About North Georgia
60 Hikes within 60 Miles Atlanta
More from About North Georgia on Facebook (no account required)






Search
Adventure
Attractions
Biographies
Books
Businesses
Cherokee
Christmas
Civil War
Counties
Creek
Events
Facts
Features
Food
Giving Back
Helen
History
Indians
Letters
Lodging
Moundbuilders
Mountains
Naturally
Notes
Parks
Past Issues
Photography
Poetry
Railroads
Revolution
Rivers
Roads
Stops
Tenn
Travel
Voices
Weather
Website

Helen, Georgia
About North Georgia

Alpine Helen

Downtown Helen, Georgia
Helen is the most popular destination in North Georgia, and third in the state behind Atlanta and Savannah. The rugged beauty of this high mountain watershed known today as the Helen Valley attracts hundreds of thousand people to events such as Oktoberfest and the Alpine Lights. Yet today's Helen is vastly different than the rough and tumble days not so long ago.

At first the area was a productive part of the Georgia Gold Rush centered around Dukes Creek, where the first alluvial (loose in soil or sediments) gold was found in 1828. Mining replaced panning in the area within a year, but by that time more productive belts of the mineral had been found further west and south by 1831.

First introduced in 1857, miners returned after the Civil War to scar the land with hydraulic mining, but when Georgia outlawed the practice in the 1880's the area returned to its agricultural roots.

As early as 1898 the area began attracting travelers to the North Georgia Mountains when the Nacoochee Hotel (Alley House) opened. Mitchell's Mountain Ranch Hotel opened in 1911 upstream from the GA 75 bridge (it was a ford back then). John Mitchell also offered homes for sale.

Helen itself was born in 1913 around the new Byrd-Mathews Saw Mill, the Gainesville and Northwestern Railroad that Byrd-Mathews built to haul lumber, and the Mountain Ranch. The city was named for the teenage daughter of a sawmill manager who also sat on the board of the G&N.

Byrd-Mathews sold the saw mill and railroad to the Morse Brothers before the end of World War I. The railroad ceased operations to Robertson in 1928 and the line was abandoned in 1934. When the Mountain Ranch burned to the ground in 1945 the state created Unicoi State Park. In the 1960's tourism blossomed into Helen's major business.

Helen:Her Story follows the development of Helen, Georgia from the days when Archaic Indians roamed the fertile Sautee-Nacoochee Valley until today. It is a unique view of the popular travel destination.

Helen:Her Fun is About North Georgia's Editors picks for fun things to do in and near the city.

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
Captain Nichols and Anna Ruby Falls
Charlie Maloof and Arthur Woody
Directions to Helen
Early Cherokee Influence
End of the Wood Era
First Settlers Arrive
Georgia Gold Rush
Gold Discovered in Georgia
Helen 1954-1969
Helen-Her Fun
Modern Helen
North Georgia Mountains
Oktoberfest
Rebirth of Helen
Spanish Influence in Helen
Unicoi State Park
Unicoi Turnpike
Wood is the new Gold

About North Georgia
About North Georgia Index
Tools
Add link from your web site to Helen, Georgia

 

Georgia Imix icon

| More
All of the photographs, graphics and text on About North Georgia (http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com) are © Copyright 1994-2017 by Golden Ink unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. For more information please see our Copyright policy


[About North Georgia] [History] [Travel] [Adventure]
[American Indians] [Biography] [Parks ] [Attractions ] [Naturally] [Weather] [Railroads] [Rivers]
[Mountains] [Roads] [Feature Articles] [Previous Issues] [Facts] [Food]
[Giving Back] [Voices from the Past] [Poetry Corner] [Photography]
[Lodging] [About Us] [Bookstore ] [Events ] [Events by month ] [Letters ] [Help ] [Kudos ] [Randy's Corner]
Other Places: Today in Georgia History : Today in The Civil War : Georgia Attractions : Georgia Hiking : Chattanooga



Golden Ink Internet Solutions
Georgia's innovative design group

Legal Notice
Copyright Policy
Privacy Policy