About Habersham County
Habersham County, located about 90 miles north of Atlanta, is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. With a lifestyle coveted by metropolitan and suburban dwellers alike, warm hospitality is offered to visitors who venture to this beautiful section of the state. International and local businesses find a supportive framework to stimulate and support economic development, and tourists find some of the best outdoor attractions east of the Mississippi. Habersham is home to seven municipalities, each with its own distinctive personality and charm. Heritage tourism sites, lively festivals-with listings on the Top 20 events in the Southeastern United States-fine dining, quaint shops, outdoor recreation and fine arts are available here.
This section of our website is designed to enlighten you about Habersham County, from its interesting history as an Indian outpost to its position as one of Georgia's fastest growing counties. Please use the menu at left to navigate through the story of Habersham.
Habersham County was officially chartered in 1818 and named for Joseph Habersham, a Revolutionary War hero and the first Postmaster General under President John Quincy Adams. Coastal and deep-south residents travelled to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains during the summer to escape the humidity and mosquitoes. Usually these people stayed in the county until the first sign of frost. Many of these seasonal visitors liked the area so much, they eventually settled here permanently.
Gold was discovered in the mountains and brought a whole new breed of prospectors and fortune hunters. Because of the extreme measures taken to retrieve the gold from the land, a need was identified and the National Forest was created to protect the land from timber depletion and soil erosion. Agriculture thrived and two major products were marketed: apples and grapes for wine making.
Introduction of the railroad expanded the county's marketability and brought more visitors to the area. Tallulah Falls became an increasingly popular spot for honeymooners, second only to Niagara Falls. The gorge came to be known as "the Grand Canyon of the East".
In 1913, Georgia Power harnessed the river in the gorge, diverted the water for electric power. It ceased the powerful roar of the falls, but created a chain of recreational lakes in the area: Lakes Burton, Seed, Rabun, Tallulah, Yonah, and Tugaloo. These are popular for residential cottages and retiree homes.
Source: Habersham County Chamber of Commerce