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Helen:Her Story
A new road for Helen
About North Georgia

Georgia 75 near Unicoi Gap
By 1935, most of the original path of the Unicoi Turnpike (from Tellico Blockhouse, Tennessee, to the Tugaloo River in Georgia) had been rerouted or paved. The longest remaining stretch of original roadbed still in use ran from the Sautee-Nacoochee Valley east of Helen, Georgia to Murphy, North Carolina. Charlie Maloof urged the state to step in, build a modern highway and replace the aging road.

As part of a much larger New Deal project, State Highway 75 was completed in 1938, but remained unpaved until 1953. The project included replacing the steel bridge over the Chattahoochee River with a sturdier concrete structure. Only a few feet separated the old steel bridge and the downstream concrete structure.

CCC Camp on Smith Creek
The new highway gave additional access to the rapidly expanding Georgia National Forest. The United States Forest Service, based on input from Rangers Arthur Woody, R. C. Nicholson and others, had been buying the lumber-stripped land, including the area near the new State Highway. In 1937 this forest, including much of the acreage around Helen, was renamed to the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Reforestation was important to land in the area of Helen. Hydraulic mining striped large sections of land and lumber mills devastated what was left. When a Civilian Conservation Corps camp was proposed, acreage along Smith Creek was not being used and Camp F-3 was built on the banks of Smith River, which fed lumber to the Byrd-Mathews and later, the Morse Brothers mill until the Depression.

In addition to overseeing the reforestation by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Woody begins the re-population of deer (extinct in the mountains of northeastern Georgia since 1895) and the introduction of non-native species favored by hunters and fishermen.

Even during the Depression, Mitchell Mountain Ranch Hotel was a well-known stop for outdoorsmen, New Deal workers and the CCC boys.

Next: A Park named Unicoi

Helen:Her Story

Archaic Indians in Sautee-Nacoochee Valley
Early Cherokee Influence
Spanish Influence in Helen
First Settlers Arrive
Unicoi Turnpike
Gold Discovered in Georgia
After The Gold Rush
Captain Nichols and Anna Ruby Falls
Wood is the new Gold
End of the Wood Era
Charlie Maloof and Arthur Woody
A new road for Helen
A Park named Unicoi
Helen 1954-1969
Rebirth of Helen
Modern Helen
Helen-Her Fun
Directions to Helen


Alpine Helen
Popular tourist destination in Northeast Georgia

Article Links
A Park named Unicoi
A new road for Helen
After The Gold Rush
Archaic Indians in Sautee-Nacoochee Valley
Arthur Woody
Captain Nichols and Anna Ruby Falls
Charlie Maloof and Arthur Woody
Chattahoochee National Forest
Chattahoochee River
Civilian Conservation Corps
Directions to Helen
Early Cherokee Influence
End of the Wood Era
First Settlers Arrive
Gold Discovered in Georgia
Helen 1954-1969
Helen-Her Fun
Modern Helen
Rebirth of Helen
Spanish Influence in Helen
Unicoi Turnpike
Wood is the new Gold

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