Welcome to the Enchanted Valleys and Mountains of Towns County.
One of the smallest counties in Georgia proves once again that good things do come in small packages. Tucked away in the northeast corner of Georgia and bordering the western edges of North Carolina, Towns County is a land rich in natural beauty and the heritage of Appalachia. Here misty coves, lush forests, cool Lake Chatuge and rushing streams whisper quiet invitations echoed in the friendly voices of the mountain community.
Created in 1856 from portions of Rabun and Union Counties, it was named for George W. Towns, an early governor of the state. The two incorporated towns, Hiawassee, the county seat, and Young Harris, home of Young Harris College, are located where ancient Cherokee trails cross.
The county was settled by sturdy immigrants who could endure both the isolation and the extreme hardships of mountain life and weather. Many natives of Towns County today are descendants of those early settlers. The isolation preserved both a culture and language that disappeared far more slowly than in lowland settlements. Remnants of Old English remain today in the colorful phrases and pronunciation of mountain folk. The influence of the Cherokee Indians is reflected in the names in the county: Enotah, Hiawassee, Chatuge. Other colorful names abound on road signs like Tater Ridge, Bug Scuffle, Frog Pond, Bear Meat, Shake Rag, and Scataway.
Of the 106,240 acres of land in Towns County, the Chattahoochee National Forest covers over 57,000 and another 7,000 is owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) which built Lake Chatuge in 1941. The natural beauty of the county is enhanced and preserved by both these attractions which afford the recreational opportunities and economic benefit.
Brasstown Bald, rising 4784 feet on the Towns-Union county line, is the highest peak in Georgia. The Appalachian Trail, a 75 year old, 2,100 mile footpath beginning at Springer Mountain, GA, and continuing to Mt. Katahdin, ME, forms the eastern boundary of the county.
The Georgia Mountain Fair, started in 1950, is an enduring attraction held in August and October. Its Pioneer Village preserves the heritage and skills of early mountain settlers through its exhibits and demonstrations. The Fair, together with the music festivals and country music superstar concerts, attracts over 200,000 visitors annually. Many more come to enjoy the recreational opportunities afforded by the lakes and mountains and to enjoy everything from the Rhododendron Festival in spring to the Mountain Country Christmas in December.
Towns County is also home to the state's official historic drama, The Reach of Song, where you can look into the window of yesteryear and learn about Georgia poet Byron Herbert Reece or the newest play The Far Blue Mountains premiering in 2001.
Today Towns County has a new growth. Not only have the annual events and beauty of the mountains attracted visitors for many years, but the quality of life has attracted many who have added greatly to the human resources in our county. Beauty seems to be the common denominator with both visitors and new residents.
We at the Chamber of Commerce have dedicated ourselves and our energies toward quality growth and development, seeking first to preserve our priceless natural resources and second, to help direct growth so that our county retains its special beauty that has attracted so many.
For additional information, please see below, e-mail us at or call us at (800) 984-1543.
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