This is a special place. The fertile and well-wateredvalleys at the intersections of the Chattahoochee River,Dukes Creek and Sautee Creek held immense beauty in thedeep past and still do today. Beginning roughly 2000 yearsago, a relatively large population of Native Americanschose to live in these valleys surrounded by forested hillsand abundant wildlife. The Nacoochee Mound, an iconiclandmark set in what they called the Valley of the EveningStar is now visible near the intersection of GeorgiaHighways 17 and 75. The mound was a central feature oftheir community, and it remains central to ours today.In the early 1800s, small groups of white settlers camehere following ancient trails along the eastern side of theAppalachian Mountains. In 1822, two larger groups thatincluded as many as 60 families arrived from the NorthCarolina counties of Buncombe, Rutherford, and Burke.They brought the skills, tools, materials, livestock (andslaves) to form an almost self-sustaining, plantation-likecommunity. The names of these early settlers are stillnames of people one sees and meets here today.These tours reveal both ancient and modern stories ofSautee Nacoochee. Two millennia of Native American lifewere followed by two centuries of rapid changepeoplegrowing food, mining gold, lumbering the great trees,enduring slavery, the Civil War, reviving agricultural wealth,weathering the Great Depression and more war, and lately,developing tourism. Railroads, automobiles, telephonesand tourism have changed how life is lived here, but whathas not changed is the deep sense of a community thattreasures its people and the rich, beautiful land.
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