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The Sautee and Nacoochee valleys are a special place. The fertile and well-watered valleys at the intersections of the Chattahoochee River, Dukes Creek and Sautee Creek held immense beauty in the deep past and still do today. Beginning roughly 2000 years ago, a relatively large population of Native Americans chose to live in these valleys surrounded by forested hills and abundant wildlife. The Nacoochee Mound, an iconic landmark set in what they called the “Valley of the Evening Star” is now visible near the intersection of Georgia Highways 17 and 75. The mound was a central feature of their community, and it remains central to ours today.

In the early 1800s, small groups of white settlers came here following ancient trails along the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains. In 1822, two larger groups that included as many as 60 families arrived from the North Carolina counties of Buncombe, Rutherford, and Burke. They brought the skills, tools, materials, livestock (and slaves) to form an almost self-sustaining, plantation-like community. The names of these early settlers are still names of people one sees and meets here today.

These tours reveal both ancient and modern stories of Sautee Nacoochee. Two millennia of Native American life were followed by two centuries of rapid change—people growing food, mining gold, lumbering the great trees, enduring slavery, the Civil War, reviving agricultural wealth, weathering the Great Depression and more war, and lately, developing tourism. Railroads, automobiles, telephones and tourism have changed how life is lived here, but what has not changed is the deep sense of a community that treasures its people and the rich, beautiful land.


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