Cherrylog, Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Whitepath, Talking Rock, Coosawattee, Amicalola,Chatuge, Suches, Etowah, Enota....the sounds and names of the North Georgia mountains bordering the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway between the north Atlanta suburbs and the North Carolina/Tennessee border. An area rich in history, mountains and rivers and rushing creeks-an area that attracts people to continue to come back and experience all the high land and high life activities one can enjoy in four nearly perfect seasons.
In the next few postings we will explore where some of the words and names of North Georgia achieved their origin. When you look in a rear view mirror (where you have been), you often see some one else's future, the place they haven't reached yet (where they are going). This is how we can help each other, share knowledge, pay it forward, pass it on. Study the past and anticipate the future.
I pass Whitepath Springs Road everyday. I live off Whitepath Road. I live nearthe Whitepath Golf Course and the Whitepath Lodge. Ever wonder how Whitepath became such a prominent name in North Georgia? Ellijay was the "home town" of a young indian brave, Nunna-tsune-ga, which has been translated into "Dwells on a Peaceful Path". He became known as "Whitepath". After the Revolutionary War, Whitepath tried to help the Cherokees hold onto the land of his parents and spent many hours and meetings in treaty talks. He was opposed to the new ways of younger tribe members becoming so "English", hoping to keep the old ways. He fought with Andrew Jackson in holding back the Creek Indians and then had to oppose Jackson and his idea to let white men take over the Indian lands. He voiced his opinions of keeping the old ways in trible council meetings in Ellijay and eventually had to retreat from his role in the council due to differences of opinion with Chief John Ross and other members. In 1870, he gave up his fight by moving out of his home at Turniptown, said goodbye to his ancestors buried there near his cabin, and turned himself in at Fort Hetzel in Ellijay, Ga, the starting point of the "Trail of Tears". Chief Whitepath made it on the trail as far as Hopkinsville, KY. He became ill on the trail and was buried on the east bank of the river there. He left behind a lesson in loyalty, tenacity and, maybe, even downright stubborness. However, his dedication to his belief and mission is admirable. He remained steadfast in trying to maintain the heritage he prized, something many of us do as we pass on family traditions, heirlooms, pictures, etc. Help your younger family members understand their ancestors!
Return again as we explore more of these unique names and areas. I often wonder if any of these names show up in Oklahoma and other Cherokee settlements west of the Mississippi.