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Helen:Her Story
End of the Wood Era
About North Georgia

In 1917 Matthews sold the mill to the Morse Brothers, a group of 7 brothers who learned the business from their grandfather in New York. The brothers first looked at reducing costs in the mill and by bypassing Anna Ruby Falls. The Morse Brothers built narrow-gauge short-line feeder rails west to Blood Mountain and north to Tate City and used smaller locomotives to harvest much of the remaining virgin forest in north Georgia.

About the time the Morse Brothers completed the sale of the Byrd-Matthews sawmill, the U. S. entered World War I. Lumber prices shot up and production at the mill soared. Production dropped following the war but steadily increased until 1925 but never reached war levels. From 1925 until 1928 production at the plant slowed.

The land owned or leased by the Morse Brothers was finally stripped of most trees in 1928. This includes all the land in the Chattahoochee River watershed and the Tallulah River watershed up to (and slightly past) the Georgia-North Carolina border.

For three years the mill continued cutting wood on a greatly scaled-down basis. Only a small crew of men remained when the mill closed on May_5, 1931. On that day the whistle blew for half-an-hour, venting steam from sawdust-fired boilers for the last time. The company gave the mill and all the mill houses to Charlie Maloof and offered the land that it owned (mostly the Chattahoochee River watershed) to him for .25 cents per acre. According to Charlie, he couldn't afford to pay the taxes.

North Georgia had been immersed in hard times for three years when the plant scaled back production. The single-crop agrarian economy of the area had been destroyed by the boll weevil in 1925. Helen joined them in 1928. In 1930 the entire United States would begin The Great Depression.

Next: Charlie Maloof and Arthur Woody

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

County: White County

Alpine Helen
Popular tourist destination in Northeast Georgia

Article Links
A Park named Unicoi
A new road for Helen
After The Gold Rush
Anna Ruby Falls
Archaic Indians in Sautee-Nacoochee Valley
Captain Nichols and Anna Ruby Falls
Charlie Maloof and Arthur Woody
Chattahoochee River
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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