Easton (N.H.).

Summer resorts and points of interest of Virginia, western North Carolina, and north Georgia online

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forms the loveliest lace-like tracery in foam upon the dark face of the rock. The falls
are all in the midst of an unbroken forest, and few things can exceed the impressive
stillness, unbroken save by the rush of the waters, which seems to impart a tremu-
lous murmur to the dark masses of trees that skirt the margin of the stream. The
very accessories of forest growth add to the scene. The laurel, with deep green
leaves and almost impenetrable tangle, shuts in the water's edge ; behind this rises
the stately hemlock and spruce and, further still, the usual forest growth of oak,
poplar and chestnut. Take your lunch, O traveler, and spend the day — some bright
August day — in a long visit to these falls ; drink of the pure water ; dine in sight of
its mad rush, on the mossy rock, cooled by the spray — take in at long draughts the
inspiration of nature in her wildest and grandest mood. If not romantically inclined,
take your rod, O fisherman ! the pools are numerous, deep and dark, and where the
foaming waters reach the dark pool at the foot of the falls, you may cast a line of
sixty feet. The speckled beauties are abundant, not so large as in northern streams
and lakes, but large enough and numerous enough for fine sport and fine eating.

From Buck Forest to Brevard, the county seat of Transylvania County, North
Carolina, is about nine or ten miles. On the road you may stop and visit the falls of
Connestee, where two considerable creeks, from different directions, leap over the
ledge and mingle in the falls, to form one stream below. This fall has been availed


of for a mill of the most primitive and picturesque description, which put on canvas,
would make a painter's fortune. These falls are not one hundred yards from the
road. You begin from this point a rapid descent to the French Broad, accompanied
by a brawling brook. As you approach the valley, you catch charming views of the
romantic stream and valley of the French Broad.

The next point of interest after leaving Greenville is Seneca City, forty miles
distant, where the Blue Ridge Railroad crosses the Air-Line Division and runs to
Walhalla, its present terminus.

Culliraja Falls are in Macon County, North Carolina, the approach to them being
from Walhalla, thirty miles distant, and within twenty miles of Franklin. The route
takes the traveler through the most picturesque scenery conceivable. Below the Falls
there is a weird chasm, through which the water rushes on, ever restless and untir-
ing. In looking upon these scenes the visitor is impressed w-ith their sublimity and
-beauty, and conscious, if never before, of having at last witnessed one of Nature's
grandest efforts.

From Walhalla to Horse Cove, Macon County, North Carolina, is about thirty
miles. Conveyances or horses may be had either here or at Seneca, to take a per-
son through in less than a day. The trip is a most enjoyable one. We begin the
ascent of Stump House Mountain within a few miles of Walhalla. This mountain —
an out-lying ridge of the main chain — is so called, it is said, from the fact that before
it had a name, a squatter who lived upon it built his house upon four stumps of
trees, which were conveniently situated for the purpose of corner posts ; and for this
reason his house was called Stump House, and so the mountain. The Blue Ridge
Railroad is tunneling this mountain, and here for the present comes to an end.
Two other ridges, under the name of mountains, are crossed in one day's route.
Crossing the second, some fourteen miles from Walhalla, we come upon the beauti-
ful Chattooga Valley. The river of the same name is one of the loveliest streams in
the South, its waters, perfectly clear, running over ledges and shoals, presenting some
new charm at each turn. We are now amid the mountains, and from this point
onward to Horse Cove, we are ascending and descending alternately. The mountains
around increase in height, presenting very imposing features, especially in the bare
rocky ledges that form their sides. At seven or eight miles from Horse Cove we pass
the State line, and enter North Carolina at a point where three States corner — South
Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Passing Piney Ridge, we at last reach Horse
Cove, besides the rocky banks of a branch of the Chattooga. This cove is one of the
most remarkable recesses in the Blue Ridge. The road by which you enter seems
the only inlet or outlet. On all sides around it rise the bare precipitous brown sides of
the mountains which enclose it. The rock is unbroken, perpendicular, brown and
weather-striped, lifting to the height of seventeen hundred feet. Horse Cove con-
tains about six hundred acres of almost level land, green as an oasis, watered by a
bright stream, and abounding in most beautiful vines, trees and natural grass.
Opening towards the south, protected by the lofty mountains on all sides, whose
stony surfaces reflect the sun's rays back upon it ; the climate of the cove, at three


thousand two hundred feet above the sea, is usually equable and temperate. The
nights are cool and invigorating, while the days have all the sunny warmth of a
southern clime of lower latitude. The vegetation shows this ; for here the wild
catawba flourishes with unusual vigor and peaches are produced in great perfection.

The view from this point is such as to delight the lover of the beautiful and
grand in nature. Especially is this the case at evening, when the delicious after-
glow throws tints upon the mountains of indescribable tenderness and beauty. The
contrast between the bright green valley and the frowning brown precipices inclosing
it is exceedingly impressive. It is equally interesting to sit on the porch of the house,
fronting the grand precipices, and watch the mists of evening creep like disembodied
spirits up the heights, and hang upon the scraggy evergreens that fringe the sum-
mit ; or, at morning, to see the fog-banks, at first so still and white, when the sun
darts into the valley, wake up to life, as it were, and flit away before the darts of the
sun-god. The valley is highly recommended for pulmonary disease. Its genial
warmth and its elevation seem alike favorable to secure comfort to persons so
afflicted. Many pleasant excursions are in reach of the Cove. One of the most
attractive is to Cashier's Valley, about seven miles on the same side of the Blue
Ridge. About half way, at Grimshaw's house, just beyond the Chattooga, we get
a grand view of

nPHIS mountain (over six thousand feet high) offers, as well on account of its alti-
tude as of its immense mass, one of the most striking objects to be seen in any
land. It has an immense base, upon which, as upon a grand pedestal, rests a tower-
ing mass of perpendicular bare cliffs, rising, it is said, to the height of one thousand
feet. These cliffs have wide bands of white stone running laterally across them,
which belt the mountain with wonderful magnificence ; hence its name of White
Sides. These bands of white, alternated with brown, crossed by the weather stains,
give to this mountain an appearance so novel and wonderful as to arrest every
beholder. Above the cliffs rises the bare dome of the mountain, which is very
symmetrical and rounded, without trees and covered with a kind of gorse. The whole
mountain, from base to summit, is visible from Grimshaw's, and seems so near as
to be almost impending. On the right, as you look, is an irregular projecting crag
called the Devil's Court House ; on the left, at about the same height, another
pinnacled crag, around and up which is the ascent to the top. At a distance (say
from Csesar's Head), and even near at hand, the crags resting upon the pedestal pre-
sent the appearance of an immense recumbent animal, with head resting on out-
stretched paws.

Four miles further is Cashier's Valley, a high table-land about thirty-four
hundred feet above the sea. This place, a mere hamlet, is much visited by invalids,
consumptives especially, on account of its climate.

From this point is made the ascent of Chimney Top. a lofty, isolated peak,
which gives an unusually fine and extensive view. Two or three miles further,
passing through the pretty valley of the Jamestown, once much frequented by the


lowlanders, we come to the corundum mines, a rare and valuable mineral, only two
deposits of which are known to exist on this continent, and both these in this


is situated upon the very apex of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This valley is the
most elevated of any in Western North Carolma, having an altitude of more
than five thousand feet above the sea, from four to five miles long, and about
one anda half miles wide. On its north is the Sheep Cliff Mountain ; east, the
Rock Mountain and Chimney Top ; south, the Terrapin ; and west, the great
White Sides. Passing through McKinney's Gap, and over the Blue Ridge
toward the north we would descend the waters and into the fertile valley of the
Tuckaseegee ; crossing through Chimney Top Gap to the east— this side of the Blue
Ridge — we drop suddenly into Fairfield Valley, three hundred feet lower than
Cashier's, a most lovely place. Descending toward the west, we enter the Horse
Cove Valley, nestling under the shadow of White Sides. Following the waters, from
Cashier's to the south, we are brought to a sudden halt by the roaring precipice of
the White Water Falls, equal in volume of water, and, in magnificence of scenery
vying with the celebrated Tallulah Falls of Georgia. After several stupendous leaps
this stream plunges into the beautiful valley of Jocosee in South Carolina, and then
changes its name to Keowee, and augmented by other tributaries, at once assumes
the name of river, rushing forward in a more business-like manner, hurrying on to
headquarters. There are also in the vicinity of Cashier's Valley the Tuckaseegee
Falls, Sugar Fork Falls — a series of delightful cascades, walled in by moss-covered
rocks and luxurious forests — Taxiway Rapids, and many other pretty water-falls,
any of which would attract attention in other localities.

Another excursion is to the top of White Sides, to supplement our description, a
mountain reaching up, as it were, to the clouds, the ascent of which is made most
readily from this side. It is a very pleasant and romantic ride of about six m.iles,
vi'ith a steep climb of some one thousand feet, the greater part of which can be made
on horseback. The trip up the White Sides need not occupy more than a day, and
can be quite easily made in less time, and the view from the mountain, not to speak
of the ride to its base through the wild uplands, will fully repay any one for the time
and labor spent. With few exceptions, the outlook here is the most extended and
magnificent to be had in the mountains of North Carolina, vying in every respect
with many more familiar and celebrated views in other parts of our favored land.
Looking from the peak of White Sides, portions of four States are spread before the
gaze, embracing a mountain region of vast extent and unusual beauty. To
tarry awhile in this corner of the State assures to the tourist any amount of
enjoyment, and affords a fund of gratifying experiences to be referred to with
pleasurable emotions. No one will leave this neighborhood without visiting the beauti-
ful Highlands, Macon County, North Carolina. Dr. G. W. Kibbie, inventor of the fever
cot, whose heroic efforts to stay the yellow fever in New Orleans are well-known,
says : " Highlands offers inducements to the health seeker that can be found in no


other part of the United States, Southern California not excepted. It is situated in
an undulating plain, whose general level is about four thousand feet above the ocean,
with mountain peaks all around, some of which shoot up one thousand to twelve
hundred feet above the plain. The abruptness of the ascent to this extended elevated
region, places it at once in the upper strata of air, high above the malarial influences
of the lowlands surrounding it. These circumstances combine to give Highlands a
mild, temperate moisture in the atmosphere, that is peculiarly soothing to the irritated
mucous surfaces of the lungs of consumptives, and quieting to exciting nerv'ous
systems, giving an exemption from colds, hay fever, catarrh, and other annoying
ailments. The healing, soothing qualities of this atmosphere are entirely unknown
to debilitated persons who remain in the ordinary atmosphere of the United States,
the hygrometry of which is so variable. The evenness of the temperature and
moisture extends through the whole year, making the climate the best winter resort
for consumptives and dyspeptics, from either North or South, that can be found on
this continent, and probably the whole world, as I know of no spot on earth
containing all the advantages of this most elevated southern point of the Blue

Within five miles of the village are a dozen or more grand waterfalls and a score
of mountain peaks and ridges, from which magnificent views extend northward to
the Tennessee line, and southward to the distant lowlands of South Carolina and


'T^WENTY-TWO miles southwest of Seneca, the road crosses the Tugalo — famous
-'- for its grand chasm, one of nature's loveliest aspects — into Habersham County,
Georgia; and six miles further on enters Toccoa City," the substance of things hoped
for." This is a railroad village due to the opening of this line. It is the nearest out-
let, by country roads, of the trade of the extreme southwestern part of North
Carolina, which used in former days to pass this w'ay to Athens, and Augusta,
Georgia. The place finds trade enough in this way to support a dozen stores and
two hotels, and is much resorted to in summer. The climate is cool and delightful,
remarkably healthy, and the location convenient to travel from — north and south.
Besides it is the point from which to visit the celebrated Toccoa Falls, only two miles
distant, and easily reached by a good road, either on foot or by hack. Toccoa Falls
are on a creek of the same name, which tumbles perpendicularly over a rock, down a
height of 185 feet, and before reaching the bottom is dispersed in mist, which,
visible to the eye against the background of dark rock, waves to and fro in a weird
manner at once wonderful and beautiful. The Indian name signifies " The Beauti-
ful." These Falls have been often delineated by the artist, and, while no picture
equals the reality, many of them are very good representations.




is thirteen miles south of Toccoa and eighty miles from Atlanta, Georgia. It is
well named, being i,6io feet above the level of the sea. It i.s a bright, new, thrifty


village, and has a good livery stable and one of the cosiest and most comfortable
hotels to be found in the State. From the verandah of the Mount Airy Hotel are
probably the most superb views of the mountains on the north, and plains on the


south, obtainable from a building; in Georgia. But from Grand View Peak, two
miles from tlie hotel, the views surpass those of almost any other point in the
State. To the north, the Blue Ridge stands in full view from Walker's Mountain
into North Carolina, at least 150 miles. Stone Mountain, eighty miles west, is
clearly defined, although its peak is 800 feet below the obser\'er ; while Yonah, Tray
and other mountains, twenty to thirty miles away, show plainly their precipices
and forest robes. Southwest, there is an unbroken woodland to the horizon, sixty
to eighty miles, strikingly like a view on the ocean, but more like the Great Plains as
they appear from a cleft in the Rocky Mountains. So far Mount Airy has proved a
safe asylum to sufferers from hay fever and diseases of the throat and lungs, many of
whom have been here their second season with decided benefit. This atmosphere
resembles that of Colorado in clearness and tone more than that of any place east of
the Rockies and seems a specific against soreness or aches from walking, climbing
or riding. At Mount Airy we are at the summit of the Piedmont Air Line and
upon a level with the top of Stone Mountain, near Atlanta. A park of some 500
acres of woodland is immediately in front of the hotel, including an elevation capped
by an observatory which gives a view almost enchanting in its breadth of perspective.
P'ar away to the northward are the peaks and domes of the AUeghanies, with Mount
Yonah in the lead, and to the left the solitary Stone Mountain. Then southward
and eastward, the valleys and the plains each away in a dim prospective to the low-
lands of Georgia, giving a vivid impression to the beholder that he is indeed looking
clear down to the sea. This has been aptly called " Ocean View." We visited this
point at sunrise and watched the early beams dispersing the misty cohorts of the
night until the curling smoke from the chimney of the distant hotel kitchen warned
us that our breakfast would soon be ready, and we left our perch regretfully. A
building for private concerts, theatricals, etc., and other improvements of decided
value have recently been added to the Mount Airy Hotel. Between Toccoa and
Mount Airy we pass Currahee Mountain, a notable and abrupt spur, giving a grand
view from its summit of probably a hundred miles in extent. This mountain was
formerly used by the United States coast survey as a point of triangulation. A good
path leads to the top.

From Mount Airy to Rabun Gap Junction is only t\\»o miles. Here the North-
eastern Railroad of Georgia connects with the Piedmont Air Line for Clarksville,
eight miles ; Turnersville, seventeen miles, and Tallulah Falls, twenty-one miles.

There is nothing in approaching Tallulah to warn the traveler that he is near so
great a chasm, and not till one stands on the dizzy edge of this tremendous canon has he
an idea of the grand — almost awful — character of the scene. To attempt a descrip-
tion of this chasm is futile. No adequate idea has ever been given of it in words and
no pictures (and there are many) have ever come near reality. To apprehend it, it
must be seen, and even that cannot be done in a manner at all satisfactory, in less
than two or three days. Tallulah (The Terrible), a large stream, here breaks through
the last obstacle in its eastward course and, for two miles, through a gorge 1,200
feet in depth and of unsurpassed grandeur is dashed over deep falls, over great rocks.



broken into cascades in the wildest and most astounding manner. It requires steady
nerves and strong muscles to visit the different points of interest along the edge of
the chasm or to scramble down its deep and rugged face to behold the mad struggles
of the troubled waters. Guides are furnished, not only to point out to visitors every

place of interest, but

also to assist them in
reaching dangerous
places. No strangers
ought ever attempt to
see the falls without a
guide. It is dangerous
to do so, and there are
many stories, true and
apocryphal, about the
accidents that have oc-
curred to visitors to
this place.


"On the 5th of July, 1837, the Rev. Mr. Hawthorn, a minister of the Presbyte-
rian Church, arrived at Clarksville by stage. He preached in the evening of that
day and on the following Sunday, and gained the approbation and almost the admira-
tion of all who heard him. Those with whom he became partially acquainted


during this time esteemed him very highly as a Christian minister. With others, he
went on a visit to the Tallulah Falls. After the party had closed their excursion to
the falls, he and some other gentlemen concluded to go into a beautiful basin of
water between two of the falls for the purpose of bathing. Some ladies being in
company, they waited on them to some distance, leaving Mr. Hawthorn alone at the
water, intending to return and bathe with him. They did return, but only found his
clothing on the rocks. He was gone, and gone forever. It is supposed that he
went into the water, and, from some circumstance unknown, sunk to rise no more.
His body was found a week afterwards."

Clarksville, the county seat of Habersham County, is delightfully situated on the
Soquee River, and its beauty is increased by the picturesque grandeur of the sur-
rounding countr}'. This is the nearest railroad point to Nacoochee Valley, which
takes its name from an Indian princess, and means " The Evening Star." For a
delightful story, of which Nacoochee is the heroine, see " Historical Collections of
Georgia," page 486.

Clayton, the county seat of Rabun County, is seven miles north of Tallulah Falls,
at the foot of the Blue Ridge and immediately in the projected line of the North
Eastern Railroad. Rabun is a county of mountains. In whatever direction the eye
is turned, it beholds ridges of mountains, one behind the other, " like a dark-blue sea
of giant billows, instantly stricken solid by nature's magic wand." The valleys are
Tennessee, War Woman, Persimmon, Tiger Tail and Simpson's Creek. In the
county are several caves, but none particularly celebrated. Ten miles from Clayton
is a beautiful fall, called Eastatoah, and about four miles from Clayton are the Stekoa
Falls, which many persons think superior in beauty to the far-famed Toccoa Falls.

Rabun Gap is near the line of the Northeastern Railroad. The country in its
vicinity is very picturesque, composed of sloping hills, fertile valleys and winding
streams, and is becoming a great resort for the pleasure-seeking public, for whose
accommodation every preparation is made. When the railroad extension down the
valley of the Tennessee River is completed, Rabun Gap will at once spring into
importance as one of the most attractive resorts to be found on the almost number-
less branches and divisions of the Richmond and Danville System. From Rabun Gap
Junction to White Sulphur Springs is nineteen miles. At the foot of a steep hil! is
located the spring, in a spacious structure ; its waters are celebrated throughout the
South for curative properties.

New Holland Springs are located near the road, four miles from White Sulphur
and two from Gainesville. The main spring has an outflow of about fifteen thousand
gallons an hour, and is about six hundred yards from the Chalybeate and Sulphur
Springs. The latter is valuable as a cure for dyspepsia, rheumatism, kidney com-
plaint, etc. This resort is quite popular with Georgians, and particularly with
Atlanta people.

Gainesville, fifty-three miles from Atlanta, is a flourishing town, and much
resorted to in summer, where, in season, pleasant company and good accommoda-
tions are to be met with. The hotel building is large and airy, and so constructed as




to admit an abundance of light and air into each room, and faces a spacious lawn.
It is always thronged with city people during the heated term. At Gainesville, parties

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for Porter Springs leave the road. Mineral waters of many varieties abound in this
region. Only a few of these have been improved. Parties for Nacoochee Valley,
Mount Yonah, Dahlonega and the gold region of Georgia can reach these places con-
veniently from this point.

The Western North Carolina Railroad

was chartered by the General Assembly of North Carolina on the 1 5th day of
February, 1855, nearly thirty years ago ; its " purpose was to effect a communication
between the North Carolina Railroad (which runs from Goldsboro to Salisbury, N. C.)
and the Valley of the Mississippi." The termini of the road were fixed, as beginning
at " the town of Salisbury and running thence to some point on the French Broad
river beyond the Blue Ridge." In 1859, the charter was extended "through the
valleys of Pigeon and Tuckaseege rivers to a point on the Tennessee line at or near
Ducktown," and down the French Broad to " form connections by rail with the cities
of Chattanooga and Memphis."

This magnificent scheme of railway communication, passing from the eastern
section of North Carolina through the " hill country " of the centre to the lofty
mountains of the west, and down the French Broad, the most beautiful tributary of
the great " Father of Waters," to the Mississippi Valley, has now been almost com-
pleted. The engines of the railroad system which rouse the slumbers of the people

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Online LibraryEaston (N.H.)Summer resorts and points of interest of Virginia, western North Carolina, and north Georgia → online text (page 6 of 11)