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Helen:Her Story
Spanish Influence in Helen
About North Georgia

Significant evidence exists that Spanish miners inhabited the area in the vicinity of Dukes Creek Falls from 1560 until sometime between 1670 and 1733. For example, Thomas Green Clemson, founder of Clemson University and son-in-law of John C. Calhoun, found a pair of silver cigar tongs "...precisely similar to those ... used by the Spaniards" on Mount Yonah, south of the Nacoochee Valley.

Cherokee Land Cession of 1819
Smithsonian investigators in 1915 found evidence that Hernando deSoto visited the area in May 1540. Further evidence indicated that Juan Pardo reached the area in 1567. Spanish missions existed along coastal Georgia until 1685 and visitors to the missions did come inland, however, most of the Spaniards visiting the Nacoochee-Sautee area appear to have come from the Pensacola area.

In 1733 the state of Georgia was founded as a British colony, probably limiting Spanish access to the gold fields. There does not appear to be any significant outsider activity in the area until the American Revolution. The Cherokee settlement at Nacoochee was visited by William Bartram in 1776 and mentioned in his later writings.

Having successfully sided with the British during the French and Indian War the Cherokee Indians form a pact with them during the Revolution. At one time the British, with the help of the Cherokee in the northeast, controlled the entire state. Americans regained a foothold in Georgia from a base in South Carolina in 1781. Men under the command of Colonel Andrew Pickens destroyed Tugaloo Old Town (now under Tugaloo Lake) and followed the trading path to Chota which they also destroyed.

The line established between Indians and setters in 1799 was defined by the 10-foot wide "Hawkins line", whose creation was supervised by Benjamin Hawkins. Unfortunately, settlers had already crossed the line and created Wofford's Tract, a four-mile wide tract of land that brought settlers close the the western end of the Nacoochee Valley.

After the Cherokee Land Cession of 1817, settlers continued to pour into the Cherokee Nation. In 1819 the Cherokee Nation ceded the area around present-day Cleveland, Georgia to the United States including the Helen Valley and Sautee-Nacoochee Valley. By the time the state of Georgia gave away the land in the Land Lottery of 1820 the Cherokee were gone.

Next: First Settlers Arrive

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
American Revolution
Andrew Pickens
Archaic Indians in Sautee-Nacoochee Valley
Benjamin Hawkins
Captain Nichols and Anna Ruby Falls
Charlie Maloof and Arthur Woody
Cherokee Indians
Cherokee Nation
Directions to Helen
Dukes Creek Falls
Early Cherokee Influence
End of the Wood Era
First Settlers Arrive
Gold Discovered in Georgia
Helen 1954-1969
Helen-Her Fun
John C. Calhoun
Land Lottery of 1820
Modern Helen
Rebirth of Helen
Spanish Influence in Helen
Unicoi Turnpike
William Bartram
Wofford's Tract
Wood is the new Gold

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