Back in the late 1700's and early 1800's the Cherokee Indians controlled most of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The first settlers came to what is now known as Blue Ridge, Fannin County, in the late 1700's. Unlike the rest of Georgia they came from the North crossing over the Appalachian Mountains, where they followed the Tennessee River South, to Fort London (now Tennessee). From there they followed the Ocoee / Toccoa River to the fertile valley that separates the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Cohuttas.
The Cherokee Indians were forced to surrender in 1835 under the terms of the Treaty of New Echota. In 1838 the Cherokee were forced to leave the area in what is known today as the “Trail of Tears”. Fannin County was created shortly after in 1834 from portions of Union and Gilmer counties and named after Col. James Fannin, a hero in the Texas War of Independence. The first county seat was in Morganton before Blue Ridge was founded in 1886.
Lake Blue Ridge
Today Blue Ridge economy revolves around tourism, as people from all over the Southeast find Blue Ridge a convenient and beautiful vacation and 2nd home destination.
Tourism picked up when the North Georgia Railroad came to Blue Ridge in the late 1800's. In the early 1920's construction of Old Hwy 76 began and improved the access to north Georgia. With the completion of the Georgia Mountain Parkway (Hwy 515) in 1986 Blue Ridge became a much easier to reach and popular tourist destination.
The town of Blue Ridge is adorned with antiques stores, boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, rustic furniture stores, and even has a malt shop. During the season the Blue Ridge Scenic train runs trips daily following along the Toccoa River from Blue Ridge to McCaysville. It seems there is always something going on in downtown Blue Ridge where you will find all sorts of festivals and events. The Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association, located in the old court house, offers all kinds of art classes, BRMAA is well worth a visit any time and sponsors events throughout the summer.
Lake Blue Ridge View
Lake Blue Ridge is a very popular 3290-acre lake with over 100 miles of lake frontage/shoreline. Just minutes from downtown Blue Ridge Georgia, Blue Ridge lake offers boating, swimming, hiking camping, picnicking, water skiing and fishing.