Helen Adventure Series: Visiting Romeo And Juliet Indian Mound

A different take on the classic story, is the story behind the Romeo and Juliet Indian Mound. The legend is that a man named Sautee from the Chickasaw tribe and a woman named Nacoochee from the Cherokee tribe fell in love with each other. Unfortunately, the two tribes opposed one another, which made their relationship unacceptable among their people.

Even so, the love between Sautee and Nacoochee could not be stopped. One night they met in the forest and ran away to Yonah Mountain in Helen, Ga. There they spent a few wonderful days together. Nacoochee decided that the only way that their relationship would work, would be if the two tribes could make amends. So, upon her return from Yonah Mountain, Nacoochee shared this idea with her father, who was the Cherokee chief.Whispering Waters Cabin

This idea infuriated her father, so he ordered Sautee to be thrown from a high cliff on top of Yonah Mountain. To make matters worse, he forced Nacoochee to watch as her lover plummeted to his death. As he fell, she broke free from her father’s arms and fled to the edge of the cliff, where she jumped off to join Sautee. Legend claims that once they had both reached the ground they painfully crawled into each others arms for one final embrace.

Nacoochee’s father was so deeply saddened and touched by their undeniable love that he decided to bury them just as they were, still embraced. A burial site was made for them near the Chattahoochee River where they have remained in each other’s arms ever since.

Romeo and Juliet Indian Mound Today

The burial mound is located in the green Nacoochee valley below Yonah Mountain, near the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Besides being called the Romeo and Juliet Indian Mound, it is also referred to as the Nacoochee Mound. This name was given on behalf of Nacoochee, the chief’s daughter.

Today, when you travel to the mound you will see a beautiful, intricacy detailed gazebo resting on top, which was built there in 1890. To build it, Captain Nichols who then owned the site, had to remove the first 2 feet of the mound, reducing it’s height to approximately 14 feet.

Since then, the site has been excavated by archaeologists twice; once in 1915 and again in 2004. A book called “The Nacoochee Mound in Georgia” was written about the site and published in 1918. During the first excavation it is said that 75 human burials were found layered upon each other from different time periods. Later, on August 20, 1986 the site was added to the National Register of Historic places.

Today, people from all over the region visit the mound for it’s great history and of course, it’s legendary love story. To sum it up, one visitor said, “The story was so sad, took lots of pictures, the gazebo on top of the mound was beautiful.” Per their indirect advice, be sure to bring your camera along when you visit the site.

How to Get There

To visit this historical site as part of the Helen GA attractions on your to-do list, you do not have to go far. The burial mound of Nacoochee and Sautee is only 2 miles south of Helen, GA where State Route 75 and State Route 17 intersect. If you are coming from Cedar Creek Cabins, you would follow Zeppelin Strasse southwest and turn left on Brucken Strasse. Then, make another left onto Edelweiss, until you reach State Route 75. From there, head south to State Route 17. At the junction of these two roads, you will be able to see the Indian Mound to your left, on the southeast corner.

Viewing the site is free and you can do so year round. When you visit, not only will you leave with a great lesson in history, but also with a romantic story of love. Of the many Helen GA attractions available to see, be sure to swing by the Romeo and Juliet Indian Mound. What classic love story is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below

And if you want to see more amazing Helen, Ga attractions, download our free guide to Helen:

Intro photo of Romeo and Juliet Indian Mound Tragedy Site is courtesy of TripAdvisor