly the Union flag over the county
courthouse for a period after Georgia seceded from the Union.
Old Federal Road runs from Tate through Jasper
to Talking Rock, this highway coincides closely with the course
of the Old Federal Road, northwest Georgia's first vehicular way
which linked Tennessee and Georgia across the Cherokee Country. Permission
to open the route was granted informally by the Indians in 1803
and confirmed in a treaty in 1805. Emigrants from the lower
southeast followed this course into Tennessee and Alabama. It
became the first postal route of this section and was used by travelers
in reaching the gold fields of North Georgia.
The town saw modest prosperity until the arrival
of the railroad in the 1880's. Jasper has a fine example
of old architecture making the downtown's main street quite
charming. The Old Pickens County Jail built in 1906 is a
popular attraction for tourist. The preservation of Jasper's
historical district is to the credit of the Marble Valley Historical
Today a new burst of artistic life has come to
Jasper in the expression of a large sculpture displaying a big
white bear with children reading from the Old Testament. The
sculpture was chiseled from white marble by artist Bill Sunderland
and is located on the grounds in front of the county courthouse.
The modest city park across from the courthouse
has a creative theme of rock and water representing the precious
watershed that washes down from the town's mountainous backdrop.
The main street in downtown Jasper is a great place to take a leisurely
stroll, with unique shops, restaurants and offices lining its historic
For recreation Pickens County has numerous notable
opportunities for visitors. You can fly fish the many swift flowing
streams and creeks fed by the brisk mountain
waters of the upper Blue Ridge Mountains. If boating, swimming
or bass fishing is your favorite past time, Carter's Lake
bordering along the northwestern edge of the county is a beautiful
example of one of North Georgia's more recently constructed
lakes. Carter's Lake was created to capture the mountain
fresh waters, operating as both a reservoir and a recreation lake.
Most of the lakes in the southern Blue Ridge
Mountains were created in the 1930's and 40's, for the dual
purpose of flood control and hydroelectric generation. Carter's
Lake was built at a even later date, due to the growing population
in northern Georgia and the Atlanta metropolitan area, water reserves
are very important.
When visiting the earthen dam park area, you'll
find a plaque marking the general vicinity where Hernando DeSoto
and his expedition of 600 men and horses visited this area in the
1500's during their quest for gold.
Local Native Americans of the 1500's had little
interest in gold other than for use in decorative jewelry and some
trade. Most of the local Native Americans directed DeSoto to other
locations just to get rid of the invaders. DeSoto and his men often
persecuted the tribes and in some cases tortured them, seeking
the location of gold deposits. Little to no gold was discovered
by the Conquistadors in their search through the southeastern United
States. What DeSoto and his men did accomplish was the spread of
disease to a people who had little immunity to these European diseases.
It took nearly 300 more years before gold was
discovered in abundance in North Georgia, this discovery led to
the removal of the Cherokee People from the region on the infamous
Trail of Tears.
near Pickens County just outside Cartersville you'll find
the earthen mound city of the Etowah people located on the banks
of the Etowah River. This city of sophisticated people had an estimated
population on 25,000 inhabitants; their disappearance as a society
could have likely been caused by a devastating plague brought about
by DeSoto's expedition.
Three of the cities mounds, plaza area, along
with a museum display the life and customs of the Etowahian People.
The largest of the three mounds, the Chieftains Mound is several
stories tall; the ancient city is a very interesting sight to witness
whether you're an ancient American history buff or just a
Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, camping,
picnics and canoeing are available in Pickens County plus there
are several small lakes dotting the countryside.
Rock Creek is a picturesque mountain stream cut deeply into the
canyon foothills near the southern Cohutta Mountain Wilderness
with primitive mountain scenery and high cliffs, great for canoeist
with Class I-III rapids.
You can take a trip up to Mount Oglethorpe, a
modest mountain of 3,290 feet. There's a monument on
the mountain to Mr. Oglethorpe, the founder of one of Georgia's
oldest cities, Savannah. The mountain over looks the lowlands
of Upper Georgia; at night you can see the city lights of Atlanta
on the southern horizon.
Located near northeastern Pickens County is Amicalola
Falls State Park. The word Amicalola means “tumbling
waters,” in the Cherokee language. The falls are so
high they can be seen from highway 52, as you approach the park
from the south. The 729-foot waterfall is actually created by seven
cascades from Amicalola Creek; the waters pour over a steep cliff
in a straight line high above the park entrance. It is the highest
waterfall in Georgia.
the falls you can pick up a trail that leads several miles up Springer
Mountain, the trail will take you to the far southern access of
the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail begins in north
Georgia and ends in Maine traversing mountain ridges and valleys
on its journey north.
Another interesting location just north of Pickens
County is Fort Mountain State Park. An enigma lies at the
heart of this mountain top state park, it is a stonewall of unknown
origins created by ancient Native Americans, estimated creation
500 A.D. The wall has a mysterious legend about its creation though
no one knows any more about it now than they did during its possible
discovery when DeSoto and his expedition arrived in the 1500's.
Even the Cherokee know very little about the 855-foot long wall. There
are plaques near the wall with some unfounded information mostly
legends and fables, visit the wall and see if you can unfold its
secret origin. Fort Mountain has many hiking, horseback, and mountain
biking trails plus a 400-foot cascading waterfall and an abandon
gold mine along with many other unique features.
Pickens County is a beautiful destination at
the mouth of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains with many opportunities
awaiting all visitors including shopping, dining and lodging. The
towns, farmlands, orchards and countryside offer a homegrown hospitality
all cast against a mountain backdrop of sapphire blue ridges. Pickens
County, a land rich in history and progress.
Jasper • Talking Rock • Tate • Blaine • Marble Hill • Nelson
Pickens County • North Georgia Mountains
|Log Home and Rustic Furniture Galleries
Lakota Cove is nestled on 26 acres in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains in Jasper, Georgia. Our 11,000 sq. ft. log building was built and designed by owner, Linda Magness. The Lakota Cove lodge features intricate carved doors and archways, beautiful log kitchen, and fabulous creek side bathroom. Linda Magness, a member of ASID, specializes in rustic elegance with a log home and timber frame appeal.
Go Directly to our web site at LakotaCove.com
|Blue Ridge Community Theater
Blue Ridge Community Theater invites you to "Come Out and Play."
There is nothing like the energy you feel when attending a live performance and we are here to help you experience that feeling. Blue Ridge Community Theater's mission is to enrich the cultural life of residents and visitors through performances, productions and education of all aspects of contemporary and classic theater.
2012 we will be hosting 7 Main Stage Shows with 15 Performances for each show, 13 evenings of music along with 13 Sunny D Performance, our Children's Theater Program.
Go Directly to our web site.....BlueRidgeCommunityTheater.com
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