Tag Archives: The Great Depression in North Georgia

Walasi-Yi Interpretive Center, 1937, Union County

Walasi Yi Center Blood Mountain GA Appalachian Trail Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Though it’s evolved over the years, the focal point of the center remains the old Walasi-Yi Inn (pronounced Wa La See Yee) built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) between 1934-37 on the site of an old tea room and inn previously owned by the Pfister-Vogel Land Company.

Blood Mountain at Neel Gap Appalachian Trail Walasi Yi Center Union County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

This site on Blood Mountain (elevation 4458) was known as Frogtown Gap until the completion of the highway around 1924, when it was changed to Neel (or Neel’s) Gap to honor the highway engineer. It’s been suggested that Walasi was a great mythical frog in Cherokee lore who was the chief of the animal council and made his home high on this gap. The CCC inn and restaurant operated until the 1960s and the structure fell into disrepair. Slated for demolition in the 1970s, it was saved by locals. The Walasi-Yi Interpretive Center building is also significant as the only place the Appalachian Trail passes through a structure over its 2100+ miles.

Mountain Crossings Walasi Yi Center Blood Mountain GA Bronson Cat Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

These days, you’re likely to be greeted by one of the center’s famous tabby cats, who seem to have no care in the world and don’t mind the hoardes of tourists and hikers passing through. Since 1983, the center has been an outfitter and store known as Mountain Crossings at Neel Gap.

Cell Phone Booth at Mountain Crossings Walasi Yi Center Appalachian Trail Blood Mountain GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Appalachian Trail stickers and kitsch are evident everywhere here. One of my favorites is the “Cell Phone Booth”, an old pay telephone booth minus the telephone, that was left behind to afford hikers a covered spot to use their cell phones in this often wet locale.

Mountain Crossings Walasi Yi Center Blood Mountain GA AT Appalachian Trail Hiking Stickers Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Hikers who have done 30 miles on the trail leave their worn out boots and shoes in an old tree at the center. Those who have completed at least 500 miles can hang their shoes and packs inside to inspire other hikers.

Mountain Crossings Appalachian Trail Blood Mountain Walasi YI Shoe Tree Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

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Filed under --UNION COUNTY GA--

Greensboro Post Office, 1936

Greensboro GA US Post Office New Deal WPA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

This New Deal Post Office is still in use and features murals by artist Carson Davenport (1908-1972).  Davenport served as director of the WPA Art School & Gallery in Big Stone Gap, Virginia and was Chairman of the Art Department at Averett Collge from 1943-1969.

Greensboro GA New Deal US Post Office Mural Hunter in Coonskin Cap Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Above: “The Burning of Greensborough” (Detail)

Greensboro GA New Deal US Post Office Mural Picking Cotton Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Greensboro GA New Deal US Post Office Mural African American Black Children Eating Watermelons Sunflowers Photograph Copyright Brian Bown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Both Images Above: “Cotton Picking in Georgia” (Detail)

Greensboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --GREENE COUNTY GA--, Greensboro GA

Troup County Courthouse, 1939, LaGrange

Troup County Courthouse LaGrange GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Now replaced by a newer facility, William J. J. Chase’s Stripped Classical New Deal courthouse is still used for county business and is adjacent to the new courthouse. Chase also designed the Seminole, Mitchell, and Cook County courthouses.

National Register of Historic Places

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Polk County Courthouse No. 2, Cedartown

Polk County Courthouse Cedartown GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Designed by Otis Clay Poundston and built by the W. P. A. as the Cedartown City Hall, this has also housed the police and fire departments and city auditorium. Today, it sits adjacent to Polk County’s main courthouse (built in 1951) and serves as an annex.

Cedartown Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --POLK COUNTY GA--, Cedartown GA