Community Spotlight: Summer Time Fun in Fannin County

The town of Blue Ridge was once considered an elite health resort because of its pure mineral waters. Blue Ridge was founded in 1886 as a result of the arrival of the Marietta and North Georgia Railroad. Because of the railroad, Blue Ridge developed as a center of business and in 1895 the county seat was moved from Morganton to Blue Ridge. Historical sites in downtown Blue Ridge include the Baugh House, built by James Baugh in 1890. Baugh was a brick mason and the bricks were made out of clay from the back yard. The Blue Ridge Inn Bed & Breakfast is a beautifully restored Victorian home (Kincaid House) and was built in 1890. The Art Center, also known as the Historic Fannin County Courthouse, was built in 1937. The courthouse is now the home of the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association’s Arts Center where visitors can view the galleries. The historical Main Street in Blue Ridge features shops and small eateries where visitors can sit a spell on the rockers and benches along the way. Spend a day exploring the many art galleries, antiques, and specialty shops that line the town. The Blue Ridge Depot & Scenic Railway remains the central focus in downtown Blue Ridge in which you can enjoy a train 26 -mile scenic round trip from Blue Ridge to McCaysville as it passes through historic Murphy Junction along the beautiful Toccoa River. The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway takes visitors to the Twin Cities of McCaysville, GA & Copperhill, TN where people can have both feet in each state as several places display the painted blue line that divides streets and the river of these two small towns. McCaysville, was chartered in 1904 and was populated in 1899 from the creation of the Tennessee Copper Company that began smelting works near McCays, which was renamed in 1908 to Copperhill. The towns grew rapidly and the region employed over 3,300 people who produced copper, iron, sulfur, zinc, and small amounts of gold and silver. In 1942, a large sulfuric acid plant was built, making chemical production, along with mining continue until copper was imported cheaper than we could mine and in 1987 mining in the region ended. Visitors are welcomed to stretch their legs at the stop of the rail line to explore the downtown communities of McCaysville and Copperhill. Two parks provide a nice setting for a peaceful picnic or play area with McCaysville City Park or Horseshoe Bend Park just on the outskirts of downtown. Cute specialty shops are lined with antique stores, gem shops, souvenir and art galleries. Eateries and pubs offer outdoor patio or dining on the Ocoee River for a relaxing day to enjoy the scenic “twin towns” in North Georgia. The Toccoa River is wide and peaceful for a lazy afternoon of tubing and just a few miles beyond the bridge becomes a wild river of The Ocoee that is well known for kayaking and rafting; host to the 1996 Olympic [...]