Tag Archives: White County

Historic Photos of the Sautee Nacoochee Indian Mound-Helen, Georgia

For people familiar with the Sautee Nacoochee Indian Mound, they may not have seen the numerous photos from the dig. While I was familiar with the survey conducted of the mound in the early 1900s, I never thought to look at it until recently when I was trying to find information about a church in White County and stumbled across a pdf of the report.

I didn’t read the document fully, but some interesting information was in it. Dr. L. G. Hardman granted the archeologists permission for the dig only on the condition that they turned over any gold discovered to Hardman. Additionally, they could not complete the dig in 1915 and asked to return. Hardman refused to grant access to the land again.

Additionally, at least three feet had been removed from the mound that did contain skeletal remains. These were gone before the arrival of the researchers. No one could tell the researchers where the remains went.

Seventy-five skeletal remains were identified in the dig. The first set of remains was found approximately three feet down. Some, like the top photo, were found with different objects. This one is believed to have a pendant at its neck. The bottom photo shows a copper armband around the top part of the arm.

This is a drawing of the material layers in the mound.

Below are images of different items found in the mound. I am particularly intrigued by the “effigies” and the heads.

There are more images in the report. I highly suggest taking a look if you want to see more.

African American Heritage Site-Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia

The Sautee Nacoochee Center is a cultural and heritage museum for the Sautee and Nacoochee Valleys in White County, Georgia. On-site, there is a restored slave cabin that used to sit on the land of Edwin Poore Williams, an early settler who benefitted from Native Americans being forced off their land.

He relocated to the area from North Carolina, bringing people he enslaved with him and his family. According to the 1860 slave census, Williams enslaved 18 people. It is believed that three cabins housed these men, women, and children. This particular cabin measured 16 x 28 feet.

The blacksmith shop

Beginning in 2002, the cabin was methodically dismantled at its original site and reassembled where it currently sits. The cabin was sympathetically restored using original materials or sourcing materials close to the original. A full detailed account of the restoration can be found here.

The Dollhouse Grave of Korry Gail Blackburn-Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia

Korry Gail Blackburn was born on February 17, 1976. Unfortunately, she passed away on July 13, 1976. Her dollhouse grave sits almost at the top of the Nacoochee United Methodist Church cemetery.

While not as famous as Little Nadine’s Playhouse, the grave is well-known in the area. Based on the few photos I’ve seen, the gravesite appears to be regularly decorated. Little trinkets are also left behind.

Mount Gilead Cemetery-Sparta, Tennessee

Mount Gilead Cemetery outside of Sparta, Tennessee, is one of several cemeteries found in mostly Southern states and the Appalachian Mountains containing tent graves. This cemetery has some of the oldest graves featuring this style.

The graves of Mary Brogdon (1837-1868), Owing Gentry (1806-1875), and William Davis (1864-1873)

Also known as comb graves, it was initially assumed that they were built to protect graves, but it is now believed that these were likely aesthetic choices. I support this idea. Vernacular headstones often appear in clusters in several cemeteries. For instance, there are a series of cemeteries along the coast that feature what I’ve called “Black Madonnas” since they are only in Black cemeteries. Additionally, many cemeteries along the coast feature a single-star motif on headstones. An example can be seen on the Mary Lemon grave at Behavior Cemetery.

The grave of Susannah Keathley (1788-1854)
The grave of Jinsey Aust (1813-1875)