Besides all the fun to be had during exciting northern Georgia getaways, you may be wondering - what is there to discover? The entire region surrounding our luxurious cabin rentals will provide yourself and your loved ones with a rich and fascinating history. From the Native American legends embedded deep within the countryside to the site of the original American gold rush, and even the culture of Bavaria, there is much to be learned and enjoyed during your stay in Helen.
Native American History
The legend of the Sautee-Nacochee Valley is one of tragic beauty, and will bring the past to life for yourself and your party. As the story goes, a young Choctaw brave named Sautee fell in love with the daughter of a Cherokee chief. This princess was named Nacoochee, which means "The Evening Star", and she also fell in love with Sautee in spite of the fact that their tribes were rivals. During one evening, the pair eloped and were discovered by her father and several hundred of his braves hiding on the slope of Mount Yonah. Here, the chief ordered his men to throw Sautee off the cliff, however, as soon as this was accomplished, Nacoochee threw herself after her lover. Together, the pair was buried in what is today the Sautee-Nacoochee valley.
Regardless of how true this Native American tale of a Romeo & Juliette type romance is, the rich history of the Sautee-Nacoochee valley cannot be denied. In fact, we highly recommend that those who visit our luxurious cabin rentals in Helen, Georgia take the time to visit the Sautee-Nacoochee History Museum to learn all about the original inhabitants of the area - the Cherokee Indians. In addition to this, you will also be taken through time to learn about the more recent history of the region including the first white settlers, war times, and the Gold Rush.
Another interesting piece of history near your cabin rentals can be found in the Chattahoochee National Forest at the Track Rock Gap Archaeological Area. This is a 52 acre area which contains the most highly preserved petroglyphs which are of Native American origin. Early Cherokee peoples called this the "Printed Area". Here you will find engravings of animal and bird tracks, crosses, and human footprints.
You may also elect to pay tribute at the grave of a Cherokee princess, Trahlyta.. Located just north of Dahlonega on GA Route 60, you will find a great pile of rocks and stones in the intersection between GA 60 and US 19 marking the grave.
The Gold Rush
One of the best ways to engage in historical activities near our Georgia cabin rentals is to check out all of the sites related to the first Gold Rush in America. For starters, you can round up your group and head to Duke's Creek Gem & Mining Company. Here, a group of experts will show you and your group how to pan for gold and other precious stones while learning about the rich history of the area.
Another fun spot to visit is Crisson Gold Mine in Dahlonega. This actual pit mine was operational until the 1980s and still features a 125 year old stamp mill which still operates to crush quartzite in search for gold. Along with panning for gold, you can purchase ore or custom jewelry from the gold and gems found onsite.
You will also not want to miss out on Consolidated Gold Mine in Dahlonega. You will get to experience the descent into a former mineshaft, 200 feet under ground. Once you have completed your exciting 40 minute tour, you will also be given the opportunity to pan for gold.
When you visit the Old Pickens County Jail and the Kirby-Quinton Mountain Heritage Cabin which is maintained by the Marble Valley Historical Society, you will be taken back in time to see how people lived in northern Georgia in the late 1800s. The log cabin is set up to give visitors an authentic experience of what life was like long ago, with furnished bedrooms, living quarters, and kitchens, equipped with tools and furnishings from the period. The jail will also give you an idea as to how the history of law enforcement has evolved throughout the years.
Even the Alpine village of Helen, GA is laced with history. All throughout the town you will feel as though you have been transported back in time to old world Europe. One of the best times of the year to experience the history of Helen is from mid-September through the end of October during Oktoberfest. This fun celebration of Bavarian lifestyle will allow you to enjoy the rich German culture and tradition through food, drink, dancing, music, and more.
How far back in history do you want to go?