Awesome awson The premier newcomers guide to Dawson County
The undisputed next big thing
in American motorsports
In this issue: ∙ A racing couple’s love story ∙ Dawsonville’s only legal moonshine still ∙ Kasey Kahne’s #38 installed at Hall of Fame
A publication of the Dawson News & Advertiser
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge
Big-city amenities mesh with small-town charm
A relaxing and rejuvenating return to nature awaits you each time you visit The Lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park. Just a 90-minute drive from downtown Atlanta, the lodge is located on the top of the mountain in Amicalola Falls State Park, in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest. The lodge is perfect for visitors in search of pure relaxation or a home away from home while they explore the region’s beauty and recreational offerings. It’s the ideal location to enjoy the traditional charm of a classic mountain lodge while being pampered with a full range of modern conveniences.
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge offers:
Guests at the lodge are inspired and refreshed when they stay just steps from the 720 foot tall Amicalola Falls, the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi. Plus, the Appalachian Trail Approach Trail, which passes just a few hundred yards from the Lodge, leads from the property to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The Lodge’s prized location makes it a favorite for outdoor enthusiasts who are looking to discover the striking beauty of the north Georgia mountains in all its 4 glorious seasons.
56 Room Hotel Fine Dining at The Maple Restaurant 14 Housekeeping Cabins 24 RV/Tent Camp Sites with Water and Electricity Miles of Hiking Trails 45’ Vertical Climbing Wall 5 Covered Picnic Shelters 2 Unique Gift Shops
For Park, Lodge, and Restaurant Information Call 706-265-8888 or 800-573-9656. www.amicalolafallslodge.com
For updates on special offers, activities, or event details follow us on 2 | Awesome Dawson 2014-2015 | dawsonadvertiser.com
@ Amicalola Falls Lodge.
15 miles from downtown Dawsonville, 19 miles west of Dahlonega, and 23 miles east of Ellijay on Hwy. 52 in Dawsonville, GA.
We’re glad you’re here
Dawson County is handsdown one of the most beautiful places in the southeast, if not the entire country. And the scenery is good too. It’s the kind of place where people look you in the eye, ask how you’re doing --- and really mean it! Like most small towns, many families have been here for generations; others only a few months. What keeps families here and attracts new ones are the wide open spaces, pastoral farmland, fresh mountain air and one of the seven wonders of Georgia: Amicalola Falls. At 729 feet, it is considered the highest set of falls east of the Mississippi.
Inside its state park is the southern terminus of the Appalachian trail. So, lace up your hiking boots and let’s get going. It’s true that Dawson County is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Contributing writer Dawson County Commissioner Gary Pichon said we have some of the best cycling routes in the country. He should know. He’s ridden his bicycle across our back roads for more than 10 years. Check out his column on page 14. We also have two major rivers and 47 miles of shoreline on Lake Lanier, so if fish-
ing and boating are your favorite pastimes, grab your sunscreen and a buddy and go. Spring has sprung! As I have become fond of saying, “If you scratch the surface most anywhere in Dawson County, what pops up is a story about moonshine or racing.” The City of Dawsonville is home to one of the most unique municipal complexes you’ve ever seen. Under one roof, you’ll find city hall, the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, and the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery. The first, and best, race car drivers hailed from Dawson County. There has always been a connection between moonshine and racing, just ask Georgia Racing Hall of Fame President, Gordon Pirkle. Some of the original cars used to haul moonshine in the 1930s and 40s are on display. And don’t miss seeing Awesome Bill from Dawsonville’s #9 Ford Thunderbird in which he set the track record for fastest qualifying speed at Talladega, 212.809 mph. We hope you’ll get out and explore Dawson County’s beauty. We think you’ll agree -- it’s awesome! Kimberly Boim Editor/Publisher, Dawson News & Advertiser and Awesome Dawson
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Dawsonville’s fall Moonshine Festival attracts visitors from across the country. Photo/Kimberly Boim
6 The pride of Dawsonville
by Matt Weaver
8 A racing couple’s love story by Melissa Mayton
10 Making an honest living off moonshine in a man’s world by Melissa Mayton
12 Kasey Kahne’s #38 simulator car donated to hall of fame by Kimberly Boim
14 Bicycling in Dawson County by Gary Pichon
16 Attractions in Dawson County 18 Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge by Kimberly Boim
20 Parks and Recreation
22 Lanier Technical College 24 Hunting Schedules 24 Fishing 26 Calendar of Events
About the cover
28 Dawson County Commission 29 Dawsonville City Council 30 Important Numbers 30 Get Involved - Volunteer!
This guide is a publication of the Dawson News & Advertiser, Dawson County’s oldest and most-read newspaper. To subscribe to the Dawson News & Advertiser, 706-265-2345.
Chase Elliott made his Nationwide debut at Daytona International Speedway last month.
Dawson News & Advertiser Editor/Publisher: Kimberly Boim Reporter: Melissa Mayton Office Administrator: Kathy Bywaletz Director of Business Development: Tom Tucker Advertising Representative: Tom Pearce Sports Writer: Greg Finan Photo/Action Sports Photography
Editorial Contributors: Matt Weaver, Gary Pichon
Chase Elliott celebrates atop his number 9 after winning the All American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn, the fourth of the “Crown Jewel” Super Lake Model races. He is the only driver in history to win all four. Photo/Cinkar Images
The pride of Dawsonville
by Matt Weaver
t first glance, Chase Elliott doesn’t exactly fit the stereotype of a famous race car driver. Standing at 5’10, the 18-year-old’s good looks, youth and stature mask his relentlessly competitive nature. But despite his appearance and laidback southern demeanor, Elliott is the undisputed next big thing in American motorsports. Elliott is the youngest of nine rookies competing this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series -- the level just below the premiere Sprint Cup Series. His father, Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, is arguably one of the most beloved and successful participants in the history of the circuit, having posted 44 victories and the 1988 championship. And now, Awesome Chase from the Exact Same Place, is seemingly destined to follow in his footsteps. Elliott has been driving full-bodied Stock Cars since he was 13-years-old, many of them now stationed at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in downtown Dawsonville. But now Elliott is facing his toughest challenge yet, the grueling 33-race schedule contested on many of the largest and fastest tracks in the country.
6 | Awesome Dawson 2014-2015 | dawsonadvertiser.com
While he does have some big track experience, winning at Pocono and Iowa in the ARCA Racing Series and Pro Series East respectively, Elliott has been challenged in new ways following his first two races at Daytona and Phoenix. “I’m very satisfied that I was able to bring my NAPA Auto Parts Chevy home clean,” Elliott said. “This place is so easy to make a mistake and get sucked up by the guy on the outside of you that it eventually costs your team dearly.” Driving for JR Motorsports, a team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Elliott ran towards the front all day in the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona. But late in the race, when experience often dictates who wins, Elliott dropped to the middle of the pack and finished in 15th -- nine slots better than where he started. At one-mile Phoenix, a more familiar venue, Elliott posted his first top-10 result of the season by finishing ninth and may have been denied a top-5 when rain halted his charge towards the front. But more importantly than results, Elliott has avoided costly accidents and completed all the laps, gaining valuable experience in advance of the summer run. All told, Elliott is displaying the consistent style that has
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defined him throughout much of his brief career. In fact, it is his combination of genetics, approach and marketability that led NASCAR’s most successful team owner, Rick Hedrick, to sign him to a developmental deal back in 2011. The pride of Dawsonville is now on the fast track to join a lineage of superstars that has included Geoff Bodine, Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson over the past 30 years. But that kind of pressure is nothing new to the son of a champion and Elliott has all the tools and support needed to meet expectations, many of which he receives from his hometown. “It is really good to come home each week to a lot of support and know that you have the people of this community pulling for you every race,” Elliott said. “I see it all around town, and I really appreciate it.” Elliott netted his first top 10 finish in the Nationwide Series March 1. In his second start of the season, he finished ninth in the Blue Jeans Go Green 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Georgia Racing Hall of Fame President, Gordon Pirkle, said he thought most racers Elliott’s age would typically be finishing in the top 20 or 30. “He’s running up there with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson,” Pirkle said. “To be a rookie in the top 10 in points, that’s great.” Elliot said he was pleased with his performance. “I was really proud of my NAPA Auto Parts team for the effort they showed,” he said. And his hometown Dawsonville fans couldn’t be prouder of him. The reasons to cheer will only increase in the coming years. Kimberly Boim, Editor/Publisher, Dawson News & Advertiser contributed to this report. ❖
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Vaudell Sosebee stands beisde the car driven by her husband Gober when he broke the qualifying speed record at Dayton. It is on display at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in downtown Dawsonville. Photo/Melissa Mayton
8 | Awesome Dawson 2014-2015 | dawsonadvertiser.com
A racing couple’s love story
Below left: Vaudell Sosebee and her husband Gober share a smooch after he wins Daytona in 1951. Photo/Submitted Below right: Vaudell and Gober hold his Daytona trophy after the race in 1951. Photo/ Submitted
by Melissa Mayton
ove and laughter are the keys to a marriage when you’re married to a race-car driver. “He was a lot of fun,” Vaudell Sosebee said of her late race-car driver husband, Gober. “We kidded each other all the time, pulling jokes all the time.” Gober Sosebee, who died in November of 1996, was a three-time winner of the Daytona Beach Course (1949,1950 and 1951). He set the qualifying record in 1949, 1954 and again in 1955. According to Georgia Racing Hall of Fame President Gordon Pirkle, the record will never be broken because the Daytona race is no longer held on the beach. In his career, Sosebee won more than 200 races in various circuits. “He was really the Dale Earnhardt in that day. He was a real tough racer,” Pirkle said. Although his tough racing sometimes worried Vaudell, she could never fault him for it. “I couldn’t fuss at Gober because that’s where I met him, at the races,” she said. In an old newspaper clipping Vaudell saved in a photo album, she talks about being the wife of a driver. “There’s always excitement at the races,” she told the reporter. “And naturally it’s thrilling to see him out in front, but anything can happen at any time during a race. I really enjoy the events more when Gober isn’t entered. I can’t watch anyone but him — and hope nothing goes wrong.” Vaudell and Gober, both Dawson County natives, officially met at the Lakewood races in 1942. But it wasn’t the first time Gober had seen Vaudell. “Gober had seen me waiting for the bus when he was driving a truck when they was building a road around Amicalola Falls,” she said. Gober apparently took a liking to Vaudell and had his friend Lloyd Seay invite Vaudell to the Lakewood races. “They called me and said, ‘Hey, Vaudell, wanna go to the races?’” she said. Vaudell thought not having a ticket would keep her from attending the race. “They come to pick me up (Lloyd Seay and Vaudell’s cousin, Vivian Carter), and we went to Atlanta to Lakewood for the races. He took me up to the stands, and we sat down and here come Gober to introduce himself to me.” For Vaudell, it was an exciting day. Her first time at the races and meeting the man who would later be her husband. On the couple’s first date, Gober took her on another first — campmeeting at Lumpkin Campground. “He took me down there and introduced me to his sisters,” she said. The couple were married in Cartersville on Sept. 5, 1945. “We slipped off,” Vaudell said. “My brothers kidded me they were going to put on a big show,” she said of why they didn’t have a big wedding. She was 19 at the time, nine years his junior. Although Gober was the official race-car driver, Vaudell also had a need for speed. She recalled taking Gober’s car out for a spin with her sister in Atlanta. “Back then there wasn’t traffic like there is today,” she said. So she and her sister took off. Although she couldn’t remember just how fast she was going, she said she remembers Gober’s response when she told him what the tachometer read. “He said ‘Damn, you know how fast you was going?’ I knew I was going too fast and needed to slow down.” The couple went on to have two sons, David and Brian. Both have raced in various circuits. Vaudell said the boys were inspired by their father to be racers. “Brian won a race last year and said, ‘That’s for my dad,’” she said. Vaudell now volunteers at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and keeps his memory alive by telling stories of their travels to races and his career on the track. His Daytona car is on display at the hall. And in the Sosebee family home, Vaudell has a room dedicated to all Gober’s trophies. She also has stacks of photo albums to document her husband’s racing career. Most of the photos she took herself. Vaudell said she misses Gober all the time. “Fifty-one years just wasn’t enough,” she said. ❖ 9
Cheryl Wood with her Backwoods Distiller Dwight Bearden. Photo/Melissa Mayton
The Dawsonville Moonshine and Free Spirits Distillery opened in October 2012. Photo/Melissa Mayton
Making an honest living off moonshine in a man’s world
local businesswoman is proving that the liquor industry isn’t just for the boys. “It’s a very male-driven industry,” said Cheryl Wood, owner of Free Spirits Distillery. Wood opened The Dawsonville Moonshine and Free Spirits Distillery in October of 2012. The distillery started with its signature moonshine called Dawsonville Moonshine — a Georgia Corn Whiskey. Wood, who comes from a long line of backwoods moonshiners, started toying with the idea of starting the distillery in late 2008, after a long career with AT&T. “When I was with AT&T, we would go to training and conferences and you would have to tell something about yourself that everyone in the room might not know about you,” Wood said.
by Melissa Mayton
“I would say that (moonshine), and everybody’s eyes and ears would light up.” Wood said that between sessions at the meetings folks would come up to her and ask her for moonshine. It sealed Wood’s wish to make the distillery a reality. “Why can’t we do this?” Wood asked herself. With her mother’s support, Wood set out to make moonshine legal in Georgia. “I talked to Mama about it, and she loved it and she wanted me to check in to it.” Together, they came up with the name Free Spirits Distillery, a nod to her grandfather, Simmie Free, on her mother’s side of the family. The Dawsonville moonshine is made from a recipe her great-grandfather created. Fast-forward to today, and after a year-and-a-half of distilling, Wood has produced an award-winning moonshine
10 | Awesome Dawson 2014-2015 | dawsonadvertiser.com
with several other lines of liquor to come. The Dawsonville Moonshine won a silver medal in the 2013 International Beverage Tasting Institute. Women and moonshine “There were a lot of women that did it,” Wood said. “It it is very much maledominated, it really is . … But there were a lot of women that did it. But it was the men that got caught,” Wood said. Wood went on to say women would hide, haul and sell liquor just like the men. “And if they ever got caught, the man took the wrath,” she said. In addition to doing most of the same jobs the men did, women also made medicine with the liquor. And although she was never involved with distributing the liquor illegally, Wood remembers it as a part of life. “We would pick corn, and I picked
Cheryl Wood holds up a masher and a bottle of Dawsonville Moonshine inside the distillery where it’s made. Photo/Melissa Mayton
apples,” Wood said, talking about her part in the family business growing up. “It was just always there. It’d be sitting there in the cabinet. When babies were teething they’d put it on their gums.” Making it legal Unfortunately for Wood, her mother never got to see legal moonshine. She died in 2010. But Wood knows her mother would be proud of her accomplishments. “Mama was excited and wanted me to do it, and we named it Free Spirits together,” she said. “There will be other brands to come out under the Free Spirits Distillery.” On shelves right now are the corn whiskey, apple brandy, and apple pie. All of the the liquors are made with Georgiagrown products, Wood said. Having all homegrown products is one of her proudest accomplishments in developing the distillery. “The grains, the apples, everything we use is from Georgia,” she said. There are also no added colors or flavorings in the whiskeys, she said, and the distillery stays true to what would have been used out in the Appalachian backwoods—a copper pot to make the whiskey. “It makes a better liquor,” she said. And in a male-driven industry, what’s it like having a woman for a boss? Backwoods Distiller Dwight Bearden said he and Wood have come a long way together in their moonshine-making relationship. “Me and Cheryl, we bumped heads for quite a while,” Bearden said. “She’s got a passion for it and I’ve got a passion for it. But when we get our product out there it’s what we both wanted. It’s her great-granddaddy’s recipe, and we followed it to a tee.” Wood and Bearden met through mutual
friends when Wood started her distillery venture. “I couldn’t think of anyone better here,” she said. Wood is excited about the distillery’s accomplishments and looks forward to the future. “To be able to get it (the distillery) open, win a medal, make it with all Georgia grown (products), have Dwight be here all legal and be right under the same roof as city hall and the racing museum and fulfilling the promise I made to Mama before she passed way. I think that says it all.” ❖
Each liquor produced at the distillery contains Georgia-grown products. Photo/Kimberly Boim
From left: Daniel Elliott, Gordon Pirkle, President, Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, Brian Waters, Akins’ Customer Relations Representative, Dan Elliott. Photo/Kimberly Boim
Kasey Kahne’s #38 simulator car donated to hall of fame
recent race car donation to the Georgia Racing Hall team’s sponsor in 2000. “I’ve only kept two cars,” Akins said. “That one and the first of Fame has adults and children lined up to try it car where we won at Myrtle Beach Speedway in 1994.” out. Elton Sawyer drove for the team that year. A replica of the No. 38 driven by Kasey Kahne Akins, who now owns a 200,000-square-foot car dealership in for the Akins Busch team in 2003 is ready for video Winder, with 200 employees, has had a passion for racing since game enthusiasts. Just open the door, slip into the driver’s seat he was a kid. and choose your track. And don’t look for somewhere to insert “I got addicted to racing when I was 5 or 6,” Akins said. “I your 50 cents because it’s free with your paid admission. went to the Atlanta Motorsports Speedway with my dad.” A conversation between Dan Elliott and car owner Brad Akins led to Akins’ donation of the No. 38 simulator to the hall of fame. “Over the past several years, I’ve gotten to know To see the No. 38 simulator, visit the Georgia Racing Dan and the Elliotts,” Akins said. “When the car was Hall of Fame, www.georgiaracinghof.com, located next to ready to retire, I didn’t know what to do with it. Dan the City of Dawsonville Municipal Complex and the Dawasked if I would donate it to the museum. I didn’t even hesitate.” sonville Moonshine Distillery, 415 Highway 53 East, DawThe No. 38 simulator logged more than a million sonville, Ga. 30534, 706-216-RACE (7223). miles across the country after Great Clips became the 12 | Awesome Dawson 2014-2015 | dawsonadvertiser.com
Nobody knew who Kasey Kahne was, so we went over to the YMCA in Winder and grabbed a bunch of kids. He ended up signing a lot of autographs that day. minutes of fame, as he recalls, too. He signed a lot of autowas when he served as the graphs that day.” The No. 38 was a central part of every hospitality event with Great Clips. “One year, we hit 100 appearances,” he said. “We’ve been from Daytona to the coast of California.” At least 10,000 people have sat Akin’s Racing #38 simulator car in the No. 38 and had their own two complete with on board racing minutes of fame. video game. Photo/Kimberly Boim Akins’ own two
front tire carrier in the pits at California Speedway in 1999. “I got hit by the car and broke my right leg right about the ankle,” he said. “Bill Weber came on TV and said I was hit and he had updates. Everybody was watching.” After surgery and rehab, Akins’ leg is working just fine. “My wife and kids said it was time for my career in the pits to end.” ❖
In 1966, his dad, Harold Akins, was a typewriter salesman in Atlanta. He was also friends with Dan Elliott’s father, George. And at about the same time, Akins’ Uncle Roger bought a small car dealership in Winder. “My dad went to work for my uncle,” he said. “Roger then bought a Ford dealership in Gainesville, and my dad bought the Winder store. That’s when we moved to Winder.” Akins got involved with Busch Racing in 1993 and stayed there through the 2004 season. Back then, Kasey Kahne was not well known. “I’ll never forget when we had him come with the simulator to sign autographs, nobody knew who he was,” Akins said. “So to get people there, we went over to the YMCA in Winder and grabbed a bunch of kids. They were so excited,
Bicycling in Dawson County Gary Pichon participated in the first ‘Shine Peddlers ride hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce.
awson County has some of the best road bicycling in Georgia and maybe in the entire country. Beautiful scenery is everywhere you look. But you better want to really ride because the hills and mountains will test your resolve. You need a bike with a triple on the crank and a set of cogs on the rear fit for pulling stumps. And don’t leave home without your very best set of quads. The southern end of the county, up and down Kelly Bridge Road and Cowart Road and over to Pickens on Yellow Creek Road, is nice and easy. Highway 136 east of Fausetts Lake all the way to Highway 9 is a sweet ride with a good shoulder. But I never, ever, ride on Highway 53 because of the blind curves with heavy traffic, including tractor-trailors. On the other hand, Highway 52 from Burt’s Pumpkin Farm over to Highway 9 is a great place to cruise on nice rollers that you can carry if you have a head of steam on the downhills. One early Sunday morning several years ago, I came down Highway 9 from the Lumpkin County line with a 30 m.p.h. tail wind all the way to Dawsonville. I felt like Lance Armstrong without the performance enhancing drugs. Two of my favorite rides are real tests. If I am in bike shape and feeling my oats, I can make it from my driveway on Afton Road up Steve Tate and then to the top of Burnt Mountain in about one hour and three minutes. It takes me about 40 minutes of grinding from Fausetts Lake to the top. Coming the other way on the down hill, it takes me about seven minutes if I am brave enough to never touch the brakes and risk head-to-toe road rash. It is one sweet, heart-pumping ride down. The other is for highly experienced, mostly crazy cyclists only. It is a hill that runs parallel to Amicalola falls -- one of the seven wonders of Georgia. The pitch up is so steep that your heart will explode before you can creep your way up in your very lowest granny-gear going so slow that you almost fall over from standing still. If you make it to the top without stopping, you are in a special hard leg league and have 14 | Awesome Dawson 2014-2015 | dawsonadvertiser.com
Gary Pichon has been riding his bicycle through Dawson County for more than 10 years. He is also a Dawson County commissioner. Photo/Kimberly Boim
bragging rights. We have it all here in Dawson County. From nice easy rides with views of pastures and woods to the “put your head down, get up off the seat, and grind so you can have the sweet fly down the mountain as payoff. This is great bike country and people come from all over just to ride here. Remember, you’re in the country. Be nice and wave to people. By slowing down, you may even see the stunning world the good Lord has made for us here. ❖
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Attractions in Dawson County
Dawsonville Pool Room Historic Courthouse
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The Dawson County Courthouse is the oldest working courthouse in the state of Georgia, and its history is deep and rich. During the mid-1800s, workers constructed the courthouse which replaced a log structure that had served temporarily as the county’s headquarters. The log structure was built by James Foster for $30, and the benches were made by James Jackson for $1.25. Plans for a permanent courthouse were drawn up and accepted in May 1858 to construct a building 50’ by 30’ with four gables, and the window sills and steps were to be made of “good plant”. The contract was given to Wesley McGuire, John Hockenhull and Anderson Wilson. However, in August 1858, the plans were changed on the recommendation of the grand jury. The new plans called for an enlarged building of 54’ x 38’, two gables, the use of good bricks or other materials, similar to the courthouse in Gainesville, and windowsills were to be made of granite, soapstone or marble. The courthouse became the center of activity in the county until it deteriorated and was updated in 1984 largely due to the efforts of the Dawson County Women’s Club, Mrs. Stella Bigham, Commissioner Joe Lane Cox (who later became the city’s mayor), Mrs. Norma Glascock, Mrs. Betty Turner, Sheriff Randy Chester, Leo Glascock, and builder Joe Conowal. The courthouse currently houses the Dawson County public defender’s office and the Dawson County Historical and Genealogy Society. Hours are Wednesday, noon - 5 p.m.
The Dawsonville Pool Room was made famous by its owner and legendary racing historian Gordon Pirkle. It offers a family atmosphere and is packed with an interesting collection of history and memorabilia on Bill Elliott’s NASCAR career and early moonshine runners. The menu includes the famous made-from-scratch Bully Burgers and fresh cut fries. They are open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Pool Room and owner Gordon Pirkle are known throughout the world. The restaurant has been a backdrop for various television shows and videos, and its white and black checkered floors has been graced with the likes of celebrities including, musicians Roger Daltry of The Who, AC/DC’s lead singer, Bryan Johnson, comedian Larry the Cable Guy, cast members of the hit television series Moonshiners, and Bill Elliott, of course.
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Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge
by Kimberly Boim
ne of the crown jewels of all of Georgia (and the southeast) is located right in Dawson County — Amicalola Falls State Park. Amicalola Falls itself is the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast, clocking in at 729 feet. There are several options from which to view the Falls, from an accessible pathway to an ambitious 604-step staircase to the top of the Falls. Many people think simply of hiking or picnicking at the state park, but it’s also an educational resource for children and adults alike. The visitors center itself is a destination, with a small gift shop, several area maps, a taxidermic animal display, and several live snakes on display, including copperheads and rattlesnakes. Behind the visitors center is a small seating area, where many live demonstrations are performed. Visitors may also fish in the reflection pond, which is stocked twice yearly with a selection of trout. Relax in the Lodge at Amicalola Falls. The lobby and porch offer a breathtaking mountain view, as do the windows lining the dining area, making it a great location to relax with a glass of wine (or maybe hot chocolate on cool fall and spring evenings). There is also a gift shop in the Lodge. Around the lodge is an exercise hiking trail. The paved route provides a way for anyone to enjoy the outdoors and get in a bit of exercise.
Len Foote Hike Inn Len Foote Hike Inn is located in Amicalola Falls, and can only be reached in a fivemile hike from the top of Amicalola Falls. (The trail itself is labeled easy-to-moderate, and usually takes two to four hours to complete.) As for the inn itself, there are 20 guest rooms, and bathroom facilities for both men and women. Familystyle breakfasts and dinners are served daily (trail lunches are available upon request). All guests must check in at the visitor’s center by 2 p.m. Reservations are accepted up to 11 months in advance. While the inn was established for hikers, it’s also a great place to just get away from it all and reconnect with nature. There is a community room for families and friends to hang out with each other, complete with board games and books. The park staff also provides various educational programs, like a session on wildflowers, or a walkthrough of Dawson County history from 200 years ago. Twelve miles of hiking offer options for all levels of hikers • East Ridge Trail (Old Appalachian Approach Trail) - 1 mile; moderate to strenuous (Leads from Visitor Center to the top of the falls)
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• Creek Trail - .6 miles; moderate (Leads from Visitor Center to Reflection Pool at the base of the falls) • Spring Trail - .4 miles; moderate (Leads from West Ridge/Falls Access Trail parking lot to the Mountain Laurel Troop Trail) • Mountain Laurel Loop - 1 mile; moderate (Runs along the ridge above Amicalola Creek) • New Appalachian Approach Trail/Base of the Falls Trail - 8.5 miles; moderate to strenuous (Takes hikers to the falls overlook, then joins the old Appalachian Approach Trail.) • West Ridge Falls Access Trail - .3 miles; moderate to easy (wheelchair accessible) • Lodge Loop - .25 miles; easy (wheelchair accessible, and remains lighted for evening use) • Hike Inn Trail - 5.5 miles; moderate (access trail to Len Foote Hike Inn. A permit must be obtained from the Visitor Center to hike this trail.) • Fitness Trail - Easy access from the lodge. More than 20 exercise stations along the wooded route. ❖
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Parks and Recreation Dawson County Parks & Recreation offers a multitude of activities, classes, camps and recreational sports. No matter if physical activity is your top priority, or you are just getting started on the path to a healthier living, there are activities available for all ages. Rock Creek Sports Complex Rock Creek is home to several ball fields, including soccer, baseball/softball, and tennis courts. There is also a paved walking trail, outdoor basketball courts, a full-service gym including membership options, and outdoor covered pavilions for picnics or simply for taking a break in the shade! To get to Rock Creek, take Hwy. 9 S. from downtown Dawsonville. Rock Creek will be on the right. Veterans Memorial Park Home to the county swimming pool, Veterans Memorial Park was
The beach and pier at Lake Lanier, War Hill Park. Photo/File
Charâ€™s Family Daycare Every child is special and unique!
Summer Camp Programs Accepts children 6 weeks to 12 years State Funded Pre-K GELDS Curriculum Birth - Pre-K
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Charlene Jones, Owner
3276 Dawson Forest Road Dawsonville, GA 30534
originally known as Dawson County Park, and was renamed in 2007. A walking trail winds around the park, which is home to the Dawson County Senior Center as well as a football field, an indoor gym, and a few other outside ball fields. A memorial is on display for all of the county’s veterans. From downtown Dawsonville, take Hwy. 9 N. toward Dahlonega. Veterans Memorial Park will be on the left.
City of Dawsonville
War Hill Park War Hill Park consists of 14 primitive campsites, dayuse areas (picnic tables, benches), a bath house (including restrooms and showers) and boat launches (four on-site). War Hill Park is Dawson County’s access to Lake Lanier, with a small piece of “beach” and some opportunities for walking in the area. From Ga. 400, take Hwy. 53 E. to War Hill Park Road. Turn left, and follow until it goes into War Hill Park. The host campsite is on the right as you enter the park. River Park River Park is located on Hwy. 9 S., near Riverview Middle School. From River Park, kayakers and others can gain access to Etowah River. Entry into the river is free, but there is a $3 fee for the Kelly Bridge take-out. River Park is located next to the Rock Creek Sports Complex off of Hwy. 9 S. The driveway is right before the entrance to Riverview Middle School. ❖
Dawsonville, incorporated December 10, 1859, is the county seat of Dawson County. The city was named after William C. Dawson, a compiler of the laws of Georgia and commander of a brigade in the Creek Indian War of 1836. Dawson also served in both houses of the state legislature and in Congress before the Civil War. Among the first structures built in Dawsonville, the historic old courthouse and jail located in the heart of downtown is listed in the National register of historic places and has been restored to their original appearance. Dawsonville hosts a number of festivals and events, including The Mountain Moonshine Festival the 4th weekend in October. The Dawsonville town square comes alive with cars, arts and crafts displays, clogging, and other entertainment. Dawsonville’s also the home of NASCAR Champion, Bill Elliott. Stop by the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Museum to see a large display of racing memorabilia. AW2014-66396
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Committed to the Perpetuation of the Family Shooting Sports with the Bonding and Values they Instill.
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Carl Gerding, Manager 499 Hwy. 53 E. Dawsonville, Ga. 30534
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Located next to Kanagroo in downtown Dawsonville
Chestatee Emergent Medical Care
• low cash office visit • Walk-in Urgent Care • Affordable health care services • Annual physical and blood work-up • X-Rays, Injections, etc. • We provide for sick care and long tern wellcare maintenance.
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Dr. Gary C. Berliner, MD, MPH, MS
Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. • Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. After hours by arrangement: (706) 265-6866 Emergency Contact number: (770)699-1800
2395 Thompson Rd., Dawsonville, GA 30534
THURSDAY: Team Trivia & 2 for $22 Dinner Menu FRIDAY: Live Music and Chef Special SATURDAY: Live Music and Chef Special SUNDAY: Free Ice Cream With Every Kid Meal –
All specials are dinner only 5PM – close * Restrictions Apply
837 Hwy. 400 S • Across from Outlet Mall
Chestatee Emergent Medical Care in Dawsonville, Ga. A comprehensive rural health care clinic
MONDAY: Kids Eat Free* with every adult entrée & beverage purchase TUESDAY: $5.00 Cheeseburger WEDNESDAY: All You Can Eat Wings $12.99
Hunting Schedules Deer and turkey are two of the countyâ€™s most hunted big game. The following dates and seasons are tentative and may change. All hunters must possess proper licensing. Visit georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations for updated regulations prior to any hunting activities. Turkey Season opens: March 22 (Statewide) Ends: May 15, 2014 Limit: 3 Gobblers per season License Required: Hunting and Big Game Bear Archery Season: September 14 - October 11, 2014 Primitive Weapons Season: October 12 - 18, 2014 License Required: Hunting and Big Game Deer Archery Season: September 14 - October 11, 2014 Primitive Weapons Season: October 12 - 18, 2014 Firearms Season: October 19-December 1, 2014 License Required: Hunting and Big Game
Trout Fishing: The Amicalola is by far the most popular trout fishing destination, especially if you are concerned about space. There is plenty of public access as it starts within Amicalola Falls State Park and later flows through Dawson Forest WMA. Except during the Delayed Harvest period on the Amicalola, anglers can keep up to eight trout per day. Fishing on Lake Lanier: Lake Lanier is known as a productive fishing lake. With approximately 39,000 surface acres of water at its full level, many species of fish thrive in the lake. The Corps of Engineers, in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources actively manages fish habitat on Lake Lanier. Each year volunteers help build and maintain fish attractors around the lake. The following species are the most common in Lake Lanier. More information can be found at gofishgeorgia.com/Fishing/Lanier.
Anderson Family Medicine Providing excellent care, one patient at a time
Our practice is built on the principle of providing excellent patient care. We care about our patients. We ensure we take the time needed to address your health concerns.
SWalk-ins welcome SSame day appointments SMedicare and most insurance accepted
Medical Services: physicals, drug screening, hypertension/diabetes management, vision and hearing screening, in-office minor surgery, workers compensation
Dr. Larry Anderson, 30 years experience Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
81 Northside Dawson Dr. | Suite 205 | Dawsonville, Ga. 30354 | 706-265-1335 24 | Awesome Dawson 2014-2015 | dawsonadvertiser.com
Located 2 miles south of Amicalola Falls State Park
Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery offers genuine moonshine distilled in the heart of Dawsonville, GA – the
Dawson County at the intersection of Elliott Family Parkway (HWY 183) and Burnt Mountain Road (HWY 136)
“Moonshine Capital of the World”! We currently have hand-crafted Georgia Corn Whiskey, Georgia Apple Brandy, and Georgia Mountain Apple Pie using traditional recipes handed down from generations to generations from the original moonshinin’ bad boys of Appalachia. Stay tuned as we will have more hand crafted products coming soon!
Y’all Come See Us for a Free Tour!
Located next to the Dawsonville City Hall and Georgia Racing Hall of Fame...
Moonshine gave birth to racing!
Open 7 days a week, dawn until dusk $10 per/Horse Per/Day No horses provided
415 Hwy 53 E, Suite 120 Dawsonville, GA 30534
For more information, Call (706) 265-8432 or (706) 974-5718 FausettFarmsHorseTrails.com
(770) 401-1211 or (706) 344-1210
“It’s all about quality not quantity”
Views of Amicalola Falls, Burnt Mountain, Fausett’s Lake, and Beautiful Mountain Streams
10AM-4PM Monday-Saturday Sunday 12PM-4PM AW2014
“Renewing the way you look and feel” Do you have varicose veins or spider veins? Having leg cramps, burning, itching, pain, throbbing, swelling or fatigue?
Let us restore your leg health and youthfulness! Our mission is to provide comprehensive vein disease evaluation and treatment in a uniquely comfortable spa environment with state of the art medical technology and expertise.
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Procedures are covered by most medical insurance plans and Medicare.
When looking for a doctor to help treat your vein condition, experience matters. You need a physician who understands that vein disease can be very complex and each patient is unique. Offering state of the art treatment techniques, our clinical team is headed by a local physician, Dr. Peter Wrobel. He is extensively trained in
phlebology (vein medicine) and has performed thousands of procedures. He is assisted by a registered ultrasound tech with vascular expertise. A licensed nurse practitioner is also part of our vein services team. In addition, licensed nurses and certified medical assistants lend support and complete our team.
Peter Wrobel M.D.
Two locations: Dawsonville and Cumming
Dawson County Annual Events If there is one thing Dawson County residents enjoy, itâ€™s community gatherings. The following is a list of annual community events. JANUARY Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Annual Gala Location: TBD Information: dawson.org FEBRUARY Leap for Literacy hosted by Dawson County WEE Books Location: War Hill Park Information: (706) 216-0713 MARCH Half Ironman Tough as Nails Duathlon hosted by Five Star NTP Location: War Hill Park Information: fivestarntp.com APRIL 12th Annual Dogleg Charity Golf Tournament hosted by Dawson County Humane Society Location: Crystal Falls Golf Club Information: dawsoncountyhumanesociety.org Community Easter Egg Hunt hosted by KARE for Kids, The Church at War Hill, Dawson County Parks and Recreation Location: Veterans Memorial Park Information: kareforkids.us Redneck Race 5K and Dooathlon Location: Silver City Baptist Church
Information: fivestarntp.com Relay for Life Dawson County Location: Veterans Memorial Park Information: dawsoncountyrelay.com MAY Art in the Garden Festival hosted by the Dawson County Arts Council and Dawson County Conventions and Visitors Bureau Location: Bowen Center for the Arts Information: dawsonarts.org or dawson.org Cinco de Run-o 5K & 10K presented by Dawson County Kiwanis Club Location: City of Dawsonville Municipal Complex Information: fivestarntp.com A Matter of Taste Location Forrest Hills Resort Information: forresthillresort. com Dawson County Memorial Day Celebration hosted by Veterans Affairs of Dawson County Location: Veterans Memorial Park Information: firstname.lastname@example.org Kenny Stewart 5K Run/Walk presented by Five Star NTP
26 | Awesome Dawson 2014-2015 | dawsonadvertiser.com
Location: Roack Creek Sports Complex Information: fivestarntp. com Miss Dawson Paws Beauty Pageant presented by the Dawson County Humane Society Location: Riverview Middle School Information: dawsoncountyhumanesociety.org River Bassin 2014 Tournament Trail Information: www.theoutsideworld.net JUNE Bootlegger Half Marathon & Four Miler presented by Five Star NTP Location: Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Information: fivestarntp.com Lucky Dog Casino Night presented by the Dawson County Humane Society Location: Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Information: dawsoncountyhumanesociety.org JULY Dawson Day-Sparks in the Park sponsored by Dawson County Parks & Recreation Information: dawsoncounty. org Annual Lumpkin Campmeeting Location: Lumpkin Campgr ound
Information: email@example.com Dawson County Conventions & Visitors Bureau 2nd Shine Pedalers Metric Annual Bike Ride Location: TBD Information: dawson.org AUGUST Annual Lakewood Speedway Reunion Location: Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Information: facebook.com/ georgiaracinghof SEPTEMBER POW MIA Day Location: Veterans Memorial Park Information: firstname.lastname@example.org Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament Location: TBD Information: dawson.org OCTOBER 46th Annual Mountain Moonshine Festival hosted by KARE for Kids Location: Downtown Dawsonville and Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Information: kareforkids.us Trunk or Treat hosted by Dawson County Parks & Recreation Location: Rock Creek Park Information: dawsoncounty. org
Dawson County Annual Events
NOVEMBER Annual Veterans Day Celebration and Parade hosted by the Veterans Affairs of Dawson County Location: Various locations in downtown Dawsonville Information: (706) 265-7613 DECEMBER Annual Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade hosted by the City of Dawsonville the
Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau Location: City of Dawsonville Municipal Complex Information: dawsonville-ga. gov Breakfast with Santa hosted by Dawson County Parks & Recreation Location: Rock Creek Park Information: dawsoncounty. org Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Induction Banquet Location: Georgia Racing Hall of Fame
Information: facebook.com/ georgiaracinghof Taste of Dawson hosted by the Dawson County High School Parent Teacher Student Organization
Location: Dawson County High School Commons Area Information: profmom1@ hotmail.com
103 highway 9 N. St. Dawsonville, GA
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Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Business & Consumer Expo Location: TBD Information: dawson.org
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towah Water & Sewer Authority improves the quality of life for our customers, community, and environment through proper management of our water resources.
your hometown propane company Propane Tanks for Sale or Lease 706-344-1427 Gas Heaters • Gas Logs 383 Hwy 53 west, Dawsonville Ga. Serving Farms, Residential & Commercial Clients next to Berry’s Wrecker Service Open: Mon-Fri. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sat.: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
1162 Hwy 53 East Dawsonville, Ga. 30534
Phone: 706-216-8474 Fax: 706-216-6170
Excellence | Integrity | Stewardship | Commitment | Efficiency | Vision 27
Mike Berg is serving his third term as Chairman of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners. He has been chair of board since 2005 and his current term ends December 2016.
Gary Pichon is serving his second term as the District 1 Commissioner. His first term of office began January 1, 2007 and the second term will end December 31, 2014.
Daws on Coun Comm ty issio n
James Swafford is serving his second term as the District 2 Commissioner.Â His term of office began January 1, 2009 and will end December 31, 2016.
28 | Awesome Dawson 2014-2015 | dawsonadvertiser.com
Jimmy Hamby is serving his first term as the District 3 Commissioner. His term of office began January 1, 2011 and will end December 31, 2014.
Julie Hughes Nix Julie Hughes Nix is serving her third term as the District 4 Commissioner. Her third term of office will end December 31, 2016.
f o y Cit ville n o s Daw
Mayor James Grogan
The current mayor of the City of Dawsonville, Grogan was elected to the position in July 2012. Previously, he served as a council member. This is his first term as Mayor which will end in 2015. Youâ€™ll often find Grogan in his office at Dawsonville City Hall. Email him at email@example.com.
Chris Gaines First Elected: Nov. 2012 Current Term: January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2015 Next Election: Nov. 2015 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Power First Elected: Nov. 2012 Current Term: January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2015 Next Election: Nov. 2015 Email: email@example.com
Angie Smith First Elected: Nov. 2012 Current Term: January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2017 Next Election: Nov. 2017 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
First Elected: Nov. 2003 Current Term: January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2017 Next Election: Nov. 2017 Previous Terms: January 1, 2004 to December 2011 as Council November 5, 2012 to December 31, 2013 as Council Email: email@example.com
Important Numbers Dawson County Courthouse www.dawsoncounty.org (706) 344-3640 Chamber of Commerce www.dawson.org (706) 265-6279 City of Dawsonville www.dawsonville-ga.gov (706) 265-3256 Dawson County School System www.dawsoncountyschools.org (706) 265-3246 Sheriff’s Office (in case of emergency, dial 911) www.dawsoncountysheriff.org Tip line: 706-265-4744 Office line: 706-344-3535 Post Office (706) 265-2677 Voter Registrar (706) 344-3640 Auto Tag Office www.dawsoncountytax.com (706) 344-3520
Driver’s License (DMV) dds.ga.gov Water & Sewer • City of Dawsonville Water & Sewer (706) 265-3256
Propane Gas (continued) • Mark Heard Fuel Co. (770) 887-5235 • Mills Fuel Service (706) 864-5037
• Etowah Water & Sewer (706) 216-8474
• Folger Gas (706) 265-1495
Health Department (706) 265-2930
Phone/TV/Internet • Windstream (866) 961-9463
Natural Gas (deregulated) • Atlanta Gas Light Company www.aglc.com
• High-speed Fiber Optics North Georgia Network (706) 754-5323
Electricity • Georgia Power (888) 660-5890 • Sawnee EMC (800) 635-9131 • Amicalola EMC (800) 992-6471 Propane Gas • Amicalola Propane (706) 344-1427 • Ferrellgas Gas (706) 864-6151
Trash Pickup • City of Dawsonville (706) 265-3256 • Evans Garbage (706) 216-4232 • G&G Sanitation (770) 887-6063 • AAA Sanitation (706) 864-4860 • Landfill (Burt Creek) (706) 344-3645 • Wallace 400 Waste Disposal (706) 216-1485
Get Involved - Volunteer! Community Emergency Response Team Contact: Richard Sims, (770)833-4533 Dawson County 4-H Club Contact: Ian Cowie, (706) 265-2442 Dawson County Adult Education Center Contact: Pat Story, (706) 265-1690 Dawson County Arts Council Contact: Marcia Chelf, (706) 216-2787 Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Contact: Kara Hewatt, (706) 265-6278 Dawson County Family Connection Contact: Nancy Stites, (706) 265-1981 Dawson Historical & Genealogical Society Contact: Jackie Anderson, (706) 265-3985 Dawson County Humane Society Contact: Debra Maxwell, (706) 265-9160 Dawson County Kiwanis Club Contact: Becky Holbrook, (706) 265-3514
Dawson County Library Contact: Stacey Leonhardt, (706) 344-3690 Dawson County Ric Rack Contact: Angie McKenzie, (706) 265-1371 Dawson County Rotary Club Contact: Pepper Pettit, (404) 401-8586 Dawson County Senior Center Contact: (706) 344-3700 Dawsonville Lions Club Contact: Marty Horne, (404) 323-9683 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Contact: Faye Abercrombie, (706) 216-7223 Hall-Dawson CASA Contact: Connie Stephens, (770) 531-1964 KARE for Kids Contact: Calvin Byrd, (706) 216-5273 Keep Dawson County Beautiful
30 | Awesome Dawson 2014-2015 | dawsonadvertiser.com
Contact: Kristi Hudson, (706) 344-3501 Ninth District Opportunity Contact: Alice Williamson, (706) 265-3744 No One Alone (NOA) Contact: (706) 864-1306 Reading Education Association of Dawson County, Inc. Contact: Sandy Lipkowitz, (706) 579-1771 Safe Kids Dawson Contact: Lanier Swafford, (706) 344-3666 United Way for Dawson County Contact: Lindsay Bohannon, (770) 781-4110 Veterans Affairs of Dawson County Contact: Don Brown, (706) 265-7613 Vietnam Veterans of America, Dawson County Chapter #970 Contact: Wayne Watkins, (706) 429-5002 Wee Books Contact: Lionel Graves, (706) 216-0173
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