LAUREL of Northeast Georgia June 22

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laurel of June 2022 • Volume Nineteen • Issue Six

Northeast Georgia

from the Publisher

“Far up in the deep blue sky, Great white clouds are floating by; All the world is dressed in green; Many happy birds are seen, Roses bright and sunshine clear Show that lovely June is here.” — F. G. Sanders From April to October I say the same, this is my favorite month! June really is the crest of summer, when lush green foliage surrounds us, kids are excited for summer and happiness comes from warm sunshine and cool mountain streams! This issue focuses on being outdoors and eating, two of my favorite things. We have a strawberry pie recipe from Lorie Thompson using those giant strawberries from Osage Farms and Scarlet shares her Barbecue Ribs recipe. We featured many of our local restaurants in this issue and I guarantee your belly will be growling when you are done reading them all! On the outdoors front we of course have an adventure from our friend Peter McIntosh with outstanding photos included. If you don’t know, you can contact Peter to purchase prints of his photos and see more of his work at Tori Carver shares ideas to finish out your summer floral arrangement with “filler flowers” that will make you long to subscribe to her weekly flower bouquets. Angel Oak Home’s senior designer Bree Tuttle shares outdoor inspiration, a reminder to be present in nature. We recognize and applaud Rabun County’s firefighters in the twelve stations that protect our homes and property. These men and women are prepared to answer our calls no matter the hour. Their willingness to put their lives on the line for us cannot be ignored, rather it should be recognized and our thanks given. June is here and do your best to make the most of each day. Enjoy your family, be kind to strangers and make an impact to better our world. You are here for more than to work and sleep. Have fun! My best to you, Tracy

Laurel of Northeast Georgia Mailing: PO Box 2218 - Clayton, Georgia 30525 Office: 2511 Highway 441 Mountain City, Georgia 30562 706-782-1600 • Contributing Writers: Emory Jones, Jan Timms, Lorie Thompson; Brad Speed DVM, Dick Cinquina, Tori Carver, Bree Tuttle, Mark Holloway, Tricia Moore, Avery Lawrence

STAFF Publisher/Editor - Marketing - Tracy McCoy Art Director - Dianne VanderHorst Graphics - Lucas McCoy Marketing & Office Manager - Cindi Freeman Assistant Office Manager - D’Anna Coleman Sales Associate / Writer - Michael Detrick Writer - John Shivers Photographer / Writer - Peter McIntosh

Copyright 2022 by Rabun’s Laurel Inc. All rights reserved. The Laurel of Northeast Georgia Magazine is published twelve times per year. Reproduction without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publishers and editors are not responsible for unsolicited material and it will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication subject to the Laurel of Northeast Georgia magazine’s right to edit. Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, photographs and drawings. Every effort has been made to assure that all information presented in this issue is accurate, and neither Laurel magazine or any of its staff is responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. The Laurel of Northeast Gorgia maintains a Christian focus throughout their magazine. Rabun’s Laurel, Inc. reserves the right to refuse content or advertising for any reason without explanation.

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IN THIS ISSUE Southern Fare 12 14 16 23 24

Bon Appétit Recipes by Jillian Glenn Southen Fare Spotlights Providence Farmstead Creamery Family Table

Outdoors 30 32

Adventure Out Firmly Rooted

Arts & Entertainment 36 40 42 44

Cover Artist - Von Watts North Georgia Arts Guild Kimberly Adams Shoreline Jewelry Valley Voices

Faith in Christ 46

R4G - A father’s love is different.

Live Healthy and Be Well 50

Pet Health

Mountain Homes 54 56 58 62 66

Lake, Mountain Views Define Burton Living Outdoors You Can Land in This Beautiful Valley Today Grab This Piece of History While You Can Appalachian Home Solutions Flooring

Around Town 70 74 76

Michael on the Map Explore Rabun Sweet Sensations

Just Thinking 78 80 82

Rabun County Fire Personnel - Thank You By the Way Lovin’ The Journey

Looking Back 86 88

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Foxfire Rabun County Historical Society

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Southern Fare

Bon Appétit - Glorious June By Scarlett Cook


une has arrived and 2022 is flying by but not before we celebrate our graduates, fathers and lighting bugs. When I was younger I knew that when lighting bugs arrived that it was really summer. So before you get your Mason jar out to catch some, try these warm weather recipes. Barbequed Ribs Serves 6 3 Pounds ribs 1/2 Cup chopped onions 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 Cup butter 2 8-Ounce cans tomato sauce 1/3 Cup water

1/4 Cup Worcestershire 2 Teaspoons lemon juice 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar 2 Teaspoons chili powder 2 Teaspoons salt 4 Drops hot sauce or to taste

Preheat oven to 325°. Place ribs in shallow baking pan. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Drain pan. Sauté onion and garlic in butter in a medium saucepan. Add tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire, lemon juice, vinegar, chili powder, salt and hot sauce. Bring to a boil. Pour over ribs and bake 45 – 60 minutes or until tender.

Oven Baked Potatoes Serves 4 – 6 3 Medium potatoes 1/4 Vegetable oil 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 Teaspoon salt 1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 Teaspoon paprika 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 13”x9” baking dish. Wash potatoes and slice thinly. Place slices slightly overlapping in a single layer in prepared baking dish. Combine oil, cheese, salt, garlic powder, paprika and pepper. Pour 1/2 of mixture over potatoes. Bake uncovered 45 minutes basting occasionally with remaining oil mixture.

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Overnight Slaw Serves 6 – 8 1 Medium cabbage, shredded 1 Small onion, minced 1 Medium size green pepper, finely chopped 8 Pimiento stuffed olives, sliced 3/4 Cup sugar 3/4 Cup rice vinegar 1/2 Cup vegetable oil 1 Teaspoon celery seeds 1 Teaspoon dry mustard 1 Teaspoon salt 1/2 Teaspoon pepper Combine cabbage, onion, green pepper and olives in a large bowl; sprinkle with sugar. Combine vinegar, oil, seeds, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes. Pour over vegetables and stir well. Chill overnight.

Spicy Zucchini Bread Makes 2 loaves 3 Cups plain flour 1 Teaspoon baking powder 1 Teaspoon soda 1 Teaspoon cinnamon 1 Teaspoon nutmeg 1 Cup chopped pecans or walnuts 3/4 Cup vegetable oil 3 Eggs 2 Cups sugar 2 Teaspoons vanilla 3 Cups unpeeled grated zucchini Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans Combine flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts in mixing bowl. Combine oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla in mixing bowl; stir in zucchini. Add zucchini mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Pour into prepared pans and bake 1 hour. Cool loaves 10 minutes in pans. Remove from pans and finish cooling on wire rack. Crunchy Coffee Ice Cream Serves 8 – 10 1/2 Cup butter, softened 3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 1/2 Cups Rice Krispies 1 Cup coconut 1/2 Cup chopped pecans 1/2 Gallon coffee ice cream, softened Grease 13”x9” pan. Cream butter with mixer. Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in cereal, coconut, pecans. Spread half of butter mixture in prepared pan. Spread ice cream over butter mixture. Top with remaining butter mixture. Cover and freeze until firm. June 2022 - - 13

Southern Fare

Recipes byJillian Glenn


ecently I met Jillian Glenn, the author of two outstanding cookbooks at her book signing at our local “healthy hotspot” Holistic Mountain Market. Besides being absolutely adorable, Jillian is smart, driven and the daughter of local REALTOR and “parkbench guy” Roger Glenn of Poss Realty. Needless to say, I bought both cookbooks and invited Jillian to share a couple recipes from her cookbooks with you and provide the information for you to check them out. So, without further adieu... Nutritious Blueberry Baked Oatmeal from Easy Low-Cal Vegan Eats “Baked Oatmeal is a homey and comforting way to enjoy oats. There’s just something about taking traditional oatmeal ingredients, such as almond milk, a little maple syrup, and berries, and baking them together that turns oats into an indulgence. Many of my friends and family tell me that they make a blueberry baked oatmeal every single week. My non-vegan mom and little brother are both blueberry pie lovers and they say it’s like eating a healthy blueberry pie! This dish is a great make-ahead meal that you can reheat on busy weekday mornings. It’s one of everyone’s favorite vegan breakfasts (or desserts) because of how simple, easy, and nutritious it is” Another reason I love this recipe is because of how easy and versatile it is! You just need one bowl, a handful of ingredients, and about 5 minutes to mix. I choose to use dairy-free butter and milk, but you can also use regular dairy products if you’re not vegan. We recently made this for my family and even carnivore, Roger Glenn of The Realtor Glenn, loved it! Ingredients 1 cup almond milk 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup melted vegan butter 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional) 1 tsp baking powder 2 cups Quick Oats 2 cups frozen wild blueberries Instructions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the almond milk, maple syrup, melted vegan butter, vanilla, cinnamon (if using), and baking powder. Then, add the oats and milk until a batter forms. Finally, fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into a 9x11 inch casserole dish that has been greased with vegan butter or sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake in the oven for about 4045 minutes. The oats will be golden, the berries will be bubbly, and your kitchen will smell amazing.

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Jillian Glenn is the author of ‘Easy Low-Cal Vegan Eats‘ and ‘Light & Easy Vegan Baking’, and the recipe developer of Peanut Butter and Jilly. She creates easy vegan and gluten free recipes that are family-friendly, affordable, healthy(ish), and super yummy! Peanut Butter and Jilly has delicious low-cal vegan treats everyone will love, whether you’re fully plant-based, gluten-free, both, or just trying it out! All of her recipes are simple, easy to follow, and use affordable ingredients. She is certified in nutrition and believes following a balanced and plant-based diet is what is best for health, the animals, and the environment. But, life is short, so she always leaves room for dessert!

Must-Try Banana Bread from Light & Easy Vegan Baking “One soft slice of this delicious and super-moist banana bread will explain why it’s a must-try recipe! This is one of my most popular recipes and for a good reason! Banana bread is one of those baked goods that tugs on my heartstrings, and you’re going to fall in love with this one. This incredible vegan version is buttery, thick, and perfectly sweet, thanks to three overripe bananas and a bit of maple syrup. This is an indulgent tasting and wholesome banana bread that no one will be able to get enough of! Trust me when I say, it will become a go-to for you and your family. PS: Definitely lick the batter from the bowl on this one - it’s delicious!” Not vegan? No problem, you may use regular dairy milk and butter in this recipe if you choose. Ingredients: nonstick spray for pan 2 mashed overripe bananas 1 cup almond milk 3/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup melted vegan butter 1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp baking soda 2 tsp baking powder 1 cup Quick Oats 1 1/2 cups regular or gluten free all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x5 inch metal loaf pan with nonstick spray. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, almond milk, maple syrup, melted vegan butter, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. Then, mix in the quick oats and flour until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. Don’t forget to lick the batter from the spoon (trust me)! You’ll know it’s done baking when you can stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. Remove the loaf from the pan, slice, and serve warm with vegan butter, drizzled with maple syrup.

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Southern Fare

The Soda Fountain Restaurant Step Back in Time


he Soda Fountain Restaurant is truly a step back in time with hometown favorites, build your own burgers, daily specials, hand-spun milkshakes, fresh squeezed drinks & flavored sodas. Oh and they have been voted BEST MILKSHAKE AROUND! Along with the classics, they offer homestyle meat + 3 meals, and healthy alternatives! You’ll find every reason to visit and enjoy this restaurant and hotspot. That’s not all. The Soda Fountain will cater any event you are having onsite or at your location. They provide a full range of catering services, such as: family gatherings, class reunions, luncheons, and even formal dining options. From basic to black tie, each menu item is freshly prepared the day of your event, best suited to your individual needs. The Soda Fountain has recently renovated and offers a Retro vibe that is family-friendly and nostalgic. Isn’t it time that you stepped back in time and enjoyed a great meal or treat! The Soda Fountain Restaurant is located at 100 South Main Street, Clayton Georgia (Inside the Clayton Pharmacy). When planning for your next gathering don’t forget about this outstanding option! Call 706-782-2294 for more information and follow them on Facebook for specials, events and updates!

The Frozen Palm Tree


hen South Florida seafood chef Dustin Farnsworth and his wife Cat came to town back in 2019, he had a vision: To establish here in Rabun County a restaurant bringing some of the flavors and island vibe of the coast to the mountains of Rabun County. Combine that tropical feel with an atmosphere that is family friendly, but also boasts a fantastic nightlife that welcomes everyone. With both indoor seating and an expansive patio, guests have two great options to sit back and enjoy an ice-cold beer or a delicious frozen sangria alongside selections from the alwaysfresh and everything-from-scratch menu that features far more than their famed seafood selections. Look for the mannequins partying it up at the pontoon boat out front and you’ve landed yourself at Clayton’s The Frozen Palm Tree! “A unique experience. A bar and grill for everyone and anyone. Great food. Great times. Great vibes.” Like them on Facebook for upcoming events.

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Clayton Cafe & Market If ya know, ya know!


t’s true, if ya know, ya know. The Clayton Cafe & Market is the award winningest restaurant in this part of the mountains. Why? Well it’s because they do it like your grandma does. It’s fresh, it’s cooked to perfection and served with a smile. Maybe you’ll even get a hug from the cafe’s owner, Bonnie Edmonds. The menu is filled with things like fried chicken, country fried steak with sawmill gravy, squash casserole, biscuits and gravy and fried eggs. You’ll also see fresh salads, Chicken Caprese and a Hummus Wrap. So, in a nutshell, we have something everyone will love! The Market is a combination bakery, gift store and gourmet coffee shop. The speciality coffees pair well with muffins or a giant cookie. You’ll find a quiet corner to visit with a friend or client or just read your book while you enjoy something delicious. Bonnie added to-go meals this year, for adventurers and tired Soccer Moms. Catering is another offering of the Clayton Cafe & Market so when you are planning that special event look no further. When you visit look for Bonnie’s cookbook, A Northern Cook in a Southern Kitchen, you will love it! You’ll find them at 50 N. Main Street in the center of Clayton. For information visit them online at www. or follow them on Facebook at Clayton Cafe and Market and The Market at the Clayton Cafe.



hen owners Michael and Veronica Watts opened Laguna in April 2021, their goal was to bring delicious Mexican food to Main Street in downtown Clayton. Today they have delivered on that and beyond, offering a truly unique dining experience that has quickly built a reputation as a restaurant and bar destination! Combining a menu loaded with traditional Mexican favorites and house specialties, an extensive margarita list, happy hour, live music, and the only rooftop dining on Main Street, Laguna has a little something for everyone. And they have just added something else. Debuting in May of this year, patrons to Laguna Mexican Restaurant can also enjoy house favorites from their new “American” menu, offering kitchen creations originally from Veronica’s Café just up the road in Rabun Gap. Friends and families alike can now make Laguna their goto spot for both fresh Mexican and more American-inspired sandwiches and other entrees. So, come on in and see what’s cooking at Laguna! We look forward to serving you! June 2022 - - 17

Southern Fare Mountain Grill


ountain Grill is a delightful small grill serving fresh food with breads and dessert from the in-house bakery. Breakfast specialties are offered with a variety of sausages, ham, or bacon. Pancakes are made with fresh egg batter from soft, Southern winter wheat. Sausage gravy is worked up the way Grandma made gravy in a cast iron skillet with pork middlins. For lunch you choose from a nice variety sandwich menu, salads, vegetarian soup and they always have cornbread! Mountain Grill’s seasonal specialty is the ever-popular tomato pie made from delicious field ripened tomatoes. Owner Susie Cornelius has been in business ten years, with five at the current location. Famous for her cinnamon rolls glistening in the morning window, Mountain Grill is where you need to go for old-school favorites served up with Southern hospitality. You are always welcome to dine in with Susie, or stop and check out her fresh daily bakery offerings.

Holistic Mountain Market


olistic Mountain Market has grown since opening in 2019. A dream of owner Dana McFarland, the health and wellness mecca offers customers so many wonderful alternatives to stay healthy. Their supplement and vitamin offers are abundant and many regionally based. The addition of new food products that are now available is so exciting. Locally sourced dips and salads from The Shed and Inger’s Originals for you and their fresh food for your pets. Ground beef patties, steaks, and roasts from Providence Farms, Timpson Creek Farm Fresh Produce, fresh local eggs are just a few things that you’ll be able to procure. Ancient Awakenings is a brand out of Woodstock, Georgia offering Kombucha, and Cultured Vegetables and Coconut Kefir, all very beneficial to gut health. You just won’t believe all of the options Dana has added for her customers. “I am becoming a source for healthy foods and that makes me happy. It started with my smoothies and now you can find yogurt, kraut, hummus, Nuttzo Nut Butters, black-eyed pea salsa and many new drink offerings,” Dana said. She is so happy to be able to offer these choices to Rabun County. The smoothies are a great breakfast or lunch alternative or mid-day treat! So, if getting healthy is on your to-do list, move it to the top! Holistic Mountain Market is a great place to start! Visit today online ( or stop in at 31 W. Savannah Street in Clayton, Georgia. Don’t forget to find and follow on Facebook and Instagram! Order your smoothie ahead or call for info 706-960-9501.

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Mama G’s – Authentic Sicilian Inspired Italian Cuisine with Love!


ove is good food! You know it’s true. Mama G’s Italian Restaurant in Clayton, Georgia proclaims this truth in every dish of delicious authentic Sicilian influenced food that comes out of their kitchen. First opening in a smaller location 30+ years ago, the Gaglio family became “like family” to Rabun County’s residents. Today, the restaurant is operated by the second and third generations and it honestly is a regional favorite. The family takes pride in the food they serve and the welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant. They offer banquet facilities for larger or private parties, have outdoor dining and a full bar for enjoying a pizza and beer while you watch the game. You’ll find pizzas, sandwiches, pastas and specials on their menu and Heaven knows you have to try the garlic knots! Great for date night, a nice lunch with a friend or two or even solo. You will love Mama G’s. They are great supporters of the community and give back every chance they have. Paul and Erin Gaglio and Mama G invite you to come dine with them. You’ll feel like family when you leave! Mama G’s is located at 777 Highway 441 in Clayton, their website is and they can be found on facebook (@MamaGsItalianRestaurant) or call for more details 706-7829565.

Smitty’s Spirits

Your Source for Liquid Catering


hen it comes to catering, we think about the food we plan on serving our guests, but what about the wine, beer, and liquor? Smitty’s Spirits’ owner Susan Smith says that they can handle that for you. With an abundant selection of imported and domestic wines, beer and liquors, if they don’t have it, they can get it. The staff is knowledgeable and able to plan for your needs according to the number of guests, type of event, and food you plan to serve. Smitty’s will work with the venue staff to make certain that everything you need for your event is available. If you haven’t checked out their incredible selection in the store, be sure to stop in and take a look around. To discuss catering please call Susan or one of her staff and we think you’ll be amazed that our “small town spirits store” is your best choice! Smitty’s Spirits is located at 681 Highway 441 in Clayton, Georgia. You can follow Smitty’s Spirits on Facebook (@smittysspirits) or call 706782-7593 for more information. June 2022 - - 19

Southern Fare The Farmhouse Market - Lake Burton


he Farmhouse Market - Lake Burton opened its doors in 2019. Chef Vince Scafiti of The Farmhouse at Waterfall Club fame purchased the store and has made incredible upgrades. All of their selections are freshly prepared, ready to eat, grab-and-go offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chef Scafiti recently added an outdoor kitchen that is open from 11am – 2pm daily. The Lake Burton community values his presence so near to their homes and the convenience the grab-and-go meals offer when spending the day on the boat, for outdoor picnics or quick lunches. The Farmhouse Market can prepare exceptional culinary offerings for your upcoming party or special event. Fresh and delicious appetizers, entrees, side dishes and cold platters make it easy to design a meal that your guests will love. Chef Scafiti says, “Let’s get together and plan your special catering needs. We will be happy to tailor your food to meet your preferences. There is a whole world of food out there. No limitations here!” His reputation precedes him, but in the event that you are not familiar with Chef Vince or his amazing mastery in the kitchen, you owe it to yourself to explore The Farmhouse Market - Lake Burton. Located at 5 Jones Branch Road, Clayton, Georgia. For more information visit their website at or call 706-782-4646.

The Chophouse at LaPrade’s


aPrade’s was first opened as a fish camp in 1925 and became famous for its family style restaurant and rustic rental cabins. Fastforward to the spring of 2011 when Chef James Reaux opened LaPrade’s Chophouse with casual elegant dining inside and outside, as well as the boating casual Lakeside Bar and Grill located dockside at the marina. Enjoy live music and fine American cuisine with regional southern and local accents. Providing only “The Best of the Best”, Chef Reaux uses premium grade products with an emphasis on fresh fish/lobster, prime rib, steaks and chops, as well as the finest quality produce and hand-made desserts. Combine that with a worldclass wine list, inspired signature cocktails, the best waterfront views of Lake Burton around, and you have the best spot to dine and sip on the lake, bar none. Open daily for lunch (on deck and outside), dinner nightly, and Sunday Brunch.

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RM Rose Company


Rose Company, located next door to the famous Dillard House, is the home for outstanding bourbons, whiskeys, vodka and moonshine. Andy Sudderth, the company’s CEO was born and raised in the North Georgia moonshining country. His dad made “shine’ to produce income to feed his family like so many others did. He tagged along with his dad and was fascinated by the art and science of distilling corn spirits. Once an adult he dreamed of opening a distillery and producing great spirits the legal way. He stumbled across the old magnate RM Rose Company and merged his love of distilling and history to form the RM Rose Company that began in Dillard, Georgia in 2016. The spirits are made on-site, distilled the old fashioned way, producing award-winning products enjoyed by locals and visitors to the area. Their tasting room staff welcomes you to stop in and sample the products, browse their many gift offerings, and tour the distillery. All tastings and tours are free and it is such an interesting process to see happen. Make it a point to visit, but beware you will probably find something you love! You’ll find them at 890 Franklin Street in Dillard, Georgia. For more info please call 706-982-8115 or visit online at

Oinkers Restaurant

It’s Slow Smoked Goodness!


ave you Oinked today? The tagline from Rabun County’s barbecue restaurant, Oinkers always brings a smile. The food is fresh and delicious. Smoked pork, chicken and grilled steaks with delicious sides like crispy fries, coleslaw and Brunswick stew are just a sampling of what is on their menu. The newest offering is smoked Chicken quarters, and they are quickly becoming a favorite! Oinkers’ desserts are some of the best around, typically that will include various cakes, banana pudding and fruit cobblers. The tea is sweet and ice cold! If you are a salad fan, you have to try the Pork Salad or the Chef Salad. They have a great kid’s menu and you can order ahead larger quantities to feed a whole passel of folks! One of the greatest parts of Oinkers is the owners and the staff! Oinkers is also known for their catering. Whether you are planning a wedding, family reunion, class reunion, business event or any special event, Oinker’s will help you plan, set it up, serve, and clean it up. Can’t beat that! So, head on down to Oinker’s to try the smoked chicken quarters or enjoy some ribs or pulled pork. They are located at 2353 Hwy. 441 S., Clayton, Georgia. Their menu, news and updates can all be found on their facebook page (@oinkersbbqclaytonga) or you can give them a call at 706-782 7010. June 2022 - - 21

Southern Fare Hillside Orchard Farm


hile growing up in the rural areas of Georgia, farming, and canning became a way of life for Robert Sr. and Patsy Mitcham. During high school, Robert was active in agriculture and his local FFA chapter. He helped in running a canning plant at that school and later became an agriculture teacher and lead in the running of the local canning plant for Rabun County. Now three generations run the cannery, farm and agri-tourism operations at Hillside Orchard Farms. They pride themselves in helping other farmers find uses for their fruits and vegetables. Nothing brings more joy to the Mitcham family than showing guests a little more about growing, fun on the farm and good food. The Mitcham’s are happy to be a family farm and love to be in Rabun County, the Farm to Table capital of Georgia. Please Come to see what all they have to offer and do not leave without a Fried Apple pie or two. Shopping for Hillside Orchard products online is also an option, you are invited to visit where you’ll find everything from moonshine jelly to wonderful gift baskets you can ship as a gift or to your own home. You’ll find the farm located at 18 Sourghum Lane in Lakemont, Georgia. For additional info call 706-782-2776

Slanted Window Tasting Station


ntroducing Macon County’s first and only local vineyard to bottle wine experience. Slanted Window Wines are crafted from decades old vines at SenAmore Vineyards in the ancient Appalachian Mountains. Wanting to offer a taste to locals and passerbys alike the Slanted Window Tasting Station was born. Blazing the trail for Western North Carolina winemaking, their dedication to the craft and love for the land is transformed in every bottle. From European style red and white wines to our Pyment (a co-fermentation of honey and grapes), they have a wine that will satisfy every palate. If wine isn’t for you, they also offer local North Carolina beer and bourbon tastings. To pair everything off, their Italian born chef has curated a menu of delectable charcuterie boards, salads, sandwiches, and more. They look forward to having you as their guest! If you’re looking for something more intimate, this summer they will be offering special private tours at the vineyard and winery. These are for small groups and by appointment only. You can visit their website for more details at or follow along their journey on Facebook and Instagram @SlantedWindowWines

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Providence Farmstead Creamery

n exciting project is underway just over the North Georgia state line! This farming family of six; C.A., Kirsten, Colin, Erica, Lars, and McCalister Russell are thrilled to announce that construction of their new dairy and creamery is about to begin very soon. While they came from different parts of the country, Georgia native C.A. Russell and California native Kirsten Clauss both shared a common passion for agriculture and family farming. After working together for 30 years in California, raising their family, and developing a nationally recognized Jersey Dairy, the couple and their family have turned their compass back East towards the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Russell family’s passion for agriculture and love for the Jersey cow started five generations ago. Providence Farmstead represents the next chapter in their farming journey and Jersey legacy. Providence Farmstead is located in the quaint town of Otto, North Carolina. Their compass is aligned around family, animal welfare, environmental sustainability, consumer education, and high quality products. The Russell family is excited to bring exceptional dairy products back to their local community. In doing so, they will be processing and bottling A2 glass-bottled Jersey milk and ice-cream right on their farm. They are looking forward to educating the community in a fun and engaging way by hosting tours and other activities on their farm for all ages. The Russell’s and their team currently raise American Wagyu Beef on their farm. American Wagyu is known for its incredible tenderness, unique marbling, and unmatched flavor. They are pleased to provide a true farm-to-table experience that everyone can access and enjoy. You can find their American Wagyu Beef in local markets such as Yonder Community Market, Andy’s Market, Holistic Mountain Market, Blalock Meats, and many amazing local restaurants. You can keep up with the Russell’s and

their plans through Instagram and Facebook @providencefarmsteadnc or their website Providence Farmstead invites you to take part in their journey through the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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Southern Fare

Family Table by Lorie Thompson


here is no better place to be in June than Rabun County! It is the beginning of Summer, but there are still the cool evenings of Spring hanging around. One of the best parts of Summer in Rabun is having Osage Markets open. The star of the show in their Spring and early Summer debut are the strawberries! Strawberry season doesn’t last long. You have to buy them while they are available. It is time for jams, jellies, salads, pies, cakes, and just plain eating those luscious berries! I was thinking about strawberry pie when I picked up my last batch of berries. I like cobbler, but I can make that using frozen berries after the fresh berries are gone. I wanted a pie that exhibited the fresh berries in all their glory. I didn’t have a recipe, but after an online search revealed many slightly different versions of a similar recipe using fresh berries, I settled on one and made it. It was delicious! Let me tell you how to do it. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. You can buy a pre-made pie crust or make your own. You will need to pre-bake a 9” deep-dish pie crust until golden. Remove from the oven and completely cool before adding the strawberries. If you would like to make your crust but think it is too much trouble, try this recipe. It requires no rolling, kneading, or chilling! Add 2C of All Purpose White Lily Flour to a mediumsized mixing bowl. Whisk in a heaping 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of baking powder, and 1 tsp of sugar. Create a well in the center of the flour and add

1/4 C of very cold water and 7 T of vegetable oil. Stir together with a wooden spoon. You can use unsalted melted butter in place of the oil. Make sure it has cooled before adding it to the flour. Lightly spray a 9” deep dish pan with non-stick spray. Place the pie dough into the center of the pie plate and begin spreading it

Lorie Thompson is a REALTOR at Poss Realty in Clayton, Georgia. Her expertise in her industry is second only to her culinary talents. Lorie is a dynamo in the kitchen. Honestly if she prepares it, it will likely be the best you’ve ever had! Lorie and her husband, Anthony (Peanut), make their home in the Persimmon Community. She is the proud mother of Joe Thompson and Kendall Thompson.

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to the edges using your fingertips. The bottom of a measuring cup works great along the edges to smooth the crust. Keep patting it until the pan bottom and sides are evenly covered. Crimp the top edges of the crust. To pre-bake, using a fork, pierce the sides and the bottom of the crust. This will keep it from puffing up during baking. Place a piece of parchment or foil in the bottom of the crust and cover with dried beans. Place the crust in a preheated 375-degree oven and cook for 15 +- minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Wash the strawberries, drain them, and allow them to dry. Remove the cap from each berry and cut it in half. Place the berries into the pie crust. I like quarter slices on the bottom layer with some half slices up top. To make the gel: Stir together 1 1/2 C of water, 1 1/4 C of sugar, and 2 1/2T of cornstarch. Simmer, constantly stirring until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and add one 3 Oz pack of Strawberry Jello, stirring until Jello has completely dissolved. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and then very carefully, pour over strawberries. Refrigerate for 4 -5 hours before slicing. This is wonderful served with fresh whipped cream! I had the pleasure of traveling in the early Spring with my daughter, her best friend, and her best friend’s Mom. We visited Big Bend National Park in Terlingua, Texas. Big Bend is gorgeous, remote, huge, remote, wild, and remote. You get the picture. It is incredibly remote and undeveloped. We bought a few groceries in El Paso before driving down to Big Bend with plans to eat in restaurants and cook some. The last evening of our stay was a Sunday night, and the local restaurants were closed. (both of them) We located the BBQ grill provided

with our rental and discovered it was a Frankenstein grill. The top grate did not match the grill. There were bits and pieces of several old grills used to create one. We had been told there was a chimney to light the charcoal with, but we never found one. So, AC, my daughter’s best friend, figured it out. She gathered bits and pieces of mesquite from the grounds surrounding us and started a mesquite fire, laying the charcoal briquettes in with the wood to start them burning. continued June 2022 - - 25

Family Table by Lorie Thompson

An hour before time to cook, I cleaned out the refrigerator and pantry and chopped every vegetable we had and put into a ziplock with some olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper: Green onions, sweet peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes. We brought steaks out of the fridge and started letting them come up to room temperature. A hefty seasoning of garlic, salt, and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil had them ready for the grill. We grilled the vegetables and reserved the liquid from the bag they were marinating in. After grilling the steaks, we served them

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with the vegetables and the reserved vegetable marinating liquid shared out among the steaks. This has become one of my favorite meals. Everything I grill now has mesquite in the charcoal, and there is always a bag of vegetables marinating in olive oil, garlic, and salt to accompany. I use whatever vegetables are in the refrigerator but always include fresh tomatoes as they contribute to the liquid that makes such a good drizzle for the grilled meat. I know it is simple and doesn’t sound like anything special, but try it! Using mesquite is critical, and letting the vegetables sit long enough to create the juice to use on top of your grilled meat is essential. Make June an exceptional month! Make Strawberry Pie and grill lots of vegetables over mesquite, and enjoy them with your family!

Two Incredible Waterfront Homes Coming Soon!







92 BOULDER LANE RABUN GAP, GA MLS 10038359 | $379,000





Adventure Out

Chattooga River – Bull Sluice Rapid By Peter McIntosh

this adventure we’re going on a nice easy trip to the Onfamous, around these parts anyway, Bull Sluice Rapid

on the Chattooga River. This legendary class 5 cascade can be viewed nicely from the South Carolina side of the river or the Georgia side. Both sides are accessed from a parking area in South Carolina just past the Chattooga River Bridge on US 76 East. The South Carolina river access is by far the easiest. There is a

nice gravel footpath, about ¼ mile in length, descending from the parking area that leads to an observation point above the river. From here you can climb out on the rocks as long as you’re careful. And along this path there is a cutback to the left descending to a boaters takeout point. There is a nice sandy beach here and it’s a great place to take kids for skipping rocks, dipping their toes in the water or having a picnic. The Georgia side is a little more difficult but not much. This side is accessed by descending the stairs from the parking area, crossing back over the bridge and entering the forest on the Chattooga River Trail. You’ll follow this trail a short way, a couple of hundred yards at most. The path curves around almost 180 degrees and before it turns again, look for an unblazed side trail descending on the right. Follow this path down to the rivers edge and then along the river, over a fallen tree or two, up towards Bull Sluice. Along this path you’ll come to a big rock overhang, a rock house to some, referred to as “Mr. Joker Grotto,” named after a beloved river dog. Then comes the tricky part, crossing Pole Creek. If there’s been a

Peter McIntosh is an accomplished professional photographer. His photography is displayed in collections across the country. His passion for nature and the outdoors is what fuels his column. His work is available as fine art prints. Peter offers one on one and small group instruction on camera operation and photography. To see more of Peter’s photos, or if you have a question or comment, visit Peter’s website:

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lot of rain, rock hopping across this brook can be interesting. The best plan is to wear shorts and river shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, then crossing is easy. From there it’s just a hop skip and a jump to the massive boulders which funnel the river into the sluice. This is by far the most scenic place to hang out. You can see upstream and down with a superlative view of the rapids. this would be my choice for a picnic, you’ll want to linger here if it’s a nice day. But if you pack it in, pack it out! Now do keep in mind this is a popular spot, especially on weekends. Folks on raft trips get out here to scout the rapids, with the guide explaining the best route through the foaming hydraulics. And please allow the rafting company photographers to get to their preferred shooting spots. I’m a firm believer in letting these nice people earn a living. And if you want to watch the rafters and kayakers negotiate the rapids, get there between noon and 3:00 pm on weekends. Happy hiking!

Not a moment too soon, here’s my poem for June: Get there around noon or a little time after, To have fun catching rays and watching some rafters. It’s a nice little hike, I don’ want to hear any grumbling, Let’s go to a place where the white water is tumbling. P.S. The Chattooga is a National Wild and Scenic River. If you’re interested in protecting the amazing natural resource, please consider supporting the Chattooga Conservancy. It’s a great organization. Getting there: From US 441 and US 76 E. in Clayton, go 8 miles on 76 E. until crossing the river. Just after the bridge, turn left into the well marked parking area. To see more of Peter’s photos, or if you have a question or comment:

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Firmly Rooted - I want to Grow by Tori Carver


or this month’s flower spotlight, I thought I would introduce you to my supporting cast. Although these flowers don’t have a starring role, they certainly make every bouquet shine. In the flower farmer/florist world, they are called “secondary flowers” and they are utilized for their shape and texture in addition to their color. Shapes include circular disks, spikes or spires, globes or pods, and airy accents. Their varying shapes and textures are designed to give the bouquet depth and pull the eye toward different areas of the bouquet, and several elements provide movement within the bouquet A few of the secondary/filler flowers I currently grow are feverfew, pincushion, black-eyed susan, yarrow, zinnia, marigold, snapdragon, celosia, amaranth, cosmos, dara (chocolate Queen Anne’s lace), strawflower, globe amaranth, statice, sweet william, chinese forget-me-nots, nigella, and phlox. Some of these would probably classify as greenery and filler, but that’s an article for another day. Do not think for a moment that because these flowers are secondary to the showier flowers like peonies, sunflowers, or dahlias that they are any less important. Much like 1 Corinthians 12 describes the body of Christ and how we all have specific gifts designed to glorify the Lord, each flower brings a unique quality to a bouquet. No spiritual gift is more important than the other, and technically, each gift can work separately and independently from the others and be effective. Just like a stunningly beautiful vase of tulips en masse. But, when we put our gifts together for the advancement of the kingdom of God, it’s really something to behold! Just like a bouquet filled with flowers of varying size, texture, and shape.

I try to think about that when I’m building a bouquet. I want each little flower to be seen and appreciated. I suppose that’s why I grow such a variety. Truthfully, it’s a challenge to grow so many varieties and I have considered cutting back and only growing seven or eight. But at the beginning of each season, I think about the little globe amaranth balls and how cute they are popping their little round heads up through the dahlias, or the snapdragons poking their tips above the sunflowers just trying to be noticed, or even the cosmos or feverfew as they dance above a bouquet when the breeze catches them, and I decide all over again that I must grow them. In fact, if you think the list of flowers I do grow is long, you should see the list of flowers I WANT to grow. It’s a passion that my family would call an obsession. I suppose it’s a good thing to be obsessed about, right? If you’d like to follow along with my flower farming journey, you can find me on Facebook and Instagram at Firmly Rooted Flower Farm. I also have a new website where I am currently taking orders for summer bouquet subscriptions. If you miss out on the limited subscriptions, don’t worry because, God willing, there will be lots of glorious, home-grown, fresh flower bouquets available for porch pick up all summer long.

Victoria (Tori) Carver is a flower farmer. From the thousand bulbs and plants that she puts in the ground each year she creates lovely bouquets. Many enjoy her flowers in their home each week. She has established a subscription program for her customers or a honor-system bouquet sales for random purchases. Tori and her husband and children make their home in Clayton, where they are a treasured part of the community. If you are interested in Firmly Rooted Flower Farm please reach out by email to or phone 706-490-0041. You will also enjoy their website at 32 - - June 2022

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The Arts

On Our Cover

Von Watts is the Picture Lady and So Much More!


he has earned the nickname “the Picture Lady” without even trying. She has been at most Rabun County sporting events for a few decades or more. Why? Because she is always there with her camera; because she is one of the Wildcats’ most loyal fans. From the football team to the band, Rabun County native Von Watts is a supporter. Her friends would tell you she is a devoted, lifelong buddy. The kids in her church and community would say, “we love Miss Von” and her children would tell you she gave them all she had. Today it’s the grandkids who are the apple of her eye. Von Watts is just a genuinely kind and good person. Back in the day, Von was in the Rabun County Band; she graduated from Rabun County High School in 1981. While in attendance there she was asked by J.L. Roach to help out on the annual staff. She was handed a camera and sent out to take photos. She realized that she truly enjoyed it. Working after school at Drug Mart, Von started saving for her first camera. She purchased a Pentax K-1000 35mm. This was before digital cameras when film was sent off to be developed or developed in a dark room. This began her love affair with the camera or rather with capturing moments. Years later she went through many old photos and found some treasures that she shared with family members. After high school, Von went on to complete the photography program at North Georgia Technical College. She opened a photography studio and while she loved the picture taking aspect of the business, she didn’t relish running the business side. She then went to work for Rudeseal Photography in Cornelia, Georgia where she stayed for a couple years. In that time she married, and soon after they began a family. Von first had Logan and next came a set of twins, Kenneth and Sarah. Sudden infant death syndrome claimed Sarah’s life. Von calls Sarah her little deposit in Heaven and knows she’ll see her again one day. The loss was tragic and hard on every member of her family. Kelsie completed her family a couple years later. Today a son-in-law (James) and daughter-in-law (Sarah)

have been added and three grandsons (Landon age 5, Marco age 3, and Luke who is 10 months). Her children and grandchildren are her life. “One thing that photography gave me was the ability to work from home and raise my children. Once I left Rudeseal’s Photography I stayed home and I did local wedding photography. I also did children’s photography and family portraits. I could fit in photo sessions while my kids were at school or do weddings on the weekends, develop the film and put together a portfolio for the bride in the evenings. Staying home with my children was such a blessing,” she said. Von found herself a single parent and balancing it all took some work but she did it! In 2000, she took a job in the Photo Center at Walmart. She enjoyed it so much and began exploring digital photography more. She bought her first digital camera when the kids were going to prom, she loved the ability to see the photos before printing them and to take hundreds at a time. “In 2004, a position opened up in the Vision Center as a Doctor’s Tech. I put in for it and got it. I found it so interesting! I loved working out on the floor with patients and learning all I could about vision and eye health. I was given the opportunity to go and earn a degree as a Dispensing Optician. It required a lot of studying. I had three teenagers at home and I gave it all I had. I told them while I am studying, unless there is blood, guts and eyeballs involved, don’t bother me. I had been told if you didn’t pass the boards the first time you had to pay to retake the test. They told me that most people didn’t pass the first time, but I knew I had to. I couldn’t afford not to. I had to drive to Macon to take the test and I am proud to say I passed it the first time!” she told me. Von went on

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to say that her position as a licensed Dispensing Optician allowed her to provide for her kids. “They saw how hard I studied and were proud of me. That meant so much to me.”

on the fields this season but don’t count this Photo Lady out ‘cause she still keeps her camera nearby and as long as she is breathing there’ll be a picture to take.

Photography became her side gig during those years but you can bet her camera was never far from reach. Today, Von takes photos of things that inspire her, including the Wildcats. Sports is not all that is in her portfolio. There are candid shots of our communities’ children, sunsets, eclipses, flowers, birds and her grands. Health issues have forced her to stop working and will limit her availability

From our county, the parents, players, band members, church members and schools, “Von you are appreciated and loved!”

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The Arts

North Georgia Arts Guild Kimberly Adams – Glass Artist, Author and Teacher By Tricia Moore

Kimberly Adams is a glass artist and the owner of Transformation Glass, which specializes in lampwork glass bead jewelry and kilnformed glass. She has been a member of the arts community in Clayton, Georgia and an active member of the North Georgia Arts Guild for several years. Currently, she serves on the NGAG board as Chairman of the Outreach/In-reach Committee and is coordinator for the Northeast Georgia Arts Tour. Having always been interested in art and design, Kim studied Fashion Design while living in Chicago. However, after taking a lampwork glass bead class, she knew she had found the perfect avenue for expressing her creative spirit. The beautiful, one-of-akind beads that Kim makes, created with narrow rods of glass and a torch, was the beginning of a life-long interest in glass artistry. Along the way, Kim has both taken and taught many classes in creating with glass. Kim and her family moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 1993 because of Asheville’s art/artist friendly reputation. In 2005, Kim wrote “The Complete Book of Glass Beadmaking” published by Lark Books. Kim related that she had contributed to other books published by Lark, but nothing compared to writing an entire book on her own. She stated that it was the hardest thing that she had ever done. The book generated many positive reviews and is still available for purchase. It can also be found at the local library in Clayton.

beautiful home in Tiger, Georgia where Kim has a workshop/ studio on the lower floor. Kim has two grown children by a previous marriage, Ian who is 32 and lives in Michigan and Jordan, 30 who is a fiber artist here in Clayton. Kim has continued to learn new ways to express herself through her chosen art medium. In addition to her unique glass beads, Kim creates gorgeous fused glass vases, bowls, platters, candle

In 2011, Kim met her future husband, Veterinarian John Woodward, on Thanksgiving Day at a mutual friend’s home in Henderson, North Carolina. Kim and John now share a holders, and even lamp shades. One of her most recent projects is a large multi-colored glass chandelier that represents the four seasons and hangs over her dining room table. She uses a technique called “drop out” for creating many of her utilitarian pieces. This method involves fusing glass into a sheet, and using molds for the melted glass to drop into. She states she loves this method because she can create pieces that look like blown glass. 40 - - June 2022

Three years ago, in 2019, Kim took a class at John C. Campbell Folk School in powdered glass painting. This is a complex technique that Kim has mastered to create truly unique wall art. To help me, and the reader of this article to understand this process, Kim walked me through the steps involved. The first part of the process involves preparing the screen. The screen is coated with a thin layer of photo sensitive emulsion and let dry for 24 hours. The black and white image, which has been printed on transparency paper, is placed against the screen. The screen with the image on it is placed in a light box with UV light and exposed for a little less than two minutes. The light causes the emulsion to harden and bind to the screen. Where the light is blocked (where the image has been placed), the image remains water soluble. The screen is soaked with water and softened and then “hit with a hose.” The water soluble sections are washed away leaving the image. A sheet of glass is set up on condiment cups, and the screen is placed over this. A light coating of powdered glass is placed on the screen and a piece of mat board is used as a squeegee to push the powdered glass through the screen. This forms the image on the glass, and the glass is placed in the kiln and fired at a temperature of 1250 – 1450 degrees. The higher level of heat creates a smoother shinier effect. This method of creating glass art is a way to make framable glass art and a wonderful addition to Kim’s repertoire of artwork. If you are interested in viewing or purchasing Kim’s unique artwork or in taking a class from her, you can email her at, or visit her website at www. Her work can also be seen at the booth she shares with her daughter Jordan at Butler’s Galleries in Clayton.

Tricia Moore is a retired teacher, having taught both English and Art in public and private school settings. She is currently an active member of the NGAG and has held several positions on the board. With her background in both art and writing, she feels that writing the NGAG featured artist article in the Laurel of Northeast Georgia is a good fit and something that she will greatly enjoy doing.

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The Arts


Jewelry Inspired by the Lakes of Rabun County By Michael Detrick

Keep the experience of this pristine paradise with you by keeping the natural healing nature of this copper shoreline near you

How she came here

How Shorelines began


Googling “Lake Burton”, she found the history and geographical makeup fascinating. “The way the water blends together from several directions to form the shoreline” piqued such an excitement in her, she “literally threw off the blanket’ and dug through piles of advertising brochures and found an image of the shape of Lake Burton. “I taped it to the window of the RV and traced it onto a Post-It note (she repeated this process several times), then cut the lake shapes out, glued them all together, and then glued my “prototype” to a necklace I had with a flat disc surface.”

hen Jill Chandler Imhoff first walked down the dock at Lake Burton in 2017, she physically felt the magic of the area overcome her, “right down to my flip flops!” A woman of many hats, Jill and her husband Larry had spent two decades living on a boat in South Florida when that first breathtaking view of Lake Burton came into focus, and they made the instant decision to pack up their salty air sea-level lives and head for higher ground here in Rabun County. Jill had recently retired after 20 years in broadcast sales, and Larry was traveling all over doing special projects for the marina industry when they discovered they were destined to lay anchor among the fresh waters and evergreens of Lake Burton, having found their “forever home”. “Retirement is not for punks!” Larry warned. So, they left the marina, packed up the RV, and pushed northward to the pristine sleepy splendor of the North Georgia mountains. It was time to discover season changes. Once the RV rolled northwardly to a parked position here in Rabun County in 2019 – with noticeably chillier weather – she forcibly acquiesced to the apparel item known as socks, curled up under a blanket, and began an online investigation of her new home.

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She still has and treasures this symbolic seedling of what would become “Shorelines”. The gears were turning, and Jill needed inroads to get this product perfected and properly marketed. Larry had done a project for La Prade’s Marina on Lake Burton, through which Jill met marina General Manager Katie Long. Jill took her paper model to Katie, who was immeasurably helpful and insightful on providing opinions on the would-be product’s uniqueness, customer interest factor, and value, as well as offering a critique of the shoreline itself, until it had that “glance factor” and you knew exactly what you were looking at. Once it was perfected, Katie was her first customer. It was decided the pieces would be made of copper.

But what started out as one piece embodying one lake has grown to a sizable collection of keepsakes now representing both Lake Burton and Lake Rabun in the form of necklaces, earrings, key rings, bracelets, cuffs, and hanging ornaments. And she has found an “absolutely amazing” place to showcase it. Where Shorelines landed During her short time in this area, Jill had become friends with Kelly Blount, the mastermind behind Ladybug Landing (a whimsical gift shop in Lakemont), who has been instrumental in providing her ever-growing collection a permanent space to thrive. “Kelly was so kind in offering me the chance to showcase my line of both Lake Burton and Lake Rabun pieces. She even offered me a parttime job! And let me tell you – the thrill of creating these pieces, then the thrill of a visitor in the shop purchasing one of them for themselves or as a gift is life-changing!” Jill gushed. These gals are each other’s biggest fans, and their combined energies makes for a pretty special in-store experience. Shorelines of your own Any piece can be personalized in the form of an engraving, or by even adding a gemstone to mark a special place, such as a lake house location. Jill has plans to incorporate magnets, broaches, and pet collars into the collection in upcoming months. She has created a variety of other shorelines both on and off this continent, and custom orders are also available through both Ladybug Landing and La Prade’s Marina. If you are seeking something other than the copper she got this all started with, precious metals such as silver, gold, and rose gold are also available. Proudly made with loving hands in the mountains of North Georgia, these pieces truly are unique collectibles for those who have also discovered the magic of the lakes of Rabun County. At the end of our interview, exclaims Jill, “No, retirement is not for punks… But it sure is a blast!”

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The Arts

Valley Voices to premier at Hardman Farm June 2-5, 2022


he Friends of Hardman Farm State Historic site, in partnership with Piedmont University’s North Georgia Theatre, will present Valley Voices, an outdoor drama, at Hardman Farm in Sautee-Nacoochee, Georgia on June 2-5, 2022. Written by local author and playwright, Emory Jones, and based on his new book by the same name, Valley Voices tells the stories of the families who lived, worked, and loved in Nacoochee Valley over two centuries. “Several of us locals, along with DNR officials, have wanted to see an outdoor drama come to Nacoochee Valley for years,” Jones says. “In 2015, we had Dr. Michael Hardy—then the Director of the Institute of Outdoor Theatre—visit here and write an assessment of this project’s potential. “Dr. Hardy was most encouraging and cited the farm’s history, location near Helen, and proximity to cities like Atlanta and Asheville, as key reasons to move forward.” Jones says the partnership with Piedmont University is another plus. “Having Piedmont’s Kathy Blandin direct Valley Voices and Bill Gabelhausen be the acting coach and play the role of Calvin Hunnicutt will make this premier performance something no North Georgian will want to miss.” The event will host a trifecta of performances beginning with live music from Joe and Debbielee Whelchel and continuing with “Doc Johnson’s Travelling Miracle Medicine Show,” a classic latenineteenth-century magic act. The Valley Voices presentation rounds out the evening. On June 2-4th, gates open at 5pm. Guests are encouraged to come early, bring their own lawn chair or blanket, grab a bite from a local food truck or a brew from Tantrum Brewing Co., and have a picnic on the grounds. The site’s 19 outbuildings, including the impressive 100-plus-year-old dairy barn, will be open, and guests can interact with the actors prior to their performance. Gates open at 11:30am for Sunday’s 2pm matinee. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic since there will not be a food truck for the matinee performance. Tickets are $20 plus taxes and fees. To learn more, visit: valleyvoices. All proceeds go towards future events and restoration projects at the historic Hardman Farm. Contact: Sarah Summers at 706-878-1077 or Emory Jones at 678-644-5835. Email: or emory@

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A father’s love is different. By Avery Lawrence – Pastor of Persimmon Baptist Church


ometimes, a father’s love is shown with a word not spoken…a silence that echoes, “I understand, I’ve been where you are, and you are going to be ok.” Sometimes, a father’s love is stern…a voice of reason and accountability. Other times, a father’s love is loud…a booming sense of pride and overwhelming joy. A father’s love is sometimes rugged at best but a father’s love is true, like a beacon in the middle of a storm. The unspoken words often don’t need to be spoken. Most times, one knows what he’s saying by the look in his eyes and by his actions. Sometimes a father’s love is shown through provision…nothing fancy, just showing up and providing for his family. I was blessed with a hard-working daddy who instilled in me a strong work ethic and a love for my family. He would leave for work long before I left for school and often come home after we kids were in bed. Daddy always worked with his hands. I remember seeing his calluses bleed and sometimes even torn because he had caught them on something. He would pull out his knife and finish cutting them off. They would soon be replaced with new calluses. To this day, I notice people’s hands. Working hands are not smooth. They are cracked and dirty but they tell a story. Working hands are scarred and tattered and show a willingness to get up and make a living. There were three of us kids; two boys and a girl. We really had no idea how hard Daddy worked to provide a roof over our heads and food on the table. He was a little rough around the edges, or so he says. In my eyes, there was more good than bad. We knew he loved us. He wanted us to have more than he had growing up, so he worked two, sometimes three, jobs to make sure we had all we needed and more than our share of our wants. Daddy wanted us to grow up to be good people. He wasn’t much for going to church, but he respected those that did. He did, however, encourage us to go. My granny would walk us to church every Sunday. The preacher kept telling us that if we would pray for our daddy, he would show up. We believed the preacher…. One Sunday, my daddy showed up at church. Then, he kept coming back. It wasn’t long until he surrendered his life to Jesus. Daddy was a different man….His edges weren’t nearly as rough anymore. His vocabulary was replaced with scriptures, and he was happy; a different happy. He told me just the other day that there were people betting on how long it would last. It’s been more than 30 years since he met Jesus. Our Heavenly Father’s love is different. According to Greek philosophy, agape is the kind of love that God has for us. Agape can be best described as unconditional, bigger than ourselves, a boundless compassion and an infinite empathy that is extended to everyone, whether they are family members or distant strangers. In common terms, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, or what you have done, He will still love you. God’s love is infinite. It has no beginning and no end. He loved us so much that He gave His one and only Son, Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sins. If we put our faith and trust in Him, we will have eternal life (John 3:16). That is the kind of love that only our Heavenly Father can give us. God didn’t send his only Son to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. The truth is, we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Jesus Christ came to be our Savior. It is up to us to either accept that love, or reject it. It is God’s will that we come to know the saving grace that He has extended to us. He knows your past. He sees your future. He knows everything about you, and He still loves you. That’s what a Father does. That’s the love of our Heavenly Father.

Avery Lawrence is the Pastor of Persimmon Baptist Church. Avery is a native of Rabun County and has a great love for Jesus and passion to share the gospel. Avery is the assistant principal at Rabun County Middle School and is loved by all. He is married to Nawana and is step-dad to Casi Best, but more than that he is “Poppy” to Anni and Homer Liam.

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Happy Father’s Day

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Health & Wellness

Pets and Wildlife By Dr. Brad Speed


ith the arrival of Summer comes all the activities that make the North Georgia mountains so popular. Whether hiking, boating, camping, or just visiting the great outdoors, you’re most likely going to have your pets along for the ride. When in the outdoors there’s plenty of opportunity for interactions with wildlife. Let’s discuss some of the interactions and the “do’s and don’ts” of making contact with our most common local wildlife. Snakes One of the more dangerous and common creatures our pets come across during the summer months are snakes. While a good portion of these snakes are non venomous, and therefore not dangerous, we do have a few poisonous snakes to look out for. These would be the Copperhead, Timber Rattler, and possibly the Water Moccasin (depending on your location and range in the state) The most serious of these is the rattlesnake, and thankfully we see the fewest bites from them. Avoidance is the best medicine here. If you encounter a venomous snake, try to get/keep your dog away from it. Also be aware that snakes move more in the late spring and early fall around here. During these times it is best to keep an eye on your pet when they are outside. It seems like most snakebites occur around dusk, when dogs are out to pee, and snakes are coming out to hunt. Most of the time, the owner doesn’t see the bite occur, which makes treatment more of a challenge. The most common presentation of a snakebite is a dog with a suddenly painful swollen face or leg. The bite will swell substantially within an hour’s time if it’s bad. They often drip bloody fluid from the wound, depending on the type and severity of the bite. My suggestion would be to treat any confirmed poisonous snakebite

as an emergency. Benadryl can be given as a stop gap, but get your pet to a vet to head off any complications. Insects There are plenty of insects that can bother your dog. Yellow jackets, spiders, scorpions to name a few. Scorpions and spiders like cool, dark, damp places. Be aware of these with dogs that hang out under the porch, or when cleaning up around the outside of the house. Pest control is the best way to head these guys off, but they are a part of life here. Wasps love the underside of grills that get used once or twice during the summer, so look carefully before opening those up. Yellow Jackets are probably the biggest problem, as they can nest fully in the ground or up on elevated surfaces like bushes or trees. Yellow jackets become increasingly aggressive as the summer goes on, and dogs can take several stings from getting into a nest. While stings are painful to a pet, they are not life threatening in most circumstances. Use common sense here. If a dog has been stung once, you can give Benadryl and monitor. If they have multiple stings or are showing signs of an allergic reaction (facial swelling, vomiting, hives), consider emergency treatment. Deer, Raccoons, Possums, Rodents Indirect dangers are from these guys. Dogs that chase deer can run for miles before realizing they are lost. It’s best not to let them do it. By far the biggest danger from this group is

more likely

leptospirosis. Deer, Racoons, Possums, and Rodents can all carry and transmit

Brad is an associate Veterinarian at Rabun Animal Hospital. He graduated Rabun County High School in 2002, earned his bachelor degree in Animal and Dairy Science (2005) and then his DVM in Veterinary Medicine, both at the University of Georgia (2010). He lives in Clayton with his wife, daughter, son, and many 2, 3, and 4 legged animals. 50 - - June 2022

leptospirosis through their urine. Sadly, pets that get infected with leptospirosis typically present in kidney failure, and can have life long damage from the infection provided that they survive. Most people don’t know about leptospirosis because it is an emerging problem. We diagnose and treat it much more often than 20 years ago. The reason for the increase is because pets are interacting with wildlife much more often due to habitat infringement and lifestyle changes. I highly recommend you consider vaccination for leptospirosis if you have a pet in this area. Coyotes Coyotes are opportunistic predators. They will typically stay away from humans, but will try to pick off the occasional small or lone dog. Best advice here is to keep your pets secure in the house or in an enclosure at night if you are in an area with coyotes. Bears This is a big one. As the population grows in the mountains, more people and pets come into contact with bears. Nuisance bears are becoming more of a problem each year in this area due to habitat infringement. Of all the wildlife on this list, bears can hurt or kill a dog quicker than anything else. While bears are shy of dogs for the most part, that is not a rule. They will attack if threatened. Mother bears with cubs are the most dangerous. If you see cubs in the area, do not let your dog loose. Mom will see their barking and charging as a direct threat. Keep in mind that bears are wild animals, and they do not interact well with dogs. Do not feed them. Keep your trash up and contained. And do not allow your dogs interaction with them. I hope everyone has a great summer while enjoying these beautiful mountains! With just a little forethought, both you and your pets can have a safe, amazing time. If you do happen to have an incident with wildlife, come see us at Clayton Veterinary Hospital. And after that hike, be sure to stop by Claws and Paws for a refreshing frozen treat!

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Mountain Homes

Lake, Mountain Views Define Burton Living By John Shivers


s you climb the winding road that is Sonya Drive in the Lake Burton Community west of Clayton, suddenly you spot a lodge like home rising above the tree tops. Whether it’s the calming blue-grey shingled exterior of this traditional home, or the generous size three level porches that simply scream “Come sit on me and watch all your stress melt away…”, you know that 621 Sonya is a definite destination. What’s more, it can be your personal destination full-time or part-time. Situated on 1.3± acres on Goat Cliff, overlooking the waters of Lake Burton, this 4,800± square foot custom built home offers a quality lifestyle on a fee simple private, sloped lot that includes convenient lake access, thanks to a shared dock. A swim dock expands the potential to enjoy the lake. With its southern and western layered mountain views, made all the more accessible by two levels of wide, covered, wrap-around porches that embrace two sides of the home, those who live here enjoy a priceless fourseason panorama every day. Under the soaring, covered front entry immediately adjacent to the two-car garage, family and guests find a leaded glass door and 54 - - June 2022

sidelights that offer access to this breathtaking home. Inside, 10foot ceilings throughout all three levels lend an air of spaciousness and graciousness. While the great room and adjacent dining room and kitchen with breakfast bar have their defined spaces, given the room sizes and the vast expanses of glass that open to the porches, this portion of the house is a host’s dream. The floor plan flows people beautifully. White Oak tongue and groove paneling is a neutral backdrop for some gracious lake living with every amenity a city home can offer. But you’ll never find those unspoiled western sunsets in the city. Tongue and groove is used judiciously in conjunction with drywall throughout, from the top floor to the walkout lower level. Your family’s resident chefs will appreciate the kitchen that sports an expansive island/breakfast bar, generous cabinets and granitetopped workspace. With appliances that have seen little use, and such extras as a glass top surface unit and a warming drawer, you can cook a special holiday meal in this kitchen with the same ease that you prepare breakfast every day. Just pull out the stops and go for it.

Four oversize bedrooms make sleeping family and guests a snap. The en suite master bedroom is located on the main level, and enjoys more of those wonderful expanses of glass that bring the outdoors inside. Three other full en suite bathrooms and two half-baths ramp up the homeowner’s ability to comfortably entertain and host guests. This home has two separate laundry units, and on the lower level, a kitchenette allows those watching TV, exercising in the home gym, or playing pool to grab a beverage or a snack, without going upstairs. Outdoor entertaining is a snap from this level. Two bonus / bunk rooms comfortably increase the livability factor, as do his and her offices – the better to handle business. This home has two stone fireplaces, a paved driveway, and easy access to the lake where the shared boathouse has a bathroom, kitchen, screened-in and open-air decks, and ample parking spaces. Need to go to town? You’ll conveniently access Highway 76, and you’re less than three miles from both Anchorage Marina and Waterfall Club. You’re only 15 minutes from downtown Clayton. To see GAMLS #20039222 for yourself and get a glimpse of what life could be like overlooking Lake Burton, contact agent Andrea Sorgeloos at Harry Norman, REALTORS® Luxury Lake and Mountain at 404-729-9223 or at the office, 706-212-0228.

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Mountain Homes

Outdoors by Bree Tuttle


he Psalms tell us, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” I could not agree more.

Recently my family and I left the suburbs of Atlanta and moved north to Toccoa, Georgia, downsizing from 2600 sq ft to 600. And all of it triggered by our love of nature and the outdoors. Our little cabin boasts glorious views of Lake Hartwell and I am often humbled by what I see when watching the day rise over the treetops or pausing to watch the sun kiss the lake at dusk. We have grown accustomed to the beaver who swims in our cove, the bluebirds that awaken my daughter in the morning, and the Bald Eagle that occasionally soars above us diving for fish off our dock. The scenes never get old…because nature never gets old. It is constantly renewing, reviving, and regrowing itself. There is balance in the outdoors. Every element playing its part in the eco-system that God so brilliantly created. I love how it all works in tandem with itself. Nature providing so much stimulation and reward in the smallest thing, the oxygen that is expelled by the trees or the wild flowers growing between rocks and roots. The other morning, as the fog rolled out of the cove, I grabbed my running shoes, a lite jacket, and my walking buddy Shelby, and we headed out into the misty morning. A low fog covered the path, filling the forest floor with its smoky haze. It was a gloriously mystical walk. In the silence

of the foggy morning, I heard the gentle steps of deer, scratching of squirrels, and twittering of birds as they all sleepily began their day. There was a brisk chill in the air that fought against the incoming warmth of spring, and I inhaled deeply, filling my lungs with it all. The pup at my side raised her ever searching nose into the mist as if also to absorb the last of winter in her lungs and then… we ran. Taking in the glory and beauty and mystery that is the outdoors. Edward Morris once wrote, As ice turns to water and lush green arrives, The crags reappear and new wildlife thrives. Soon streamlets will gurgle and columbines grow; The mountains are calling, and I must go. As we move into summer and crisp mornings give way to warmer ones, so will the outdoors give way to a new energy. Trees will stretch out their arms and bright green leaves will open to absorb sunny skies. Warmer waters of the lake and longer days of summer will bring with it swimming, boat rides, mountain hikes to hidden waterfalls, kayak rides in shady coves, festivals, family gatherings, and adventures. I cannot wait to be apart of it all. The mountains do indeed call…they call me to prayer; they call me to silence; they call me to singing; they call me to stillness; they call me to adventure…they call me to God.

Bree Tuttle is a Senior Interior Designer at Angel Oak Home; she is an outdoor enthusiast and loves the mountains. While interiors are her specialty, Bree and Angel Oak Home can design your outdoor living space. Creating a sanctuary in nature for your comfort and enjoyment is equally essential for a beautifully balanced home. From porch to patio, we invite you to reach out to us for ideas and a consultation. You may visit us at 46 Doyle Street in downtown Toccoa, Georgia, call 706-898-5427 or visit

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Mountain Homes

You Can Land in This Beautiful Valley Today By John Shivers


17 Flying Ranch is a private estate of 8.29 acres situated by Stekoa Creek in the North Georgia Mountains. This gorgeous setting will remind you of a mountain valley in Montana or Idaho. Blessed by the surrounding creation, this tract offers four seasons of nature in all its glory and shows the care and love of experienced and gifted gardeners. It’s an amazing property on which to walk-about and enjoy the vistas, creek frontage, as well as old growth and native landscape. Enjoy a view of the waterfall from the dining room and sit on the porch and listen to the water as it cascades down a stream into the beautiful pond. The structures on this tract are ideally positioned for the landscape. To summarize, there’s a main house, guest house with double garage and workshop, root cellar, garden shed, and recently completed 65’ x 69’ foot building. The main house (4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and approximately 2700 square feet) has vaulted, beamed ceilings, an abundance of beautiful real wood paneling, handmade 58 - - June 2022

barn doors, hardwood floors, and amazing amounts of glass that unite the outdoors with the indoors. A welcoming foyer beckons guests to enjoy the hospitality that awaits within. The great room which currently showcases a grand piano with space to spare features a two-sided chimney with a wood-burning fireplace in the living area, and a woodburning stove in the dining room, immediately adjacent to the kitchen with a bay window sink. Wash the dishes and enjoy the view. Glass-fronted cabinets, solid surface workspace, high-end stainless appliances, a center island, and wine refrigerator make this a kitchen sure to please even the most dedicated chef. Two oversize en suite bedrooms are also on this main level, and feature spacious, spa-like baths with generous size showers and unique accents and fixtures. A main level laundry room is nearby. A glimpse at the spacious sunroom will quickly assure you that this will be one of your favorite places in the home, and open

porches, a screened porch, and a separate deck expand the livability footprint. On the second level, on either end of the home, loft areas overlook the great room and provide additional sleeping, office and hobby space. But the livability doesn’t end here. Nearby is a two-story garage with two vehicle bays, storage space, as well as a fully equipped kitchen, dining area and a half bath on the entry level. Upstairs there’s an oversize living area and bedroom, and a full bath with shower. The bedroom and the living room open to outdoor balcony areas. Sleep your overflow guests here, house the kids home from college, perhaps your parents live with you, or make it available to an on-site caretaker. A separate older and smaller barn delivers even more storage area. Right outside the main house and the garage is the almost new 65’ x 59’ foot building. Neighbors here, share a private airstrip and this building was custom designed as an aircraft hangar. But if you don’t have a plane, worry not. This property would also be ideal for an automobile enthusiast, and the same gorgeous scenery is still included. And the accommodations for the people are as versatile and comfortable as the provisions made for the aircraft. Two to three small planes can fit inside (depending on the model), or a car collection. An oversize roll-up door accommodates the planes, and a walk-through door provides still more access for the pilot(s) and company. On the second level you will find storage for aircraft parts and supplies, a home gym, a large office

suite overlooking the hangar area, and sleeping space and a full bathroom. Whether residing part-time or year around, Rabun County has so much to offer. It’s well known for Lake Rabun, Lake Burton, Lake Seed, Tallulah Gorge, Black Rock Mountain, the Chattooga River and the county with more acreage in U.S. Forest than any other in Georgia. 117 Flying Ranch is just minutes away from downtown Clayton yet feels “a world away.” Priced at $1,395,000. To see GA MLS #10045951, contact Scott Poss at Poss Realty at 706-490-2305 or at the office at 706-782-2121.

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Mountain Homes

Grab This Piece of History While You Can By John Shivers


ome opportunities just sorta come along. Others stand up and wave at you. The classic, historic home at 59 Carter Lane outside the storied village of Lakemont, in the southern end of Rabun County, is one of those special opportunities: a home that’s as much a part of the past as it is the future. This home is a distinct design style inherent to the lake living architecture so synonymous with Lake Rabun. Fortunately, this 82± year old country rustic cottage style dwelling has been modernized for 21st Century living, with minute detail paid to preserving the original charm and integrity. Nestled among the trees, accessed by a winding, picturesque country lane, this property is definitely one to consider. It was in 1940 when the former Mountain Laurel Inn first became a destination for travelers on the Tallulah Falls Railroad. The train brought visitors from all over the southeast into the northeast Georgia mountains, and helped establish the 1,872± square foot

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structure’s reputation as a place to escape to the famous mountain breezes . Situated now on five wooded, rolling acres adjacent to U.S. Forest lands, this private home or vacation rental is known as Wiley Mountain Lodge, and has been lovingly restored from the ground up. With central heat and air, a drilled deep well, and rebuilt foundations, and other updates, it’s viability and livability is assured for another century. Designed for fun, with whimsical touches throughout, livability is the buzzword. It’s bones may be aged, but the lifestyle possibilities of the property itself are both varied and ageless. Whether you’re inside or out, the opportunities to make yourself at home are overwhelming. There are porches and patios on all three levels, in addition to an outdoor partially-covered pavilion just steps away from the house. An outdoor shower and toilet area in addition to a detached full bathroom facility seriously ramp up the ability to host a large number of people.

And speaking of hosting large house parties, thanks again to those porches, there’s plenty of dining space suitable to four-season use, as well as during the prime summer months, when everyone wants to come to the mountains and the lakes. The heart of the home is the porches! There is room for the entire family to enjoy multiple dining and seating areas on the wide, covered porches and the outdoor spaces. Enjoy the hot tub and the hammock in the Grotto or the conversation area on the starlit deck. It’s lovely in every season and every time of day. This home is convenient to Tallulah Gorge State Park, Lake Rabun, and Clayton, and has an excellent rental history with a following of repeat guests. Inside, two large living areas were made to accommodate family and friends. The century-old wood floors and paneling, combined with the native stone fireplaces in the two living areas ,offer a feeling of warmth to the rooms, and make folks want to stay a while. Four bedrooms, including a private sleeping loft that’s guaranteed to be a hit with the kids, allow many heads to bed down for the night. The cherry on the sundae here are the sleeping porches attached to the bedrooms that offer up opportunities for catching a restful afternoon nap, or sleeping in the great outdoors with all the comforts of home.

Poss Realty Agent and Rabun County native Lorie Thompson declares this historic lodge to be one of her favorite homes in the county. She’s certain you’ll agree, and invites you to contact her to see MLS #20033319. You can reach her at 706-490-1820 or at the office at 706-782-2121.

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Mountain Homes

Appalachian Home Solutions Flooring


onsidering new flooring in your home? Look no further! AHS Flooring is a family owned and operated full-service flooring company. Florida native Lex Colon started Mobile Showroom Flooring in 2003, with a mission to bring quality products, fair prices, and professional service, with the convenience of an inhome consultation. Ten years ago, he and his wife made western North Carolina home. With 20 years of experience under their belt, they built Appalachian Home Solutions (AHS) Flooring in the FranklinHighlands area. Today they serve Macon (NC) and Rabun counties, as well as other surrounding areas. They have now expanded their business to include a by-appointment flooring showroom located at 11 Theodore Drive Otto, North Carolina. For your convenience, they also offer an AHS Mobile Showroom unit available for in-home consultations, where they bring the store directly to you! They provide free in-home consultation specializing in hardwood, laminate, and waterproof luxury vinyl plank flooring. When considering your next flooring options, consider going straight to the professional who works with the product every day. At AHS Flooring, you can expect a knowledgeable, detailed, and professional service. Known for streamlined efficiency, they will be able to assess your job, answer your questions, give recommendations for your needs and wants, and create and execute a plan to complete your next flooring project. If you’re in the market for an upgrade or new installation, look no further than Appalachian Home Solutions!

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Professional Directory

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“Having children is like living in a frat house, nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.” - Ray Romano

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Around Town

Michael on the Map presents Michael at the Lake


n this series I will be traveling to the towns of northeastern Georgia and western North and South Carolina, sharing my adventures and discoveries as I meet the locals who make up the area. Hop in my Jeep and let’s hit the road!

Take 6: Lake Burton’s Timpson Creek By the time it came time to chronicle my June travels, the forests of Northeast Georgia had at last reached full flourish, offering a dazzling color wheel of botanical greens intermingled to forge a lush, vibrant outdoor landscape. Having pushed through the forest floor and unfurling their coiled caps, the ferns were now tall and full, beginning to bend and round themselves back towards the earth. Bright nuggets of pincushion moss punctuated the thriving woodland habitat, and dogwood blossoms once again crowed their formerly winter-barren branches. Wildflowers aplenty! 70 - - June 2022

With the threat of a freeze finally out of the woods, it was time to wander back into them and play. And play I do well, especially in woodland water bodies. Having journeyed last month to Lake Rabun, it was now time for a trip to Lake Burton, this time with swim trunks, Vuarnets (my all-time tops sunglasses), a dinosaur float, and neon zinc oxide. So, blasting David Bowie, I was off in my Jeep in pursuit of another perfect day at the lake. Constructed in a deep valley along a 10-mile stretch of the Tallulah River basin, Lake Burton – a 2,775-acre reservoir with 62 miles of shoreline – is the largest lake in Rabun County. Dammed in 1919 and filled in 1920, it was nearly surrounded by national forest. So remote was this lake that it was not accessible by car until the 1960s; then a destination only for true wilderness explorers. Aside from a handful of cabins, the lake remained practically unsettled until the 1970s, with more aggressive housing development really taking off in the 1980s. Cecile Thompson – local purveyor of eclectic and colorful home and interior design and products – has been connected to this lake since the 1950s, her family having had one of the original cabins. “I grew up coming to the lake with my aunt, uncle and cousins,” Cecile reminisced, “I’ve always loved Lake Burton.” But she recalls it was not always so easily reached. Cecile – who was raised mostly in Rabun County – shared, “It was quite a trip to come from Atlanta (as most people did), or from anywhere. And you didn’t go to Atlanta from Rabun County at the drop of a hat, either. 985 wasn’t here yet… It was a haul to get here.” Timpson Creek – one of the many streams that flows into Lake Burton – derives its name from John Timson, who was the first Cherokee Indian to be baptized, and (as the legend goes) whose baptism occurred in the creek itself. Just up from this small but historic watercourse sits Cecile’s Timpson Creek Gallery, which was once her uncle Rabun Ramey’s beer joint; a kind of back-door speakeasy spot to swallow down a few cold ones. “It was fun to come to Uncle Rabun’s. I learned to do the Funky Chicken here!” Cecile announced from a sofa in her gallery. In the late 1960s-early 1970s it served as the Lake Burton Tavern until that was shut down and it began its metamorphosis into its current realization as a “big room of beautiful things”, as I declared it during my visit. What was once twice a beer joint became a furnituremaking workshop in 1972, when Cecile’s husband Dwayne took over the building and began expanding his talents and craftsmanship. Cecile eventually took over the space to expand her gallery and design consultation business, and Dwayne built a second structure to house his furniture and iron workshops, mediums he often uses in concert. Says Cecile, “If I wouldn’t have it in my house, I won’t have it in my store. And it’s very important for me to work with American craftsmen and artists.” June 2022 - - 71

Around Town

best tater tots in the world”. I did as I was told.

Also housed in this second building is the studio of renowned Georgia artist Libby Mathews, whose pieces are inspired by both the Timpson Creek area, and the ever-evolving personality of the gallery itself. “Each day, I show up and do the work with determination, fear, anxiety, passion, focus, vision, excitement, and gratitude.” I very much enjoyed popping in on the artist at work. Just steps away from Timpson Creek Gallery down a windy little road at beautiful Timpson Cove lies Anchorage Boat Dock. The town of Burton may have been sunk to create the lake, but back in 1959, some of the submerged artifacts such as timbers and rock were retrieved, and construction began on a marina. Purchased by Susanne and Charles Poole in 1967, Anchorage has remained a Poole family product for all 55 years ever since. As one of the “few remaining treasures of Lake Burton” another generation of Pooles is now at the helm, and Seth and Nikki, with the help of their two children, strive to maintain the original structures, styling, and ambience (such as their iconic locust post boat slips), while incorporating modern amenities. Also make sure to check out Take it on the Lake (in the house Seth grew up in), which is operated by Seth and Nikki’s daughter, Emma. Really gaining wings and taking off 5 years ago, it was Emma’s vision to expand on the classic marina menu of hot dogs and ice cream. “I’m really excited to share our handcrafted sandwiches, especially our famous pimento cheese and chicken salad!” Emma said. They also offer salads, hand-scooped ice cream, smoothies, milkshakes, and charcuterie boards to create your perfect on-the-water picnic. Open Memorial through Labor Day, online ordering is encouraged. The day I was there, Emma had not yet opened for the season, but Cecile had slipped a juicy secret in my pocket anyway, and I had been essentially ordered to go to The Lake Burton Café and try their famous dive salad and “the 72 - - June 2022

Greeted by owner Heidi Timko, “The Last of the Dives” did not disappoint on its self-classification, and neither did the salad or the tots. Also known for their burgers, wings, and pizza, I was feeling particularly fishy, so added a fried cod sandwich (and onion rings) to my lunchtime feast. And a margarita. And made good use of the jukebox. Duh. Next time I’ll make use of the pool tables. And next door to Lake Burton Café is a final food option in tiny, eclectic Timpson Creek. Owner and Chef Vince Scafiti has created in The Farmhouse Market a menu of delicious freshly prepared grab-and go offerings – as well as offers catering services – while also providing some important grocery staples for the area. “Food that is fast. Not fast food”, is Vince’s motto. After all this food I’ve mentioned, I sure hope you’re hungry. Another spot to check out on a day trip to Timpson Creek is Black Bear Creek, which prides themselves on stocking their shelves and floors with only genuine antiques. Owner and train enthusiast Jim Reaves even has a fully restored 1929 red caboose out back, available to rent on Vrbo. Choo-choo! I didn’t get to play in the lake on this day, but I returned on the next to jump off a friend’s boat dock and utilize my inflatable T-Rex. Because I’m always a kid at heart. The Timpson Cove public beach is also right around the corner and available to anyone wanting lake access. I, of course, recommend bringing an oversized animal float. Oh, and when you head over to Timpson Creek, be sure to stop by and ask Cecile about old prankster Rainbow English and the tricks he played on the neighborhood kids growing up. Tell her Michael on the Map sent you. The folks in this area are full of stories. Which brings me to the end of mine for today. Putting down the pen, putting on a steak, and pouring a glass of wine. Until next month’s travels to the other side of Lake Burton, Bowie and I fare thee well. “Oh you Pretty Things, don’t you know you’re driving your mamas and your papas insane?”

Around Town

Explore Rabun

When you Explore Rabun, you’ll discover Our Mountain Treasure!


ood news… It’s June and that means it’s National Great Outdoors Month! In 2019, the US Senate joined state governors from across the country in officially designated June as the month in which to celebrate the great outdoors. And why is this such great news, you may ask? This celebration brings not only obvious health benefits, but social and economic benefits as well, especially here in Rabun County. In past years, outdoor recreation has contributed more than $400 billion to the US economy, approximately 2.2% of total US GDP, and provided over 4.5 million jobs across the country. Over the past few years these numbers have only continued to rise. Outdoor recreation is a vital part of life and living in our area and aren’t we lucky that our viability depends on something so wonderful as the beautiful natural landscape that surrounds us, rather than something like heavy industry or other environmentally unfriendly businesses. We are so fortunate as to live amongst the mountains, trees, lakes and streams and as a result, we live a better quality of life. Whether you’re embarking on your very first hike or pitching a tent for the hundredth time, National Great Outdoors Month is the perfect excuse to head outside and explore. So, join in the party! The list of ways to celebrate the outdoors is virtually endless. Here are a few ideas… June 4th is National Trails Day. Volunteers around the

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country come together to pick up trash, maintain trails, and spiffy up our green spaces. Consider planning your own informal volunteer hike by bringing a trash bag and gloves out to pick up trash on your favorite trail. We have trails galore all over our county that could always use a little love. June 4-12 is National Fishing & Boating Week. Cast your line! What you reel in may be even better than just a fish, a moment worth remembering. June 11th, National Get Outdoors Day, will also be the first annual celebration of the City of Clayton’s designation as an Appalachian Trail Hiker Destination Community. Come to the pavilions at the Rabun County Civic Center to participate in all the free fun festivities. I have it on good authority that Smokey the Bear and Woodsy the Owl will be in attendance, along with good food, live music and lots of other great activities. Learn about the A.T. and what it means to our community. June 13-17 is Outdoor Stewardship Week. Whether you’re taking care of public or private land, good stewardship benefits everyone, most especially yourself. June 25th is the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout. Get out the marshmallows and sleeping bags and enjoy an evening under the stars, even if it’s just in your own backyard! And there’re many more! Even if you don’t choose to participate in an organized event, just getting outside to spend the day with family, friends or to enjoy a solitary stroll through the woods will do your body and soul great good. Did you know that spending at least two hours a week in nature is associated with good health? Forest Bathing, or Shinrin Yoku in Japanese, means to spend time immersed in a forest environment to improve physical and mental health. Natural light, exercise and exposure to green and water spaces have all been shown to boost vitamin D and energy levels, improve sleep, self-esteem and your immune system as well as reduce weight and anxiety. Here in Rabun County, we are blessed to be surrounded by an amazing mountain environment and it is a part of everything we are. Embrace it, take care of it, protect it, share it and celebrate it. It is our Mountain Treasure!

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Around Town

Sweet Sensations The Scaly Mountain Women’s Club provides tuition reimbursement for qualifying residents of Scaly Mountain and Sky Valley


he women of Scaly Mountain are thrilled to once again participate in the upcoming Art and Craft show in Highlands on June 25 & 26.

Our “Sweet Sensations” booth will feature delectable treats to please all palettes including our pups. In addition to the tasty sweets we will have an original “Butchie Neely” painting on display. Butchie is a long time member and local artist. Her painting will go to the winner of a raffle. The mission of the Scaly Mountain Women’s Club is to offer scholarships for post-high school education to local students as well as adults looking to further their education. Our club began in 1988 as a group of fourteen ladies and we have grown to over 80 members. We are currently supporting eleven students with their studies and have provided over $287,000 in scholarships since the inception of the club. In addition to providing “dollars for scholars” we support many local non-profit community service organizations, including The Highlands Literacy Council; The Highlands Emergency Council; The Food Bank; and the Highlands/Cashiers Hospital Foundation, just to name a few. To date we have donated over $117,000 to local organizations. In addition to participating in the Art and Craft festival, The Scaly Mountain Women’s Club hosts pancake breakfasts during the

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summer months so keep an eye our for our signs in and around Scaly and Sky Valley. Our main fundraiser is the “Tee Up and Wine Down” golf tournament, dinner and silent auction. Mark your calendar for the weekend of August 13th and visit our facebook page for additional information. This event sells out quickly. We look forward to seeing you at our “Sweet Sensations” booth at the upcoming festival. We will have delicious samples for people and pups so stop by for some sweets and shopping for a good cause. The women of Scaly Mountain are thrilled to once again participate in the upcoming Art and Craft show in Highlands on June 25 & 26.

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Just Thinking

Rabun County Fire Personnel – Thank You! by Tracy McCoy


his month we seek to show our appreciation for our local firemen, volunteer and paid. Day after day they stand ready to respond to fires, and aid their comrades at EMS, Rabun Rescue, and our Law Enforcement. While everyone mentioned in that previous sentence deserve recognition and praise, this issue will focus on Rabun County Fire Services. For this article I spoke with the Clayton Fire Department’s Assistant Chief, Justin Upchurch, one of only ten paid personnel at the city’s fire department. It was an interesting interview and I learned many things I didn’t know.

2 firefighters around the clock. Staff works a 24hr on and 72hr off schedule so that there is always someone ready to come to your aid. Each department is equipped with 1 Fire Engine, 1 Tanker, all but one has a Rescue Truck and a Brush Fire apparatus. Our county has two fire boats to protect homes on the lake and to pump water out of the lake to the Tanker trucks to fight fires. When a call comes in no matter where in the county it is one of our paid firefighters come. The first to respond to you will likely be one of our many volunteers who may be able to get to your emergency faster than those coming from Clayton. Many times if the issue is easily resolved the full-time firefighter will be called to turn around if they are not needed. “When Covid-19 emerged, things changed a bit to protect volunteers and the public. Paid staff responded with aid from EMS, either from Clayton or Dillard.” Justin explained.

There are twelve stations in Rabun County, two of which are not controlled by the county. These two stations operated under their own policies and procedures and have their own Chief. The other ten stations are controlled by Rabun County and staffed mostly by volunteers. The Fire Chief of Rabun County is James Reed. What I didn’t know was that to be a volunteer fireman you must complete Justin and I talked about fundraisers, something most departments training that is the very similar to that of paid staff. Paid firefighters have annually. Another thing that Covid-19 changed was that are required to earn their state firefighter certification by completing fundraisers were cancelled for most all departments. I asked if the 340-hour Basic Firefighter Training that had hurt the fire departments at all. “Our Program. This is an option for volunteers but County Commissioners take great care of the is not required. Volunteers are required to be departments. The extra money brought into Thank you each and every physically fit and strong. The job is physically each department helps to purchase extra member of these departments demanding. You can rest assured that your equipment or things the department needs. The for the role you play in volunteer fire department is staffed with men greater benefit of these fundraisers is for folks to keeping us safe. and women who are well trained and fully gather in support of the volunteers. To become capable to respond to the calls. familiar with members and boost morale. Many Station 1 – Clayton “Rabun County takes very good care of their of these fundraisers became traditions and that Station 2 – Warwoman fire departments. All of our departments is their greatest value.”, said Justin. Station 3 – Tallulah/Persimmon have what they need to fight a fire. As All of us at the Laurel and our readers extend Station 4 – Lakemont/Wiley trucks age out, they are replaced and Rabun our gratitude to all of our firefighters and their Station 5 – Valley County has a total of 60 apparatuses over Chiefs in each department in our county and Station 6 – Chechero twelve departments. Seventy percent of our the surrounding counties as well. The sacrifices Station 7 – Tallulah Falls firefighters have completed an Emergency you are willing to make for others is humbling. Medical Responder course. Many of them Station 8 – Satolah The lives you save and the work that you do, well are full time EMT/Paramedics who volunteer Station 9 – Sky Valley there aren’t enough words to express our thanks. at our station.” Justin explained. The Clayton Station 10 – The Lakes A special shout out to Dalton Freeman who is Fire Department is the only one under county Station 11 – Wildcat part of our Laurel family and on staff with Rabun control that is staffed 24/7. The office is open Station 12 – Tiger County Fire Services. Monday-Friday. The firehouse is staffed by 78 - - June 2022

Rabun Native’s Heroic Actions Honored in Our Nation’s Capital by Tracy McCoy


othing is more exciting for me than featuring local heroes, even if they move away. Eric Bradshaw, a native of Rabun County, works as a Firefighter/ Paramedic in Tennessee. Eric is the son of John and Lynn Bradshaw of Clayton. Eric and his wife McKenna and their three children live near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Eric Bradshaw has been called a hero, but he feels that he was just doing his job. A young lady named Madison Harber knows first hand how special Eric is. In April of 2021 Madison was traveling on East Emory Road in Knox County, Tennessee, when she was involved in a horrible crash. Her car was T-boned forcing metal deep into Madison’s right leg, hip and pelvis. Eric Bradshaw and co-workers from Rural Metro responded to the call. “I knew it was bad when we arrived. She was pinned in the vehicle. I crawled inside the car with her while they worked to free her from the automobile.” “I was honest with Madison and told her that the situation was bad and suggested that she pray. I told her we would do all we could to get her out of that car.” Eric was sure that if Madison lived, she would likely lose her leg. Eric used his arm to put pressure on the wound and worked to clean it out as best he could. “I was pulling metal pieces out of her wound, along with dirt and plastic,” he said in a telephone interview with me. “Her blood pressure was very low and she was losing a lot of blood. I called for a special gauze that we had just learned about in our Stop the Bleed class, called Quick Clot Gauze. I just started packing her injury with that gauze. At times my hand was wrist deep in her wound.” The wound was not the only issue Madison had. Her femur had a major break, the sacrum and pelvis were shattered and she had some internal injuries. Things didn’t look good but Eric remained very calm and never left her side for the 45 minutes it took to free her. Once they got her in the ambulance he told her that he had to open the wound back up to find the source of the bleeding. He told her it would be painful. When Eric opened the wound he found that her femoral artery was cut and was bleeding badly. He put the gauze back in directly on the artery and ended up using all of the impregnated gauze they had in the truck. Eric also administered the clotting medication TXA by IV to help stop the bleeding. They were then able to transport her to UT Trauma Center. What Eric didn’t know was that his Chief put his name in for the National Stars of Life award. Eric was chosen from thousands of paramedics nominated around the country. He was not alone, 130 paramedics total were chosen to come to Washington, DC to be honored for their heroic measures. “My wife and I, my parents and my brother were treated very well. I was humbled to be there and I am just glad I was there that day to help Madison.” Eric said. The team members from Knox County Rescue, that responded to Madison’s accident were honored for their life saving heroic actions at the Children’s Emergency Care Alliance Banquet in Nashville. Eric had the opportunity to watch Madison Harber walk up on stage and tell her story. He was so happy to see her walking and while he knew the road had not been easy for her, Eric knew how grave the situation was and that she is a walking miracle. Proud is an understatement. Eric’s family and this community are proud of the work he is doing. Eric is a hero here in Northeast Georgia too. June 2022 - - 79

Just Thinking

By The Way

Wear your own underwear or wind up in the paper By Emory Jones


f you ask me, smalltown newspapers know way too much about your business. And they’ll print it, too, if you don’t watch ‘em. I’m sure that’s how Mama’s oatmeal cake recipe got out.

You see, many newspapers have a little section called The Blotter where they write up things most folks would rather not have written about them—like being pulled over by the police and such. Naturally, The Blotter is the first thing people read. The newspapers don’t mention names in The Blotter. They don’t have to. Everybody knows who they’re talking about. That’s why a recent item about my cousin, Wayne, liked to have killed his mama when the neighbors brought it over to show her. The item was short—just said that a deputy pulled over a citizen because he was driving down a dirt road without a tire on one of the vehicle’s wheels. I guess a deputy can pull a person over for just about anything these days.

Aunt Minnie, suffers from the same thing. However, Wayne had recently taken advantage of that weight-loss commercial where they send you what little you can eat in the mail and then dare you to eat it. By only cheating on the weekends, Wayne has dropped 47 pounds since Christmas. The whole family is proud of him. Naturally, with his recent weight loss, jumping up and down on one foot while holding both ears made Wayne’s pants fall. Another glitch was that since Wayne’s underwear no longer fit snugly, he’d borrowed an old pair of his wife, Ruby’s drawers. Of course, The Blotter printed that, too. Anyway, the moral of this story is that if you live in a small town, keep good tires on your car and don’t borrow anybody’s underwear, even in an emergency situation.

Anyway, The Blotter said that, as part of the field sobriety test, the deputy made the citizen jump up and down on one foot while touching both ears. This action caused the man’s pants to fall down. Naturally, everybody knew it was Wayne because my cousin doesn’t wear suspenders. Plus, he lives on a dirt road. What The Blotter didn’t say—and I understand they have limited space—was that the whole affair was a misunderstanding, which you will understand once I relate the back story. You see, my cousin fell on challenging times after the bank recently foreclosed on his muffler repair shop. Adversity struck again when someone stole all four tires off his vintage Dodge Dart. Poor ole Wayne had no choice but to take three tires out of his wife Ruby’s flower bed—along with the one he’d tossed on the roof to hold down some tin—and install them on the vintage Dodge Dart. That’s what anybody would do in that situation. Everything went well until the roof tire—which had likely suffered sun damage—blew entirely off the rim. Wayne was busy trying to maneuver the Vintage Dodge Dart to the side of the road when the deputy happened along. Is that not always the way? Now, as you know, Wayne has been overweight for years due to a thyroid condition causing him to crave donuts. His mama,

Emory Jones grew up in Northeast Georgia’s White County. After a stint in the Air Force, he joined Gold Kist as publications manager. He was the Southeastern editor for Farm Journal Magazine and executive vice president at Freebarin & Company, an Atlanta-based advertising agency. He has written seven books. Emory is known for his humor, love of history and all things Southern. He and his wife, Judy, live on Yonah Mountain near Cleveland. 80 - - June 2022

June 2022 - - 81

Just Thinking

Lovin’ the Journey By Mark Holloway

A father and son friendship.

The bike trip

The thing about social media is you learn stuff.

Clayton is an intentional father to his daughter Karen and 62 year old son Kevin. He was an intentional husband to Vanita who passed away in 1995.

Kevin and his 93 year old dad Clayton have a relationship as rare as gold in the Tallulah River.

I asked both men to share a favorite memory and almost simultaneously they geared up for a cycling tale.

Kevin’s internet posts about his dad caught my attention. So getting them together to talk for the Father’s Day June issue made as much sense as warm butter on a hot biscuit.

In 1976, the Croom family joined seven other Clayton Baptist friends for a ride they’re still talking about. Mrs. Vanita drove one of the support vehicles while the nine adults and youth pedaled from Clayton to New Smyrna Beach, Florida on heavy steel Schwinn ten speeds. Yep, the then 47 year old, stepped away from his Bunsen Burners and beakers to saddle up and pedal, untrained the nearly 500 miles with teenagers. Kevin marveled then and marvels now at his dad.

Right from the jump, Kevin choked up while sitting next to his father trying to explain his love for his dad. The tears did the talking. From the living room of Kevin’s childhood home in the shadow of Screamer Mountain, they unpacked just a sample of their friendship. You simply can’t distill 93 years of abundant living into a few talking points. Clayton, Georgia needed Clayton Croom. Clayton Croom answered the rural Georgia mountain need for teachers and transplanted himself and his young family from Hendersonville, North Carolina in the 1950s. His four-line poems written for his Rabun County physics and chemistry students were just his classroom bonus. Evidently each day with Mr. Croom was an event. Kevin reveled in sharing about having his dad as his science teacher.

“We covered 120 miles a day for four days, sunrise to sunset, riding the roads and highways from here to there. McDonalds fed us for free at their restaurants along the route,” Kevin explained. “But having my dad along side us on his Schwinn is still such an incredible memory. And he nor any of us gave up, even when we hit the strong head winds along the beach for miles and miles. And we made it!!” Clayton has been proud of his son from the absolute beginning. “When I was standing at the baby nursery looking at Kevin, in comes this couple and they say ’look at that thing over yonder. Boy, he’s a whopper.’ And I said, ‘That’s my son’.”

Mark and Carol Holloway own and are passionate about delivering excellent care to the homes and property of their clients. They are outdoor adventurers and love the thrills of rock climbing and hikes to waterfalls and exploring all of God’s creation. Mark can be reached by calling 706-490-7060.

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Clayton’s chest swole up as he took credit. Kevin revealed just what a whopper he really was. “I weighed eleven pounds, eight and a half ounces.” Kevin describes his dad as having Clint Eastwood good looks when he was younger. In fact Clayton sang in the choir a long time, even as a widower. He’d look out over the congregation and see so many widow women looking back at the eligible crooner. Kevin remembers all the affection his dad received when his mom died. Kevin says: “After the crowd left the house and I came in, dad tells me, ‘ I love them church women, but they’ll casserole you to death.’” We laughed out loud. Clayton did not remarry but he did reconnect with Lib Freeman from high school and they dated long distance for twenty five years until her recent passing. Kevin and his dad are fixtures at local sporting events. Both men played basketball and still faithfully occupy the fan section at high school basketball games. I’ve got so much in common with Kevin it’s probably good we were in separate countries during high school. I suspect we would have been best of friends and consequently found ourselves in lots of trouble together. Kevin and his dad are unashamedly Christ followers. This is what binds them closest. When you’re with them, there’s not the slightest hint of any distance or strain. They’re companions. They share so many common hobbies and interests. I also share some common ground with Clayton. We both have two children, “one of each kind” as Clayton describes. Like him, my daughter is just a few years older than her brother. As Father’s Day approaches, I’m deeply thankful for so much. I remain honored to be Victoria and Garrett’s dad. I’m also humbled to have shared time with Kevin and Clayton. May your journey together continue to inspire us all. See you on the trail.

June 2022 - - 83


Clayton, GA

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June 2022 - - 85

Our History

Rufus Morgan Adapted from Foxfire, Summer/Fall 1975

Original interviews by Marie Auten and Linda Warfield

Rufus with a Foxfire student

Rufus Morgan was interviewed several times by Foxfire students in the early 1970s. Rufus was directly related to the Silers - a notable early family of settlers in Western North Carolina. Rufus lived in Macon County, North Carolina, and served as minister at St. John’s Episcopal Church of Cartoogechaye. He was also deeply devoted to the outdoors, and helped with the creation of the Appalachian Trail and is recognized as the founding member of the Nantahala Hiking Club, a group that still explores the mountains today. Below is just a small excerpt from the students’ work with Rufus. To read more about Rufus, check out a copy of Foxfire 4.


ell, I don’t know where to start except for where I started. My great-grandfather, William Siler, settled over across the valley, over here, about 1818. And the story goes that his house was the first house in Macon County that had windows. I remember the house quite well. It was a long, two-story log house. Porch was upstairs and down, the whole length of the house. My parents were married in ‘81 and my oldest sister was born there I think in that house in ‘82. And I was born there in 1885. Rufus studied and worked in many places, including establishing Penland School of Craft with his sister Lucy Morgan. He ended up in South Carolina during World War I, where he helped administer to those dying from the flu epidemic in 1918: I did work way back in the mountains. Then some events came up that I just couldn’t continue that particular job, so I went down to South Carolina. And during that time, there was that flu epidemic of the First World War. During the flu epidemic, I ministered through the Red Cross and saw more people die, I think, that year than I have in all the rest of my life. Foxfire: What brought you back here to this house, to Macon County?

Front view of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Cartoogechaye 86 - - June 2022

Rufus Morgan: What brought me back was my heart. My mother loved it intensely, my grandparents loved it. My great-grandparents loved it and well it’s just inbred. And I have loved it all my life. When we used to come back and forth from Cherokee

County over here, the county line—Macon County and Cherokee—is marked and when we’d get to that county line coming this way, we would get down and kiss the earth. We just loved it so. When we was going the other way, we would get down and kiss Macon County goodbye. But it’s just all in my blood. To me, it’s just too beautiful for words. Rufus Morgan was an active member of the Appalachian Trail Conference and has hiked parts of it in six different states. [I think the Appalachian Trail ought to be] a wilderness trail, foot trail. And to change it from a scene like that to a recreational area of commercial interests seemed to me incongruous. I objected to the change, but as I remember it, I was the only one to object. Going along the Appalachian Trail, you get all of the beauties that you could ask for in the way of majestic trees, wildflowers of various kinds at different times of the year. Going north from the southern end between Siler Bald and Clingmans Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies, you come across wood lilies, purple-fringed orchids, and all sorts of other wildflowers. The Appalachian Trail was conceived of back about 1920, but I used to hike over the mountains here nearly twenty years before that. The Siler Bald here in the Nantahalas was named for my great-grandfather, William Siler. I’ve hiked up it many times, slept on the side of it. They succeeded in spoiling some of it, like building the roads, but they can’t take away the mountains as they stretch along here. Of course in later years, there’s been [segments] added to the Appalachian Trail, part of which goes along old Indian trails, but, well, I can’t express it. Somebody will have to prove that it isn’t as lovely as I think it is before I’ll be convinced.

Rufus at an interview with Foxfire students

There’s quite an interest now for establishing a William Bartram system of trails. William Bartram was a naturalist who came down through this section and went on through Georgia and Florida. There are some trails taking off from the Appalachian Trail up here in the Nantahalas, and we have been trying to find out, as near as we could, where he went because he went through Franklin [see Travels of William Bartram], back in the Revolutionary days—200 years ago. We’ve been scouting out some of those trails. Foxfire: Has the progress made a great change in your life? Say, take the highway out here for instance that they’re building, how do you feel towards this? Rufus Morgan: That distresses me and all that goes with it. I’ve sometimes said that I wish a bulldozer had never been invented. I can say that with a good deal of conviction. There’s so much in our present world that distresses me because it seems to me that the emphasis on the part of modern man is exactly contrary to the standards of Christ. We’re beginning to discover we can’t satisfy our needs. It’s all a result of man’s being completely occupied in the thing that Christ told us not to do. And of course it leads to the downgrading in our estimation of God’s creation. We come up against the situation that we have where we’ve just been overreaching ourselves, cheating ourselves by going too fast, too far. Well I hope we’ll wake up in time and in the meantime I walk along the trails in the Smoky Mountains National Park and my companion stops and he said, “Listen to the silence.” When we had left the bulldozers, other machinery, speeding cars down here, go up there where there’s peace.

Bell tower at St. John’s

Foxfire is a not-for-profit, educational and literary organization based in Rabun County, Georgia. Founded in 1966, Foxfire’s learner-centered, community-based educational approach is advocated through both a regional demonstration site (The Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center) grounded in the Southern Appalachian culture that gave rise to Foxfire, and a national program of teacher training and support (The Foxfire Approach to Teaching and Learning) that promotes a sense of place and appreciation of local people, community, and culture as essential educational tools. For information about Foxfire,, or call 706-746-5828. Rufus’s headstone at St. John’s June 2022 - - 87

Our History

The Shaping of Georgia’s Northern Border Blunders, a Short War and a Rock by Dick Cinquina


onfusion, outright blunders and armed conflict ultimately shaped the eastern and northern borders of Georgia following the colony’s creation in 1732. Border disputes with Florida and Alabama flared up during the nineteenth century, but none were as contentious as those involving Georgia’s boundaries with South and North Carolina. Given its location, the land that became Rabun County stood squarely amid these mistake-riddled and heated controversies. The colony of Carolina was divided into North and South Carolina in 1729. The chartered limits of North Carolina encompassed what is now North Carolina and Tennessee. The chartered limits of South Carolina covered Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi as well as present-day South Carolina. Georgia was divided from South Carolina and established as a separate colony by the charter King George II granted to James Oglethorpe in 1732. The charter defined Georgia’s northeastern border with South Carolina as “the most northern part of a stream or river there, commonly called the Savannah.” Since the Savannah River has two branches, which one defined the border? Beaufort Convention of 1787 The vagueness of this description was sufficient when the area was sparsely populated, but after the Revolutionary War, the upper reaches of the Savannah River were becoming settled. Not surprisingly, border disputes arose between Georgia and South Carolina. To resolve these controversies, three commissioners from each state met at Beaufort, South Carolina in 1787. A major point of contention at the Beaufort Convention was whether “the most northern part “of the Savannah River was its western branch (the Tugalo/Chattooga river system) or eastern branch (the Keowee/ Seneca river system). For reasons undocumented, the commissioners chose the western Tugalo/Chattooga system, which became the legal boundary between the future Rabun County and Oconee County, South Carolina to the east. The Beaufort Convention commissioners blundered. The eastern Keowee/Seneca river system actually is the most northern branch of the Savannah River. If the correct decision had been made in accordance with Georgia’s 1732 charter, the northeastern corner of Georgia would have encompassed what today is most of Oconee County, South Carolina. Instead, a mistake caused Georgia to forfeit approximately 700 square miles of land that eventually would have become part of Rabun County.

Georgia and North Carolina fought a brief armed conflict in 1804 over ownership of a poorly defined, 12-mile-wide piece of land north of the 35th parallel, which was the recognized border between the two states. Called the Orphan Strip, this small tract of land today covers portions of several present-day North Carolina counties, including Macon, Jackson and Transylvania, which is located far to the east of northeast Georgia. (map not to scale)

Orphan Strip Along 35th Parallel At least this border controversy was settled peaceably over a negotiating table. Determining Georgia’s border with North Carolina was a different matter. This controversy erupted over a poorly defined, 12-mile-wide piece of land north of the 35th parallel, which was the recognized border between Georgia and North Carolina. Called the Orphan Strip by historians since no one initially wanted it, the land passed through a series of owners in quick succession. Originally claimed by South Carolina, the state ceded it to the federal government in 1787. The government then gave it to the Cherokee. In 1798, the Cherokee ceded the land back to the U.S. government. Between 1798 and 1802, the Orphan Strip was “open to public domain,” meaning the territory was under no sovereign state authority. Since the area was lawless and violent, largely populated by criminals and renegade Cherokee, the surrounding states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia were hesitant to claim the area. Even so, individuals with land grants from Georgia and North and South Carolina began to settle there. In 1800, a group of

Dick Cinquina holds graduate degrees in history and journalism, making his work for the Rabun County Historical Society a natural fit for his interests. He is the retired president of Equity Market Partners, a national financial consulting firm he founded in 1981. In addition to writing monthly articles for the Georgia Mountain Laurel, Dick helped produce the Society’s new web site and is involved with the renovation of the group’s museum. After vacationing in this area for many years, he and his wife Anne moved to Rabun County in 2018 form Amelia Island, Florida.

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settlers asked South Carolina to accept the territory, but the state turned down the offer. North Carolina finally stepped in and made the Orphan Strip part of Buncombe County, which at the time encompassed most of western North Carolina. Congress Cedes Orphan Strip to Georgia Congress enacted the Compact of 1802. Under a portion of this legislation, Georgia ceded the land upon which Mississippi and Alabama currently are located to the federal government. In return, the act ceded the Orphan Strip to Georgia, notwithstanding that North Carolina had taken possession of it and the area’s exact boundaries had never been determined by a survey. Despite these facts, Georgia proceeded to create Walton County (not to be confused with present-day Walton County about 30 miles east of Atlanta) on the Orphan Strip in 1803. Settlers with Georgia land grants readily embraced Walton County. However, those with North Carolina land grants strongly objected to the imposition of Georgia law and taxes, fearing they might lose their land under Georgia’s jurisdiction. Increasing pressure from Walton County officials on the North Carolina settlers led to an outbreak of violent altercations. One confrontation saw a Buncombe County constable killed after being struck by the butt of a Georgia official’s musket. In response, North Carolina called out the militia, precipitating the brief Walton War in 1804. Two battles were fought near Brevard, North Carolina between the militias of both states. North Carolina killed about a dozen Georgians and took another 25 prisoners. During the fracas, 10 Walton officials fled to Georgia. The Walton War ended quickly, and the Orphan Strip was firmly in the hands of North Carolina. Georgia Doesn’t Give Up Georgia continued to contest the issue. To resolve the dispute, a joint commission of the Georgia and North Carolina legislatures was established in 1807. The commission analyzed several surveys of the area and concluded that the Orphan Strip was in fact located in North Carolina. However, Georgia refused to abide by the commission’s report and continued to govern Walton County, which was included as part of the state in the 1810 census.

In 1811, surveyor Andrew Ellicott marked a rock “N-G” on the east bank of the Chattooga River, designating the 35th parallel and boundary between Georgia and North Carolina. Ellicott’s Rock today is most commonly used to mark the point where Georgia (Rabun County), North Carolina (Macon County) and South Carolina (Oconee County) converge.

Highlighted in green is the area that might have belonged to Georgia if history had turned out differently. Adapted from Coulter, The Georgia-Tennessee Boundary Line, 35 Ga. Hist. Q 269 (1951). In 1811, Georgia hired Andrew Ellicott, one of the leading surveyors of the day, with the intention of resolving the border controversy in Georgia’s favor. Despite Georgia’s motives, Ellicott determined that the Orphan Strip was, indeed, north of the 35th parallel, definitely placing it within North Carolina. Upon reading Ellicott’s report, Georgia Governor David Brydie Mitchell exclaimed, “… it appears that no part of the territory heretofore claimed by this state remains in Georgia.” Georgia finally surrendered its claim to the Orphan Strip. Ellicott marked a rock “N-G” on the east bank of the Chattooga River, designating the 35th parallel and boundary between Georgia and North Carolina. Although a new survey in 1813 moved the 35th parallel a few feet downstream from the 1811 finding, Ellicott’s Rock today is most commonly used to mark the point where Georgia (Rabun County), North Carolina (Macon County) and South Carolina (Oconee County) converge. Ellicott’s Rock is still visible. Apparently, territorial disputes tend to linger and fester. In 1971, a Georgia legislative commission reported that the state still had a claim to the Orphan Strip. Upon learning of this, the North Carolina General Assembly erupted in a burst of anger and vitriol. The legislature authorized the governor to mobilize the National Guard to “protect, defend, and hold inviolate the territorial border of North Carolina against the spurious claims by the State of Georgia.” However, cooler heads prevailed and both states dropped the matter, hopefully moving on to more pressing issues. It took nearly 220 years, but Rabun County’s northern border was finally settled. Learn more about our history by becoming a member of the Rabun County Historical Society. Membership and complete information about the Society’s museum are available at www. The newly renovated museum at 81 N. Church St. in downtown Clayton, which houses the Southeast’s largest collection of Tallulah Falls Railroad artifacts, is open Thursday-Saturday from 11 to 3. The Society is a not-for-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, making membership dues and donations tax deductible. Visit us on Facebook. June 2022 - - 89

Greg Peters 1956 - 2022

A Man After God’s Own Heart If someone were simply to ask you, What’s the greatest thing you can do To leave your mark for eternity When all of your life is through? What would be your answer? What tribute could there be? What thought would honor God the most When He your name would see? I believe the greatest thing God could yet impart, Would be the words, This child became A man after My own heart. This, My son or daughter, Found a touch of the divine, Because within that life there beats A heart shaped just like Mine. A heart that grew to stand in awe At what His God had done; A heart that lived for just one thing: To glorify My Son. A heart that did not need acclaim, A heart that just believed. A heart that would but rather die Than see My Spirit grieved. He may not have found greatness, Nor heard this world’s acclaim; The greatest thing to him was just To bear his Master’s name. Would you like to please the heart of God? Beloved, here is where you start: Quietly ask God to make you A man after His own heart!

Articles inside

Lovin’ The Journey

pages 84-87


pages 88-100

Sweet Sensations

pages 78-79

Rabun County Fire Personnel - Thank You

pages 80-81

By the Way

pages 82-83

Explore Rabun

pages 76-77

Michael on the Map

pages 72-75

Appalachian Home Solutions Flooring

pages 68-71

Grab This Piece of History While You Can

pages 64-67

Pet Health

pages 52-55

You Can Land in This Beautiful Valley Today

pages 60-63

Lake, Mountain Views Define Burton Living

pages 56-57

R4G - A father’s love is different

pages 48-51

Valley Voices

pages 46-47


pages 58-59

Shoreline Jewelry

pages 44-45

Cover Artist - Von Watts

pages 38-41

Family Table

pages 26-31

Adventure Out

pages 32-33

Providence Farmstead Creamery

page 25

North Georgia Arts Guild Kimberly Adams

pages 42-43

Bon Appétit

pages 14-15

Recipes by Jillian Glenn

pages 16-17

Firmly Rooted

pages 34-37
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