Fannin County, Georgia

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1700's Cherokee settlements were common along the Toccoa River. There is a rock wall in a V shape across the Tocca River, north of Blue Ridge, Georgia The American Indians would stand near the center of this rock wall to catch their fish which were forced there by the river current.. Downstream is a second rock wall built by the settlers. [1][2][3]
1790 Some settlers arrived in the mountains from northern United States. To reach Fannin County area, early settlers crossed over the Appalachian Mountains to Fort Loudon (now Tennessee). they followed the Tennessee River south then on rafts or boats, they traveled the Ocoee-Toccoa River to the wide fertile valley. This separates the Cohuttas and the Blue Ridge Mountains in Fannin county.The Tocca River was the best transportation to approach Lookout Mountain.[1][4]
Map of Fannin Co. within Georgia
1832 Fannin County was in the Georgia Land Lottery. Union and Gilmer counties were created from Cherokee County. [1]
1835 The Coastal Georgians had hunted, farmed on Cherokee lands. Under the Treaty of New Echota , the first settlers followed the Tennessee River south, where they took the Ocoee-Toccoa to the wide, fertile valley that separates the Cohuttas and the Blue Ridge Mountains in Fannin County. Coastal Georgians began to push the Cherokee further west and this land was surrendered by the Cherokee in 1835 under the terms of the Treaty of New Echota. [4]
Post 1830 White settlers arrived after the Cherokee People were forced to leave Georgia. White settlers came to farm and to dig for gold. Later a rich vein of copper was discovered, then copper mining, which was then smelted. Fortunes were made in the area by the logging barons cutting the timber and the copper company as they mined and smelted a rich vein of copper. [2]
1837 The first post office was formed by Benjamin Chastein in Toccoa, Georgia. There also is Toccoa, Stephens county, Georgia, which is the count seat for Stephens County..[5]
1853 Copper was discovered near the McCaysville, Georgia area. [4]
1854 Fannin County, Georgia was founded, 1854 from parts of Gilmer and Union Counties. The county is steeped in a rich history noble people. It was named in honor of James Walker Fannin, a native Georgian, and Texas Revolutionary war hero who was killed on March 27, 1836, during the War for Texas Independence and the battle of Coleto and Battle of Goliad. He was leading his Texas regiment to the Alamo, when was ordered to pull back. The Mexican Army led by General Jose Urrrea surrounded Col. James W Fannin's army who surrendered his Texas regiment of 350-400 men. (It is reported that 141 men o the 400 men were from Georgia) General Antonio Santa Anna gave the orders for James W Fannin's execution along with most of his men.[6] [4] [2][7] [1] [8] [9][10]

SEE Goliad Massacres

James Fannin
Goliad Massacre.
1855 County officials first met at Joab Addington's store in Toccoa, Georgia (once called Tuckahoe). the first county seat was Morganton was the 1st county Seat where the first courthouse, was built 1855 in Morgantoon.[5]
1856 Georgia legislature created Morganton as the first county Seat, which was incorporated in 1873. [3]
1860 Solomon Stansbury, an early coal miner, made enough money to buy a farm. He was arrested after failure to report for his draft for the Civil War. So Stansbury went over to the Union held Cleveland, Tennessee to join the Union Army. Then he tried to recruit citizens to the Union army.[3]
1861-65 During the Civil War Fannin County had a number of pro-Union residents who enlisted in east Tennessee.[1][5][3]
1861 The Secession Convention was held in Milledgeville, Georgia, the capital at that time. Elijah Chastain voted for secession, but W. C. Fain voted to remain in the Union. Two-thirds of Fannin county citizens were loyal to the Union, with (1/3 one third) supporting the Confederacy. [5][3]
1861-65 Six Confederate companies were raised. Two-thirds of Fannin's citizens remained loyal to the Union while one-third supported the Confederacy during the Civil War (1861-65). The County formed six Confederate companies. The remainder went up to Tennessee to join the Union army.. No battles occurred on Fannin Co. soil, but the home guard persecutions and lawlessness and home guard persecutions. Many people ended up destitute or moved westward. Confederate Units were:[5][3]
Fannin County Rifles Co H 52nd GA Regt. Inft
Fannin 2nd Regiment, Georgia Infantry, Company E, Joe Browns
Fannin 11th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, Company E, Fannin Young Riflemen
Fannin 65th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, Company (Smith's Legion) B
Fannin 65th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, Company (Smith's Legion) E
Fannin 52nd Regiment, Georgia Infantry, Company H, Fannin Rifles
1866- 1910 Copper mining in the Copper Basin contributed to the economy. After the War, two discoveries expanded the mining. Steel production increased, thus the Manganese which was in a belt running through Fannin County was mined until 1910. Manganese was added to steel as anti-corrosive and batteries. Iron ore, copper and coal were major contributors to the economy. Logging of the plentiful trees (done 1900-1945 has contributed to the economy). The fortunes were made by the copper mining companies and logging barons who cut down so much of the forests.[4][3]
1867-1870's Post Civil War the mainstay crop was cotton for this area. Since cotton wears out the land, other crops were introduced.[4][3]
Fannin Communities

1880- 1886 The Marietta and North Georgia Railroad extended its tracks, providing a way to market the agriculture products. It by-passed Morganton, to build in the more flat Toccoa River Valley in Blue Ridge and Mineral Bluff. Col. Mike McKinney founded Blue Ridge, Georgia, on the railroad route. The railway went bankrupt, and finally was part of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, 1902 which ceased service 1960.[4][5]
1880 - Blue Ridge was incorporated. The two towns, Blue Ridge, Georgia and Morganton, the county seat exchanged bitter words over which town should be the best location for a .[1]
1890 The Fannin County Heritage Foundation is housed in the Baugh House houses the Fannin County Heritage Foundation on 411 First Street, downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia. James Baugh built the Baugh House, 1890. It is one of many turn-of-the-century architectural structures in historic downtown Blue Ridge.[2][5]
Baugh House
1895 The Georgia Senate and the state house approved the county seat to be Blue Ridge, Georgia [1][5]

Dec 13, 1895 Georgia legislature passed a law to move the county Seat from Morganton to Blue Ridge. The railway had bypassed Morganton, 1886. A referendum was held, which were 947 votes for Blue Ridge, 155 votes for Mineral Bluff and Morganton votes were 396. The Morganton citizens argued that the state could not build a jail in Blue Ridge. A court ruled with the commission and the jail was built. In 1899 courthouse was moved from Morganton to Blue Ridge, Georgia.[5]

1900 Before the tourism began, Fannin County, Georgia mineral springs were discovered which became a "draw" for the hotels near the rail line in Blue Ridge, Georgia. These rejuvenating mineral springs drew tourists to the brand new hotels in the railway line in Fannin County. [2][5]

1900 Due to the mountainous terrain, the mountain roads were not improved. Fannin County only spent 5 days/year for any road maintenance, which included building new roads.few roads were under county control. Most of these were through the flatter valleys. Mountain roads were generally in poor condition and the county only spent 5 days per year improving existing roads or building new roads. [5]
Toccoa River Swinging Bridge
1900-1910 The Tennessee Valley Authority dammed up the Toccoa River which formed the scenic mountain lake, Lake Blue Ridge. This also attracts locals and tourists. [2][5]
1920's-1983’s The north Georgia hills was the location for moonshine to be produced.. The ATF raided a major operation, found and destroyed by the ATF in 1983. U. S. Highway 76 was built, giving more access to this remote area[1] [5]
1930 Lake Blue Ridge was formed from the Toccoa River to prevent the Toccoa River Basin from floods. This also powers a generator at the dam . The lake is 11 miles long. In 1934 was originally named Lake Toccoa, but they discovered another lake had the same name. Tennessee valley Authority manages the lake.[3] [5]
Blue Ridge
1934 Lake Blue Ridge ( 11 miles long) was formed from the Toccoa River to prevent the Toccoa River Basin from floods. In 1931 the new Lake Tocca started its power production for the Toccoa Electric Power Company . [1] When it was discovered another lake existed with the same name, they changed the name. Tennessee valley Authority manages the lake, on the route of U.S. 76, the Georgia Mountain Parkway. [3] [5]
1935 Georgia began road work on State Road 60 in joining Dahlonega to U.S. 76. The Old Dial Road bridge was finished 1938. [3]

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
1940 Fannin county had a large snowfall, called "The Great Snow" with 16-20 inches reported. [3]
1976The US. Government designated The Cohuttta Wilderness Area in Fannin County's Blue Ridge Mountains. This is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River and covers (40.000 acres in Georgia and Tennessee.[5]
1998 Marietta and North Georgia railway no longer brings passengers or freight to the Blue Ridge Depot. It currently is the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway giving a (26 mile ) round trip for tourists to Blue Ridge then McCaysville and back. Many second home owners and retirees living here. [2][5][1]
Old Fannin Co. Couthouse, Hist. Art Center

The farm products grown by the Appalachian farmers here were taken to a mill. There the corn was "cracked" before its use.. This is where the term Georgia "cracker" began. [4][5]
Fannin County has a Fairy story, based on a fable of the tangible stone mineral which were nouns in the Fannin County soil. This has the image of a cross. The stone was thought to be good luck. It also mentioned these ancient fairies in the mountains carried the small stone cross, called Staurate. Nathanael O. Smith has his own personal account [2][5]"The Tears of Fairies."
Mineral Bluff Depot
Mineral Bluff, GA
Fannin County has two mountain chains, named the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Cohuttas. The Brevard Fault Zone (or Line) bisects the county. This splits at Blue Ridge, Georgia, then follows the route of GA515 eastward and also heads north near the Toccoa River to McCaysville before heading into Tennessee. [3] [5]

Fiddlin John Carson worked on the Marietta and North Georgia Railroad. Many of his fans were from the Blue Ridge Mountains. As early as 1914 Fiddlin' John Carson was associated with Fannin County and the city of Blue Ridge, Georgia. He probably chose this city because many of his fans lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Carson was born in Marietta, Georgia and his closest relationship to Blue Ridge was the work he did on the Marietta and North Georgia Railroad. U-Tube Song- The Grave Of Little Mary Phagan]

This county now devotes its resources to Tourism and the mountains, and no longer farms.
Mercier Orchard has two business and is a tourist attraction. Mercier Orchard Deli and Mercier Orchards which has snacks, fried pies, donuts, cider and apples as well as tourist attraction.

Adjacent counties

  • Cherokee County, North Carolina - northeast
  • Union County - east
  • Dawson County - southeast
  • Lumpkin County - southeast
  • Gilmer County - southwest
  • Murray County - west
  • Polk County, Tennessee - northwest

Government Offices

1st County Seat - Morganton, 1854- 1886. the railroad by-passed Morganton.

The Morganton citizens argued that the state could not build a jail in Blue Ridge. A court ruled with the commission and the jail was built.

2nd County Seat - Blue Ridge, 1895

1st place to hold court - Joab Addington's Store, 1854

1st Courthouse, Morganton, 1869 - in Morgantown, was a small wooden structure which Burned down.

2nd Courthouse was moved to Blue Ridge.

Dec 13, 1895 Georgia legislature passed a law to move the county Seat from Morganton to Blue Ridge. The railway had bypassed Morganton, 1886. A referendum was held, which were 947 votes for Blue Ridge, 155 votes for Mineral Bluff and Morganton votes were 396. The Morganton citizens argued that the state could not build a jail in Blue Ridge. A court ruled with the commission and the jail was built.
1895 The courthouse was moved from Morganton to Blue Ridge, Georgia.

3rd Courthouse, 1896 Built in Blue Ridge, was a two story brick building. This burned 1936.

Blue Ridge 1895 Courthouse

4th Courthouse, 1937- built in Blue Ridge was funded by the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works.

Old Fannin Co. Couthouse, Hist. Art Centerw

5th Courthouse in Blue Ridge, 2004 was built. Blue Ridge has been county seat since 1895.The Fannin County Courthouse, completed in 2004, is the third courthouse to be built in Blue Ridge, the county seat since 1895. The county's first courthouse was constructed in Morganton, the first seat, in 1855.[5]

2004 Blue Ridge, Fannin Co. Courthouse


Size - 392 square miles (1,020 km2), of which 387 square miles (1,000 km2) is land and 5.2 square miles (13 km2) (1.3%) is water.
Terrain -mountainous terrain.
Rivers- Toccoa River rises in adjacent Union County, flows northward across Fannin County into Tennessee, where it becomes the Ocoee River.
Lake - Blue Ridge Lake, created in the 1930s by the completion of Blue Ridge Dam (now operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority), spans a substantial stretch of the river in the northern part of the county.
Basin Middle Tennessee-Hiwassee basin.
Ocoee River Sub-Basin most of Fannin County
Hiwassee River Sub-basin - small northeastern portion of Fannin County
Coosawattee River sub-basin -Etowah Riber Sub-basin - Southern corner of Fannin County
Coosa Tallapoosa River Basin -(2) slivers of Fannin County Southwestern area
Conasauga River Sub-basin - western part of Fannin County

Protected areas

  • Fannin County is under Forest Service management. Beginning as the Cherokee and later the Georgia National Forest,

*Chattahoochee National Forest

  • The greater part of this County, which contains the Noontootly National Game Refuge, lies in the Chattahoochee National Forest.[11]
  • Cohutta Wilderness Area.
  • Lake Blue Ridge, a part of the Tennessee Valley Authority power dams, water sports, fishing, and camping

*Appalachian Trail

  • Benton MacKaye Trail start at Springer Mountain


In 2000, 19,798 people were in the county with a population density of 51 people/sq. mi. The racial makeup of the county was 99.9% White, 0.2% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.0% from other races, and 0.0% from two or more races. 0.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The median income for a household in the county was $30,612, and the median income for a family was $35,258. The per capita income for the county was $16,269. About 10.20% of families and 12.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.10% of those under age 18 and 14.20% of those age 65 or over. In 2010 Fannin County, GA people were 23,682 people with a population density of 61.2 people/sq. mi. [12]


  • Fannin County is a white highland county, which has been without slaves. This county resembles Eastern Tennessee culturally, rather than Georgia. It is an anomaly to Georgia's politics, as Republican. It voted Republican since 1870's. It never voted for Franklin D. Roosevelt. Jimmy Carter carried it in 1976. [13]

County Resources

  • Gold
  • Copper
  • Logging
  • Magnesium
  • The Georgia Mountain Parkway was completed.
  • Cohutta Wilderness Area
  • Lake Blue Ridge, ppart of Tennessee Valley Authority power dams, is popular for water sports, fishing, and camping.
  • Appalachian Trail

*Benton MacKaye Trail start at Springer Mountain


Blue Ridge
  • Blue Ridge
Fannin Communities
  • McCaysville
  • Morganton
  • Epworth
  • Mineral Bluff (incorporated until 1995)


  • According to the 2010 U.S. census, the population of Fannin County is 23,682, an increase from the 2000 population of 19,798. Incorporated towns are Blue Ridge, McCaysville, and Morganton.



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