The earth is filled with memories of things no longer
here. Entire cultures fade away when their time is over.
But those who vanish leave traces, and the new natives
wonder about the old.
One home to such misty memories, tucked away
in North Georgia’s gentle hills, is the picturesque
Nacoochee Valley. Etched by the gurgling Chattahoochee,
there is a quiet dignity to this vale. And in
the midst of that quiet dignity, sits a solitary Indian
mound – a silent sentinel to a past we can only imagine.
This old mound charms us. There is, of course, the wellknown
legend of Nacoochee, the beautiful daughter of a
Cherokee chief, who loved a Chickasaw warrior named
Sautee. Many say they lie together, deep inside the
mound, while others scoff and call it a yarn.
But it’s not just the legend that charms us. Somehow,
the mound causes even the busiest passer-by to glance
that way – even if they’ve passed a thousand times
before. Countless have stopped for a photograph. And
this mound, with its signature gazebo, is portrayed in
more paintings and sketches than we can tally.
As artists are drawn here, so too are archaeologists, and
in 1915, they came to uncover the mound’s mysteries.
This book is an attempt to capture some of what we
suppose about this place and to tell the stories of artists
and poets who have painted and praised it. Because,
in the end it’s the memories it holds that make this
And sometimes those memories flutter by so close we
can almost feel their wings.
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