Habersham County, nestled in the scenic foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northeast Georgia, is located approximately 85 miles from downtown Atlanta and 50 miles from Athens.
The scenic landscape and abundance of parks afford residents and visitors many excellent outdoor recreational opportunities including fishing, hiking, boating, camping, golfing and more. Industry and businesses, from the local mom and pop store to the international manufacturer, find a supportive framework to stimulate and support economic development.
Habersham County is home to seven municipalities, each with its own distinctive character and charm. Heritage tourism sites, lively festivals-with listings on the Top 20 events in the Southeastern United States-fine dining, quaint shops, outdoor recreation and fine arts are available throughout Habersham County and its towns and cities. Habersham County was officially chartered in 1818 and named for Joseph Habersham, a Revolutionary War hero and the first Postmaster General under President John Quincy Adams. Coastal and Deep South residents travelled to the foothills of the Appalachian-Blue Ridge Mountains during the summer to escape the humidity and mosquitoes. Usually these people stayed in the county until the first sign of frost. Many of these seasonal visitors liked the area so much, they eventually settled in Habersham County permanently.
Gold was discovered in the mountains and brought a whole new breed of prospectors and fortune hunters. Because of the extreme measures taken to retrieve the gold from the land, the National Forest Service was created to protect the land from timber depletion and soil erosion. Agriculture thrived and two major products were marketed: apples and grapes for wine making.
Introduction of the railroad expanded the county’s marketability and brought more visitors to the area. Tallulah Falls became an increasingly popular spot for honeymooners, second only to Niagara Falls. The gorge came to be known as “the Grand Canyon of the East”. In 1913, Georgia Power harnessed the river in the gorge, diverting the water for electrical power. It ceased the powerful roar of the falls, but created a chain of recreational lakes in the area: Lakes Burton, Seed, Rabun, Tallulah, Yonah, and Tugaloo.