Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia

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Sautee Nacoochee
Unincorporated community
Sautee Nacoochee is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
Sautee Nacoochee
Sautee Nacoochee
Location within the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 34°40′48″N 83°40′51″W / 34.68000°N 83.68083°W / 34.68000; -83.68083Coordinates: 34°40′48″N 83°40′51″W / 34.68000°N 83.68083°W / 34.68000; -83.68083
Country United States
State Georgia
County White
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)

Sautee Nacoochee (or Sautee-Nacoochee) is an unincorporated community in White County, Georgia, near Sautee Creek in the Appalachian foothills of northeast Georgia, approximately 95 miles (153 km) north of Atlanta. The nearest incorporated town is the tourist destination of Helen, Georgia.


Sautee Nacoochee is located at longitude -83.68094,latitude 34.67994.

Origin of names[edit]

Sautee Nacoochee's name combines two place names of Native American origin.

By 1540 AD, the area was inhabited by Cherokee people (probable displacement of the Mississippian cultures that preceded them took place between 1200 and 1400 AD), who called the village "Chota" (also spelled Chotte in some texts). The village was at the southern end of what is today referred to as the Sautee Valley.

The word "Nacoochee" may come from a Choctaw word meaning "little arrow".[1]

The village of Nacoochee was located to the east of Chota, near the foot of Alec Mountain on the Unicoi Trail. The Nacoochee Valley is known for the Nacoochee Indian Mound, at the northwestern end of the valley, which was constructed between 700-1200 AD.

Nearby Lookout Mountain, Ga. is the site of a Romeo and Juliet-like folktale depicting Nacoochee as a beautiful Cherokee maiden, who fell in love with a Chickasaw warrior whose name was Sautee. When their love was forbidden by the Cherokee elders, a war party followed the eloping lovers and threw Sautee off the mountain, with Nacoochee then jumping to her death, a Lover's Leap. Although he did not invent the legend, George Williams, the son of one of the original white settlers, popularized it in his 1871 Sketches of Travel in the Old and New World.[2]

Sautee Valley Historic District[edit]

Sautee Valley Historic District
Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia
Location GA 255 and Lynch Mountain Rd., Sautee, Georgia
Coordinates 34°41′54″N 83°39′52″W / 34.69833°N 83.66444°W / 34.69833; -83.66444
Area 1,000 acres (400 ha)
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 86002742[3]
Added to NRHP August 20, 1986

The Sautee Valley Historic District (also known as the Nacoochee Valley Historic District) is a historic district centered on the community of Sautee Nacoochee. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 and has agricultural, architectural, and historic significance. The District includes the location of pre-historic villages and more recent buildings and structures from after American settlers came to the area. Spanish explorers sought gold in this valley, as did settlers who were seeking their fortune in the Georgia Gold Rush. The center point of the Sautee Valley Historic District is the intersection of Georgia State Route 255 and Lynch Mountain Road.

Sautee Nacoochee Center[edit]

Sautee Nacoochee is most noted for the Sautee Nacoochee Center, a cultural and community center housed in the restored Nacoochee schoolhouse. The center was founded by the Sautee-Nacoochee Community Association (SNCA), which was also responsible for getting both Sautee and Nacoochee Valleys placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In September 2006, the Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia opened on the grounds of the Sautee Nacoochee Center. The Pottery Museum’s new facility, designed by Atlanta architect Robert M. Cain, features a 3,200-square-foot (300 m2) main exhibit floor that houses more than 150 vessels on permanent display and has space for additional temporary exhibits.

The numerous cultural programs at the Sautee Nacoochee Center led to Sautee Nacoochee being designated as one of "The 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America" in a book by the same name written by John Villani.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Nearby towns[edit]


  • 2007 Ancient Roots I: The Indigenous People of the Southern Highlands. Richard L. Thornton. Lula Publishing Co., Morris, NC.
  • 2009 & 2010 Ancient Roots V: The Southern Highlands (Three Volumes), Richard L. Thornton, Lulu Publishing Co., Morris, NC
  • 2005 In the Shadow of Yonah: A History of White County, Georgia. Garrison Baker, Brasstown Creek Publications, Cleveland, GA.


  1. ^ Bright, William (2007). Native American Placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 307. ISBN 978-0806135984. 
  2. ^ Farmer, Jared (2008). On Zion's Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. Harvard University Press. p. 313. ISBN 978-0674027671. 
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 

External links[edit]