A Brief History of Helen, GA

Aerial view of Alpine Helen in the North Georgia Mountains
Walking in the streets of Helen, you may be enjoying the delicious smells in the air from the Hansel and Gretel Candy Kitchen. Or you may be listening to the clop-clop sounds of the horse-drawn carriages on the cobblestone, or the wind chimes hung in the doorways of almost every little shop. Maybe you even stopped for a moment to watch the inner tubes drift down the Chattahoochee. But, have you ever wondered how this charismatic theme town came to be?

Cherokee and Chickasaw Roots

Long before the terms Native American or Indian were created, the tribes were spread throughout the Americas. Before any white man set foot on this territory, it was settled by the forefathers of bands we now call Sioux, or Cherokee, or Iroquois.  From Mayan and Incan ruins, from the mounds left in the central and southern regions of what is now the U.S. we have learned much. It’s a story of beautiful craft work and deep spirituality. Archaeologists have unearthed remarkably advanced buildings and public works.  While there was inescapable tribal conflict, that was simply a slight blemish in the experience of our forebears. They were at peace with this beautiful continent and deeply plugged into nature. 
Native American Tribes & the Indian History in Helen, Georgia


Georgia Gold Rush

The Georgia Gold Rush was the second significant gold rush in the history of the United States. Accounts of gold being found were reported previously in southern parts of Georgia, but the true Gold Rush began in 1828 near Dahlonega, and spread throughout the North Georgia Mountains. By the end of the Civil War, however, gold mining had all but disbanded in the valley. Gold became scarce, and the work to find what little was left was no longer cost efficient for the mining companies. However, today, you can still pan for gold at Duke’s Creek Mines or in town at Gold n Gem Grubbin. 

Additional Resources

  • Helen - Images of America. August 6, 2012 Chris Brooks ISBN-13: 978-0738591971
  • Helen's History - Helen Arts & Heritage Center