Todd DeFeo

Enjoy museums and more that make Northeast Georgia great

Dutchy on display at the Elberton Granite Museum (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

IMG_2692_s640x427ATHENS, Ga. — Northeast Georgia is filled with one-of-a-kind attractions and landmarks.

The area, located between 60 and 90 minutes from the Atlanta area has a deep history. The area is marked by rolling hills, farmland and small town that offer a relaxing respite from the rush of Atlanta.

For many, Athens, the home of the University of Georgia, is a natural starting point. It offers great nightlife, plenty of shopping and unique and interesting sights for the causal traveler and amateur historian alike.

For starters, here are a few Northeast Georgia attractions to consider visiting:

Ty Cobb Museum, Royston

Ty Cobb has a tough legacy, to say the least. He’s one of the greatest players to ever take the field: He holds the all-time career batting average record with a .366 average and he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936 as part of the inaugural class.

The Ty Cobb Museum in Cobb’s hometown of Royston, Ga., puts Cobb in an interesting light. The museum helps tell the story of Cobb and how he helped shape his home town — an impact that is felt even today.

Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site, Dahlonega

The 1836 Lumpkin County Courthouse in downtown Dahlonega, Ga., is home to the Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site. Located on the town’s square, the courthouse is the oldest surviving courthouse building in the state, serving in that capacity until 1965.

The state park is a testament to the nation’s first major gold rush. The museum’s collection includes exhibits about how gold is mined, tools miners used and actual samples of gold. The building features wooden seats from 1889 and the judge’s chambers.

Elberton Granite Museum, Elberton

The Elberton Granite Museum opened in 1981. On display in the free museum is the story of how granite is produced and its impact on Elberton, Ga.

The museum’s many exhibits include artifacts, photographs and whimsical anecdotes. While the tools of the trade show how granite is carved from the earth, it’s a seven-foot-tall granite statue tucked away in a backroom of the museum that illustrates a lighter side of the granite industry — and people’s feelings for the monuments produced.

Crawford W. Long Museum, Jefferson

On March 30, 1842, Long stepped into the history books when he first used Ether as a surgical anesthesia. His legacy lives on at the museum that bears his name.

Located about 25 miles from downtown Athens, the Crawford W. Long Museum in the Jackson County city of Jefferson, Ga., plays tribute to a man who helped shape the course of medicine.

Fort Yargo State Park, Winder

Aside from its serene setting, Fort Yargo State Park offers a history lesson about some of the earliest settlers in this part of Georgia.

The park features a cabin settlers built in 1792 for protection against Creek and Cherokee Indians; the structure includes portholes on the Fort to aide defense. The two-story log blockhouse measures 18 by 22 feet and features logs that are 10 inches thick and joined by interlocking wedge shaped notches at the corners.

About Todd DeFeo
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.