HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Historical Society welcomed Ed Reed, a retiree from Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources State Parks and Historic Sites, as June’s speaker on the history of “New Echota and the Rebirth of the Cherokee Nation.” A continuation of May’s presentation by Buzz Tatham, who cautioned of the effect that the upcoming Young Harris-Blairsville bypass construction may create in the disruption of Cherokee artifacts buried beneath the earth, Reed led listeners through a timeline of the native tribes’ events. “Today we’d probably call it rebranding, if you want you use a buzz word from the business world, rather than rebirth,” Reed began.
The Cherokee Nation government council began meeting in New Echota in 1819, and New Echota officially served as the capital of the Cherokee Nation from 1825 until the tribe’s forced removal in the 1830s. In 1832, following the Congressional passage of the Indian Removal Act, Georgia began allocating Cherokee territory to white settlers through its Sixth Land Lottery. The Georgia Guard evicted the Cherokee from their land over the next six years. New Echota remained abandoned for the next century until the State of Georgia authorized the reconstruction of the site into a state park in 1952. The historic site is located just north of present-day Calhoun, Georgia, in Gordon County.
Reed led guests on a journey through the settlement’s proud foundation to the removal of the native tribe on the infamous Trail of Tears. “The Cherokee were outnumbered and overwhelmed,” Reed said. “They had no other choice than to leave.”
Towns County Historical Society meets on the second Monday of each month. Due to roofing issues at the former recreation center, meeting are presently held at the Towns County Civic Center on the courthouse campus. Members voted to move the meetings to 6 p.m. beginning in August.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County historian and newly-elected vice president of the historical society, Jerry Taylor, dispensed a presentation on the correlation between the names of local areas and their Cherokee origins on Monday, Jan. 14. “They are gone like the buffalo and the elk which once roamed the mountain valleys…,” Taylor began.
Hiawassee, derived from the Cherokee word “Ayuhwasi” which means meadow, savannah, or pretty, green place, was once known as Watson Crossroads prior to 1856.
Taylor explained that many of the roads in Towns County were named according to their function. Hog Creek, for example, was where the hogs freely roamed. Fodder Creek harbored stacks of corn fodder which was used to feed livestock during the cold, mountain winters. Tallulah translates to terrible. Talking Rock converts to echo. Choestoe transcribes to land of the dancing rabbits. “It means more rabbits than you can shake a stick at,” the friendly historian said with a chuckle. Taylor listed a host of locations interpreted from the Cherokee dialect.
Taylor provided the history from an early-1800s census, telling the tale of a Cherokee elder named “Sweetwater” who resided along the Hiwassee River. The household consisted of 13 Cherokee tribe members, one of whom was a weaver, another a farmer, and five were cited as spinners. Five could read English, and seven could read Cherokee.
“Everytime we use these words we’re acknowledging whose land this really is,” Taylor informed the intrigued group that had gathered to listen to the well-informed historian’s stories.
The Towns County Historical Society convenes monthly at 9oo N. Main St. in Hiawassee. The upcoming meeting, open to the public, is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 11, at 5:30 p.m.
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North Georgia – Ready to quit? You can do it for at least one day this Thursday, November 16th during the Great American Smokeout®! Every year on the third Thursday of November, many Georgians join tobacco users across the nation in giving up using tobacco and electronic cigarettes for the entire day during this Great American Smokeout® event, initiated by the American Cancer Society. Quitting for just one day is an important step toward a healthier you, especially if that one day can lead to many more.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and in Georgia. Over 11,500 Georgians die each year from tobacco-related diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Quitting tobacco and eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke are two proven ways to decrease the risk of tobacco related death and disability.
The Georgia Smokefree Air Act, passed in 2005, has reduced exposure to secondhand smoke by prohibiting smoking in all enclosed facilities, including buildings owned, leased, or operated by the State or local governing authorities.
Now, it’s your turn to reduce tobacco-related health hazards by quitting the use of tobacco and electronic cigarettes during the Great American Smokeout®.
Here in Georgia, we can help. The Georgia Tobacco Quit Line is a free resource that can help tobacco users reach their goal of quitting. The Georgia Tobacco Quit Line (1-877-270-STOP; Spanish speakers call 1-877-2NO-FUME; TTY: 1-877-777-6534 for the hearing impaired) provides counseling for Georgia tobacco users ages 13 and older. Callers speak with tobacco cessation counselors who help to develop a unique quitting plan for each person.
North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health, health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counites, Drug Free Cherokee, Cherokee Focus, and the Cherokee Youth Council encourage Georgians to go tobacco-free during the Great American Smokeout®, and beyond!
North Georgia – The North Georgia Health District office in Dalton and our health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties will close early to clients and visitors on Monday, August 21st in the interest of public safety during the solar eclipse. The health departments will close at 12:00 p.m. and the district office will close at 1:00 p.m. This closing applies to all public health services in the district, including Environmental Health, WIC and Children’s Health services.
If viewing the solar eclipse, residents are urged to follow these safety precautions:
- Do not look directly at the sun
- Sunglasses do not provide sufficient protection
- Only look at the sun through an approved solar filter
- For even safer viewing, observe indirectly by projecting the sun’s image onto a blank sheet of white paper with a pinhole camera or with binoculars
For more safety information, log onto NASA’s website.