Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dahlonega, Georgia

Dahlonega does not need this (still) obscure blog to promote it. The Chamber of Commerce already does a more than adequate job of that.

~ Historic Court House / Gold Museum ~

I came here today because I had been invited to attend a lecture about Cherokee trail mapping and “Trail Trees” at North Georgia College and State University, and it was amazing. On hikes throughout North Georgia, friends and I have from time to time encountered an odd tree that looked like it might have been struck by lightning a hundred years ago and refused to die – or some other such natural disaster. It never occurred to us that someone – Indians, of course – had created such a weirdly-shaped tree on purpose. Much less that these trees tell a story, now lost, and had a long forgotten purpose in their misshapen trunks.

“Trail Trees,” Mountain Stewards, the organization that identifies, documents and wishes to preserve these trees, advises, “have been reported and documented in 39 US States and Canada.” More than 1,700 of them identified so far, the oldest known is in North Carolina, estimated at about 800 years. The ones we see in Georgia date back to before 1838: the Trail of Tears (forced removal of the Cherokee from lands taken from them and given to European settlers by the State of Georgia, endorsed by the government of President Andrew Jackson).

So is NGCSU’s Georgia Appalachian Studies Center, housed in the historic Vickery House, which I have visited before and only returned to briefly today to take a few photographs if its heirloom garden.

~ I know you've seen the front. Thought you might like to see the rear. ~

~ Squash, bean, corn, tall sunflowers - all very heirloom! ~

By all means, visit Dahlonega, tour the Gold Museum, in summer stop at the Farmers’ & Art Market in Hancock Park, just off the square, stop and have a meal somewhere, shop for a trinket or a serious piece of art, but above all, learn about this region’s history and do something to help preserve it. If nothing else, just send the organizations a donation. Oh, and buy a copy of the book “Mystery of the Trees” when it comes out later this year.

~ Vegetables and flowers at today's market in Hancock Park. ~

~ Artist: Bill Lawson ~

~ Artist: Margret von Keiser ~

No comments:

Post a Comment