Vol. 18 No. 2 â€¢ Display until Sept. 20, 2017
NORTHEAST GEORGIA VIEWS Melissa Herndon Publisher/Chairman/Editor-In-Chief
◆ DESIGN & PRODUCTION
A.W. Blalock ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Scott Goodwin ADVERTISING DESIGN
A.W. Blalock Brenda Ritchey CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Blake Rackley Brian Cooke Jackie Sheckler Finch Pamela A. Keene Sydnah Kingrea William D. Powell M.J. Sullivan M.C. Tufts
Summer Memories... When the final school bell rang signaling the end of another academic year that first week
of June, I knew that summer was waiting to take me away! Summertime for me consisted
David Cannon Brian Cooke Richard Hall Sydnah Kingrea William D. Powell M.J. Sullivan
of trips to the beach, Vacation Bible School, fishing in local ponds and long bike rides with friends. I remember even now the craft tables set up at Bible school where, after our Bible lesson and singing, we would create all sorts of items using Popsicle sticks, glue, paint and cutouts while a patient teacher offered instruction and encouragement to help
in making gifts worthy to take home to parents. My favorite part of Bible school was the
refreshment table. The church ladies would set up a table full of all sorts of cookies, along
with chips and two kinds of Kool-Aid – cherry or grape – and we could eat and drink to
our heart’s desire. ◆ Life was so simple then, when the only decision I had to ponder was
DIRECTOR OF DISTRIBUTION
which flavor of Kool-Aid I preferred. Beach trips were sometimes weeklong events, and
at other times they were day trips, as we lived only an hour from the beach. Mom would
drinks and a dessert of some kind for us to enjoy on the beach. Waves, floats, laughter and love filled those days in the summer sun. Life was grand! I look back on those days and how much I enjoyed those times and the simplicity of it all. ◆ This summer prepare to make memories with your family and friends. Our summer issue highlights pottery trails, the Georgia 400 Hospitality Highway and the Lake Chatuge Summer Lake Homes Showcase, along with many other exciting places and events that will create lasting memories for years to come. Welcome to your great American summer vacation! Thanks for sharing your time with us! ◆ Sincerely,
2 Northeast Georgia Living
Photo of Melissa Herndon by M D aa vr ikd HCear nn nd oo nn ; N o O n e A l i k e b y M e l i s s a H e r n d o n
fry chicken and have a loaf of bread and chips along with a cooler filled with ice and
◆ We invite you to share your views on Northeast Georgia Living. Please mail your comments to P.O. Box 270, Franklin Springs, GA 30639, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit us at facebook.com/ NortheastGeorgiaLivingMagazine. Northeast Georgia Living, ISSN 1545-5769, is published quarterly in Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter by Marketing & Media Resources at 454 College Street, Royston, GA 30662. 706-246-0856. Subscription price is $14.00 annually. USPS Number 021-578 at Royston, GA 30662. Postmaster: Send address changes to Northeast Georgia Living Magazine, P. O. Box 270, Franklin Springs, GA 30639-0270. The cover and contents are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Reader correspondence and editorial submissions are welcome. However, we reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all contributed material.
LETTERS LOVE YOUR MAGAZINE! IF you noticed a spike in sales at Bi-Lo in Royston, then that was me. I bought 3 extra copies. We visited Angkor Wat [Northeast Georgia Living, Spring 2017, “Destinations”] many years ago ... Cambodia was beautiful but frightening. On departure our driver had to pay money at the border for us to leave (encouraged by two guards with machine guns)! Then, along with my traveling companions Barbara, Herb and Don, I walked across a levee to Thailand. Half way there some children ran to meet us and help with luggage. Getting to Thailand safely that day was almost as good as getting back to the good old USA! Jane Anderson Lavonia, Georgia
SUBSCRIPTIONS BRING NORTHEAST GEORGIA home! A oneyear subscription of four issues – Spring, Summer, Fall and Holiday-Winter – is only $14, and gift subscriptions are only $12. To subscribe, visit NortheastGeorgiaLiving.com or call 706-246-0856 today.
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IN THIS ISSUE
Lake Chatuge SUMMER
LAKE HOMES SHOWCASE
FEW THINGS ARE MORE relaxing than spending a week at your lakeside home, except perhaps spending it at a lake home that also boasts magnificent mountain views. This yearâ€™s Summer Lake Homes Showcase brings visitors to the cool mountain waters of Lake Chatuge in Towns County. These lakefront homes are on a level of luxury all their very own. On Saturday, July 15, join us from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for an elaborate self-guided tour of eight of these breathtaking lakefront homes. By Sydnah Kingrea
LONG-HELD CULTURAL AND agricultural traditions from the 17th and 18th centuries, the need to store food crops all year long, and the availability of natural clay in Northeast Georgia have helped make Northeast Georgia a national pottery epicenter, both for collectible works and for modern-day creations that use time-honored processes. This summer, follow our Pottery Trail and get to know some of the most renowned potters in Northeast Georgia and their stories as we explore one of the most active pottery centers in the United States. By Pamela A. Keene
Arts: Kathy Cousart
SUNSHINE OR RAIN, WARM weather or winter, Athens artist Kathy Cousart can most likely be found in her studio painting. Passion and peace characterize her work: the passion of her enthusiasm for painting and the peace she experiences in painting. By William D. Powell
Fresh Garden Herb Sauces
THE WARM SUMMER MONTHS bring raised bed gardens and vegetable plats to life. They soon overflow with crisp, flavorful goodness. You may often find yourself wondering what else you can do with your fresh herbs and vegetables while they are at the peak of flavor. Our three fresh garden herb sauce recipes will quickly dress up the taste of any meal while adding bright, attractive color and a power punch of nutrition. By Sydnah Kingrea
WOOD-FIRED BRICK PIZZA OVENS arenâ€™t just for Italians anymore. Homeowners across Northeast Georgia are building their own gourmet ovens for baking their own Neapolitan and thin-crust pizzas and for preparing slow-roasted ribs, roasts and meats. By Pamela A. Keene
52 6 Northeast Georgia Living
DEPARTMENTS Made in Georgia Summer Favorites
ENJOY OUR SHOWCASE OF wonderfully crafted food, art and more created in Georgia. This issue features Kim’s Cheese Straws, Paulk’s Pride White Muscadine Juice and Southern Baked Pie Company. By Sydnah Kingrea
Spotlight Northeast Georgia Summer Hits
CHECK OUT OUR TOP picks for summer, which include bluegrass, barbecue, boat parades, home tours, festivals and a rare total solar eclipse. By Sydnah Kingrea
Gardening Bird-Friendly Gardening Takes Wing
WITH GEORGIA’S SHRINKING WILDLIFE habitat, homeowners are increasingly embracing birdfriendly gardening, which provides vital refuge to wildlife. By Brian Cooke
Antiques Vintage Costume Jewelry
CALL IT GLAM, GLITZ or bling, costume jewelry – a term coined in the 1920s to describe gem-like ornaments made of non-precious materials – is ever more popular with today’s collectors and fashion mavens. By M.J. Sullivan
Vines Mead: It’s a Honey of a Wine
BLUE HAVEN BEE COMPANY has taken its golden honey to new heights with the creation of Southern Origin Meadery, which makes mead and pyment. By M.J. Sullivan
Eat, Drink & Be Merry The Old Corner Hardware Store
KELLEY TAMPLIN SERVES SANDWICHES, homemade salads and desserts – with a double side of kindness and encouragement – at her downtown Royston cafe. By Blake Rackley
Books Sapelo: People and Place on a Georgia Sea Island
THERE ARE FEW PLACES in the world as rich and magical as the barrier islands of coastal Georgia. In his new book, local historian Buddy Sullivan explores the island’s long heritage and unveils layers of human activity. By M.C. Tufts
Destination Columbia River Gorge Paddlewheel Cruise
CLIMB ABOARD THE AMERICAN Empress for a glorious cruise into history through the Columbia River Gorge. A cruise on this 223-passenger paddle-wheeler with its lovely Victorian decor treats guests to a history-packed itinerary. By Jackie Sheckler Finch
Let’s Go Somewhere Today Day Trip
COMPRISING SEVEN COMMUNITIES FROM Dahlonega to Buckhead, this 50-mile stretch of Georgia 400, known as Northeast Georgia’s Hospitality Highway, offers everything from visual arts and museums to wine tastings and history. By Pamela A. Keene
Let’s Go Somewhere Today Events
SUMMER EVENTS INCLUDE BARBECUE, lake homes, wine, art and a total solar eclipse. By Sydnah Kingrea
Reflections ... on summer in Georgia
Bluebird by Richard Hall
IT WAS IN THE LATE 1990s when I first experienced summer in the mountains of Northeast Georgia. About once a month my husband and I would head north on Interstate 75 from our home in Florida, intent upon photographing wildlife and hiking in Georgia’s state parks. By M.J. Sullivan
Cover Notes PHOTOGRAPH AT LAKE CHATUGE BY DAVID CANNON
Summer 2017 7
MADE IN GEORGIA BY SYDNAH KINGREA
favorites Southern Baked Pie Company
The recipient of several awards, including the 2015 Flavor of Georgia Grand Prize, Southern Baked Pie Company, located in Gainesville, is a must-try. Their pies are baked fresh daily and are made with the company’s trademark mouthwatering all-butter pie crust. Options range from sweet dessert pies to savory pot pies, and each pie is carefully sourced from local ingredients and baked from family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. Pies can be ordered and shipped safely and securely. To order your very own pie or to learn more, call 404263-0656 or visit them online at www.southernbakedpie.com.
Georgia has an abundance of human and natural resources. Here are a few of our favorite examples of entrepreneurship that result in products you will want to become familiar with this summer.
Paulk’s Pride White Muscadine Juice
Few things are better able to evoke images of balmy nights and endless summer days than the nostalgic taste of Paulk’s Pride White Muscadine Juice. The history of Paulk’s Pride began decades ago, when the Paulk family farmed traditional row crops. In 1970, Papa Jacob, a patriarch of the family, planted the family’s first muscadine vine, initially growing and selling muscadines for fresh produce sales. In 2002, Papa Jacob decided to start making products derived from muscadines. Chris Paulk and his wife were living in Atlanta at that time. Papa Jacob invited them to come home to work with him in this new business venture, and the Muscadine Products Company was born. Located in Wray, the company produces a variety of muscadine products, including health supplements. Our personal favorite, Paulk’s Pride White Muscadine Juice, is not only delicious but provides a burst of nutrition too. Visit www.paulkspride.com or call 229-468-7873 for more information.
Owned by Kim Marsh Kaiser and located in Statesboro, Kim’s Cheese Straws serves up several varieties of this homemade Southern tradition. Part of an endearing story of recipes passed down through generations, Kim’s recipes use her very own cheese straw formula, which she crafted by combining pieces of her grandmother’s cheese wafer recipe with her own creativity. Since starting her business, Kim has branched out from the much-loved traditional cheese straws most are familiar with to other adventurous flavors that nod to the South, like Pecan Cheddar and Smith’s Sweet Lemon. Indulge yourself and try them all or gift another with these richly flavored premium quality treats. Order today online at www.kimscheesestraws.com or visit Bellies, Babies & Ballerinas in Statesboro to pick up a few.
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Kim’s Cheese Straws
SPOTLIGHT NORTHEAST GEORGIA BY SYDNAH KINGREA
Lake Nottely Boat Parade
July 4, 2017 Everyone is welcome at the annual Lake Nottely Boat Parade and Independence Day celebration in Union County. The parade begins at the Nottely Marina in Blairsville. If you have a boat or can borrow one, you are welcome to join the parade! The lineup begins at 10:30 a.m., and the parade begins at 11:30 a.m. Decorate your boat with any theme and enjoy the fun! Visitors can watch from several locations at the marina.
July 15, 2017 The Summer Lake Homes Showcase will take place on July 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This yearâ€™s showcase, sponsored by the Towns County Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Georgia Living Magazine, United Community Bank, RE/MAX Hiawassee Realty, RE/MAX Town & Country, Century 21 Scenic Realty, WJUL 97.5 and WJRB 95.1, will feature homes on Lake Chatuge in Towns County. Enjoy refreshments as you take a leisurely self-guided tour through eight beautiful lakefront homes with gorgeous water and mountain views. Realtors will be available to answer any questions you may have about each home.
Dillard Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival
Aug. 4-5, 2017 Dillard and Rabun County welcome you to their 21st Annual Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival. Friday evening featured musicians are Big Country Bluegrass, Sons of the South and Foxfire Boys. Saturday evening featured musicians are Balsam Range, Shadow Ridge, Curtis Blackwell & the Dixie Bluegrass Boys, Eddie Rose & Highway 40 and The Suggins Brothers. Delicious barbecue and other refreshments will be available both days. Visit www.dillardbbq.org.
Spirit of Appalachia Food, Wine & Art Festival
TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE
TO PA TAL RT IAL SOLA SO R E LA CL R E IPS CL E IPS E
Aug. 21, 2017
A total solar eclipse visible from all 48 contiguous U.S. states has only occurred twice in the last 100 years: in 1918 and in 1979. While the upcoming eclipse will be visible at least partially from all of the U.S., it will only be possible to see it in totality from a narrow strip along the earthâ€™s surface, and Northeast Georgia will be in the direct path of darkness for up to 2 minutes, 38 seconds! Witness this rare event from celebrations throughout the path of totality.
Aug. 21, 2017 Visit Toccoa in Stephens County to witness this oncein-a-lifetime total solar eclipse while celebrating with friends and family. Toccoa will experience 2 minutes, 28 seconds of totality. Entertainment and refreshments will be available for your enjoyment. To learn more, please visit www.main streettoccoa.com.
Sept. 16, 2017 The Spirit of Appalachia Festival in White County will take place on Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hardman Farm in Sautee Nacoochee and will feature live music, artist booths, local food and Georgia wine. The food will be prepared by Springer Mountain Farms Celebrity Chefs, and each dish will be paired with a recommended local wine. For times and for more information, please visit www.whitecountychamber.org/events.
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Lake Chatuge Summer Lake Homes Showcase
GARDEN BY BRIAN COOKE
Bird-Friendly Gardening Takes Wing
eorgia’s wildlife habitat is shrinking, but conservationists see positive change afoot. Homeowners are increasingly embracing bird-friendly gardening, which provides vital refuge to wildlife. The glowing results of this shift towards bird-friendly gardening are best seen through a pair of binoculars. “I see a lot of birds you wouldn’t expect seeing so close to Five Points in Athens,” says Richard Hall, assistant professor at
Brown thrashers (far left) – Georgia’s state bird – rose-breasted grosbeaks and bluebirds are abundant in this Athens, Ga.,
12 Northeast Georgia Living
backyard, which was designed to mimic the area’s natural, native landscapes.
diversity of flowers and fruits. In Bringing Nature Home, author Doug Tallamy notes that over 90 percent of birds, even seed-eaters, use insects to feed their young. While nonnative plants like Bradford pear, crape myrtle, ginkgo, mimosa, leatherleaf mahonia and English ivy are popular in
Georgia gardens, these plants host few of the insect species that birds need. Georgia’s native plants, on the other hand, are uniquely adapted to host thousands of insect species. According to Tallamy’s research, the best caterpillar host plants are plants that are native to Georgia, such as oaks, black cherry, willows, birches, poplars and goldenrods. Native plants also produce a windfall of food for birds enduring cold winters or long migrations. Red mulberries fruit in spring, flowering dogwoods in summer, blackgums in fall, and American hollies hold fruit
Birds by Richard Hall; yard and stream by Brian Cooke
the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology. “My yard list is 127 species, including 29 warbler species.” Bird-friendly gardening means re-creating natural landscapes in yards and gardens. In Georgia, one doesn’t need to go far for inspiration. Birds are ever-present in overgrown pastures and forested hills and along riverbanks. Mimicking these natural landscapes draws birds into gardens and meets their basic needs: food, water and shelter. The foundation of a bird-friendly garden starts with native plants. Birds have developed close ecological relationships with native plants. The reason why? Native plants host myriad insect species, particularly protein-rich butterfly and moth caterpillars, and produce a
through winter.Vines and shrubs like elderberry, American beautyberry and Virginia creeper produce fatty fruits, and sunflowers, coneflowers and asters are popular among seed-eating birds. With a little research, says Hall, native plants can be chosen that will benefit birds and make a garden vibrant. “There are a surprising number of native plants that are good for birds and provide color yearround. But if you only go to the big box stores, you won’t get the diversity of plants.” To discuss native plants in Northeast Georgia, visit Andy Kinsey, avid birdwatcher and owner of Kinsey Family Farm (7170 Jot Em Down Road, Gainesville, GA 30506). Kinsey has increased his inventory of native plants in response to positive customer feedback. Native plants are “wellacclimatized to growing in the heat and humidity of the South,” notes Kinsey. “And with the increased interest in the nursery industry to breed natives ... we will really see a dramatic rise in available natives.” Hard-to-find native plants are also available at “Bluestems & Bluejeans,” the annual fall plant sale supporting native plant conservation at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens. Already planting with native plants? Oconee Rivers Audubon Society, a chapter of the National Audubon Society, recommends these other important steps. First, resist the urge to tidy gardens. Rather than “dead head” flowers, leave the flowers for seed-eating birds. Create brush piles with unwanted debris that thrushes, wrens and thrashers can use for foraging and cover. Dead standing trees, says Hall, attract woodpeckers and nuthatches. Limit, or completely cut, pesticides. Some pesticides directly harm birds. In most cases, however, pesticides kill the insects birds use as a food source. Join the 53 million Americans who feed birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology recommends arranging feeders in the shade, changing seed after rain events, and cleaning feeders using a water-bleach solution (10 parts to 1 part). Make water available, especially during Georgia’s hot summers. Simple birdbaths work, but bubbling water features best mimic Northeast Georgia’s streams. A bird-friendly garden brimming with native plants takes time. Start small with one positive step in your garden and you’ll see and hear the positive difference it makes for birds. ◆ Summer 2017 13
ANTIQUES STORY AND PHOTOS BY M.J. SULLIVAN
Vintage Costume Jewelry A Collectible With Pizzazz
14 Northeast Georgia Living
crafted from imperfect Lucite – discarded during the manufacture of airplane windshields – that was highly polished. Although these novelty creatures appeared in many animal forms, poodles are one of the most desirable for collectors today. Among Trifari’s many notable customers is First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. According to the Collectors Weekly website, Alfred Philippe designed an “orientique” pearl choker with matching triple-strand bracelet and earrings for Mrs. Eisenhower to complement the pink satin gown she wore to the inaugural ball in 1953. It is reported she was so pleased with the quality of the first jewelry ensemble that she also entrusted Trifari to make the accessories for the second inaugural ball in 1957. Today the Eisenhower pearls may be viewed at the Smithsonian Institution. Other companies creating costume jewelry during the same period were Monet, Christian Dior, Coro, Napier, Lisner and Park Lane, to name a few. In 1949, Charles Stuart launched another
Call it glam, glitz or bling, costume jewelry is ever more popular with today’s collectors and fashion mavens. Above are examples (from the top) of Avon, Monet and Trifari.
costume jewelry line named for his granddaughter, Sarah Coventry. Unlike other jewelry manufacturers who relied on department stores to sell their wares, Stuart devised a marketing plan to take his jewelry directly to the customer. Establishing a network of “in-home parties,” he was able to sell to the consumer in a familiar, comfortable setting. This strategy is credited with contributing to the success of his well-known company.
Jewelry box special photo
hile the term costume jewelry may suggest something worn by actors in a stage production, the term was actually coined in the 1920s to describe gem-like ornaments made of nonprecious materials. Often labeled fake, faux or fashion jewelry, it was popular from the Victorian era into the mid to late 20th century. And is still popular today. Designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli created costume jewelry with glam and glitz in the 1930s by fashioning bold, dramatic pieces set with supersized faux gemstones. At the same time, companies like Eisenberg and Hobe were making more delicate items set with rhinestones, which were in-tended to resemble the fine diamond work of Cartier. In the 1940s, Frenchman Alfred Philippe, premier designer for the Trifari company from 1930-1968, began creating a line of animal brooches known as “Jelly Bellies” using large semitransparent man-made cabochons. These “unique stones” were
Liz Hopper, owner of Yesterday’s Treasures Antiques in Dillard, is very familiar with the subject of costume jewelry. She has been buying, selling and collecting vintage jewelry for over three decades. “I used to go to the Rabun Gap flea market on Saturday and shop for old jewelry while I pushed my daughters around in a double stroller. As I acquired more pieces, I felt the need to sell off some of my finds, so I rented a small space at an antiques mall in Dillard. It went well. Eventually I expanded to a larger space as I accumulated more inventory and as my knowledge of the market grew. In 2002 when Yesterday’s Treasures Antiques became available, I stepped up to the challenge and bought the business. What started out as picking through boxes of old jewelry had morphed into a fulltime commitment.” Hopper advises that the most desirable pieces are usually signed. In addition to the aforementioned manufacturers, she also includes old Mexican silver jewelry, which is usually marked with the maker’s name or with the sterling designation, .925. Also considered collectible are sterling silver charm bracelets, made popular by Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor during the ’50s and ’60s. Although she acknowledges that antique costume jewelry from the Victorian Era is lovely to look at, she says it does not sell as well in today’s market as the midcentury pieces. “What people seem to be looking for are the larger, chunkier pieces with a bold flare. While customers will buy single pieces, they often prefer sets of items, called suites or parures. To the serious collector, three or more matching pieces, such as a necklace, brooch, bracelet, earrings and sometimes a diadem or tiara, is known as a parure, while two matching pieces is called a demi-parure,” says Hopper. When searching for costume jewelry, examples may be found on Internet sites like Etsy and eBay. However, for a more comprehensive overview, visit www.costumejewelrycollectors.com. With articles about every aspect of collecting costume jewelry, including its history, how and where to buy, marks and signatures, dating, and how to identify pieces, the site is a fascinating tutorial for both newbie and seasoned collector alike. To rephrase an old Duke Ellington tune, “It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that bling!” ◆ Summer 2017 15
VINES BY M.J. SULLIVAN
It’s a Honey of a Wine
and an exclusive line of health and beauty products, developed using the natural, beneficial properties of honey. To date Blue Haven Bee has established its presence in over 170 stores across the United States. Looking for ways to expand the company, Andrew, his sister Brianna and her husband, Caleb (himself a certified beekeeper), came up with an idea: Add a divi16 Northeast Georgia Living
sion that would produce mead and pyment wines using their honey. Mead, although it may be flavored with various fruits and spices, is basically a wine created by fermenting honey and water. Its origins date back to some of the earliest known civilizations on several continents. Pyment is essentially a wine made with honey and grapes or grape juice. According to Eater.com, from 2013 to 2015 the number of meaderies in this country more than doubled. That makes mead one of the fastest growing alcoholic beverage categories in the United States.
Andrew Brown (at right in photo), along with his sister Brianna and her husband, Caleb, added Southern Origin Meadery to the offerings at the family’s business, Blue Haven Bee Company. When considering the expansion of their product line to include mead and pyment, the availability of quality honey was not a concern. However, what the Blue Haven Bee team needed was someone skilled in winemaking to actually create the wine. Their business associate and friend, Jabe Hilson, winemaker and co-owner of Noble Wine Cellar in Clayton, was approached with the idea. “Jabe had told us before that he had always wanted to make mead,” says Andrew. “With our expertise in making honey, it seemed that it was meant to be, like fate just stepped in.” According to Hilson, creating mead from honey and water is challenging. “Making quality mead requires a sufficient supply of good, raw, unfiltered honey. In addition, I needed a pure water source which was free from any trace of chemicals. It took me six months to develop the recipe, mix-
Photos courtesy Blue Haven Bee Company
t all began in the year 2000, when Andrew Brown, then 10 years old, developed an interest in beekeeping. Before long he and his dad had set up an apiary in their backyard and were involved in the process of making honey. Thirteen years later, Andrew’s family launched the Blue Haven Bee Company in Canon. The company is located in a 15,000-square-foot facility that was once home to the family’s sportswear business. Today they offer several varieties of honey
ing up small batches in half gallon containers. By March of 2016 I had 500 gallons aging in a vat. The objective when creating mead is to capture the essence of the honey source. In this instance that source was wildflowers. After tasting the mead, I feel our objective was met. In addition to the mead, I also created a pyment using the same honey source and the fruit of the Vitis vinifera petit manseng wine grape. Working with the team and resources at Blue Haven Bee really has been a partnership in the truest sense of the word,” says Hilson. After aging for a year, the mead and the pyment were ready for bottling. Working in conjunction with Montaluce Winery in Dahlonega, the honeyed wines were bottled early in 2017. Andrew, who holds a degree in graphic arts from the University of Georgia, designed the labels for both wines. “This whole project was a family effort,” says Andrew. “We feel that our ancestors helped us get started by providing the land that has been in our family for several generations. That’s why we named this division of the business Southern Origin Meadery and why we chose the
motto ‘Our Roots Run Deep’ for our label. We believe that the past is an integral part of our future.” Both the mead and pyment wines are now being offered to the public at their newly constructed tasting room in the Blue Haven Bee showroom in Canon. These Southern Origin wines are considered semisweet and are therefore suited to pair with foods in a similar manner. It is suggested that the sweetness of the wines will “cool the burn” when served with hot, spicy foods. Strong cheeses, fruit and desserts, like cheesecake and carrot cake, also pair well. Because of their delicate properties, they may also be served as after-dinner wines. To find out more about Blue Haven Bee and their new division, Southern Origin Meadery, visit them online at www.bluehavenbee.com, or phone them at 706-245-6586 to find out about scheduled wine tastings. And when you are near downtown Clayton, be sure to stop by Noble Wine Cellar and sample the honeyed wines. For further details about Noble’s wines, visit them online at www.noblewinegeorgia.com or phone them at 706-212-0407. ◆
Summer 2017 17
EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY BY BLAKE RACKLEY
Warrior Chef here are some who run into battle with war cries and shouting, attempting to scare their enemies. Often they tire quickly, and despair kicks in. Then there are those who simply walk into battle armed with a fierce inward determination and face their enemy with a mental resolution that they will not be defeated, and they walk off the battlefield
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victorious. When they turn around, they see a host of people walking with them, inspired by their heart and life. Well, Kelley Tamplin is definitely the latter. While I consider Kelley a friend, I seriously doubt that anyone who has ever met her would see her any differently than I do. Her infectious smile and laughter can endear anyone to her in a matter of moments. One just can’t help but love Kelley. She is one of those rare individuals who doesn’t just dream – she lives out what she dreams. Like when she decided to leave a job she’d had for close to 20 years to take on the seemingly impossible task of opening a sandwich shop in the little town of Royston. Her shop – The Old Corner Hard-
Kelley Tamplin serves sandwiches, homemade salads and desserts – with a double side of kindness and encouragement – at her downtown Royston cafe.
ware Store – offers salads with your choice of a scoop of homemade chicken salad, pimento cheese, tuna salad or egg salad, or sandwiches such as Cuban, panhandle hot ham and cheese, club and BLT, among others. Delicious soup, pasta salad and a chalkboard of daily offerings await. You might think there is no room for dessert until you see and taste her amazing daily dessert choices. Favorites among the ever-changing choices include lemon shortbread bars, pecan cobbler, strawberry shortcake poke cake and a variety of tempting chocolate sensations. Kelley’s desserts are a sweet ending to a delicious lunch.
Ta m p l i n a n d s to re f ro n t by B l a ke R a c k l ey ; s a l a d s a n d d e s s e r t by M e l i s s a H e r n d o n
With a Smile
Well, a year and a half later, her dream is thriving. But she is dreaming of still more. She shared her ideas, her hopes and her vision for the future of the store and her family with me, and I couldn’t help but be caught up in those dreams of hers as she showed me around and talked about what she wants her place to be. Here is why this is so impressive. Last summer Kelley was diagnosed with cancer. Many take news such as this as a tragedy. Although there was an initial shock in receiving this news, Kelley calmly determined not to allow anything to destroy her dreams. Instead of regarding her diagnosis as a tragedy, she sees it as an opportunity and as a reminder to live a life of joy, hope and dreams. Before Christmas, Kelley said to me, “I’ve always lived life to the fullest. Why should I allow this to stop me?” I was at her restaurant recently and there were a few things that stood out to me. Kelley gives each moment, each friend, each staff member, each customer, her undivided attention. I watched her as she spoke to a customer (a total stranger) about the history of her store. She compliments and encourages everyone who comes into her sandwich shop. She thanks God for her ability to maintain her work schedule and for being able to spend time with her family. Throughout the more than six months of her cancer journey, she hasn’t missed a day of work, except for when she has had doctor’s appointments, despite undergoing two different forms of chemotherapy. While Kelley may not see herself as a warrior or even a leader, her quiet resolve and her smile in the face of cancer inspire many to do the same in the face of their own struggles. If you are looking for strength, seeking encouragement, looking for an example of how to live life with love and determination or if you are just looking for a great lunch in a family atmosphere, visit Kelley at The Old Corner Hardware Store. Meet the warrior chef. Hear her story. Partake in her victory. I promise, you will not be disappointed. ◆ Visit The Old Corner Hardware Store Lunchroom located at 919 Church St. in downtown Royston. They are open Tuesday through Friday and the 1st and 3rd Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for daily specials and more. Summer 2017 19
BOOKS BY M.C. TUFTS
here are few places in the world as rich and magical as the barrier islands of coastal Georgia. Infused with generations of human history, the natural environment has always been a source of inspiration, beauty, sustenance and, for some, hardship. In his new book, Sapelo: People and Place on a Georgia Sea Island, local historian Buddy Sullivan explores the island’s long heritage and unveils layers of human activity. The island’s rich history includes Native Americans, the Spanish missions of the 16th and 17th centuries, the antebellum plantations that brought enslaved people to work the land and marshes, the creation of a unique postCivil War island community of slave descendants, and vacationing automobile and tobacco barons. The University of Georgia’s Marine Institute, which was established in the 1950s to study marsh ecology, is also a part of the island’s human story. Sullivan is a native of McIntosh County, Ga., and has devoted his life and writing to books about his beloved Georgia coast. This book is his most extensive and explores details of history and agriculture, including rice and cotton production, as well as “live oaking,” which supplied ship builders with massive quantities of wood for boat building in the 18th and 19th centuries. Sullivan combines historical narratives, journal excerpts and letters to support his stories and includes an extensive selection of historical photographs of life and survival on the island. (One of the most compelling is from the 1920s and shows a Sapelo woman with her toddler pounding rice with a huge hand-carved wooden tool.) The text is not for the casual reader; Sullivan is fascinated with details and stories and never lets up in his enthusiasm to get as much on the page as possible. This book, while quite beautiful, is not meant to be a quick read; rather, one should keep this by the bed and delve into it piece by piece, or era by era. The author opens the writing with a chapter on Sapelo’s ecology and the renowned ecologist Eugene P. Odum’s 20 Northeast Georgia Living
influence on our understanding of the unique nature of the place. This chapter is a good way to begin to understand the ever-changing character of the barrier island, which is subject to numerous influences, including tides, winds, currents and the constant movement of sand and water. While it is tempting to think of Sapelo as somehow ancient and its culture long-lived, we also need to remember it has been in a state of flux for thousands and thousands of years; there really isn’t any one Sapelo. The contemporary photographs by Benjamin Galland take a back seat to the text in this book, not because they aren’t good photographs, but because there is so much in the telling of the island’s story. Galland is the same photographer who created images for the recent book about St. Simons Island from the University of Georgia Press, and there are some stunning images of the island’s shoreline and interiors. My favorite, however, is the fullpage image of lichen and moss growing on tabby, found on p. 148, which speaks to the astonishing blend of nature and culture. This mosaic captures the intricate interweaving of humanity and the environment, where lime, sand and water shaped by human hands (many of them African) combine to create one of the most enigmatic building materials in North America. So don’t give this book to your friend or relative who likes to go to the beach every now and then for a quick vacation. Give this book to any reader who wants to explore in detail the many ways humans have created culture on a truly alluring and mystifying, ever-changing landscape. Published in March 2017, Sapelo: People and Place on a Georgia Sea Island is over 300 pages and contains historical maps and sketches in addition to hundreds of historical and contemporary photographs. ◆
DESTINATION BY JACKIE SHECKLER FINCH
A Journey Back in Time
The American Empress cruises along
ears ago, when my kid brother decided to run away from home, our mother stopped his journey short with the question, “Where in the Sam Hill do you think you’re going?” I had no idea who or where this Sam Hill was, but I knew from Mom’s tone of voice that it was no place any of us wanted to go. It took a cruise on the Columbia and Snake rivers through Washington and Oregon to finally learn that there really was a Sam Hill and that he once lived in a truly beautiful place. Climb aboard the American Empress for that glorious cruise into history. Christened in April 2014 by the American
the Snake and Columbia rivers and through the Columbia River Gorge. Stylish interiors reflect early paddlewheel days. Day excursions include
Queen Steamboat Company, the 223-passenger paddle-wheeler features a lovely Victorian decor and a history-packed itinerary. Tours focus on Native American culture and on exploring the path of the westward expansion led by Lewis & Clark, CONTINUED ON PAGE 24
SHORE EXCURSIONS OFFER BEAUTIFUL SIGHTS AND TALES
Multnomah Falls 22 Northeast Georgia Living
n our stop at Multnomah Falls, I learned that it is one of 77 waterfalls on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. It is said that the falls were first witnessed by outsiders when the members of the Lewis & Clark expedition floated down the Columbia River. No one knows exactly who named the falls, but it has been called Multnomah since at least 1860. According to Native American legend, the falls were created to win the heart and hand of a young princess who needed a secret place to bathe. That princess might be surprised today to see all the folks who come to enjoy her “secret” waterfall. On our excursion to the Astoria Column, the 125-foot-tall column looked like a gigantic history book with pages reaching to the sky. Built in 1926, the column celebrates the Oregon city’s storied past. You can go inside and climb the 164-step spiral staircase to the
top for a fantastic view. Continuing along the path of the Lewis & Clark expedition, we stopped at Fort Clatsop, made famous as the final winter encampment for the adventurers and their crew. Along with an interpretive center, exhibit hall and replica forts, the grounds have a large statue of Native American guide Sacajawea and her baby, Pomp. Docents in period outfits share stories about what Lewis & Clark said were the most miserable months of their journey. It was from Fort Clatsop that the expedition departed for home on March 23, 1806. Later, the region they explored would become the state of Oregon. Since that time, the trail blazed by those two men has been followed by thousands of trappers and settlers and by travelers like my fellow riverboat passengers. A gentle rain was falling as we left Fort Clatsop. The experience brought history alive in ways that only stepping on the actual historic sites can do.
Paddle-wheeler photos courtesy American Queen Steamboat Company; gorge and falls by Jackie Schekler Finch
Oregon’s Multnomah Falls.
which includes the Oregon Trail, the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, Bonneville Dam and Astoria. All American Empress accommodations are outside cabins with verandahs or large picture windows. Cabins are comfy and well-organized and have plenty of storage space, Keurig coffee/tea machines, robes, safes, phones, binoculars, flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges that are kept stocked with complimentary bottled water. The Astoria Dining Room has plenty of window views and tables for two. For lighter dining, the River Grill is an open-air concept. Because the boat visits ports in Washington and Oregon, menus often feature fresh seafood and locally produced fruits and vegetables, plus local wine and craft beer. Complimentary wine and beer are served with dinner, and complimentary cappuccino, espresso and soft drinks are available throughout the journey. For evening entertainment, the Paddlewheel Lounge is a favorite gathering place and a great spot to watch that iconic red paddle wheel churning its way through the river. An onboard riverlorian regales passengers with history tidbits about the area. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship. For convenience, the American Empress offers a complimentary hop-on, hop-off tour bus for shore excursions or daily stops along the way. Washington and Oregon are, of course, famous for their wines, so an American Empress cruise includes several wine-tasting sessions featuring selections from regional wineries. As for old Sam Hill, he visited the Pacific Northwest in the 1800s and fell in love with its natural beauty. A businessman, lawyer, railroad executive and advocate of good roads for his new homeland, Hill was responsible for the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway. Many thought Sam Hill crazy – including his ex-wife, who refused to live in the magnificent mansion he built for her – for choosing to settle in such an unsettled territory. His name is sometimes used when planning a seemingly impossible task or going to a very remote region. As for me, I’m a firm believer in cruising through Sam Hill country on a luxurious riverboat and enjoying the treasures that he and so many others cherished. ◆ For more information, contact the American Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280 or visit www.americansteamboatcompany.com. 24 Northeast Georgia Living
LET’S GO SOMEWHERE TODAY BY PAMELA A. KEENE
26 Northeast Georgia Living
Highlights along Hospitality Highway – the 50-mile stretch of Georgia 400 from Dahlonega to Buckhead – include historic downtown Dahlonega, Sawnee Mountain Preserve and playful sculpture along the Abernathy Greenway in Sandy Springs. Room’s owner – and the world’s biggest Elliot family fan – Gordon Pirkle. When he’s not at the Pool Room, he’s probably at the Racing Hall of Fame. Cumming’s a haven for outdoor adventurers. The 963-acre Sawnee Mountain Preserve is great for hiking, picnicking and enjoying nature. Its visitors center includes an interpretive exhibit and information about classes and guided hikes. The Cumming Playhouse regularly offers theater productions. Before you go to a show, have dinner at Tam’s Backstage on the lower floor of the converted school building that’s home to the theater. Or, you could take a side trip to Lake Lanier and one of several waterside parks for a quiet afternoon in the spring sunshine. The Cumming Fairground is an epicenter of activity and hosts events like the fall Cumming Fair.
The boom is on in Alpharetta, with downtown restaurants, a weekly Saturday farmers market, and distinct shops and galleries all within walking distance. If shopping’s your game, plan to spend some time in Avalon; the walkable live, work and play complex offers name-brand shopping, drop-in and fine dining, and occasional
Special photos; Dahlonega courtesy of Georgia Dept. of Economic Development
he hardest decision is picking what section of Northeast Georgia’s Hospitality Highway to visit for a day trip. Comprising seven communities from Dahlonega to Buckhead, the 50-mile stretch of Georgia 400 offers everything from visual arts and museums to wine tastings and history. It’s a true connect-the-dots itinerary. It includes Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Cumming, Alpharetta, Roswell, Sandy Springs and Buckhead, and it provides access to thousands of activities, from drop-in and high-end restaurant dining to boutique and outlet shopping or spending a couple of hours exploring town squares and chatting with the locals. We all know the storied history of the Dahlonega gold rush nearly two centuries ago, and we’re reminded about it by the gold dome on the Lumpkin County Courthouse, which houses the Gold Rush Museum. You can still pan for gold in Dahlonega or experience history on the square, where many brick and wood buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Pick up the Dahlonega Gold Fever package at the downtown Dahlonega Welcome Center when you arrive. It offers discounted tickets to all things gold, from an underground mine tour to museum entrance. The information includes details on many other attractions to visit while you’re there. Some of the most popular wineries in the state call Dahlonega home. There are tasting rooms on the square and several wineries within a 15-minute drive, so be sure to experience the liquid gold made from varietal grapes grown in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Dawsonville, known for its annual October Moonshine Festival, the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and the Moonshine Museum next to city hall, has other sites to see as well. Stop in at the Dawsonville Pool Room for flat-grilled burgers and yummy fries. You might run into Bill Elliott, Dawsonville’s hometown hero, or have a chance to chat with the Pool
evening outdoor concerts. Stop by the Tesla dealer to see the latest in green transportation. Or check out the concert schedule at the Verizon Amphitheatre. Tickets are reasonably priced, and developers planned well to minimize traffic hassles. Roswell’s history comes alive in its 640acre historic district. Stop in to visit one of the three historic homes – Barrington Hall, Bullock Hall and Smith Plantation – then have a light bite or dessert at one of Roswell’s many sidewalk cafes. Admission is free at the “Anne Frank in the World: 1929-1945” exhibit at the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust at 5920 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. Visit museums and galleries, including the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum in the Williams-Payne historic home, or check out the diverse playable art at the Abernathy Greenway. Kids of all ages are encouraged to climb on and through the fantasy creatures in the playground. When you’ve reached Atlanta’s Interstate 285 perimeter, you’re in Buckhead, an experience all its own. From the Atlanta History Center and the historic Swan House, where parts of “The Hunger Games” franchise were filmed, to the shopping at Phipps Plaza and Lenox Mall, Buckhead and all it has to offer is a world unto itself. No matter what part of Georgia’s Hospitality Highway piques your interest, you’ve got a month’s worth of daytrips to discover, from Dahlonega south to Buckhead. Make a plan and see all that’s offered in these seven distinctly different jewels in Northeast Georgia. ◆ For more information and further planning for your trip: Dahlonega www.dahlonega.org (mobile app: www.mobilemindtech.com/ app/downtown) Dawsonville dawson.org Cumming www.cummingforsythchamber.org Alpharetta www.awesomealpharetta.com Roswell visitroswellga.com Sandy Springs www.visitsandysprings.org Buckhead www.atlanta.net/buckhead Summer 2017 27
THINK POTTERY! RABUN COUNTY Painted Fern Festival of Art: July 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and July 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Rabun County Civic Center, Clayton. This event is hosted by the North Georgia Arts Guild. Please visit www.northgeorgiaartsguild.com for more information.
UNION COUNTY 19th Annual Butternut Creek Festival: Saturday, July 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, July 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Meeks Park, Blairsville. Attend one of the finest juried arts & crafts shows in the Southeast. The festival will showcase the work of 65 artists and craftsmen in categories from basketry and fine art to decorative painting and metal working, among others. Learn more by visiting www.butternutcreekfestival.com.
TOWNS COUNTY 67th Annual Georgia Mountain Fair: July 21-29, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee. Join thousands of other visitors and experience live music, arts & crafts, carnival rides and Northeast Georgia culture. Please visit www.georgiamountainfair grounds.com to learn more.
WHITE COUNTY Folk Pottery Show & Sale: Sept. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Folk Pottery Museum, Sautee. The museum will exhibit the work of local potters and artists. Please call 706878-3300 or visit www.snca.org NORTHEAST for more GEORGIA information.
Pitcher by Cody Trautner
POTTERY TRAIL PAGE 46
28 Northeast Georgia Living
LET’S GO SOMEWHERE TODAY BY SYDNAH KINGREA
Find your special Independence Day celebration in Northeast Georgia. PAINTING BY KENSELZERFINEARTS.COM
www.visitathensga.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-549-6800; Convention & Visitors Center: 706-357-4430 or 800-653-0603)
www.cityofwinder.com www.winderdowntown.com (Chamber of Commerce: 770-867-9444; Auburn: 770-963-4002; Bethlehem: 770-8670702; Carl: 770-867-1308; Statham: 770-7255455; Winder: 770-867-3106)
Athens Farmers Market: every Saturday throughout the summer, 8 a.m.-noon, Bishop Park, Athens, and every Wednesday throughout the summer, 4 p.m.-7 p.m., Creature Comforts, downtown Athens. 21st Annual AthFest Music & Arts Festival: June 23-25, downtown Athens. Enjoy this weekend-long showcase of more than 100 bands, Artist Market and food and drink vendors. To learn more, please visit www.athfest.com.
BANKS COUNTY www.bankscountyga.org (Convention & Visitors Bureau: 706-677-5265; Chamber of Commerce: 706-677-2108 or 877-389-2896)
Build a Better World Program Series: June 26 & July 10, 17, 24 & 31, 10 a.m., Banks County Primary School, Homer. The Build a Better World series, sponsored by Banks County Public Library, will feature ventriloquist Cliff Patton, Smithgall Woods specialist Kathy Church, puppeteer Will Keating, puppeteer Damon Young and juggler Todd Key. The programs are geared toward children in pre-K through second grade.
“Fools”: Aug. 4-6 & 11-13, Winder-Barrow Community Theatre, Winder. Have a night out at the theater and enjoy this hilarious comedy. Find show times and details at www.winderbarrowtheatre.org. The Jug Tavern Festival: Sept. 15-16, Winder. The Jug Tavern Festival is an annual extravaganza that features live entertainers, a car show, a cornhole tournament, local arts & crafts vendors, food and drink vendors and a variety of kids’ activities and games.
DAWSON COUNTY www.dawsoncounty.org www.dawson.org (Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism Development: 706-2656278, ext. 104)
5th Annual Shine Pedalers Metric: July 29, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, Dawsonville. Please visit www.dawson.org or call 706-265-6278.
ELBERT COUNTY www.mainstreet-elberton.com www.elbertga.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-283-5651; Main Street: 706-213-0626; Bowman City Hall: 706245-5432)
Bathroom Humor Performance: July 14-15 & 21-22, 7 p.m., and July 16 & 23, CONTINUED ON PAGE 30
SUMMER 2017 EVENTS 2 p.m., Elbert Theatre, Elberton. “Princess Diana”: Aug. 25-26, Rock Gym, Elberton. This event is sponsored by Savannah River Productions. Call 706-376-7397 or visit www.savannah riverproductions.org. “Guys and Dolls” Performance: Sept. 810 & 15-17, Elbert Theatre, Elberton. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m. and Sunday shows are at 2 p.m.
FORSYTH COUNTY www.cummingforsythchamber.org www.cumminglocal.com (Chamber of Commerce: 770-887-6461)
July Fourth Celebration: July 3-4, Cumming Fairgrounds, Cumming. July 3 festivities will take place from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and will include a dance contest, food vendors and plenty of kids’ activities. Enjoy the Steam Engine Parade on July 4 at 10 a.m. Visit www.cumming july4parade.com to learn more. Food Trucks n’ Forsyth: July 17, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Forsyth Conference Center, Cumming. Enjoy entertainment for the whole family while you taste the offerings of some of Atlanta’s best food trucks. IPRA World Championship Rodeo: Sept. 1-3, Friday & Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m., Cumming Fairgrounds Covered Arena, Cumming. Tickets will go on sale two hours before the show. Gate admission is $15 for adults, $10 for children aged 5-12 and seniors aged 65 & up, and free for children aged 4 and under. Learn more at www.ipra-rodeo.com.
FRANKLIN COUNTY www.franklin-county.com www.cityofroyston.com www.canongeorgia.com www.lavonia-ga.com (Franklin County Chamber of Commerce: 706-384-4659; Royston DDA: 706-245-7577; Lavonia DDA: 706-356-1923)
Land of Spirit Folk Life Play “Living, Loving & Dying”: June 23-24, 7:30 p.m., and June 24-25, 2:30 p.m., Lavonia Cultural Center, Lavonia. Please call 706356-1926 for more information. Youth Summer Theatre Presents “Singing in the Rain”: July 10-23, Lavonia Cultural Center, Lavonia. Please call 706-356-1926 for more information. 30 Northeast Georgia Living
Movie Night at the Gazebo: July 15 & Sept. 16, 8:30 p.m., the gazebo in downtown Lavonia. A family-friendly movie will be featured. Please call 706-356-1926 for more information. Music on Main Street: Aug. 4 & Sept. 22, 7 p.m., the gazebo in downtown Lavonia. Backwoods Country will perform at 7 p.m. on Aug. 4 and Seven Day Weekend will perform at 7 p.m. on Sept. 22. Please call 706-356-1926 for more information. The Great American Eclipse Event: Aug. 21, 2 p.m., the gazebo in downtown Lavonia. Please call 706-356-1926 for more information. Children’s Craft Day at the Farmers Market: Sept. 16, 10 a.m., the gazebo in downtown Lavonia. Please call 706-3561926 for more information. Tugaloo Triathlon: Sept. 16, Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia. Come support your favorite athletes! Please call 706-3564362 to learn more.
HABERSHAM COUNTY www.habershamga.com www.habershamchamber.com www.corneliageorgia.org www.clarkesvillega.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-778-4654; Better Hometown-Cornelia: 706-778-7875; Clarkesville City Hall: 706-754-2220; Cornelia City Hall: 706-778-8585; Demorest City Hall: 706-778-4202)
Piedmont College Presents “The Valley Where They Danced”: June 15-18 & June 22-25, Piedmont College, Demorest. Enjoy this production of an original new play by local historian and writer Emory Jones. Red, White & Tunes: July 21, 7-10 p.m., Pitts Park, Clarkesville. The city of Clarkesville hosts a night of live music and fireworks.
HALL COUNTY www.hallcounty.org www.gainesville.org (Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce: 770-5326206; Convention & Visitors Bureau: 770-5365209; Main Street Gainesville: 770-297-1141)
Annual Gainesville Community Summer Bash: July 22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Interactive College of Technology, Gainesville. This charity event will CONTINUED ON PAGE 32
Summer 2017 31
SUMMER 2017 EVENTS celebrate summertime and the Gainesville community network while also offering opportunities for a better future. Visitors will enjoy a career fair, inflatables, food trucks, a potluck cookout and raffles.
HART COUNTY www.hart-chamber.org www.hartwellmainstreet.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-376-8590 or email@example.com; DDA: 706-376-0188)
Dancin’ on Depot: June 23, 7-11 p.m., downtown Hartwell. Enjoy a dance party on Depot Street with the whole town. The featured band is Still Cruzin’. Tickets are $5, and kids 6 and under are admitted for free. Please visit www.hartwellmainstreet.com for more information. 41st Annual Pre-Fourth Craft Festival: June 24, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., downtown Hartwell. This expansive craft fair will take over the downtown square. It will feature over 100 arts & crafts vendors plus food, entertainment and children’s activities. You and your family can also enjoy a patriotic parade. Sponsored by the Hartwell Service League. Lake Hartwell Olympic & Sprint Triathlon: June 24, 7 a.m., Big Oaks Recreation Area, Hartwell. This event is sponsored by the Bell Family YMCA. For more information, please call 706856-9622 or visit www.gapiedmont ymca.org. Pre-Fourth Fireworks: June 24, 6-9:30 p.m., Big Oaks Recreation Area, Hartwell. Enjoy local food vendors and live patriotic music from the Community Band. Wet ‘n Wild Weekend: Aug. 12-13, 10 a.m., Long Point Recreation Area, Hartwell. This National Pro Watercross racing event will include stunt shows and an opportunity to hang out with the racers and get autographs. Food vendors, kids’ activities and racing entertainment will be provided. “Princess Diana”: Aug. 18-19, Fine Arts Center, Hart County High School, Hartwell. This event is sponsored by Savannah River Productions. For more information, please call 706-376-7397 or visit www.savannahriver productions.org.
www.jacksoncountyga.com www.cityofhoschton.com www.commercega.org www.mainstreetcommercega.com www.cityofjeffersonga.com www.mainstreetjefferson.com www.braselton.net (Chamber of Commerce: 706-387-0300; Commerce DDA: 706-335-2954; Jefferson Better Hometown: 706-215-3345; Jefferson City Hall: 706-367-7202; Braselton City Hall: 770-654-3915)
www.dahlonega.org (Chamber of Commerce: 706-864-3711 or 800-231-5543; Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Visitors Center: 706-864-3513)
Braselton Farmers Market: every Friday from June through September, 4-7 p.m., downtown Braselton. Find the market at the Braselton Brothers Department Store complex on Davis Street next to the Braselton Town Green. Art-tiques Vintage Market: June 23-25, downtown Braselton. Please visit www.braselton.net for more details. Annual Freedom Festival: June 24, 5-10 p.m., downtown Jefferson. Celebrate freedom with live music from the Fly Betty Band and enjoy vendor booths, food and drinks, music, games and fireworks with your family. Fireworks & Music: June 30, downtown Commerce. Enjoy an evening of entertainment and local food. End the night with fireworks. Learn more at www.mainstreetcommercega.com. Parade, Festival & Fireworks: July 4, 5-10 p.m., Town Green, downtown Braselton. Please visit www.downtown braselton.com. Jacob Flood Run/Walk: July 4, Mulberry Riverwalk, Braselton. Visit www.down townbraselton.com for details. Movie Under the Stars on the Green: July 15, Aug. 19 & Sept. 16, dusk, Town Green, downtown Braselton. Find out what movie will be playing at www.face book.com/braseltontowngreen. Summer Concert: Aug. 4, downtown Commerce. Meet in downtown Commerce for a summer concert and local food and drinks. YearOne Braselton Bash: Aug. 19, 5-9 p.m., and Sept. 16, noon-7 p.m., YearOne, Braselton. Enjoy a car show that will include family-friendly activities and local foods. Please visit www.drivinithome.com/braselton-bash to learn more.
Appalachian Jam: every Saturday from June through October, 2-5 p.m., the Gold Museum lawn, Dahlonega. Visit www.dahlonegadda.org/events/appjam. Dahlonega Farmers Market: every Tuesday from June through September, 2-6 p.m., and every Saturday from June through September, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Hancock Park, Dahlonega. First Friday Night Concert Series: every Friday night from June through September, Hancock Park, Dahlonega. Visit www.dahlonegadda.org to find out who will be playing at these exciting outdoor concerts. Dahlonegaâ€™s Fourth of July Celebration: July 4, downtown Dahlonega. Bring your family, friends and lawn chairs to celebrate the Fourth of July in the Northeast Georgia mountains! A full day of familyfriendly activities is planned. CONTINUED ON PAGE 34
Summer 2017 33
SUMMER 2017 EVENTS Dahlonega Wine Trail Weekend: Aug. 19-20, Lumpkin County. Enjoy tastings at several of Lumpkin Countyâ€™s premier wineries. A passport to wineries that includes tastings and a souvenir glass can be obtained at the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Visitors Center, or you can learn more by visiting www.dahlonega.org.
MADISON COUNTY www.madisoncountyga.org (Danielsville Chamber of Commerce: 706795-3473)
Colbertâ€™s Fourth of July: July 4, downtown Colbert. Indulge in delicious barbecue and enjoy the exciting events planned by the Colbert Volunteer Fire Department. The parade begins at 9 a.m.
OCONEE COUNTY www.oconeecounty.com www.oconeechamber.org (Oconee County Chamber of Commerce: 706769-7947; Welcome Center: 706-769-5197)
Farmers Market: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Oconee County Courthouse, Watkinsville. Fourth of July Spectacular: July 4, Oconee Veterans Park, Watkinsville. Visit www.oconeechamber.org.
RABUN COUNTY www.gamountains.com www.downtownclaytonga.org www.explorerabun.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-782-4812; Civic Center: 706-212-2142)
Sweet Charity & Friends: June 2, July 7, Aug. 4 & Sept. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Rock House Park, Main Street, Clayton. Enjoy a free concert and shopping on Main Street in Clayton. Call 727-434-4499. 9th Annual Clayton Crawl: July 15, 6-9 p.m., Main Street, Clayton. Taste wine and beer and enjoy food from local restaurants while you listen to live music. Visit www.claytoncrawl.org. Simply Homegrown Farmers Market Garlic Fest: July 28, 9 a.m.-noon, Covered Bridge Shopping Center, Clayton. Features garlic tasting, a garlic pie contest and a variety of garlic-infused items! Visit www.rabunmarket.com. CONTINUED ON PAGE 36 34 Northeast Georgia Living
Summer 2017 35
SUMMER 2017 EVENTS 21st Annual Dillard Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival: Aug. 4-5, Dillard City Hall Fairgrounds, Dillard. Come and enjoy family fun, music, food and crafts. Please visit www.dillardbbq.org. Rhapsody in Rabun Gala & Auction: Aug. 12, 5 p.m., Rabun County Civic Center, Clayton. Please visit www.rhapsodyinrabun.com for more information.
dors and fun! Visit www.georgia mountainfairgrounds.com to learn more. Lake Chatuge Summer Lake Homes Showcase: July 15, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tour eight lake homes in Hiawassee and Young Harris. For more information, call 706-896-4966. Hank Williams Jr.: Sept. 2, 7 p.m., Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee. Visit www.georgiamountain fairgrounds.com for ticket prices.
www.mainstreettoccoa.com www.toccoagachamber.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-886-2132)
Summer Movies at The Ritz: Thursdays in June & July, 10 a.m. & 7 p.m., The Historic Ritz Theatre at the Schaefer Center, downtown Toccoa. Movies to be shown this summer are “Sing” on June 15, “The Jungle Book” on June 22, “Independence Day: Resurgence” on June 29, “Trolls” on July 6, “Nine Lives” on July 13, “Doctor Strange” on July 20 and “Moana” on July 27. The Ida Cox Music Series: Saturdays in June, July & August, 7-10 p.m., Doyle Street, downtown Toccoa. Food and drinks from local restaurants will be available. Groups performing will include “Tangents” on June 24, “Conner Tribble and the Deacons” on July 1, “Lily Rose” on July 8, “Seven Day Weekend” on July 15, “Thunder Gypsy Band” on July 22, “Maggie Valley Band” on July 29, “Odell Scott and Slip Shot” on Aug. 5, “Second Time Around” on Aug. 12, “Hunter Callahan” on Aug. 19 and “Milkshake Mayfield” on August 26.
TOWNS COUNTY www.mountaintopga.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-896-4966; Towns County Tourism: 706-896-0589)
Martina McBride: June 23, 7 p.m., Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee. Visit www.georgiamountain fairgrounds.com for ticket prices. T. Graham Brown & Jimmy Fortune: July 1, 7 p.m., Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee. Please visit www.georgiamountainfairgrounds.com for ticket prices. Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruzin’: July 13-15, Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee. Enjoy cars, food ven36 Northeast Georgia Living
www.blairsvillechamber.com www.downtownblairsville.com (Chamber of Commerce: 877-745-4789 or 706-745-5789)
Blairsville Galaxy Bowling Special: June 21, 25 & 28, 2-8 p.m., Blairsville Galaxy Bowling, Blairsville. Bowl all day for only $2.50 per person per game (shoes extra). 11th Annual Mountain Fling: June 2425, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Blairsville. This juried art show will feature original pieces, crafts, ceramics, jewelry, linen and more. Visit www.artworkgalleryga.com. Outdoor Concert Series at Paradise Hills Winery Resort & Spa: June 24, 2-5 p.m., Paradise Hills Winery Resort & Spa wine patio, Blairsville. Bring friends and family and enjoy live music, food and wine. There is no cover charge! For more information, visit www.paradisehills resort/calendarofevents.com. Alpaca Farm & Art Studio Fourth of July Celebration Open House: July 1, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm, Blairsville. Learn about the gentle alpaca and meet alpaca babies. Visit the gallery shop for handcrafted alpaca fiber art and gifts. Refreshments will be provided. Visit www.alpacamoon.com. Lake Nottely Boat Parade: July 4, 11 a.m.-noon, Nottely Marina, Blairsville. Bring your decorated boat and celebrate Independence Day in style. Please call 706-745-3638 to learn more. Mountain Heritage Festival: Sept. 3, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mountain Life Museum, downtown Blairsville. Celebrate the history and mountain culture of Union County and features mountain arts & crafts, live music and food and drink vendors. Visit www.unioncountyhistory.org. Mountain Music and Arts & Crafts Festival: Sept. 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Vogel State Park, Blairsville. Enjoy bluegrass, CONTINUED ON PAGE 38
SUMMER 2017 EVENTS gospel and Appalachian music as you browse local arts & crafts vendors.
WHITE COUNTY www.whitecountychamber.org www.helenchamber.com www.helenga.org (Convention & Visitors Bureau: 706-878-5608; Helen Welcome Center & Chamber of Commerce: 706-878-1619; White County Chamber of Commerce: 706-865-5356)
Fourth of July Fireworks: July 4, 9:30-10 p.m, downtown Helen. Helen’s beautiful annual fireworks display begins at dusk. Please come and enjoy. Learn more at www.helenga.org. Swing for the Hills Annual Golf Tournament 2017: July 28, Mossy Creek Golf Course, Cleveland. Help White County raise funds for the Chamber of Commerce by attending this exciting event. Contact the White County Chamber of Commerce at 706-865-5356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register or learn more. Crush Fest 2017: Sept. 2, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Yonah Mountain Vineyards, Cleveland. Enjoy wining, dining and socializing with friends at the vineyards. 2017 Georgia’s Spirit of Appalachia Food, Wine & Art Festival: Sept. 16, Hardman Farm, Sautee. Visit the grounds of the Hardman Farm in Sautee and celebrate the spirit of Appalachia with live music, local dishes, Georgia’s finest wines and booths of arts & crafts. 47th Annual Oktoberfest: Thursdays through Sundays beginning in September and continuing through Oct. 29, Festhalle, Helen. Enjoy German music, dancing, drinks and food at the annual Oktoberfest! ◆ TO LIST EVENTS IN future issues, send an email to email@example.com or mail hard copies to P.O. Box 270, Franklin Springs, GA 30639. Deadline for the Fall 2017 issue is July 10, 2017. Please include events covering the period from Sept 21, 2017, through Dec. 1, 2017. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our listing of scheduled events. For additional information and for confirmation, please call either local sponsors or chamber of commerce offices.
38 Northeast Georgia Living
Tour 8 Homes on Majestic
LakeChatuge SUMMER LAKE HOMES SHOWCASE
ew things are more relaxing than spending a week at your lakeside home, except perhaps spending it at a lake home that also boasts magnificent mountain views. This yearâ€™s Summer Lake Homes Showcase brings visitors to the cool mountain waters of Lake Chatuge in Towns County. From stone exteriors and uniquely hand-designed accent walls to an extravagantly built 10,000square-foot lake mansion with a heated indoor pool, these lakefront houses are on a level of luxury all their very own. On Saturday, July 15, join us from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for an elaborate self-guided tour of eight breathtaking lakefront homes. Sponsored by Towns County Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Georgia Living Magazine, Century 21 Scenic Realty,
RE/MAX Hiawassee Realty, RE/MAX Town and Country, United Community Bank, WJUL 97.5 and WJRB 95.1, this scenic affair and awe-filled tour of elegant residences will bring your home-away-from-home dreams to life. Enjoy viewing the unique custom cabinetry, sleek granite countertops, polished interiors and high-end flooring while you imagine yourself sitting on these screened-in porches with unspoiled views as you relax and sip your sweet tea. Learn more about this compelling event by calling 706-896-4966 or by visiting the chamber website, www.golakechatuge.com.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
BY SYDNAH KINGREA â€˘ LAKE PHOTO BY MELISSA HERNDON
1 2662 Ridgecrest Circle, Hiawassee YOU’LL NEVER SEE ANOTHER house like this beautiful and charming deepwater lakefront home. With five bedrooms and four baths, this is the perfect home for a family retreat or for year-round living. The home is built with high-quality D-log siding with stone and cedar shake accents, and it is covered with floor-to-ceiling windows – qualities that offer a striking appearance as visitors arrive. One large great room on the main floor has a stone fireplace as the focal point of the room with unique rock steps that lead to a second great room. A large loft overlooks this area. Genuine wood siding walls, windows that provide natural lighting and wood and tile flooring can be found throughout the home. The large open kitchen features plenty of cabinet space and a stone island that mirrors the stone accents in the great room. A large master suite on the main floor has cathedral ceilings and wallto-wall windows that boast unbeatable views. The tiled master bath has a large walkin shower and Jacuzzi garden tub. A huge master closet completes the suite. Two additional bedrooms, a second bathroom, a laundry room, an office space and a large multiuse craft room make up the remainder of this floor. The terrace level has another large den and an extra bedroom and bathroom. Two attached garages with a bedroom suite over one of them, a covered dock with a party deck and year-round lake and mountain views make this the ideal lake house. $899,900 Jo Ellen Thornton • Century 21 Scenic Realty • 404-680-6549
2 2540 Ridgecrest Circle, Hiawassee PANORAMIC LAKE AND MOUNTAIN views make this gorgeous five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home with columned decking and a stately exterior remarkably perfect. This prestigious lake house has plenty of space and many custom distinctions that set it apart from any other home on the lake. Designed by and built for a local interior designer, this flawless space has custom cabinets, long-lasting and attractive quartz countertops, cathedral ceilings and wood floors throughout. With an open floor plan, the already large space feels even more uncluttered and bright. The master bedroom and great room have gas log fireplaces accented with delicate tilework and sturdy carved mantels. The dining room with a built-in china cabinet and shelving is the perfect place for a three-course meal with family and friends. The kitchen has a large island for extra cooking space or seating and a stylish tile backsplash. The master suite includes a large bathroom with a tile shower and two standalone sinks. The convenient office space also includes a Murphy bed for extra space when visitors arrive. The terrace level holds the four remaining bedrooms, two baths, a large den, a rec room with a wet bar and a bonus room for an extra bed or to use as a craft space. Covered and uncovered tiled patios and decking offer all the options you need for viewing the scenery any time of year. An outside fireplace offers a charming location for entertaining or enjoying peaceful summer nights. A two-car garage and a dock with a party deck are additional features that complete this perfect home. $1,200,000 Jo Ellen Thornton • Century 21 Scenic Realty • 404-680-6549 Summer 2017 41
3 1918 Cedar Cliff Road, Hiawassee THIS LARGE COLONIAL-STYLE brick home with elegant white columns has four spacious bedrooms and three full bathrooms and sits on nearly three acres with lake frontage. The living room opens out to a screened-in porch and has a traditional fireplace with a solid wood mantel. The kitchen has a large island, upscale stainless appliances and richly colored custom cabinets. The master suite on the main floor has 10foot tray ceilings, a large window, an attached office area and a door that leads out to a large deck. The master bath with tile floors and a garden tub connects to a spacious walk-in closet. A large partially screened-in and partially open-air deck offers wide-open lake views for your morning coffee or evening meal. Crown molding graces the additional bedrooms and den, offering fine details. The finished terrace level has a second kitchen for convenient entertaining. A second open living space with a brick fireplace and dining area are also on the terrace level. A two-garage bay, a separate 40-by-40foot garage with a motor home bay and a boat bay and a double-slip covered boat dock offer plenty of storage space. $1,895,000 Bill Herold • RE/MAX Hiawassee Realty • 706-781-4612
4 1961 Russell Manor Road, Hiawassee THIS IS A GREAT 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom lakefront home sitting on .68 acres and located in the beautiful Russell Manor Subdivision. It is a perfect getaway on Lake Chatuge and is in perfect condition. It has been recently remodeled and is just like NEW! There are super year-round mountain and lake views. The property has good water with a covered dock and is very private. There is also a detached carport. $585,000 Richard Kelley • Century 21 Scenic Realty • 706-781-5220
42 Northeast Georgia Living
5 579 Beech Cove Drive, Hiawassee THIS DELIGHTFUL THREE-BEDROOM, three-and-a-half bath home has excellent year-round lake frontage and draws in visitors with an appealing exterior that includes stone and cedar shake accents as well as charming shutters and mountain views. Extravagant features like teak hardwood floors are found throughout the home, and granite countertops grace the kitchen and bathrooms. The kitchen also features updated stainless appliances, a spacious pantry, a dining area and cherry cabinets that are mirrored with built-in cherry shelving in the family room. The family room includes a gas log fireplace for year-round comfort, a high-end home theater system for hours of entertainment and a door that leads out to the screenedin porch with lake views. The master suite with tray ceilings and bright natural lighting extends into a large bathroom with double vanities, a whirlpool tub and a tile shower. In the lower level, you’ll discover a large rec room or media room with a second fireplace and a small kitchen. A bathroom and a garage with 10-foot ceilings complete the home. You’ll have plenty of storage at this home and great views. $649,000 Diane Baggett • Century 21 Scenic Realty • 706-835-7731
6 1297 Laurel Lane, Hiawassee LOCATED ON OVER HALF an acre on the beautiful waters of Lake Chatuge, this five-bedroom, five-bath home is excellent for entertaining large groups or for fitting your entire family! The main level boasts a large kitchen with solid-surface counters and custom two-tone cabinets. A walk-in pantry and a laundry off the kitchen make for a convenient living area. A fine dining room large enough to fit a table that seats 10 to 12 people separates the kitchen from the spacious living room. The living room has heart pine floors and cypress tongue-and-groove ceilings, as well as a stoned-in gas log fireplace for cozy evenings. A wall of windows offers wide-open views of the lake from most of the main floor. Off the living room on the main floor is the master suite. A large bedroom and living area with a gas log fireplace offer plenty of comfort and space. A double vanity, large tiled shower and garden tub make up the master bath. A walk-in closet and a large open deck overlooking the lake finish off the master suite of your dreams. A guest bedroom and full bath are also on the main level. The second level brings you to an open loft area that can be used as a sitting area or office. Two additional large bedrooms, each with a private bath, can also be found on this floor. The terrace level offers an extra-huge living room with another gas log fireplace, the fifth bedroom and a full bathroom. There is also a bonus room that can be used as a sixth bedroom as desired. A workshop and storage area complete this floor. $985,000 Cyndi Daves • Remax Town and Country • 828-361-9783
Summer 2017 43
7 680 Parker Lane, Hiawassee THIS PRODIGIOUS 10,000-SQUARE-FOOT home is located on 14 acres, most of which are under water. It has four large bedrooms and five baths and is on its very own private island with water in nearly every direction. With an upscale stone exterior and pane-less windows, this home looks and feels luxurious. The kitchen has plenty of storage space and aesthetic value with immaculate customized cabinetry and a stainless gas range and matching additional appliances. Sophisticated tilework and hardwood floors and two large stone fireplaces accent the beautiful living space. Vaulted ceilings can be found in much of the living area, creating a spacious, airy feel. In addition to the expansive kitchen and living area, a game room, a sauna, four huge bedrooms and five bathrooms make up the remainder of the home. You’ll find five HVAC units and an outdoor furnace to keep the substantial home at the optimal temperature. A convenient concrete pad is located by the lake and two boat docks are permitted on the property to hold all your favorite lake toys. The interior of this property has been beautifully updated, and it includes 2,500 square feet of heated garage that can be turned into a multiuse workshop. You can also enjoy lake views year-round from the heated indoor pool. $1,575,000 Bill Pierson • RE/MAX Hiawassee Realty • 706-781-4879
8 2363 Hidden Valley Road, Hiawassee THIS QUALITY CRAFTED FIVE-BEDROOM, three-bath lake retreat is comprised of an open floor plan with a warm, rustic gourmet kitchen that offers updated high-end appliances, a copper sink, granite countertops and custom cabinets. The great room features a soaring stacked-stone fireplace with an artfully customized wooden feature wall and a large antler chandelier. Thick timber beams grace a steeply vaulted wood ceiling. You’ll find additional beautiful wood and timber beams throughout the home. A game room or office with expansive skylights, a spacious screened-in porch, plus several decks offer additional living space and room to breathe. The large master suite with its own private deck and a master bath with tiled shower and jetted tub make for luxurious accommodations for your lake stay. Four additional bedrooms each offer their own natural lighting and pleasing views via large windows and glass doors. Other attractive features like beamed ceilings and shiplap siding are sprinkled throughout the home to ensure you’ll never find a space quite like this one. The private 1.09-acre level lot boasts scenic views, huge shade trees that keep you cool on hot summer days and an oversized boat dock with a swimming platform for plenty of wet and wild fun. $799,000 Rick Andrews • Century 21 Scenic Realty • 828-557-9139
44 Northeast Georgia Living
Summer 2017 45
TRAILS POTTERY BY PAMELA A. KEENE
Old-Time Traditions ... Modern-Day Twists
Syrup jug by Michael Crocker; face jug by Wayne Hewell 46 Northeast Georgia Living
enowned for its long history of producing functional Appalachian pottery, face jugs and decorative ware, Northeast Georgia attracts visitors from around the world to the Georgia Folk Pottery Museum in Sautee Nacoochee. There you can view works by some of the areaâ€™s most renowned potters, including previous and current generations of the Craven, Meaders and Hewell families and others, in a rare assemblage of works. Long-held cultural and agricultural traditions from the 17th and 18th centuries, the need to store food crops all year long, and the availability of natural clay in Northeast Georgia have helped make Northeast Georgia a national pottery epicenter, both for collectible works and for modern-day creations that use time-honored processes. However, if you want to get inside the heads of potters, visits to some of the many studios that dot Northeast Georgia will expose you to timehonored traditions, innovative techniques and a storied history of how pottery helped settlers survive. This summer, follow our Pottery Trail and get to know some of the most renowned potters in Northeast Georgia and their stories as we explore one of the most active pottery centers in the United States.
Hickory Flat Pottery
For the past five years, Cody Trautner has worked side by side with potter Cindy Angliss at Hickory Flat Pottery, whose reputation for creating decorative functional stoneware kept her work in high demand. When Cindy decided to retire, she sold the business to Cody, who with a second resident potter, Joey Kemmer, is carrying on the Angliss Hickory Flat tradition of creating pieces that are safe for the oven, dishwasher and microwave and meant to be used. The shop’s signature work features a selection of three-color patterns with rich hues. Hickory Flat’s shop and studio are located in a 115-year-old home that’s warm and welcoming. Wares created by Hickory Flat line the walls and shelves of the multiroom shop. Visitors can chat with potters and watch them work. Hickory Flat also sells the work of more than 20 other potters and jewelers, and you can find glass, copper, metal, fiber and wood art among their offerings. It’s a treasure trove for collectors and those seeking a one-of-a-kind gift. Hickory Flat Pottery, 13664 State Highway 197 N, Clarkesville, GA 30523. 706-947-0030, hickoryflatpottery.com.
Joe Craven can trace his family’s pottery roots back nine generations. “We came from England in 1743, settled in New Jersey, then migrated through the Carolinas and eventually to Northeast Georgia,” he says. “Over the years, we’ve mostly made red-clay garden pottery that we’ve sold all over the United States, but I still make folk pottery, too.” For years, Craven owned The Pottery in Commerce, which specialized in gardenware made from clay dug from his family’s property in Gillsville. Although he sold the business, he still makes gardenware and folk pottery in Gillsville. “I tell people we’re production potters by day and folk potters by night.” Craven Pottery in Gillsville is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s open for tours and sells Craven’s gardenware and folk pottery. Craven Pottery, 6640 State Highway 52, Gillsville, GA 30543. 770-869-3675, www.cravenpottery.com.
Northeast Georgia Folk Potter Michael Crocker helped curate the collection for the Georgia Folk Pottery Museum in Sautee Nacoochee 10 years ago. With works in the Smithsonian and in private collections around the world, he works from his shop in Lula, digging his own clay, creating his own signature glazes from flint and ashes, and firing his work in a wood-fired kiln. Michael specializes in wares decorated with clusters of grapes and other nature-based themes. He also makes traditional face jugs, snake jugs, Adam and Eve jars, churns and milk jugs and does intricate carvings and scroll work. His late mother Pauline and his brother Melvin also worked with him in addition to making their own pieces. The shop is co-located with the Georgia Folk Pottery Center in Lula, which is open Monday through Friday. The center also hosts Georgia Folk Pottery Day on the first Saturday of October. Crocker Pottery/Georgia Folk Pottery Center, 6361 W. County Line Road, Lula, GA 30554. 770-869-3160. CONTINUED ON PAGE 48 Summer 2017 47
The Gourd Place
The Gourd Place, 2319 Duncan Bridge Road, Sautee Nacoochee, GA 30571. 706 865-4048, gourdplace.com.
Since 2000, Muskogee Creek John Winterhawk has created distinct pottery designs using motifs and techniques inspired by Native Americans. His vases, jugs, bowls, canisters, lamps and vessel sinks depict wolves, deer, horses, elk, bison and dragonflies. Today, Leigh Ann Templeman carries on the tradition at Winterhawk’s studio and showroom in Athens. Templeman purchased Winterhawk pottery from John when he retired several years ago. “John is still very involved,” she says. Winterhawk makes pottery using four different techniques: slip casting, hand throwing, slab working and hydraulic pressing. The shop also sells home decor and accessories. Winterhawk Pottery & Home, 8801 Macon Highway, Suite 5, Athens, GA 30606. 706540-7078, www.winterhawkpottery.com.
48 Northeast Georgia Living
Steve Turpin Pottery
Steve Turpin started making pottery with the Cravens as a teenager. His love of working with clay led to a pretty lofty goal a couple of decades later. “I really wanted to be the next Lanier Meaders,” he says. “But I learned real quick that I wouldn’t be, so I developed my own style.” The self-taught folk potter opened his own shop in September 2000 in Homer, and today his work is sought after by collectors and galleries around the nation. The Gillsville native readily admits that he doesn’t try to “emulate the old-timers” but says he still “make[s] pottery the way they did.” He says, “I use a lot more colors and put much more details in my work.” His brightly colored roosters include details that take folk pottery to a new level, down to intricate cockscombs and feathers. Steve Turpin Pottery is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays by appointment. Steve Turpin Pottery, 2500 U.S. Highway 441, Homer, GA 30547. 706-677-1528, turpinpottery.com.
If you’re looking for distinctive tableware, visit The Gourd Place in Sautee Nacoochee. It’s there you’ll find stunning work by Priscilla Wilson, from dinner plates to serving dishes, wine vessels, drinking cups, casserole dishes and luminaries. Wilson’s inspiration comes from years of working as a gourd artist. She and her partner Janice Lymburner grew their own gourds and then created gourd art to sell at craft shows. She carved dried gourds to make planters, toys, ornaments, gourd head masks and drums, decorating them with flowers and nature designs. The artists moved to White County a number of years ago to continue their work, but by 2000, Wilson was ready for something new. She turned to pottery, using gourd molds to create slip-cast pottery plates, bowls, vases and utility ware. Called gourd impressions, the process highlights the veins and textures from the insides of the gourd molds. Available in indigo blue, green, antique iron and jasper, the functional and conversation-starting pottery is microwave-, oven- and dishwasher-safe, contains no lead and is completely food-safe. The Gourd Place is open daily from April through Dec. 23, except for Easter and Thanksgiving. Their hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
David Meaders and the Meaders Family
To international collectors, the name Lanier Meaders is synonymous with Appalachian folk pottery. Active in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Lanier was one of the main subjects of a documentary produced by the Smithsonian’s Folkways project titled “The Meaders Family: North Georgia Potters” that tells in great detail the history and traditions of north Georgia folk pottery. Several of Lanier’s face jugs are part of the museum’s permanent collection. Lanier’s great-grandfather John Milton Meaders founded the family pottery in Mossy Creek in the late 1800s, and since that time the descendants of two of his sons, Cheever and Cleater, have carried on the family tradition. Today, grandsons, cousins and siblings still dig their own clay, make their own glazes and use wood-fired kilns to produce their folk pottery in and around Mossy Creek, making face jugs, churns, pitchers and functional ware in their home-based David Meaders shops. At age 85, Whelchel Meaders is the oldest Meaders who is still turning vessels, jugs and utilitarian ware. David, Cheever’s grandson, follows the traditional process, as did his late wife Anita. The Georgia Folk Pottery Museum is hosting an exhibit of Anita’s works though the end of 2017. Several of David’s pieces are part of the Smithsonian permanent collection. Pottery by various members of the family are highlighted in the permanent exhibit at the Atlanta History Center titled “Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South,” curated by John Burrison and made possible by grants from the Ford Motor Company and the National Endowment for the Arts. Works by the Meaders are often sold at area crafts festivals, including the Meaders Pottery Spring Fest, held annually in May at David’s shop at 9401 Skitts Mountain Drive in Lula. Please call before visiting any of these shops. G. David Meaders, 9401 Skitts Mountain Drive, Lula. 770-892-9784. Please call first. Ruby Meaders Irvin, 919 Leatherford Road, Cleveland. 706-219-3645. Please call first. C. Jessie Meaders, 1563 Post Road, Cleveland. 706865-2887. Please call first. D. Mildred Meaders, 2425 State Highway 75 S, Cleveland. 706-865-3960. Please call firs.t E. Whelchel Meaders, 1132 Westmoreland Road, Cleveland. 706-865-3802. Please call first.
Mark of the Potter
As Georgia’s oldest craft shop in the same location, Mark of the Potter, opened in 1969, continues to produce and sell functional stoneware in the former Grandpa Watts Gristmill along the banks of the Soque River. For the past five years, Ester Lipscomb has been one of the four in-house potters at Mark of the Potter. She works alongside Matt Henderson, Betsy Ledbetter and Mary Weese. “Each of us does our own original designs and pieces,” says the former baker, who has recently incorporated the use of Russian icing tips into her delicate decorative work. At any given time, potters are working clay from North Carolina, turning vessels, vases, mugs and other functional works, mixing and applying glazes and tending the kiln across the street from the shop. Plan to spend some time browsing to take in the wide variety of pottery styles and types of functional ware, from the coffee mugs and platters of many different sizes to the decorative lamps, vessels, bowls and pitchers that line the walls and fill the free-standing shelves. Mark of the Potter is open daily and offers handmade works created by more than 40 different potters from across the Southeast and the nation.
Mark of the Potter on the Soque River
Mark of the Potter, 9982 State Highway 197, Clarkesville, GA 30523. 706-947-3440, www.markofthepotter.com. CONTINUED ON PAGE 50 Summer 2017 49
Happy Valley Pottery
Kathy and Jerry Chappelle’s love of arts comes alive at Happy Valley Pottery in Watkinsville. Both of them have been turning pottery for several decades and are known as strong supporters of the arts in Oconee County. As a major force in founding the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) in Watkinsville in the mid-1990s, they work closely with the community. Both have impressive résumés of art studies and have won numerous awards.
Today Happy Valley Pottery specializes in making functional ware in rich, bright colors, particularly red. They also operate a 6,000-square-foot studio, where they produce works that are found in galleries in Georgia and the Southeast. Cheery platters, pitchers, serving dishes and vases are decorated with fruit and flower motifs, from watermelons and peaches to sunflowers and apples. The Chappelles will participate in the OCAF show “Perspectives: Georgia Pottery Invitational,” which will take place from Aug. 25 to Sept. 13. The show is one of the largest pottery events in the region and will have more than 7,000 original works on exhibit and for sale. Chappelle Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Happy Valley Pottery, 210 Carson-Graves Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677. Chappelle Gallery, 25 S. Main St., Watkinsville, GA 30677. 706-769-5922, chappellegallery.com. 50 Northeast Georgia Living
Clint Alderman is a first-generation potter who learned the craft as a teenager working for the Meaders family. On his own, he started out making coil-built (rolled then shaped into pottery) pieces but soon took to the wheel. By the late 1990s, he had opened his own shop, had a wood-fired kiln and was producing churns, face jugs, storage jars, sculpted roosters and his signature two-tone glazes, which often feature drips of melted blue glass. He also makes tea and coffee pots, cookie jars and other utility ware. Over the past few years, he’s reduced the amount of work he produces, mostly doing special orders and commissions. His style continues to evolve. Working with vessels of all shapes and sizes, he experiments with glassbased glazes and hand-carved depictions of historic events, such as Civil War battle scenes. He still digs his clay in White and Jackson counties and makes between 120 and 150 pieces each year at his shop in Demorest. Clint Alderman, 2416 State Highway 105, Demorest, GA 30535. 706-716-5843. Please call first. Vessel by Clint Alderman
Known for his swirl pottery, face jugs, chickens and utilitarian ware, Wayne Hewell uses a wood-fired kiln at his shop in Lula, where he creates his own glazes from ground glass and other materials. He says it took him two years to perfect the technique to make the swirl pottery. “No one in north Georgia makes it,” he says of the two-color clay that he turns into pitchers, face jugs and other collectible works. His favorite to make? Milk pitchers with very little decoration. “I make them like they used to in the 1800s.” Hewell comes from a long line of potters. His Gillsville cousins, Hewell Pottery, are known for their gardenware, such as the terra cotta clay pots they market around the country, as well as their traditional folk pottery. Wayne shows his works in about a half-dozen shows each year, including Steve Turpin Pottery’s North Georgia Folk Potters Festival which is held each year in June. Wayne Hewell, swirl pottery, pitchers, utilitarian ware. Wayne Hewell Pottery, 415 Bell Road (off Sims Harris Road), Lula. 770530-5677. Please call first. ◆
ARTS KATHY COUSART STORY AND PHOTOS BY WILLIAM D. POWELL
Passion and Peace
unshine or rain, warm weather or winter, Athens artist Kathy Cousart can most likely be found in her studio painting. Passion and peace characterize her work: the passion of her enthusiasm for painting and the peace she experiences in painting. Kathy has always enjoyed crafting, but she has only been a dedicated painter for the past eight years. Her art career started innocently enough when she needed a decorative piece to hang over her fireplace. When she couldn’t find just the right one, she wondered if she could paint something herself. So she began to paint. However, as soon as she finished the painting, a friend saw it and wanted to buy it. That scenario happened over and over. She never did get a piece to go over her fireplace. Although she realized that she had artistic talent, she felt her natural ability needed developing through instruction.
For the next three and a half years, she was mentored by nationally acclaimed impressionist oil painter James Richards of Atlanta. He served as a guide for her in developing the fundamentals, the building blocks, of oil painting. Fundamentals, she says, include composition, design and value: the lightness and darkness of colors. He helped her “learn how to see” what she was going to paint. Kathy continues to learn by participating in professional workshops led by nationally known artists. Painting became a part of Kathy’s life at a time when she was dealing with some difficult issues: the physical and mental decline of her mother and her mother-inlaw. So painting became a sort of therapy for her. Kathy likes to say that painting 52 Northeast Georgia Living
Kathy Cousart paints in her carriagehouse studio behind her home in Athens. Flowers from her garden, St. Simon’s Island and the Georgia Bulldogs are favorite subjects. is a gift, a gift that brings her peace. That peace comes through in her painting, and wherever the particular piece goes, it takes the peace with it. She describes her art as “impressionistic leaning to abstract.” Her primary medium is oil on canvas; however, she also paints on linen. All of her colors are custom creations starting with the three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. By
blending these three colors, she is able to produce the subtle shades she enjoys using in her paintings. These colors can be soft and gentle or vibrant and bold, depending on the subject. While the preponderance of her art is done in her purpose-built sun-filled carriage-house studio behind her home, many of her pieces are the result of hours spent on the beach at St. Simons Island, where she and her husband, Dave, enjoy vacationing. Kathy has a special â€œbeach artist kitâ€? that she keeps ready in order to transport her base of operations to the sand beside the sea. Early morning, alone on an empty beach, with water lapping over her bare feet, she watches the sun come up Summer 2017
over the ocean. That setting becomes a special time for her to create, she says. Sunlight and the effect it has on colors captivates her. As an artist, her goal is to capture how the subtle nuances of the lighting on her subject breathes life into it. Kathy believes that she is “painting a way of life into the grace and peace of the paint.” While she paints landscapes, seascapes, some animals, golf scenes and what she calls USA/UGA/collegiate pieces, flowers are her first love. The natural shapes and colors of flowers never grow old for her. Many of her floral paintings are of some of the beautiful flowers she and her husband, Dave, grow in their yard. Most of Kathy’s art is a result of what she sees that catches her interest. Turning a natural subject into an abstract painting allows her to express her creativity on canvas, she says. However, approximately a quarter of her work is done on commission. She enjoys working with interior designers in providing just the right art for the right space in a home. This collaborative effort is very rewarding for her. Kathy’s art is currently displayed in seven galleries in the Southeast. The list includes galleries in Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., Nashville, Tenn., Charleston, S.C., and Atlanta and even a gallery in Dallas, Texas. Each of these galleries displays approximately a dozen of her paintings. During several times of the year, some of her University of Georgia-themed pieces can be seen in Athens at Heery’s Too. 54 Northeast Georgia Living
To learn more about this talented artist or to obtain her contact information, visit her website at www.kathycousart.com/theartist/. If you would like to meet Kathy and see her work, she will schedule an appointment for you to visit her in her studio. â—†
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FRESH GARDEN HERB SAUCES ZESTY LEMON ROSEMARY CHIMICHURRI
STORY AND PHOTOS BY SYDNAH KINGREA
THE WARM SUMMER MONTHS bring raised bed gardens and vegetable plats to life. They soon overflow with crisp, flavorful goodness. You may often find yourself wondering what else you can do with your fresh herbs and vegetables while they are at the peak of flavor. These fresh garden herb sauces will quickly dress up the taste of any meal while adding bright, attractive color and a power punch of nutrition. Whatâ€™s even more exciting is that if you have an indoor herb garden, most of these sauces can be re-created year-round, reminding you of these cheerful, warm summer days.
himichurri is a traditional South American C sauce that is typically served with grilled meat. It also makes a great marinade for chicken, beef or fish. This twist on traditional Chimichurri will liven up many dishes. It can also be used as a dip for vegetables. This sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to a week but may require additional blending to avoid separation. 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, loosely packed 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed 1 1/2 sprigs fresh rosemary 1 tablespoon oregano (1 teaspoon if dried) 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2/3 cup olive oil or grape seed oil 1 shallot, chopped (1/4 cup chopped onion if you donâ€™t have shallots) 1/2-1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped chives 1/2-1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2-3 cloves garlic) 1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon salt or more, as desired 1/2 teaspoon sugar Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
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GARDEN-GROWN MARINARA This marinara can be used with noodles, chicken, beef or eggplant Parmesan as well as on pizza or as a dipping sauce. You can store garden-grown marinara in the fridge for up to a week. 3 tablespoons olive oil or grape seed oil 1-2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 3-5 cloves) 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/3 cup sherry 2-3 tablespoons Marsala wine 4 cups finely chopped fresh garden tomatoes 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano Salt, to taste 1/2 teaspoon sweetener, optional Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sautĂŠ the garlic and red pepper flakes for 1-2 minutes. Do not brown the garlic. Add the sherry and Marsala wine and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the tomatoes. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the tomatoes do not stick to the pan. Add the basil, oregano and salt. Simmer for a few more minutes to let the flavors mingle. Add more salt if needed and add sweetener if desired. If you want thicker sauce, youâ€™ll need to simmer it for a few additional minutes. CONTINUED ON PAGE 59 Summer 2017 57
FRESH SPINACH AND BASIL PESTO A small amount of pesto will go far. Use this pesto with pasta, chicken or vegetables. You can store it in the fridge for up to a week. 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed 1/2 cup fresh spinach, loosely packed 1-2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 3-5 cloves) 3 tablespoons pine nuts or almonds 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or more if desired Salt and pepper, to taste 1/3 cup olive oil or grape seed oil 1-2 tablespoons water to thin, if needed Combine the basil, spinach, minced garlic, pine nuts or almonds and Parmesan cheese in a food processor or powerful blender. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Blend combined ingredients for a few seconds and add the oil a little at a time while continuing to blend, until smooth. Adding water may help the mixture to blend more easily. â—† Summer 2017 59
BY PAMELA A. KEENE
installing fire-proof vermiculite and perlite to help hold the heat, laying and mortaring the brick and arched dome, adding the proper amount of insulation, and wrapping it all in a fire-proof ceramic blanket. Then he stuccoed the dome. He used a stainless-steel flue instead of a Masonite chimney and modified a thick steel door to further customize the design and improve the cooking process. “It really took a lot of steps and time to complete the oven, but I’m so glad we did it this way because it is so much more versatile,” he says. The oven takes about six to eight hours to come to the 700-degree temperature he prefers for wood-fired pizzas. “Once it’s heated, we can cook a twelve-inch pizza in less than two minutes. It turns out so nicely, with the edges lightly-browned, airy and puffed.” Because his wood-fired pizza oven holds heat for several days after he makes pizzas, Herndon often cooks other things, such as Boston butt, pot roast or brisket. “Since it’s already heated, it just makes sense to use it,” he says. “And you won’t believe how much better things taste when they’re wood-fired.” Northeast Georgia restauranteur and chef Nicholas St. Clair, who owns Antebellum Restaurant in Flowery Branch,
ood-fired brick pizza ovens aren’t just for Italians anymore. Homeowners across Northeast Georgia are building their own gourmet ovens for baking their own Neapolitan and thin-crust pizzas and for preparing slow-roasted ribs, roasts and other meats. “Wood-fired pizzas taste so much better than those you make in a traditional electric oven,” says Mark Herndon of Royston, who researched how to build a brick pizza oven for six months before deciding to construct his own at home. “Pizza cooked this way just tastes totally different. And it’s a great gathering point for family and friends who want to make up and cook their own pizzas.” Herndon, who admits to being an avid do-it-yourselfer, ordered individual 60 Northeast Georgia Living
Mark Herndon’s outdoor oven (top) at his home in Royston is a great place for family and friends to gather and enjoy wood-fired pizza (left). At Peyton’s Pies in Duluth, pizza chef Patrick Patterson components for his oven, undertaking the sometimes tedious process of construction, which included building a foundation slab,
(above) cooks pizza in a specially constructed wood-fired oven.
O u t d o o r o v e n a n d p i z z a b y M e l i s s a H e r n d o n ; P e y t o n ’s P i e s b y P a m e l a A . K e e n e
spent more than a year investigating all the ins and outs of building a wood-fired brick pizza oven, starting with a backyard version he built himself following instructions on YouTube. Made of specialty red clay bricks, it was built without mortar. “Be sure the bricks are made of clay, not concrete, because of safety issues,” he says. “And my home wood-fired oven is made without mortar, so it only takes about ninety minutes to heat up. It also cools down really quickly, so I only use it for wood-fired pizzas.” St. Clair’s goal was to perfect his crust recipe before taking it public, so he invited friends to his home to sample and give feedback on the taste, the texture and the performance of various dough recipes. “My goal was to create a recipe using authentic ingredients to make the thinnest, crispiest Neapolitan pizzas, using Old World techniques,” St. Clair says. “Once we perfected the recipe, we opened Peyton’s Pies in Duluth so that we could share the tastes of real fresh-made pizza with patrons.” His first thought was to purchase a pre-made wood-fired oven for the restaurant, but it wouldn’t fit through the door, so he enlisted carpenter/builder Rick Fulgham of Flowery Branch and Peyton’s pizza chef Patrick Patterson to construct the wood-fired oven for Peyton’s. “We ordered a kit that had all the components, and within a week Rick and Patrick had it completely built and ready for testing.” Friends were again called on to test the final recipes. St. Clair even offered an impromptu pizza-making class a couple of evenings to gauge interest before the opening last summer of the Suwanee location. He plans a second Peyton’s Pies in downtown Flowery Branch later this year. Herndon and St. Clair developed their own special recipes for crust. And both of them have their preferences for toppings. Herndon says he encourages friends to make up their own pie. “We provide homemade tomato sauce and pesto sauce as a base for each pizza masterpiece. Normally we have pepperoni, buffalo chicken, beef and sausage along with fresh vegetables and basil as well as lots of cheese,” he says. “That’s what’s so fun about making your own wood-fired pizzas at home. It’s a great way to gather family and friends, be creative around the oven, and enjoy time together.” ◆ 62 Northeast Georgia Living
REFLECTIONS STORY AND PHOTO BY M.J. SULLIVAN
... on summer in Georgia
t was in the late 1990s when I first experienced summer in the mountains of Northeast Georgia. About once a month my husband and I headed north on Interstate 75 from our home in Florida, intent upon photographing wildlife and hiking in Georgia’s state parks. One such excursion in late June took us near Dahlonega. Even though the temperatures were hot, we did not experience the extreme humidity to which we had grown accustomed. As we hiked a remote trail in Amicalola State Park, the shade of the forest and cool mountain breezes comforted us. For a while we almost forgot what month it was. Later in the day, after a quiet lunch, we decided to take in the sights on the square. While walking, we were surrounded by a glorious symphony of sounds. The energetic trill of chirping crickets harmonized with the raspy zinging sound of cicadas high in the trees overhead. Their chorus, joined by buzzing pollinators in a nearby garden, created a rhythmic accompaniment, further enhancing our stroll. Around dusk that evening, we went for a drive. With the windows down, the sweet aroma of new-mown hay seemed mixed with a hint of jasmine. After following a series of hand-painted signs, we pulled over at a roadside produce stand. Eager to sample the tantalizing fruit on display, we waited to be invited. “All locally grown,” said the young, suntanned vendor. “My family has been raising watermelon on this land for over a hundred years.” That’s when my heart skipped a beat. It felt like I had stepped back into the 1800s. 64 Northeast Georgia Living
I half expected Tom Sawyer to come sauntering by with a bucket of whitewash. No denying it, I was falling in love. The romantic allure of the mountains was singing a siren song; I wanted to make Georgia my home. I only hoped my husband felt the same way. Later I learned that he did. The following year, when an employment opportunity presented itself, we hired a mover and headed north. Settling in Dahlonega, we felt right at home in the little mountain community. One night as we stepped outside a local restaurant, we were startled by a great thunderous sound echoing across a nearby gorge. Rushing back inside, we exclaimed, “What is that horrible noise in the ravine?” After a hearty laugh, the staff told us it was just the sound of katydids involved in their courting ritual. It was ear-shattering. That did not surprise us after we learned that an individual male katydid, while courting, can produce a sound registering over 5 kHz. Multiply that by thousands of amorous insects, and boy, it’s loud. The locals told us we would get used to it. We were advised that, if we would relax into the rhythm, it would help us sleep. May I just say it took us a while to make that adjustment? However, after two decades in the mountains of Northeast Georgia, we feel like natives. Each year as spring’s radiance gives way to the fullness of summer, we
anxiously await the return of our bird population. From April into August we are serenaded morning and evening by the melodious melancholy tones of wood thrushes. Returning from their winter home in South America, they mate and raise their broods in Georgia’s lush deciduous forests. On a lighter note, the annual influx of feisty hummingbirds with their perpetual antics offers comic relief when we are front porch sittin’. In addition to our feathered friends, another summer favorite is the reappearance of lightening bugs in June. Their dramatic “silent fireworks” provides a grand finale to warm summer days. As the forest echoes with birdsong throughout the day and into the evening, our eyes are continually delighted by the ever-changing natural bouquets of wildflowers along the bank in front of our house. Showy displays of daffodils and violets in the spring make way for iris and trillium. Beginning in late May and continuing through the summer, beautiful blossoms drape the shoulder of the road with a new array of vibrant color every couple weeks. Delicate wild strawberry, small yellow daises, pink and white mountain laurel, lavender sweet William, wild hydrangea, Queen Anne’s lace and rhododendron blooms all play their part, bringing to mind a masterpiece by Monet. Whenever I hear John Denver’s song extolling the virtues of West Virginia, I think to myself, “He probably never experienced the beauty of summer in the mountains of Georgia.” And oh yes, I must admit that now, when autumn comes, I sometimes long to hear the sound of katydids courting in the night. ◆