The Old Nacoochee Missionary Baptist Church sits on top of a hill in White County, Georgia. Founded in 1822, the congregation moved to its current location in 1851.
The legend of the Sautee Nacoochee Indian Mound starts with a story of star-crossed Native Americans, Sautee, a warrior from the Chickasaw tribe, and Nacoochee, the daughter of a Cherokee chief. As with all dramatic stories of star-crossed lovers, Sautee and Nacoochee die. Sautee is tossed off the side of the Yonah Mountain by order of Nacoochee’s father. Nacoochee jumps to her death. The father, realizing his mistake, buries the lovers together in the Indian Mound.
In 1915, a team from the Smithsonian excavated the mound and found the remains of 75 people and a series of artifacts. In 2004, a team from the University of Georgia determined that the Cherokee never lived in this area of Georgia.
So, why the gazebo? In the late 1800s, Captain James Nichols owned the land and decided to shave two feet off it and build the gazebo, with Victorian detail, for a view of the area. It is unknown if he knew that he was building on top of it. A curious part of the story is that in New Park Cemetery in Fort Gaines, a gazebo was built on top a burial mound in the 1880s.
A full write-up about the history of the mound can be read on Wander North Georgia.
Built in 1870 and completed by 1882, the Crescent Hill Baptist Church was originally the Nacoochee Presbyterian Church built by Captain James H. Nichols, who relocated to the area from Milledgeville. In 1902, the Presbyterian Church moved its services to the Nacoochee Institute. In 1921, a group of Baptists took over the church and renamed the building Crescent Hill Baptist Church.