Northeast Georgia: A History (GA) (Making of America)
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In the late eighteenth century, waves of intrepid settlers made their way down the Great Wagon Road into the virgin wilderness of Northeast Georgia to find new homes and opportunity for land and wealth. Against a dramatic mountainous backdrop, these pioneers carved out farms and small communities in perilous isolation and created an American experience vastly different from that of the plantation-style society established along Georgia's coast. Battling Creek and Cherokee warriors, government intervention, natural disasters, and a landscape not easily tamed, year after year, these men and women of Northeast Georgia stamped their self-reliance, their perseverance, and their industriousness upon generations to follow and upon the very geography they called home.
In Northeast Georgia: A History, readers travel across several centuries of change, from the early American Indian tribes that once made this territory their hunting grounds to the present day, a time of unprecedented growth and expansion in both industry and population. Truly a world unto itself, Northeast Georgia has served as a haven and destination for all classes over the past two centuries: the bold gold miners of 1829, the stalwart sustenance farmers, the social elite enjoying fresh mountain air at the many summer resorts, a multitude of businessmen seeking opportunity in railroading, cotton, lumber, and poultry farming, and bootleggers finding the landscape convenient for clandestine whiskey-making and distribution. These stories and more provide insight into understanding a people and place unique in Georgia.
bowling or billiards. For those who desired, afternoon relaxation or evening libation was available at saloons. The 1882 Gainesville City Directory said, “The Alhambra takes the lead as being the only place in the city where a good drink may be obtained.” And the classy Piedmont Saloon was an orderly and well-kept place with the purest of liquors and the best brands of cigars. All the hotels, recreational activities, and springs were tied together with the unique streetcar line, converted from
portion of today’s United States was a sparsely populated outpost. Some estimates report only 500,000 of the total 80 million Indians were in North America north of Mexico, and of those, only 200,000 were between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean. The last pre-historic Indian cultural development in North America was the Mississippian Culture, and it held forth from about 800 A.D. until the arrival of the European explorers in the early 1500s. The Mississippian Culture was generally
government help. LBJ chose Gainesville, Georgia, as the town in which he would launch his federally-financed “War on Poverty,” much to the chagrin of many local citizens. But how poor were they, really? Prior to World War I, those who lived in the country had dirt roads that often were little more than wagon-wide trails. Houses were not painted. Electricity did not reach them until the 1930s when the Rural Electrification Administration was formed. On the surface, at least, they appeared to be
all kinds of small game. There is valid reason to believe some buffalo were in the area in early times. Fish filled the fast-flowing rivers. If the hunter failed to make a kill one day, no problem, for an estimated 40 percent of the trees in North Georgia were chestnuts, and the ground was covered with nuts. Food was abundant. In deep snow, Indian hunters carry a deer alongside the bluffs of Tallulah Gorge. (Painting by John Kollock.) The forest-covered mountains of Northeast Georgia range from
modest scale, through the years by direct purchases. But, it has also gained a good deal of property through swaps with other landholders such as Georgia Power Company and through reassignment of land from other government entities such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Resettlement Administration, and the Farm Security Administration. In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, by presidential proclamation, set aside a large section of land in North Georgia and designated it the