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HELLO Habersham

Habersham County’s 2014 Guide to People and Places

An annual publication of

The Northeast Georgian

in partnership with the Habersham Chamber of Commerce




he Hayes dealerships have been very involved in helping the community they do business with since the very beginning. As in any business, our people are what keep us here. They are the heart of Hayes. In 1971, A.D. Hayes and his brother, Donald Hayes, started the first dealership with the simple belief that treating everyone like family was the key to success. He was right! We know times have changed and people have become too cynical to believe any business truly cares. But seeing is believing! At Hayes, our dad’s wisdom, over 40 years later, still rings true. If we expect the people in our community to support us, then we in turn should support them.

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Habersham? Why choose

March 2014, my family celebrated four years of calling Habersham County our home. After moving across the state to make this county our home, we quickly realized Habersham County is a place where firm handshakes and the true spirit of community still exist and thrive. It’s a community where people look you in the eye, ask how you’re doing and mean it. Nestled in the magnificent foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it’s a wonderful place to call home and raise a family. During the last two years, our seven municipalities, board of education, hospital, two local colleges, chamber of commerce, development authority and county government have exhibited an unprecedented team spirit highlighted by our Habersham Archway Partnership. This collaborative effort of Habersham County working in unity to move forward makes our community a great place to operate or start a business. International and local businesses find a supportive framework to stimulate and support economic development.

With two four-lane highways connecting Habersham to I-85 and rails that run through the heart of our county, we are definitely connected. We also have a 90-acre airport industrial park. Our public school system, with a variety of programs serving a diverse student population, is one of the best in the region. Each of Habersham County’s seven municipalities – Alto, Baldwin, Clarkesville, Cornelia, Demorest, Mt. Airy and Tallulah Falls – has its own distinct personality. Heritage tourism sites, lively festivals, fine dining, outdoor recreation and fine arts are available here. Clarkesville, the county seat, and Cornelia, the commercial center, are both designated Georgia Main Street communities. Piedmont College and North Georgia Technical College support a ready workforce and are active community partners. Why choose Habersham County? Because it offers a lifestyle and sup-

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abersham has it!

Experience Habersham – only a 90-minute drive from Atlanta. If you are looking for outdoor recreation, historic museums and colleges, live music and performances, zip lining, horseback riding or agribusiness at its best, Habersham has it! Two rivers - raft the “Hooch” or enjoy the best fly-fishing east of the Mississippi on the Chattahoochee and Soque rivers. Six museums - from “Everything Elvis” in Cornelia to the MasonScharfenstein Museum of Art in downtown Demorest - history is captured. Lake Russell near Cornelia - hiking, camping, swimming, boating and more. Tallulah Gorge - 1,000 feet deep and two miles long, once known as the Niagara Falls of the South. Award-winning restaurants and quaint shops in Habersham’s seven towns. You-pick farms, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, farmers’ markets and more in season. Waterfalls, lakes, hiking trails, beautiful scenic drives and a bit of the past. Take a day or a week and relax or rejuvenate in this beautiful part of Northeast Georgia. Stay in one of Cornelia’s convenient hotels, a historic bed & breakfast inn, cabins, golf villas or resort accommodations to experience the area. Known as the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains, two four-lane highways provide easy access to Habersham. Call the Habersham Chamber of Commerce at 706-778-4654, email or visit habershamchamber. com for more information. We’ll be looking for you with our awardwinning hospitality extended.

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Contents Environment 6 Soque River is uniquely Habersham by E. Lane Gresham

Agriculture 10 Farm to School program thriving in Habersham County by Kimberly Brown

Tourism 12 Everything Elvis Museum has Habersham ‘All Shook Up’ by Christina Santee

Heritage 16 Alliance for African-American Music nifies co nity through song by Christina Santee

Education 20 Tallulah Falls School, Georgia Federation of Women’s Clubs have “deep ties” by Kimberly Brown

About the cover Clarkesville-based artist Sarah Samsel created this year’s cover art – a oneof-a-kind representation of a rainbow trout found in the Soque River, the only river of its size that begins and ends in one county. Samsel’s medium is pressed-plant material and a touch of hornet’s nest. “I chose to make a rainbow trout because fishing for tro t is a arge part of our Habersham County culture,” Samsel said. For more information about Samsel, visit sarahslavendercottage. com.

Special/Jamie Moore

26 Piedmont College is getting a new “living room”

34 MOPS provides fellowship for moms

by Megan Studdard

by Kimberly Brown

Recreation/Sports 30 Recreation options at play in Habersham County by Zack Myers

46 Worshipping in Habersham by Treva Bennett

Economic development

Lifestyle 34 HCT combines enjoyment, education

40 Welding hot in the job market by Don Fraser

by Kimberly Brown

Municipalities Alto 48 Baldwin 49 Clarkesville 50 Cornelia 51 Demorest 52 Mt. Airy 53 Tallulah Falls 54

Relocation Guide

Relocation Guide 54 ost ffices 54 Schools and Colleges 54 Recreation Guide 54 ecte fficia s 55 Emergency Contacts 55


Why Choose Habersham? 3 Fast Facts 62 Hospitals and Health Care 60 Habersham County Map 43 2014 Habersham County Festivals and Special Events 58 Church Directory 55


Business Directory 55 Index of Advertisers 62 5


Soque River is uniquely Habersham by E. Lane Gresham


he Soque River is synonymous with Habersham County. Its natural beauty is visible from scenic roadways and its reputation as a haven for trophy trout is

legendary. Its headwaters, in the Chattahoochee National Forest’s Tray Mountain wilderness area, 15 miles north of Clarkesville, erupt from a left and right fork, then merges into one waterway, south of state Route 356, in Batesville. The river flows for approximately 30 miles, through the county seat of Clarkesville, until it empties into the Chattahoochee River in the southeast corner of the county. The Soque River is the longest river and largest watershed area in the state of Georgia with headwaters and mouth located in one county, said Justin Ellis, executive director with the Soque River Watershed Assocation, a Clarkesville-based nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and protection of the Soque River watershed The river is important to Habersham County and the state for many reasons. “Virtually every individual in the county depends upon the waters of the Soque River Watershed for either their lives and/or their livelihoods,” Ellis said. As a source for 100 percent of the water for the cities of Clarkesville and Cornelia and partially for Demorest and Baldwin, and their customers [mixed with the Chattahoochee River], the river plays a life-sustaining role, Ellis said. The Soque is the northeastern most tributary of the Chattahoochee River, supplying

The ‘end’ of the Soque River, left, is shown where it blends with the Chatthoochee River. This photograph was taken on private property, located off state Route 105 in Demorest. Photo/ E.Lane Gresham

At the headwaters of the Soque River, evidence of a perennial spring, or a water source that is always present, is shown with the discovery of a Stone Casemaker, the larval stage of the caddisfly. This caddisfly is part of the Limnephilidae family. Photo/ E.Lane Gresham

an estimated one-sixth of the inflow to Lake Lanier, the primary drinking water supply for millions of Georgians in Metro Atlanta. As community stewards of the river, Habersham County can look to the Soque River as a “measure,” Ellis said. “If the waters in the Soque remain clean, or get cleaner, then we know we are acting as good stewards and our future generations will have clean water to drink from, play in and enjoy,” he said. “If, as the decades pass we have less clean and more polluted water, that’s a measure of how we as a community have failed to take care of the bounty this earth has given us. It’s a big responsibility and requires our attention and understanding before every action we take on the landscape. Every action on the land has an effect on our water.” Although the river is visible from many sites in the county, public access is limited to these areas: Sam Pitts Park [Clarkesville], the Clarkesville Greenway, Jackson Bridge, Mark of the Potter, Raper Creek Falls, Baker Branch and Tray Mountain. Much of the river is privately owned, with several fishing outfitters – including Brigadoon, BlackHawk FlyFishing and Fern Valley on the Soque – offering guided flyfishing experiences.

Areas of whitewater, any area of turbulence that breaks How do you say SOQUE? the water surface tension, are visible throughout the 30-mile <suh kwee> or <so kwee> stretch. The Soque River is classified Class I and II whitewater for The river is navigable, he said, bemuch of the upper Soque from Batescause of the whitewater and a relative ville to Clarkesville. lack of obstacles. Exceptions to this “This area is primarily known as are a large drop at the water intake for fly-fishing territory and very little the city of Clarkesville, and of course, boating occurs,” Ellis said. downed trees and debris that build up After the river passes through after storms. Clarkesville, it loses much of its gradiEllis said it is best to float the upper ent, Ellis said, except for a few notable Soque between two points above the and dramatic drops – Habersham dam, and then plan another trip for the Shoals is one [just above Habersham lower section below Habersham Mills Mills Lake] where boaters can experiDam, with a take out at Wildwood ence a 6- to 8-foot drop during high Outfitters on the Chattahoochee. water. Species thriving in the Soque The Shoals at Habersham Mills include 43 species of fish and the below the dam is another, he said. Elipitio mussel, discovered by Soque

Soque River Watershed fish species Banded sculpin Bandfin shiner Black redhorse Black crappie Blackbanded darter Bluefin stoneroller Bluegill Bluehead chub Brook trout Brown bullhead Brown trout

Central stoneroller Channel catfish Creek chub Gambusia Gizzard shad Golden shiner Greater jumprock Green sunfish Largemouth bass Longnose gar Rainbow trout

Redbreast sunfish Redear sunfish Redeye bass Shoal bass Snail bullhead Spotted bass Striped Bass Striped jumprock Threadfin shad Warmouth White bass

White crappie Yellowfin shiner Yellow perch Common carp White sucker Alabama hogsucker Chattahoochee sculpin Clear chub


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Partnership Coordinator Duncan Hughes approximately three years ago. “This is the first native mussel discovery in the Upper Chattahoochee Basin in about 50 years. In other words, there are no remaining native mussel populations in the Upper Chattahoochee watershed except for this one area in a small part of the Hazel Creek Watershed,” Ellis said. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources stocks rainbow trout in the river at Raper Creek and at Jackson Bridge, from March through Labor Day annually, he said. To learn more about the Soque River, visit the website for the Soque River Watershed Association at Also, save June 7 as a tentative date for the Soque River Festival, hosted by the SRWA.

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The source of the Soque River is generally located at the highest elevation of the middle prong of the left fork of the river. From there the river flows through the town of Clarkesville to its confluence with the Chattahoochee River. Shown, Soque Partnership Coordinator Duncan Hughes kneels on the side of Tray Mountain, where water was discovered on a group hike in February 2014. Photo/ E.Lane Gresham 8

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Farmer Brooks Franklin of Leah Lake Farms in Otto, N.C., second from left, watches Wilbanks Middle School students AJ Caudell, Connor Jordan and John Kinsey participate in a recent Farm to School taste test held at the school. Caudell is voting about whether he liked squash casserole best with or without onions, while Jordan tastes it and Kinsey waits his turn. Photo/ Kimberly Brown


Farm to School program thriving in Habersham County by Kimberly Brown


ow many teens and pre-teens eat vegetables such as kale, onions and squash? For the past year, students at Wilbanks Middle School have been tasting these vegetables and more, as part of the


Farm to School initiative. Next school year, that program will be expanded to North Habersham and South Habersham middle schools. Farm to School, sponsored by Georgia Organics, partners with local farmers to provide fresh, in-season, lo-

cal farm products prepared in a variety of ways. Once per month during the school year, students participate in taste tests and they are able to cast a vote as to whether they will try something again or not. Teri Hamlin of Georgia Organics

said the goals of Farm to School carrot, or they cut the lettuce, are threefold: to provide fresh they’re more likely to want to nutritious produce to students see what it tastes like,” Hamlin in the cafeteria; to provide said. educational opportunities which Another component of Farm increase student awareness; and to School is a mobile cooking to support local farmers. cart, which can be checked out During the first year of the by any teacher in the school, pilot Farm to School program at Hamlin said. “They pick a prodWMS, 10 local farmers grew 28 uct out of the garden and prepare different products, Hamlin said. it in the classroom. If it’s math, The purpose of the pilot is to see they might learn measuring. If which products were economiit’s English, they might cook it, cal for the school system and taste it and then write about it.” beneficial to the farmer. Nicole Trunk, WMS nutrition “Not only [to determine] manager, said the taste tests and what the school can afford, but student votes provide her with what can they handle in terms input as to what foods she can of taking in fresh produce and successfully add to the serving being able to store it, process it line. and cook it efficiently for mass “Within a week to 10 days numbers,” Hamlin said. [after a taste test], I bring the Of the 28 products, five were food out onto the [serving] line found to be advantageous for and serve it to them again,” she both farmer and school system, said. “And they remember they and will be purchased in bulk had it in the taste test. If it’s a next year: apples, yellow neck big hit, it becomes a regular squash, tomatoes, cucumbers item.” and cabbage. Several items have made the “From August, when the cut so far, Trunk said, including Wilbanks Middle School student Cole Brookshire students come back, through baked and mashed sweet potatastes squash casserole while farmer Brooks Frank- toes and kale chips. the month of December, all the apples for all the middle schools lin, owner of Leah Lake Farms in Otto, N.C., awaits WMS student Tristan Roberts will be purchased from the local his opinion during a recent Farm to School taste test said the taste tests are “yummy,” held at the school. WMS students participate in tests and he almost always goes back farmer,” Hamlin said. “As [the program] grows, you can see the of locally-grown produce once per month, and soon for seconds of the tested foods. North Habersham and South Habersham middle potential of serving all students Student Sagia Banford said she schools will also participate in taste tests. Photo/ with just those five products. believes it’s “good we get to try Kimberly Brown That would be a nice economic something new,” and she likes return for those farms.” that it’s the students who decide Another thing that gives students Hamlin said not only small organic whether a food is served on the cafete“ownership” of the food they eat is farms participate in Farm to School. ria line. having a school garden, Hamlin said. “We have safety farm practices that Student Kylie Hammonds said she The Farm to School program partnered farmers who are growing for schools has “always liked” most of the foods with North Georgia Technical College’s are required to meet but do not demand they’ve tested because she eats them horticulture department to build raised that farms be organic,” she said. “Very at home. “I like it because you have garden beds at WMS. few of our farms are ‘certified organic,’ healthy choices,” she said. WMS agriculture teacher Catrina but they do meet the standards of good Student Manida Sana said she has Pollard said Lowe’s also donated fruit agriculture practices.” tried things she never would have tried. trees, and a parent donated blueberry The taste tests provide student “I really never liked squash when I was bushes. buy-in, Hamlin said. “The value of little, but I tried it (at school) and it was “Although the snow, rain and other [taste tests] is they get to tell us their good,” she said. weather ailments have prevented us opinion,” she said. “It gives them These students exhibiting excitement from having a large harvest, we hope ownership in the whole process. We’ve about fresh, nutritious vegetables is we do better this summer,” Pollard said. had really good success with our taste what it’s all about. “We did harvest carrots in early January tests. It’s volunteer, and the numbers “I truly believe Farm to School is a before the snow.” have increased. Starting out, it was 200 wonderful program that encourages stuPollard said her agriculture classes kids out of about 600, now it’s 400 or dents to step outside their comfort zone have their own mini taste tests “using 500 who come up. And this is middle the stuff we grow in the gardens.” and try some foods that they would school, and there are some challenging “If a student grows it, and they dig have not otherwise tried,” Pollard said. up that potato, or they pull up that things going on with peer pressure.” 11

Joni Mabe, owner of the Loudermilk Boarding House Museum, featuring the Panoramic Encyclopedia of Everything Elvis, is the self-proclaimed â&#x20AC;&#x153;Queen of the King,â&#x20AC;? as expressed in her hand-decorated costumes. Pictured are Mabe and her adopted companion Sweetie. Photo/ Christina Santee


Everything Elvis Museum has Habersham ‘All Shook Up’ by Christina Santee


t’s Now or Never.” At least, that’s probably what the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself would say to those who haven’t visited the Loudermilk Boarding House Museum, featuring the Panoramic Encyclopedia of Everything Elvis. To an unsuspecting passer-by, the former Cornelia boarding house – listed on the National Register of Historic Places – offers no clue as to the secrets it holds inside. But if you listen closely at 271 Foreacre St., you may hear the faint whisper of an Elvis Presley song escaping the 106-year-old house. Many “Can’t Help Falling in Love” with the Loudermilk Boarding House Museum and Panoramic Encyclopedia of Everything Elvis, as Elvis enthusiast and owner Joni Mabe

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would understand. For Mabe, the late Presley is “Always On [Her] Mind,” dating her obsession with the King back to his Aug. 16, 1977, death. She was a 19-year-old college student at the time, whose preferences leaned toward Southern rock – Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band. “I was the only one around who suddenly became obsessed with Elvis Presley,” she laughed. “… His voice, mainly, is what I heard on the day he died. His gospel, stuff I hadn’t really listened to… I mean, I had heard ‘In the Ghetto’ and ‘Suspicious Minds,’ and stuff from the ‘70s, but I think it was his gospel that just, wow … his voice just knocked me out.” Built by Mabe’s great-grandparents Robert Lee and Callie Loudermilk in 1908, Mabe said the Loudermilk Boarding

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Mabe’s original artwork, House offered boarding to photographs, Elvis coltenants from 1916-80, “unlectibles and memorabilia til the last boarder moved are more prized relics, like out in 1980.” the “Maybe Elvis Toenail,” In the early to mid ‘90s, Elvis wart, hair and sweat. the house was restored, Mabe also possesses a and in 1999 she and Elvis piece of the shag carpet moved in, opening the from the Jungle Room, cardoors of the Everything pet from Elvis’ Graceland Elvis museum to the public. home, Elvis’ toe tag from Beforehand, Mabe said the funeral home and roses she took her love of Elvis, from his grave on the day of and what collection she his funeral. had at the time, across the “I’ve had people globe to show in galleries in wanting to clone the Hawaii, London, England, wart,” she said. “They Los Angeles, New York, wanted to get Elvis’ and “many of the Southern DNA to figure out exstates.” actly what killed him.” “I would take it to these But cloning Elvis high-brow museums that would be cruel, Mabe would have Renaissance art said, in more ways than and Rococo in one room one. and then one gallery there “I don’t want to clone would be my Elvis installahim, but then again if I tion,” she laughed. did clone him, I could Mabe toured with have him here when I Everything Elvis for 14 have the Elvis competiyears until settling down at tion,” she laughed. “He the Loudermilk Boarding could be the ultimate House in 1997, her home ETA (Elvis Tribute away from home when Artist) that would be she’s not in Athens. at the festival, but then “Elvis is just part of the the downside of it is, I family, you know,” she said. would be old enough “I can’t explain it.” to be his grandmother. Since then, 15,000-plus To clone Elvis, he’d be visitors have roamed the a little baby, and I’d be history-packed hallways of like a grandmother to the museum, which over the the baby, and I mean, I last 37 years have accuwant to be the girlfriend mulated more than 30,000 to Elvis, I don’t want to Elvis items, making it the be his grandmother.” largest in the world and most unique, acA “staircase to Elvis” invites cording to Roadtourists of the Loudermilk Boarding House Museum to the It’s also accredPanoramic Encyclopedia of Evited by Guinness erything Elvis, an upstairs filled World Records, with prized relics and original Mabe said. artwork belonging to owner Joni Hidden among Mabe. Photo/ Christina Santee 14

Known to fans as the Big E Festival, Mabe began hosting the event – complete with an ETA Competition, vendors and museum tours – in 1999, and for 10 years it attracted hundreds of visitors, even the support of local sponsors. “But I’m thinking about Aug. 1 and 2 of this year to have the 11th annual Big E Festival,” she said. The Everything Elvis

museum will open to the public from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. every Friday and Saturday beginning the weekend of June 6-7. The museum will remain open each weekend, and by appointment during the week, through October. No blue suede shoes required. For more information, find Loudermilk Boarding House Museum on Facebook.




In an effort to build diversity in Northeast Georgia, the Alliance for African American Music in Northeast Georgia has continued its quest for unity through song, by hosting an annual celebration of music. Shown, clockwise from top left, Randy Hatcher, a member of the Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church choir, performing at the 23rd annual AAAM Celebration at Cornelia First United Methodist Church; 2014 art contest winners, Jasmine Williamson, left, first place, and Brandy Moody, right, second place, AAAM member Amy Bell; Piedmont Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Haystack Society Choir. Photos/ Kimberly Brown


Alliance for African-American Music unifies community through song by Christina Santee


hrough the efforts of the Alliance for African-American Music in Northeast Georgia, varying ethnicities present in Habersham County, year after year, have continued to come together through music for the better of their community. Established in 1990, the AAAM – over the past 23 years – has remained strong in encouraging unity within the community, and changed lives as a result. At its annual Celebration of Music, the AAAM seeks unity through song.

Approaching its 24th year, AAAM Chairwoman Ann Nicely said the event’s purpose is just as meaningful as ever, and for several reasons. “One, it’s about unity and bringing people together – white, black, no matter what your ethnic group is,” Nicely said. “Two, because music is a universal language that brings us all together.” Planning for the annual event first began in 1990 at Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church in Clarkesville, Nicely said, with the Rev. Julian M. Lachicotte, former rector at Grace-Calvary. “He had been brought up around


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blacks and he liked the Negro spirituals, so he decided, in order for us to break from racial tensions, we could do it through music,” she said. Cornelia United Methodist Church Director of Music Ministries and organist Bill Loyd, a former AAAM chairman and current committee member, said the competence for organizing the group came from Mariam Thacker, a former organist and choir director at Grace-Calvary. “Mariam died several years ago, but she was the ringleader; the person behind organizing [the celebration],”

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Loyd said. Nicely said Lachicotte [and Thacker] then approached the Rev. Terry McCreary at Shady Grove Baptist Church in Cornelia, with a proposal to combine their choral efforts in a celebration of sorts, formerly known as the “African American Celebration of Music.” “… They got together and pulled their choirs together,” she said, and in 1991, the first celebration was held at Shady Grove. Its theme: “Afro-American Folk Music.” Loyd said it was through the African American Celebration of Music, now known as the AAAM’s Celebration of Music, the community has been able to celebrate “the history of African-American music and its impact on churches of the South today, and all over [the U.S.].” “I think it’s reinforced the fact that basically, we’re one and the same,” he said. “We have the same needs, the same hopes for the future, and if we can continue to do events like this to celebrate music that brings us together instead of separates us, it can’t do anything but help the future.” After its introduction in the early ‘90s, the music celebration returned a second year, Nicely said, with the theme, “Black History Musical Celebration.” The AAAM has continued to recruit local choirs and talent to perform at the annual event. “Every year [since], we either had a guest or we’ve had local people to sing and it has really gone over quite well,” she said. Nicely reiterated in the beginning, the music celebration served to “mainly to bring the races together for unity.” “To make sure that old, Negro spirituals didn’t get lost

somewhere. …” she said. From Shady Grove Baptist, the AAAM moved its third program, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” to the Piedmont College campus, where Nicely said it “lasted 12 celebrations [years].” From there, the celebration relocated to Cornelia United Methodist Church, to Shady Grove, to Level Grove Baptist Church and back again to CUMC, where it’s been held consecutively for the “past three or four years.” After its establishment, the AAAM then began awarding the Lachicotte-Strickland Scholarship to qualifying music students at Piedmont College, named for Julian Lachicotte and the Rev. G.B. Strickland, former pastor of Shady Grove Baptist. Loyd said the Lachicotte-Strickland Scholarship has since benefitted 10-plus students at Piedmont, several of whom have received it all four years of their college career. “Anybody that’s majoring in music,” Nicely said. “So far, we’ve been giving it to Piedmont [students], but we’ve been trying to reach out to other colleges.” Nicely said financing through local churches and businesses, and a love offering held at the celebration, have helped fund both the event and scholarship efforts. Currently, the scholarship benefits only minority students, Nicely confirmed, approximately $1,500 with a 100-percent match offered by Piedmont. “Usually we choose from about three to four students each year, and we do get recommendations from Piedmont of students there” in need, she said. A past recipient of the Lachicotte-Strickland Scholarship, Portia Burns, alumna of Piedmont College, class of 2010, said, “While attending Piedmont, I was able to pay for my educa-

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tion, with no student loan debt, due to scholarships such as the Lachicotte-Strickland minority scholarship.” Burns said from her sophomore to senior years at Piedmont, scholarship funds helped curb costs of textbooks, housing and even her meal plan. “Going to a private school, such as Piedmont, was made possible through this scholarship and others alike,” she said. After receiving her Bachelor Photo/ Kimberly Brown of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from Piedmont, Burns then said she attended Brenau University to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. “Two months after receiving my second degree, I was interviewed and hired at Gainesville Middle School as the choral director, where I am currently involved in my second year,” she said. Burns said it is also her fourth year as adjunct professor of music at Brenau University, where she is in charge of the gospel choir. “Through all my success, I will never forget the [AAAM] committee for helping me with my college foundation, and allowing my education to be something I can carry throughout my career.” Piedmont College Associate Dean of Fine Arts and Profes-

sor of Music Chairman Dr. C. Wallace “Wally” Hinson said since its inception, the LachicotteStrickland Scholarship has helped qualifying students better afford their desired education. “Since its inception, we’ve been offering that to one student per year and typically, it will stay with that student their entire college career,” Hinson said. He said the scholarship has allowed focused students to reach the goals they set for themselves early in their academic careers. “It’s certainly nice to have as much scholarship opportunity for deserving students as we can, particularly in light of new economic pressures on families, that we can provide some help for students who need and deserve it.” Having participated with the AAAM for 22 years, Loyd described the music celebration in Habersham County as “uniquely ours.” “The fact it brings people with different backgrounds together with a similar cause, you don’t see that happening a lot and I think that’s an important thing for us to try and perpetuate,” he said.

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Established 1936




Tallulah Falls School, Georgia Federation of Women’s Clubs, have ‘deep ties’ by Kimberly Brown


allulah Falls School has a long and rich connection to the Georgia Federation of Women’s Clubs. In fact, the school was established in 1909 by Mary Ann Rutherford Lipscomb, founder of the Athens Woman’s Club, part of the GFWC. The school was built with $2,500 raised by the GFWC, on land donated by Sara White. 20

Dinah Peevy, wife of current TFS President Larry Peevy, researched and wrote a nomination for Lipscomb to be named a Georgia Woman of Achievement, which she was in 2010. Part of that research included Lipscomb’s role in founding TFS, which came from her opposition to child labor and her pursuit of compulsory education for Georgia’s children. Lipscomb, a widow, had a cottage in Tallulah Falls,

In the mid-1940s, Georgia voted each county should have its own public school system, Peevy said. At that time, Habersham County pulled away from TFS, but Rabun County continued to contribute. In the 1970s, Rabun County finally ceased to support the school. At that time, TFS became a boarding school, and “was pretty much a tuition-driven school, but the women continued to support it as they could,” Peevy said. Each club still contributes to the school in some way, Peevy said, including a project chosen by the GFWC president and the junior director for their two-year terms. The current president has worked to raise money for new lockers in the high school. The junior director has raised money for flags to be flown on the campus. Many clubs also proShown left, women from a long-past woman’s club visit vide a “perpetual Tallulah Falls School, most likely in the 1940s. TFS was scholarship” to the founded in 1909 by Mary Ann Rutherford Lipscomb, school. founder of the Athens Woman’s Club, part of the One Atlanta Georgia Federation of Women’s Clubs. The school has Woman’s Club maintained strong ties with GFWC, and various clubs member, Lucy still conduct fundraisers and have yearly visits to TFS. Willard, donates Photo/Submitted and she realized how desperately the mountain children needed education. The GFWC founded five schools in Georgia, but Tallulah Falls School is the only school still operational, Peevy said. “Each of these schools was founded, not for [GFWC members] to keep, but for them to get them going and give them to the local board of education,” Peevy said. “Tallulah Falls School was founded as a county line school, so it served students from both Rabun and Habersham counties.” Peevy said, as a public school, TFS was mainly supported by the school systems of Rabun and Habersham counties, though GFWC continued to provide some support. A men’s group also contributed to the school, she said.

“a very large amount of money every year,” Peevy said, and TFS’s middle school is named for her. Willard’s donations include “seed money” for the equine program and funds for updated biology and chemistry labs. Each woman’s club and each district has a TFS representative and the GFWC state office is located on the TFS campus. The clubs do large and small projects, as they are able. A recent project of the Atlanta Woman’s Club was the Lipscomb Cottage renovation. That cottage is now used for special visitors, including lecturers, dignitaries and women’s club officials, Peevy said. The Gordon Woman’s Club, a very small club, does a special spaghetti dinner fundraiser each year. “They’re just a small club, but they raise hundreds of dollars,” Peevy said. “I think they’re wonderful.” Other projects include new hymn books for the chapel, gifts for students, decorative and functional outside pole lights, supplies for art projects, furnishings for dorms, funding wireless computer upgrades, room renovations and new entrance signs


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for the school. Gewene Womack has been a Cartersville Woman’s Club member for 37 years and was on the GFWC board “for many, many years.” Womack said her club has fundraisers to support the school, and they send gifts to the Juniorettes, a GFWC chapter for young women 12-18 years old. “[TFS] has come a long way since Mrs. Lipscomb,” Womack said. “And it’s come a long way since the Peevys have come. Both of them equally have worked hard [at the school].” “There’s still a strong connection and kinship” between GFWC members and TFS, Peevy said. “There’s just so many positive things with our relationship with each other. I think it’s beneficial both ways. The women come up and have lunch in the cafeteria. I’ll tell the Juniorettes to go up and say hello. The ladies just love it. Their caring and their support for the school make it such a strong bond.” Larry Peevy agrees. “As I’ve read the history of Tallulah Falls School, I’ve learned what a blessing it was for Mary Ann Lipscomb to have a cottage in Tallulah Falls,” he said. “Without her support, there probably would not be a Tallulah Falls School, and many of the children of the mountains of Northeast Georgia would not have received the education she developed for them.” Womack said there is “just a love” between TFS and GFWC. “I don’t think the Federation will ever stop loving the school. When you go and see how much progress these kids have made, what the school has done for them makes us proud. I think that is our heritage.”

Tallulah Falls School Dunwoody Woman’s Club. Photo/Submitted

Tallulah Falls School Stone Mountain Woman’s Club. Photo/Submitted




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The Student Commons is currently under construction at Piedmont College in Demorest. The $14 million project is slated to be completed in early spring of 2015. Special/Beck Design


Piedmont is getting a new “living room”


by Megan Studdard

he new Student Commons building, a two-story, 58,000-square-foot complex, will serve as Piedmont College’s central hub when it opens in early 2015. Piedmont College President James Mellichamp described the new building as the campus’s living room, a location that will connect the residential and athletic area of campus to the academic side, “bringing everybody together in one place.” Students will enjoy new spaces for dining, recreation and study when the Student Commons opens. The center will house a dining hall, 24-hour cyber café, fitness center and rock-climbing wall, as well as study areas and offices for student affairs and student government. “In my visits to other colleges, I have not seen a facility that will compare to the scope of opportunities that we’re going to have under one roof here,” Mellichamp said. An after-hours branch office for campus police will also be housed inside the Student Commons. Public access to the Student Commons will be limited. Food service areas, including the dining hall and cyber café, will be open to members of the community, as well as the Barnes and Noble bookstore and a banquet facility. The conference and banquet facility will provide a potential event venue to local organizations, replacing the college’s current banquet room, Brookside Dining Room, on “a grander scale,” Mellichamp said. The new conference center will be more modern and easier to locate. “Access to the space is going to be a lot easier,” Mellichamp said. “Finding your way to Brookside now is like looking for a needle in a haystack if you’re not familiar with the college campus.” 26

James Mellichamp, president of Piedmont College. Photo/ Megan Studdard

The conference and banquet area will be located on the building’s second floor, “overlooking the wetlands, which is a very attractive view,” Mellichamp said. Amenities include projection screens and other technology, making the space viable for conferences, parties, meetings, presentations and more. The space also has the potential for multiple events. “It will be like you see in big hotels or convention areas where it can be subdivided from one big space into smaller spaces,” Mellichamp said. These new facilities are not expected to bring job opportunities to Habersham County, Mellichamp said, since the Student Commons will bring existing operations together. The need for a new facility on campus comes from Piedmont’s recent growth. According to Mellichamp, the college has focused on expanding the residential population, adding three new dormitories in the past five years. “We knew that we weren’t going to continue to meet the needs of all of our students with our existing buildings, particularly Nielsen Dining Hall,” Mellichamp said. “It’s not large enough to serve the current number of students

Students will be able to enjoy a new dining facility, complete we have, with self-serve, buffet-style options, in Piedmont College’s especially at new Student Commons building. Other dining options peak times in include a 24-hour cyber cafe, as well as a conference and the middle of banquet hall open to the community. Special/Beck Design the day. It’s not what I Hall, but determined that was not the would expect best option due to cost and the building’s if I were a student coming to a college location. today.” “We decided that building a new Mellichamp said administrators facility somewhere else on campus was a discussed expanding Nielsen Dining



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building is finished, we will be able to secure [the] gifts that we need to put the finishing touches on it,” Mellichamp said. Beck Design, an architectural firm based in Tulsa, Okla., was chosen as the architect for the project. “Beck Design … was already working with us on planning for a new music building, and I was impressed by their level of interest, not just in the project, but also in the college,” Mellichamp said. Mellichamp noted their outside experience will make the facility unique. “It might be a good thing [to have]

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an architect from outside this immediate area design the facility for us so that it really [doesn’t] look like something you might find on another college campus in north Georgia,” he said. The exterior of the Student Commons is designed to have a very modern look. According to Mellichamp, the complex will also feature digital signage throughout. “[The Student Commons] is going to be a signature facility, not just in the way it functions, but also in its visual attractiveness,” Mellichamp said. The building’s attractiveness will both recruit and retain students for Piedmont, Mellichamp said. “There will be a ‘wow factor’ for anybody who sees the Commons or goes into it.” he said. For current students, the new building’s impact will be “pretty dramatic,” Mellichamp said. “I think it’s going to have an enormous impact on the students who are here to help us keep them here.” “I believe [the Student Commons] is going to transform student life on campus in a very positive way,” he said. “[The grand opening] can’t happen soon enough.” ♦


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better option,” he said. When the new Student Commons opens, Nielsen Dining Hall will transform into academic space. Before construction began, Piedmont had to find a way to finance the $14 million project and choose an architect. The college took out a $10 million loan from Community Bank & Trust, which will pay about two-thirds of the project cost, Mellichamp said. Piedmont will pay back the loan over a 10-year period. “We took advantage of historicallylow interest rates,” Mellichamp said. “The college qualified for some tax-free bonds, which is a special category of a loan available for nonprofit institutions like Piedmont.” The remaining $4 million will come from outside donors. Mellichamp is working with Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer John Misner, as well as Vice President for Advancement Amy Amason, to secure the additional funds. They are targeting both individuals and foundations in the fundraising effort. “I think we’re closing in on [the $4 million], and certainly, by the time the

The only medical center in northeast Georgia awarded the 2013 GHA Circle of Excellence... yours. Throughout the state of Georgia, only eight medical centers have earned Georgia Hospital Association’s 2013 Circle of Excellence. For our community, this award is especially significant: Habersham Medical Center is the only northeast Georgia hospital chosen by GHA to receive this honor for outstanding performance in Quality and Patient Safety.

Left to right: Earl V. Rogers, GHA president; Kelly Allen, director of the HMC Family Birth Center; Cindy Turner, GHA chair; Teri Newsome, HMC director of quality and patient safety officer and Michael Gay, HMC Chief Operating Officer

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Recreation options at play in Habersham by Zack Myers


abersham County is full of great amenities open and available for public or private use. Many of these facilities are housed and operated under the Habersham County Parks and Recreation’s authority. “As a rec department, we offer the public leisure, athletic and fitness programs,” said Fenton Morris, director of the Habersham County Parks and Recreation Department. “We offer programs that are directly ran by the rec department itself and programs that are ran by our partners that we facilitate and they use our grounds.” Programs offered by the rec department include tackle and flag football, as well as cheerleading in the fall. In the winter, youth basketball is operated under the HCRD. It offers a girls volleyball program just after basketball season. When spring rolls around, it offers a spring basketball program as well as track and field, which will

The lap pool, which is maintained by the Habersham County Parks and Recreation Department, is utilized by the Habersham County School swim teams, Tallulah Falls School swim teams, the Habersham Rapids youth swim team and the Habersham Hurricanes for practices and hosting meets. It is also open for public use. Photo/Emily Thomas

begin its second year in 2014. Running from spring to summer, swimming lessons will be available. There is also a year-round gymnastics program that is operated under the umbrella of the HCRD. The county

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adopted the program after the Toccoa YMCA shut down, leaving the program looking for a place to practice and call home. The gymnastics program will host a summer camp

alongside a separate camp hosted by the HCRD. The rec department boasts nearly 20 different facilities, almost all of which can be rented for personal or private use.

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706.865.3420 706.778.2136 The Habersham County gymnastics program, housed at the Old Clarkesville Mill facility, is a newly-acquired program for the county and the Habersham County Parks and Recreation Department. Photo/Emily Thomas

and an aerobics room. Those amenities are solely located within or behind the Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center. Also, the rec department maintains two lighted soccer fields, Diamond Memorial baseball complex, the Dewey Tench pavilion, cattle rink

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The list of facilities includes two pools, two basketball gyms, four lighted tennis courts, two lighted football fields, a full-size baseball field, two adult-sized softball fields and a regulation-size softball field, as well as the Total Fitness gym

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Georgia Soccer Association, physical therapy. and barns, and the gymnasHabersham County Little Habersham County tics center. League, Habersham County School swim teams also The gymnastics center is Church League Softball and have access to the pool for the only facility that cannot its teams’ swim seasons. be rented. Habersham Medical Center. Tallulah Falls School has this Along with renting NGSA handles all soccer luxury for its teams. the fields, pools, gyms or for the rec department and Two other swim teams, courts, community members uses its facilities, but is a the Rapids youth swim team also have the luxury of utiseparate entity. HCLL is and Hurricanes youth swim lizing the rec department’s over all baseball and softball contract services, such as tennis lessons, karate, Tai Chi, Qigong and water aerobics classes. “We are also looking, this year, at starting up a travel [baseball] tournament program,” Morris said. The Habersham County Parks and Recreation Depart“We have ment maintains four tennis courts, two football fields, three dates a full-size baseball field, a regulation-size softball already field and two adult softball fields behind its Ruby C. where we’re Fulbright Aquatic Center. The fields are available for going to public use or rent. Photo/Emily Thomas host travel ball tournaments. We’re working with a team team, have access to the at the youth level. During right now that rents one of pool, as well. the spring, the Habersham our fields at our facilities All four swim programs County Church League Softthat is going to assist us in use the Ruby C. Fulbright ball organization puts on its bringing teams where we Aquatic Center pools for season of adult softball. can host weekend tournapractices and host meets Habersham Medical ments.” there. Center operates a gym called The rec department has HCRD has recently Total Fitness. HMC also partnerships with the North implemented new rates for utilizes the pool for aquatic

the use of the pool, which has resulted in use and revenue increases, according to Friends of the Pool representative Bruce Hollowell. “Since December, when the new rates went in [effect], pool usage has gone up substantially,” Hollowell said. “As has pool revenue.” Hollowell said he tries to swim from 6-7:30 a.m. at least three days a week. Over the last few years he has been able to enjoy the company of just two or three others on his morning swims on a regular basis. More recently, he said, he is “seeing eight, 10, 12 people” there before 7:15 a.m. “Things are really looking up.” “The board of commissioners has before them a series of improvements to the department of recreation facilities and pool area, including locker rooms and [the] pool deck,” Hollowell said. “We hope to see [them] get accomplished before year-end.” ♦

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Alison Singer, Justin Dudkiewicz, Steve Grizzard and Patrick Scheib perform in the Habersham Community Theatre production of "The 39 Steps," a spoof of the master of mystery, Alfred Hitchcock. HCT produces six regular shows per season, as well as several "special shows," including music, one-act plays and adult-themed shows. Photo/Kimberly Brown


Habersham Community Theatre combines enjoyment, education


or more than 30 years, Habersham Community Theatre, located in the historic Habersham Theater at 1370 Washington St., in Clarkesville, has been delighting local audiences with 34

by Kimberly Brown

main stage plays, musicals and special events. Lynda and Bob Smith have been involved with HCT since about 1990. Lynda Smith said HCT began as a group of community members who helped

Habersham Central High School with plays and musicals. “This group of community members enjoyed it so much, they decided they’d start a group of their own and they were incorporated in, I believe, 1982,” she

said. Smith said the early HCT group “had no home of their own,” so they used the stages of HCHS, Piedmont College and Tallulah Falls School, among other venues. “But in 1999, we purchased the building we have now, the Historic Habersham Theater [in Clarkesville],” she said. “Things started really going very well. That really made a difference, when we got a home of our own.” Smith credits local artist John Kollock with designing the current renovation of the historic theater, which was done in 2004. In September 2013, HCT began a drive to “retire the mortgage” on the building by raising $50,000 in one year. At the current rate of payments, it would have taken eight more years before

the mortgage was paid Habersham Community Theatre players Barbara Grizzard and Ben Cusato appear in the HCT prooff, according to HCT duction of “Boeing, Boeing,” a fast-paced adult Treasurer Steven Grizcomedy written by Marc Camoletti. For more than zard and President Justin 30 years, HCT has produced a variety of plays and Dudkiewicz. special events for the community’s enjoyment. Grizzard reports, “So Photo/Kimberly Brown far with half our fiscal year gone, we are just in action.” about exactly on budget for our goal of Regarding some of the adult-themed $50,000 to retire the mortgage, having productions, Dudkiewicz said, “The collected and have pledged a little over purpose of shows like ‘Avenue Q’ and $24,000. The next six months will see ‘Rocky Horror’ is to draw younger audia greater and more visible push to get ences. For the theater to remain sustainus over the finish line. With everyone’s able, we have to do things that younger help, we’ll certainly get there.” people are going to want to come see.” Dudkiewicz said HCT puts on six If someone is interested in being main stage productions during the year, involved in the theater, “they just show along with “special events.” Those up,” Smith said. “We announce our include music shows, one-act plays, auditions in the newspaper and on the Broadway revues and adult-themed website.They can call the theater and shows such as “The Rocky Horror say they’re interested. There’s so many Show” and “Avenue Q,” sometimes people involved in each show that we’re called “Sesame Street for adults” bealways looking for new people, not only cause it involves puppets. on the stage but for background: buildHCT’s purpose is “enjoyment for ing sets, directing, lights, sound, making the community,” but, Dudkiewicz said, costumes, the whole nine yards.” “we’re also an educational theater, so For newcomers to the community, we encourage development of the arts, Dudkiewicz said, “Always support your [things like] paintings or set design. local arts, whether it’s theatre or pottery Right now, we’re trying to partner more or whatever. Definitely give [HCT] a try. with our school system. Two years ago We’re friendly people and we love new we took the ‘Diary of Anne Frank’ [to faces. If there’s something you’d enjoy the schools] and this year we’re trying to doing, then come be part of our theater do ‘Twelve Angry Men’ at the schools. family. Or just come see a show.” We partner with shows and the curricuFor more information about HCT, lum the schools have, to bring theatre including upcoming productions and to the students and to give them the audition calls, see opportunity to see what they’re studying or call 706-839-1315. ♦ 35

Kristen Fish, Bianca Hubble and Laura Pirkle, Habersham MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) members, try a paraffin hand treatment during spa day at Habersham MOPS. Spa day is held once a year at MOPS, and is one of many programs the young mothers attend. MOPS is an international program to connect young mothers “to a community of women, in their own neighborhoods, who meet together to laugh, cry and embrace the journey of motherhood.” Habersham MOPS meets at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Clarkesville, 9:30-11:30 a.m., the first and third Fridays of each month. Childcare is provided. Photo/Kimberly Brown


MOPS provides fellowship for moms


by Kimberly Brown

oung mothers don’t need to feel alone and overwhelmed. Habersham MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) provides love, support and fellowship for mothers of young children. MOPS is an international organization which, according to, “believes moms are world influencers.” The group “connects moms all over the world to a community of women, in their own neighborhoods, who meet together to laugh, cry and embrace the journey of motherhood.” 36

Habersham MOPS meets at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Clarkesville, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on the first and third Fridays of each month, and is open to women from surrounding counties. Childcare is provided while the mothers eat, fellowship and have a program. Merideth Shaw is responsible for bringing a MOPS chapter to Habersham County about six years ago. “I had been a part of MOPS in Buford when I was a new mother,” Shaw said. “The only way I ever met anyone was

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through that MOPS group. I went from feeling completely isolated and alone to not only finding friends within the group, but getting spiritual encouragement.” She said, when she moved to Habersham County a year later, “I didn’t know anyone. I just felt led to bring [MOPS] here as a way to reach out to moms and minister to moms.” The Habersham MOPS chapter has “grown every year,” Shaw said. “I think it really has tied the community together. Most of our moms are not from Habersham County originally. A lot of times when you move into a small community, everybody’s already got their friends and connections, so for people who aren’t from here, especially, it’s a great way to get to know people.” MOPS also gets women and children to church, when they otherwise might not be able to come, Shaw said. “Their family may not come to church, but the mom is here getting devotions and ministered to by the mentor moms, and the children are getting Bible lessons, too,” she said. “The whole thing is based on relationship evangelism, which is establishing trust and friendship and building upon that. The Gospel is presented twice a year, so God’s work is shared, but it’s comfortable.” In addition to fellowship with their peers, Habersham MOPS members enjoy friendships with “mentor moms” – mothers whose children are older and who can provide a special kind of love and support. Marty Thurmond, Shaw’s aunt, is one of those mentor moms. “I will tell you from my heart how important this is for young mothers,” Thurmond said. “Sometimes they feel isolated when they first have a baby, or when they have young children. They


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think they’re the only person going through this.” Thurmond said MOPS mothers “encourage one another during this really hard stage they’re going through.” “The most important thing MOPS does is introduce Jesus into their lives, or encourage their relationships with God, as a young mother and where they’re at right now,” Thurmond said. “I love getting to know the younger ladies. Sometimes they have questions. Sometimes the mentor moms may say things they’ve never thought about, because we were there once, and we know what they’re going through. We can sympathize or empathize with them. It’s not just giving advice. It’s being a friend.” Sarah Higgins was a MOPS member for several years, and now that her children are 6 and 9, she’s one of the younger mentor moms. “They wanted a mom of younger children to be a mentor mom, someone who wasn’t so far out of the toddler years,” Higgins said. “As a mentor mom, we’re there to answer questions, to encourage the moms that ‘this too shall pass’ and these things that seem so hard will quickly be gone and you’ll actually miss them. If they need anything or if anything were to happen, we’re there to give support and encouragement.” As a MOPS member, Higgins said, she started when her youngest was 8 weeks old. “It was a place to get away and talk to other moms that were in the same place that I was,” she said. “We could laugh and commiserate about things which were going on, gain information. There are different speakers who talk about parenting and relationships. It is helpful.” Higgins wholeheartedly believes in the MOPS mission. “It’s a very needed ministry in this community,” she said. “There’s so much commonality there, even though [the moms] are in different places in life. It’s a neat place to find friendships and learn from each other.” ♦

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already in the industry. Industry appreciation for NGTC and its facilities is such, Thaxton said, that welding unions use NGTC facilities to skill test prospective employees. “There is a lot of interest in NGTC’s welding program,” Thaxton said. “There is a lot of activity in the field.” The NGTC welding program’s basic core curriculum includes subjects such as math, hand and power tools, construction drawings, basic rigging, material handling and communication and employability skills. Level 1 education introduces students to the welding basics such as welding safety, joint fit and line up, metal preparation and equipment. Curriculum at Level 2 Nicole Witherell is just one of a number of female students who have taken advantage of North Georgia Technical College’s welding program. Three women are enrolled in the spring 2014 semester. “There has been as many as five, but at least one enrolled,” said Sandra Maughon, public relations director. “They have wonderful job potential” upon graduating from the program. Photo/Submitted

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orth Georgia Technical College provides an array of disciplines allowing its students to step onto a career path. One of the most successful in recent years is its welding program. “It is one of the fastest growing” education segments at NGTC, said President Gail Thaxton. “It is very robust.” Thaxton credits the success of the program to the college “staying plugged into what the industry needs.” And what the electrical power industry needed was welders for construction of Plant Vogtle and other new nuclearpowered electricity generating plants. In the past few years NGTC has upgraded its program, including building a new welding lab in which 100 students can be instructed and work at individual stations. “NGTC held the ribbon cutting for its new welding instruction lab in October 2011,” Thaxton said. She lauded program Director Ronnie Ayers. “His students are getting jobs,” Thaxton said. Instruction by Ayers is by someone who is not only an instructor, but a master trainer for a welding accrediting agency, Thaxton said. He not only teaches students, he also trains others


welding as a career,” Thaxton said. Locally, even with no nuclear plants requiring the most sophisticated training, there is still demand for welders. Automobile technology shops often In addition to welding together pieces of metal, North want their Georgia Technical College students learn a range of metal employees to handling, treating and cutting procedures. This horizontal have training in bandsaw is used to cut metal. Photo/Submitted welding, ensuring they have a “We are in a good place” with the multifaceted skill set. Light manufacturwelding program, Thaxton said. “We ing also has need for skilled welders, have a strong, outstanding faculty.” Thaxton said. And “there is an uptick in the economy, “It really spans the gamut,” Thaxton creating demand” for more graduates. said, with NGTC turning out “tradiFor more information about NGTC, tional welders to those nuclear plant visit ♦ certified.”



focuses on other specialty knowledge including welding detail drawings, physical and mechanical properties of metals, pre- and post-heating of metal. The level of welding sophistication escalates at Level 3 with various forms of pipe welding instruction with handson experience with both carbon steel and stainless steel pipes. Advance welding study includes learning to weld aluminum pipe and plate. “I’ve been a full-time teacher for 13 years,” Ayers said. “When I came here I had 20 students. At the beginning of this semester, I had 90 students.” The growth in the number of students “has a lot to do with jobs” and how the program has grown in addressing industry needs, Ayers said. “We’re placing 90 percent of our students.” The more difficult welding jobs, with need for greater skill, receive the highest pay, Ayers said. Some welders in Georgia’s coastal nuclear plants receive $25 per hour. “The elite” who perform the more difficult pipe welding jobs can earn $35 per hour, according to Ayers. “We are working with the high schools to promote students considering


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Worshipping in Habersham by Treva Bennett


he roots of faith run long and deep in Habersham County and its 100-plus churches continue to bear fruit. Some churches predate the founding of the county while others have been meeting for a relatively short time. There are many different denominations throughout the county, each with a distinctive interpretation of faith. Worship services in many churches have changed over the years, with some congregations favoring a more contemporary service while others find comfort in a traditional structure. Regardless of age, denomination or type of


service, they all work for a common purpose – to share the Gospel and allow people to come together and worship God. Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Hollywood is not only the oldest Methodist church in Habersham County, but one of the oldest churches. Established in 1818, the church is located on Historic Highway 441 near the Talmadge Drive intersection. The Rev. Richard Pletsch is in his sixth year as pastor of Ebenezer UMC. He also serves as director of Victory Home in Tallulah Falls, a facility to help men overcome alcohol and/or drug addiction. Pletsch said Ebenezer offers a blended wor-

Left, Ebenezer United Methodist Church, located in Hollywood, proclaims itself as a church “with a warm heart.” The Rev. Richard Pletsch, pastor, says the congregation is very loving. Right, The Torch Worship Center, located on a 73-acre campus in Demorest, has a vision “to see souls saved, hurts healed and disciples developed,” according to Pastor Mike Franklin. Photos/Emily Thomas

ship service. The church has a large number of young couples so it offers contemporary aspects but tends to lean more toward traditional service, he said. Sunday School begins at 10 a.m. with worship following at 11 a.m. Wednesdays feature a covered dish supper at 6 p.m. followed by programs for youth and adults. The church is a member of the UMC Connectional Group, comprised of eight churches in the county who meet in support of the Food 2 Kids Program. Food 2 Kids provides meals and snacks each weekend to previously identified children while school is in session. The money raised by the Methodist Connectional sponsors Habersham County school children. Pletsch said the need for the Food 2 Kids program is more than eight churches can handle. “We alone are not able to

support the entire need so we will reach out to other churches in the county and make it an ecumenical effort,” he said. The church also has a women’s group which visits nursing homes on a regular basis, but most of its congregation’s involvement in the community is through individual efforts, Pletsch said. “We are a church with a warm heart,” he said. “This is a very loving group of people.” Ebenezer UMC welcomes visitors and sees quite a few from Apple Mountain Resort, located nearby. “We get a lot of people from the condominiums visiting on Sundays,” Pletsch said. “We smother them with love,” he said, laughing. “People feel very welcome when they come here.” Making visitors feel welcome is also something The Torch Worship Center in Demorest

strives to do with its VIP visitors’ program. “Our philosophy is we are experience driven,” said Pastor Mike Franklin. “Disney doesn’t sell Mickey Mouse, it sells an experience. We want to be an experience. … We try to offer a VIP treatment for visitors.” When Baldwin Church of God moved to Demorest in 2005, it became The Torch Worship Center and has the largest congregation in the county. Average Sunday morning attendance is 1,300. Franklin said probably 2,500 people consider The Torch their home. Located on a 73-acre campus, the church offers contemporary services and is very focused on Bible-based proclamations and biblical opinions, Franklin said. The Torch is “an evangelical,

Bible-based community of believers who focus on the proclaimed word of God … through contemporary praise and worship and prayer,” he said. “Our vision … we are here to see souls saved, hurts healed and disciples developed … it’s a threefold approach … It’s why we feed 17,000 families a year. It’s why we do what we do,” Franklin said. The Torch offers two Sunday services, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.; Wednesdays at 7 p.m.; and specialty services during the week, such as programs for women, youth, teens, middle schoolers and more. Having programs available to children is important to The Torch, which recently built an addition for children’s programs. “We realized a need when there wasn’t enough

room for children attending services on Sunday,” Franklin said. The addition was built with the perspective of using it seven days a week, hence the plan to open a school on the church campus. “We want to impact the youngsters coming up,” Franklin said, “that they will have a biblical world

view.” The Torch Christian Academy offers classes for children in kindergarten through third grade. Small or large, contemporary or traditional, old or new, Habersham County has much to offer to those looking for an opportunity to gather and worship. ♦

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riginally called Lulah City, Alto was incorporated in 1895, and the name is derived from an Italian word for “High.” Alto lies partially in Habersham and partially in Banks County. One square mile in size and 1,395 feet above sea level, it has a population of approximately 1,162 [2012] people. Alto is home to Lee Arrendale State Prison and adjacent to the 2,800-acre Wilson Shoals Wildlife Management Area for hunting, fishing, hiking, bird watching


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he city of Baldwin was incorporated Dec. 17, 1896, on 250 acres along the Banks/ Habersham County line, resting on the Appalachian Continental Divide and was originally known as Stonepile because of a large pile of stones that once stood in the center of town. The stone structure was erected and left behind by the Cherokee Indians who once roamed these lands in abundance. The stone piling’s significance to the Cherokee and why they left it remains a mystery and is now forever lost.

Baldwin was named after Joseph A. Baldwin, an Atlanta-Charlotte Air Line Railroad official. Baldwin’s city limits contains some 4.5 square miles and are located along two major arterial routes: U.S. Highway 441 and state Route 365 – both of which are divided four-lane highways. Baldwin’s 2012 population is 3,287. Baldwin is home to the Habersham County Airport. The airport offers a 5,500-feet paved runway at 1,447 feet above sea level. ♦

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larkesville, the county seat of Habersham County, received its charter in 1823. The city was named for Gen. John C. Clarke, governor of Georgia in 1819 and 1821, or his father, Gen. Elijah Clarke, a Revolutionary War hero, according to various versions of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history. Clarkesville was an early tourist spot 50

for Georgia, but long before Clarkesville became a tourist spot, Cherokee Indians inhabited the area. Around 1540, Spanish explorer De Soto is thought to have passed through what would become the city of Clarkesville. It would be many years later, but still long before Clarkesville was created, that white settlers began living in the area. After the charter was granted in 1823, the city was surveyed and laid out. Streets were named for presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, and

for Benjamin Franklin and generals Greene, Wayne and Marion of the American Revolution. Clarkesville attracts new residents each year and has a vibrant downtown, with a full slate of events to entice residents and visitors. The current population is 1,726 [2012]. â&#x2122;Ś

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ornelia was first a settlement around 1860. It was situated near the old boundary line between the Cherokee and Creek Indian tribes. In 1872, workers of the CharlotteAirline Railroad (later Southern Railway) invaded the virgin forest. A roadbed was cleared and graded, and tracks were laid from Gainesville to Toccoa. In 1882, the Blue Ridge and Atlantic Railroad opened a line that extended northward from the CharlotteAirline to Clarkesville and Tallulah Falls. The Tallulah Railway, as it came to be called, carried passengers

and freight from Cornelia to Franklin, N.C. The Big Red Apple monument stands on the railway depot grounds in downtown Cornelia. The replica of the North Georgia apple is constructed of steel and concrete and was molded in Winchester, Va., in 1925. Cornelia is a pleasant, picturesque small town at the gateway to the North Georgia mountains. It is located at the juncture of U.S. Highway 441 and state Route 365 and has a population of 4,172 [2012]. Cornelia is adjacent to Lake Russell in the Chattahoochee National

Forest. Within the city limits, visitors will find numerous attractions, such as the historic Cornelia Community House. The restored railroad depot in the center of town is available also for public and private events.

Chenocetah Tower is the last rock-constructed, working fire lookout tower in the east and has been preserved through a cooperative effort between the U.S. Forest Service and local citizens’ groups. ♦

Contact Information Mailing Address: P. O. Box 785, Cornelia, GA 30531 City Hall: 181 Larkin Street • Cornelia, GA 30531 Phone: 706-778-8585 • Fax: 706-778-2234 Website:, James C. “J.C.” Irby, mayor



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ounded in 1889 as a “model town,” Demorest is about 1,345 feet above sea level and has approximately 1,959 residents [2012]. The “model” for Demorest was temperance; consequently making, serving or giving away alcoholic beverages was prohibited. Town founders ensured enforcement through the Demorest Home, Mining & Improvement Company, which purchased the 3,500 acres that would become Demorest. Both the town and company were named for William Jennings Demorest, an internationally-known alcohol prohibition leader.


Land deeds stipulated violating temperance rules meant forfeiting land back to the company. According to Sarah Gillespie Fenner’s “Early History of Demorest” in “The Heritage of Habersham County 1817-2000,” Demorest initially saw rapid industrial growth, including 10 factories making items such as saddle trees and folding bathtubs.

The city once had two small lakes, Demorest and South Lake, built to provide water power for the factories. Hotels accommodated visitors and a small steamship carried passengers across the lakes. Demorest was shaken by the Great Depression of 1892, including the bankruptcy of the Demorest Home, Mining & Improvement Company and failure of many other businesses. The city did not regain industry, but the founding of Piedmont College in 1897 was a bright moment. The college campus has seen improvements in recent years, including the Arrendale Amphitheater and the Swanson Center for Performing Art and

Communications. Downtown Demorest is now home to the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art featuring a permanent collection of more than 100 paintings and rotating exhibits open to the public. The Johnny Mize Athletic Center and Museum, named for the Baseball Hall of Famer and former Piedmont player Johnny Mize, features memorabilia from his career. ♦

Contact Information Mailing Address: P. O. Box 128 Demorest, GA 30535 City Hall: 579 Georgia Street Demorest, GA 30535 Phone: 706-778-4202 Fax: 706-776-6316 Rick Austin, mayor

Photos/Megan Studdard


ounded in 1874 by a railroad promoter, Mt. Airy is located at the highest point between New Orleans and New York. The site, with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northeast Georgia, is located at an elevation of 1,545 feet. Originally a resort town filled with summer cottages and hotels during the glory days of railroad travel in the 1800s and early 1900s, the town hall is located on the site of the former Monterey Hotel. In 1877, Swiss Colony was founded and then in 1878, the first school was established. Tourism declined in the 1920s but remnants

Mt. Airy

of the era are seen in the few historic buildings that remain. Due to the decrease in train travel and the burning of the Monterey Hotel, tourism began to decline in the 1920s. Today, echoes of the past may be found in the residences, churches and other buildings that remain from its heyday as an exclusive resort

town. Heritage tourism sites include the Mt. Airy School Building and Eastview Cemetery, with gravestones dating from the 1800s. The cemetery offers a beautiful mountain view of Currahee Mountain to the east, beyond the Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area. Mt. Airy hosts a number of events, including the annual Cities Day celebration held in April,

featuring cars, arts and crafts, parade and other entertainment. The town’s population is 1,282 [2012]. ♦

Contact Information Mailing Address: P.O. Box 257 Mt. Airy, GA 30563 Town Hall: 869 Dick’s Hill Parkway Mt. Airy, GA 30563 Phone: 706-778-6990 Fax: 706-776-6792 Website: Gary Morris, mayor 53


Tallulah Falls

allulah Falls, founded Oct. 7, 1885, is situated in Habersham and Rabun counties. The town is about 1,570 feet above sea level and has a population of just under 169 [2012]. The town was a popular resort in Victorian days, with visitors from the hotter, southern part of Georgia coming to town on the Tallulah Falls Railroad. One of the primary attractions of Tallulah Falls is Tallulah Gorge State Park. The gorge is two miles long and about 1,000 feet deep. 54

Tallulah Gorge has six waterfalls: L’Eau d’Or (also known as Ladore, 46 feet), Tempesta (76 feet), Hurricane (96 feet), Oceana (50 feet), Bridal Veil (17 feet) and Sweet Sixteen (16 feet). The Tallulah River runs through the gorge, and several times a year, Georgia Power opens the dam for kayakers and aesthetic releases. The park has overlooks on the north and south rims. A suspension bridge sways 80 feet above the rocky floor of the gorge, and a smaller bridge crosses the river at the Short Line Trail. Exhibits in the park’s Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center

highlight the rich history of this Victorian resort town, as well as the rugged terrain and fragile ecosystem of the area. With swimming, camping, hiking, biking, kayaking and state park-sponsored events and classes, there is an abundance of activities to enjoy. The town hosts its own free outdoor bluegrass music in the spring and summer every year. ♦

Photos/Emily Thomas

Contact Information

Mailing Address: P. O. Box 56 Tallulah Falls, GA 30573 Town Hall: 255 Main Street Tallulah Falls, GA 30573 Phone: 706-754-6040 Fax: 706-754-3779 Carl Seaman, mayor

Church Directory ANGLICAN St. Thomas the Apostle Anglican Church 1636 Mud Creek Road Alto, Ga. 706-894-2422


BAPTIST Bethlehem Baptist Church 624 Highway 197 North, Clarkesville, Ga. 706-754-4870

Hazel Creek Baptist Church 243 Hazel Creek Church Road Mt. Airy, Ga. 706-778-5347

Clarkesville Baptist Church 1287 Washington Street, Clarkesville, Ga. 706-754-2643

Mud Creek Baptist Church 3048 Mud Creek Road Cornelia, Ga. 706-778-9254 Mt. Carmel Baptist Church 988 Historic Hwy 441 N Demorest, Ga. 706-754-1407

Business Directory Clarkesville Drugs 596 W. Louise Street Clarkesville, Ga. 706-754-3763 Compass Pest Management Cornelia, Ga. 706-778-1073 Florine Johnson Designs P.O. Box 2334 Clarkesville, Ga. 706-754-3654 D & D Accounting & Tax Services 4411 Old Hwy 441 North Alto, Ga.

706-778-0381 danddtaxservices@gmail. com

469 North Main Street Cornelia, Ga. 706-778-2822

CHRISTIAN AND MISSIONARY ALLIANCE Central Alliance Church 3311 Camp Creek Road, Mt. Airy, Ga. 706-778-8421

UNITED METHODIST Cool Springs United Methodist Church 117 Cool Springs Road, P.O. Box 1312 Clarkesville, Ga. 706-754-4866

EPISCOPAL Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church 295 E. Green Street, Clarkesville, Ga. 706-754-2451

Clarkesville First United Methodist Church 1087 Washington Street, P.O. Box 365 Clarkesville, Ga. 706-754-2677

PRESBYTERIAN First Presbyterian Church of Cornelia

first opened in the Spring of 1969 and is now the oldest craft shop in the same location in the state of Georgia. For 45 years, we continue to offer quality handcrafted, contemporary pottery from our local artists. The shop offers handmade crafts in metal, ceramic jewelry, hand blown glass and pottery by more than 30 artists/craftspeople.

Habersham County Sheriff’s Office 1000 Detention Drive Clarkesville, Ga. 706-839-0500 Fax: 706-839-7028 Midway Electric P.O. Box 1540 1906 Cannon Bridge Road Demorest, Ga. 706-754-6218 Fax: 706-754-5945

Handcrafted in the USA


Good News Baptist Church 2197 J Warren Road, Cornelia, Ga.

Grace Baptist Church 1768 Chase Road Cornelia, Ga. 706-778-5618

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church 8503 Pea Ridge Road Cornelia, Ga. 30531

706-947-3440 9982 Hwy. 197 N., Clarkesville, Ga 30523 55

Settling In • Relocation Guide •

Civil Engineers & Land Planners Let’s Work Together

Your success is our success. Let us help provide you with the very best and most economical solutions for your project.

PO Box 331 155 Clarkesville

706-894-2331 678-267-3690

(FAX) 678-267-3731

Requirements and resources for new residents vary by geographic location – Habersham has seven municipalities – please refer to specific city or town for details. Utility company contacts are below: Electricity: HEMC (Habersham EMC) P.O. Box 25 Clarkesville, GA 30523 706-754-2114 Fax 706-754-1460

•A •A

pAssion for cAndle mAking. community pArtner since


706.776.1912 418 Highway 441 • Cornelia

Brenda H. Garcia Owner / Director

Adult Day Health Bus. 706-776-7131 Fax. 706-776-9080 Cell. 706-499-6833


Georgia Power Co. P.O. Box 786 Cornelia, GA 30531 706-776-4134 Fax 706-776-4119 Natural Gas: Atlanta Gas Light Company 24 Hour Customer Service/ Emergency Service 800-427-5463 4271 Mundy Mill Road Oakwood, GA Phone: 770-994-1946 Telephone, Internet service and cable television: Windstream Communications 2000 Communications Blvd. Baldwin, GA 30511 1-800-347-1991

• Post Offices • • Alto Post Office 706-778-7764 • Baldwin Post Office 706-778-2751 • Clarkesville Post Office 706-754-4614 • Cornelia Post Office 706-778-4714 • Demorest Post Office 706-778-8479 • Mt. Airy Post Office 706-778-8323 • Tallulah Falls Post Office 706-754-6011

• Schools and colleges • Public and private schools Habersham County Board of Education 132 Stanford Mill Road P.O. Box 70 Clarkesville, GA 30523 706-754-2110 Public elementary, middle and high Faith Christian Academy 2664 Highway 197 South Mt. Airy, GA 30563 706-778-3360 The Little School 181 Jefferson St. Clarkesville, GA 30523 706-754-8894 Tallulah Falls School 201 Campus Drive Tallulah Falls, GA 30573 706-754-0400 Trinity Classical School 231 Harvest Church Road Demorest, GA 30535 706-754-7686 Colleges North Georgia Technical College Highway 197 North Clarkesville, GA 30523 706-754-7700 Piedmont College 165 Central Ave. Demorest, GA 30535 706-778-3000

• Recreation Facilities • The Recreation and Aquatic Center has two swimming pools – a recreational pool and an eight-lane fitness pool. Open

Contact Information Habersham County Parks and Recreation Department Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center Fenton Morris, director email: fsmorris@habershamga. com 120 Paul Franklin Road Clarkesville, GA 30523 Phone: 706-754-3650/706-7543651 Fax: 706-754-5841

• Elected Officials • Habersham County Board of Education Dr. Robert Barron, chairman, 706-499-3621 Gilbert Barrett, vice chairman 706-778-5712 Rick Williams, 706-754-9576 Pat Taylor, 706-499-7075 Don Corbett, 706-599-0363 P.O. Box 90 Clarkesville, GA 30523 Phone: 706-754-2110 Website: habershamschools. com Habersham County Commission Chad Henderson, chairman, 706-894-2150 Andrea Harper, vice chairman, 706-968-0284 Sonny James, 706-839-7095 Natalie Crawford, 678-6449829 Ed Nichols, 706-499-5119 555 Monroe St., Unit 20, Clarkesville, GA 30523 Phone: 706-839-0200 Fax: 706-754-1014 Email: commissioners@

Website: District 10 Georgia House Rep. Terry Rogers Capitol address: Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Suite 501 Atlanta, GA 30334 404-656-0177 District Address: 2403 New Liberty Road Clarkesville, GA 305323 706-754-0706 District 28 Georgia House Rep. Dan Gasaway Capitol Address: 612 Coverdell Legislative Office Building Atlanta, GA 30334 404-656-0326 District Address: P.O. Box 700 Homer, GA 30547 706-677-5015 Georgia 50th District Sen. John Wilkinson 321-B Coverdell Legislative Office Building Atlanta, GA 30334 404-463-5257 John.wilkinson@senate. U.S. House of Representatives Rep. Doug Collins P.O. Box 907908 Gainesville, GA 30501 202-809-2285 U.S. Senate Sen. Saxby Chambliss index.cfm?p=Email Washington D.C. Office 416 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Main: 202-224-3521 North Georgia Office 100 Galleria Parkway Suite 1340 Atlanta, GA 30339 Main: 770-763-9090 Fax: 770-226-8633

Sen. Johnny Isakson cfm 131 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Tel: 202-224-3643

Fax: 202-228-0724 One Overton Park, Suite 970 3625 Cumberland Blvd. Atlanta, GA 30339 Tel: 770-661-0999 Fax: 770-661-0768

In case of emergency,

DIAL 9-1-1 Non-Emergency Dispatch: 706-778-3911 Public Safety Administrative Offices ■ Georgia State Patrol Toccoa Post ......................706-282-4531 ■ Georgia State Patrol Gainesville Post ..............770-535-6922 ■ Central Communications/911 Center .................706-778-3911 ■ Habersham County Emergency Management Agency/Emergency Operations Center ..............706-778-9500 ■ Habersham County Fire Chief’s Office ...............706-754-2822 ■ Habersham Medical Center ...............................706-754-2161 ■ Habersham County Sheriff’s Office ....................706-839-0500 ■ Habersham County Animal Care and Control ...... 706-754-3533 ■ Georgia Department of Natural Resources Emergency Operations Center ..........................................1-800-241-4113

Crisis Numbers ■ Drug Abuse Hotline ....................................1-800-662-HELP ■ Georgia Poison Control Center ....................1-800-222-1222 ■ Habersham Circle of Hope .............................706-776-3406 (24-hour hotline) 706-776-4673 or 800-33-HAVEN (a shelter for battered women and their children)

Sautee School of Dance Dance Classes 5 Ages & up

Ballet • Tap • Hip Hop Talent Show Prep


swimming is allowed daily per the current pool schedule. Two indoor gymnasiums, a fitness and exercise room and two meeting rooms are available. Outside, there are four tennis courts, two football fields and multiple soccer, baseball and softball fields. All county facilities are available for rental by contacting the Parks and Recreation Department at 706754-3650.

Latin Bellydance Fusion for Adults Ginny King: 706-754-8498 • 57

2014 festivals and events For details on the events below, visit, or

April 5 – Tallulah Falls Opry House, bluegrass jam every Saturday night through November, downtown Tallulah Falls 12 – Pictures with the Easter Bunny - Mauldin House Gardens, Clarkesville 18 – Friday Night Flicks - Cornelia - Title TBA (Free outdoor movie, begins at dusk) 18-19 – Cornelia Apple Blossom BBQ Festival, Cornelia 18-20, 24-27 – “12 Angry Men” - HCT, Clarkesville 19 – Georgia Cities Day, Mt. Airy

May 3 - Magical Gardens of Mauldin - Mauldin House Gardens, Clarkesville 3 – Casino Night facade grant fundraiser, Cornelia 9 – March of Dimes Walk for Babies 9 – Friday Night Flicks - Clarkesville - Title TBA 10 – Burnt Burbon Pottery, Gallery & Studio and Tanyard Branch Heritage Center Spring Art Fest, Cornelia 17 – 52nd Annual Mountain Laurel Festival, Clarkesville 30 – Cornelia Summer Concert Series - The John King Band, Depot

June 7 – Alto Spring Fling - Parade, vendors, activities, entertainment 7 – Soque River Festival* 13-15, 19-22 – “Christmas Belles” HCT, Clarkesville 20 – Friday Night Special/Jesse Abbott Flicks - Cornelia - Title TBA 27 – Cornelia Summer Concert Series - Dixie Still, Depot

July 4 – Glorious Fourth of July, Demorest 18– Friday Night Flicks - Sam Pitts Park, Clarkesville - Title TBA 31-Aug. 3 – “The King and I” - HCT, Clarkesville 58

Special/Jamie Moore

August 2 – Habersham Back to School Bash/Flicks - Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center, Clarkesville (Saturday before school starts) 2 – Cowboys and Cocktails - an open barn event to benefit Foothills Counseling Center 7-10 – “The King and I” - HCT, Clarkesville 15-17 – Antique Car Show - Habersham County Fairgrounds, Clarkesville

September 5-13 – Chattahoochee Mountain Fair Habersham County Fairgrounds, Clarkesville 16 – 2014 Main Street Job Expo - Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center, Clarkesville 27 – Fifth Annual Taste of Clarkesville

October 4 – Worldwide Photo Walk*, Clarkesville 11 – Habersham

Special/Barbara F. Johns

Chamber of Commerce Hills of Habersham Bicycle Ride 11 – 27th Annual Big Red Apple Festival 25 – Soque River Ramble, Batesville 31 – Trick-or-Treat on the Clarkesville Square

SHARING SUCCESS Tallulah Falls School has experienced tremendous success over the past five years resulting in the tripling of our enrollment. We’ve decided to share this success with our TFS families by offering an innovative Tuition Freeze Program. Visit us online to learn more.

November 27-Jan. 1 – Christmas in the Park, light display, Cornelia

December 5 – Christmas in Tallulah Falls 6 – Habersham County Christmas Parade, Clarkesville 13 – A Downtown Clarkesville Christmas 17-20* – Christmas in Cornelia 31 _ New Year’s Eve Extravaganza - to benefit Foothills Counseling Center Special/Melissa Henderson


Tallulah Falls School

helping students (and families) succeed

If you think you can’t afford it...

Mark Your Calendars for These Great Events! April 18 & 19 April 18 May 3 May 9 May 30 June 20 June 27 July 18 July 25 August 2 Sept. 16 Oct. 11 Nov. 27 - Jan. 1 Dec. TBA

Cornelia Apple Blossom BBQ Festival, Downtown Cornelia Friday Night Flicks, At the Cornelia Depot Casino Night - Façade Grand Fundraiser Cornelia Community House Friday Night Flicks, Clarkesville’s Pitts Park Cornelia Summer Concert Series at the Depot — The John King Band Friday Night Flicks, At the Cornelia Depot Cornelia Summer Concert Series at the Depot — Dixie Still Friday Night Flicks, Clarkesville’s Pitts Park Cornelia Summer Concert Series at the Depot — The Regulars Band Habersham County Back to School Bash Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center Main Street Job Expo, Cornelia Community House 27th Annual Big Red Apple Festival, Downtown Cornelia Christmas in the Park — Spectacular Light Display Christmas in Cornelia — Ice Skating, Hayrides, Visits with Santa and More! (tentative dates Dec. 17-20) Cornelia Community House & City Park

For information, contact Heather Sinyard, Downtown Manager, at 706-778-8585 x 280 or email at All event dates, activities and times are subject to change at any time. For up to date information and more details on each event, visit

See Carolyn! Class Rings

Fine Jewelry for All Ages •Gold •Diamond •Silver •Gemstones Master Jeweler on site for custom design or repair!

Engagement Wedding Sets

104 Market Center (across from new Walmart) • Cornelia, GA


Hours: Tues-Fri 10-6 | Sat 10-5

Best Jewelry Store 2 years in a row 59


Hospitals and healthcare

hen businesses and people are looking for a new place to call home, one of the areas they look into is what healthcare services are available in the community. They want to be sure their employees and family have 24/7 access to a hospital and emergency services. Habersham County is fortunate to have an award-winning hospital that is known throughout Georgia for patient quality and safety. Habersham Medical Center was the only hospital in Northeast Georgia included in the Georgia Hospital Association’s Circle of Excellence in 2013, an honor presented to only eight hospitals statewide. Habersham Medical Center’s list of accolades and accomplishments includes five Circle of Excellence awards as well as national awards for excelling in stroke care as a Certified Primary Stroke Center. Winning awards is truly an honor, but the biggest achievement of any organization is to earn the trust and confidence of customers and the community. And Habersham Medical Center has been working hard to not only meet the expectations of its patients, but also exceed them every day. As one of the leading employers in the area, Habersham Medical Center employs more than 600 and contributes more than $80 million into the local economy annually. More than 40 physicians serve on the active medical staff, representing multiple specialties including orthopedics, gastroenterology, obstetrics, urology, ophthalmology, podiatry, gynecology and sports medicine, complementing physicians in the family practice, internal medicine and emergency medicine areas. Habersham Medical Center is a not-for-profit 53-bed hospital offering access to 24/7 emergency care, critical care, labor and delivery and a full-range of surgical services. Offering much more than acute care, specialty services offered include a sleep disorders lab; PrimeCare, a non-emergent primary care clinic; Total Fitness, an exercise facility located in the Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center in Clarkesville; Habersham Home, an 84-bed long-term care facility;


and a home health agency called HCMC Home Care. You are invited to experience the difference for yourself. For more information, call 706-754-2161, visit or email n Prime Care PrimeCare, Habersham Medical Center’s non-emergency primary care clinic, is located inside Habersham Medical Center’s HealthCheck outpatient services department. Prime Care treats adults and children with minor illnesses and injuries and is a WorkWise provider, offering occupational health services including drug screenings, pre-employment physicals and treatment of workers compensation injuries. Prime Care is an appointment-only clinic, but same day appointments are available. Prime Care accepts most private health insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid and self-pay patients. Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. For an appointment, call 706-754-CARE (2273). Patients should enter Habersham Medical Center’s main entrance where they will be directed by the information desk staff to Prime Care. n Habersham County Health Department The Habersham County Health Department, located on Scoggins Drive in Demorest, provides services designed to help ensure the health of the public. Appointments are necessary for all programs. Services include: adult health, including family planning, blood pressure clinic and immunizations; children’s health including immunizations, hearing/vision/dental examinations, general health check; and women’s health including pregnancy testing, presumptive Medicaid, prenatal case management, pregnancy-related services, WIC, teen center and lab tests. For more information, visit cfm or call 706-778-7156. ♦

Low Prices, Quality Vehicles & Family Values

WE BUY & SELL GOLD! MILTON MARTIN TOYOTA 2350 Browns Bridge Road Gainesville, Ga. 30504 770-532-4355

WE BUY Large or Small Gun & Coin


we also carry ammunition and firearm accessories


Now Carrying Gun Tote ‘n Mama’s Handbags


DIAMOND JEWELRY & LOAN 3840 State Hwy. 365 N. at mile marker 41, Baldwin



Habersham County


• Land area - 278 square miles

• Two rivers - Chattahoochee and Soque • 100-acre Industrial Park, Airport • Habersham County population [Habersham Chamber of Commerce-2012]: 43,520 Seven municipalities/populations: Alto - 1,162 Baldwin - 3,287 Clarkesville - 1,726 Cornelia - 4,172 Demorest - 1,959 Mt. Airy -1,282 Tallulah Falls - 169 Unincorporated [2010 Census]: 29,422. Habersham County unadjusted unemployment rate [2013]: 6.6 percent up from 6.5 percent in November 2013. It was 9.3 percent in December 2012. • Median household income, 2006-2010 County - $40,192 State - $49,347 • Persons below poverty level, 2006-2010 County -19.6 percent State - 15.7 percent • Top Employers [Habersham Chamber of Commerce] Fieldale Farms (1,854) Habersham County Board of Education (993) Mt. Vernon Mills ( 751) Piedmont College (649) Habersham Medical Center (627) Ethicon (559) Lee Arrendale State Prison (440) Habersham County (237 full-time, 166 parttime) Walmart (325) Windstream (240) TenCate (210) GlobalTech (200) Scovill (180) Navitor (146) Lowe’s (145) Magnolia Windows & Doors (128) North Georgia Technical College (120) Habersham Metal Products (110) 62

Index of Advertisers

4 Points Car Wash .......................................... 44 Aaron’s Rental ................................................... 8 Advantage Insurers......................................... 25 Anderson Carpet One.................................... 48 Animal Solutions ............................................ 47 Arnold Drug Store.......................................... 51 Art-full Barn, The ........................................... 38 Athens Vascular .............................................. 23 Attic, The ......................................................... 45 Ayers Office Products..................................... 37 Bead Garden, A............................................... 44 BBI Fabricators ............................................... 42 BBI Spreaders .................................................... 9 Betsie Poinsett ................................................. 30 Billy Cain Ford ................................................ 64 Bio Green ......................................................... 42 Blue Creek ......................................................... 8 Bobby’s Storage ............................................... 38 Books with A’peal ........................................... 24 Bumbleberry ................................................... 44 Carolyn’s Fine Jewelry .................................... 59 Children’s Gallery Art School, The............... 25 Chiropractic Spine Center............................. 44 City of Clarkesville ......................................... 33 City of Cornelia .............................................. 59 Clarkesville Lanes ........................................... 45 Copper Pot, The .............................................. 44 Couch Potato Furniture ................................. 24 Country Boy Sports.......................................... 9 D & D Accounting & Tax Services ............... 37 D & H Toilet .................................................... 23 DeMore Financial Services............................ 44 Dermatology Associates .......................... 17, 31 Diamond Jewelry & Loan .............................. 61 Duplicating Products ..................................... 32 El Jinete ............................................................ 45 El Patron .......................................................... 37 Erin London .................................................... 45 Ethicon ............................................................. 22 Express Care of Habersham .......................... 24 Express Med .................................................... 41 Fieldale (Springer Mountain Farms)............ 15 First Fitness Nutrition.................................... 47 Forest Lane Mini Mart & Pawn Shop .......... 41 Georgia Title Finance..................................... 25 Gainesville Jewelry ......................................... 39 Grant Street Music Room .............................. 44 Generations Furniture ................................... 24 Georgia Power................................................. 49 Glen Ella Springs ............................................ 44 Global Tech Industries ................................... 56 GMS Old Castle .............................................. 24 Green Mountain Village .................................. 3 Habersham Chamber of Commerce .............. 4 Habersham Community Theatre.................. 44 Habersham EMC ............................................ 54 Habersham Hardware .................................... 18 Habersham Medical Center .......................... 29 Habersham Retreat......................................... 56 Hal Dowdy (State Farm) ................................ 24 Hanners College Shop.................................... 45 Hartford House ................................................. 8 Hawg Wild BBQ ............................................. 44 Hayes Automotive ............................................ 2 Hayes Corner Country Store ........................ 44 Headwaters Realty .......................................... 45 Hillside Memorial Chapel ............................. 45 Holcomb’s Office Supply ................................ 24 Holland Produce............................................. 44 Hollow Log, The ............................................. 25

Howington’s Heating & Cooling................... 24 Hulsey Towing ................................................ 56 Hulsey’s Appliance & Refrigeration ............. 24 Initials, Inc. ...................................................... 21 Ivy Mountain Distillery ................................... 3 Jack Bradley Agency ....................................... 31 JM Smith Engineering ................................... 56 Kadaydles......................................................... 25 Kembricks Mini Storage ................................ 25 Lakeshore Mall................................................ 28 Little School, The ............................................ 44 Longstreet Clinic, The .............................. 15, 23 Magnolia Hills................................................. 31 Mark of the Potter .................................... 45, 55 Massage Therapy by Candice ........................ 25 Matt Mixon (State Farm) ............................... 44 McGahee Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home ... 19 Medicine Shoppe, The.................................... 32 Medlink Habersham ...................................... 63 Men on the Move............................................ 17 Midtown Grill ................................................. 45 Mickey Pigg’s ................................................... 47 Milton Martin Toyota .................................... 61 Nest, The .......................................................... 45 Northeast GA Carpet ..................................... 38 Northeast Veterinary Hospital ...................... 37 North Georgia Outdoor Power..................... 45 North Georgia Shutters & Blinds ................. 44 North Georgia Technical College ................. 31 Old Clarkesville Mill ...................................... 23 Once Upon a Time ......................................... 45 Papa Johns ....................................................... 24 Perry Gas ......................................................... 18 Pet Shop, The ................................................... 45 Piedmont College ........................................... 27 Piedmont College Bookstore ........................ 25 Pritchett Tire ................................................... 37 Roots N’ Remedies ......................................... 45 Sautee School of Dance.................................. 57 Scovill Fasteners.............................................. 13 Sheep Hollow .................................................. 44 Scrubs Boutique, The .................................... 25 Shooks Landscaping (Pro-Green) ................ 39 Southern Bank & Trust .................................. 50 Southern Glam................................................ 25 Spoiled Rotten ................................................. 25 Star Auto Electric............................................ 24 Star Tractor ...................................................... 24 Stew ‘N Que..................................................... 25 Sweetbreads ..................................................... 44 Sutton Tire ....................................................... 45 Taylor’s Guns & More .................................... 24 Tallulah Falls School ...................................... 59 Taste of Clarkesville........................................ 45 TenCate ............................................................ 39 Tim’s Pharmacy............................................... 28 Therapeutic Massage ...................................... 45 Torch Worship Center, The ........................... 39 Traditions Bank .............................................. 33 Trophy Taker Taxidermy ............................... 24 United Community Bank ................................ 9 Vivian’s Homes ................................................ 47 Wallace Craven Realty ................................... 37 Walmart ........................................................... 23 WCON ............................................................. 18 Whitfield Funeral Home................................ 33 Wilbanks Body Shop ...................................... 25 Woods Furniture ...................................... 21, 45 York’s Garage ................................................... 30 Zap Services .................................................... 47

Meet Medlink... Habersham’s first Community Health Center Medlink Georgia, Inc. is a not for profit corporation established in 1976 with locations in: Banks County Barrow County Elbert County Franklin County Habersham County

Hall County Hart County Madison County Oglethorpe County Rabun County


• Pediatric to adult primary care services • Interpreters & language lines available • Immunizations & preventative health screenings • Work related services • Sports physicals

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE IN ORDER TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITIES WE SERVE Medlink Georgia participates in most major insurance plans, Medicaid, Medicare, State Health Benefit Plan, worker’s compensation, and a sliding fee for those who qualify. Medlink is not a free clinic.

396 Historic Highway 441 Demorest, Georgia 30535

706-754-4348 63

of Cornelia, GA

BILLY CAIN Ford Lincoln


ince 1991, Billy Cain Ford Lincoln has been bringing Habersham and the surrounding counties the absolute best in automobiles. We’re not some big name dealer who works from his office in Hawaii. We’re here living, working and thriving in the same community as you, rain or shine. We’re all in this together and that’s why we’re confident that we can offer you simply unbeatable deals that you can’t find elsewhere. Come see why Ford and Lincoln are the industry leaders in automotive excellence across the board. We promise, we’ll get you where you’re going with a smile on your face.

1039 N. Main Street, Cornelia, GA 30531

(706) 778-2121

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Hellohab2014 issuu