This lush stream rises in the Appalachian foothills a few miles north of Homer in Banks County and flows northeastward into Franklin County before turning southeastward and joining the Hudson River. All of these waterways feed the Broad River and its three forks.
Nails Creek was an important location in the development of industry in the region. J. D. Cromer had a sawmill, gristmill, and gin mill here in the late 19th century and this likely supported other small businesses, as well.
In its secluded setting, the Bowers House is difficult to capture, but that’s the point. It’s been put into service as a literary and creative retreat, in an effort by the family to keep the house while providing writers, artist, and musicians a quiet creative space. The family are descendants of Job Bowers II (31 August 1803-25 June 1888), an abolitionist, religious pacifist, and publisher who brought the Universalist Church to Georgia and laid out the town of Canon in what had originally been known as West Bowersville. Job’s grandfather, Revolutionary War soldier Job Bowers (1755-1779), was one of the earliest settlers of Franklin County. The family were also founders of the nearby town of Bowersville.
It was built as the Canon Hotel during what could be called the town’s boom time, when the railroad kept the mills running and cotton was king. Traders and salesmen were regulars but the property failed in the Great Depression in a region already ravaged by the deleterious effects of the boll weevil. The hotel was converted it into a private home thereafter.
Canon Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Note: This updates and replaces a post originally published on 22 July 2019.
This house is located just north of Lavonia & Interstate 85. It has been home to a used car dealership for many years. I am unsure of its history but I got the date from an older resource survey. Anyone who has traveled Georgia Highway 17 in this part of the state probably recognizes the house.
Note: This replaces a post originally published on 11 June 2014.
Reverend Artemas Lester (17 March 1857-20 March 1934) was an itinerant circuit rider whose ministry was concentrated in Northeast Georgia. He is considered the founder of Young Harris College, and the school website notes: Young Harris College started in 1886 as the McTyeire Institute with the purpose of providing the first and only educational opportunities to the residents of the isolated area in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rev. Artemas Lester secured support for the idea of a school and secured the services of Rev. Marcus Edwards as the first principal. Classes were held in a vacant storefront beginning in January 1886.
This bronze statue of Reverend Lester on horseback was placed in 1986, to commemorate the centennial of Young Harris College.
I believe this farm now serves another purpose, but the old barns recall the earlier days of commercial poultry, Georgia’s dominant agricultural commodity. I believe Northeast Georgia is still the top region for production and was an early leader in innovation.
This Mid-Century Modern structure, now known as the “old county courthouse”, is slated for redevelopment, having been sold by the county circa 2019. It replaced a much more traditional 1898 courthouse and has been widely despised by the community since its construction. The clock tower was added in 1983 but did nothing to appease the building’s legion of detractors. A new court complex was in use by 2013.
This Eclectic/Folk Victorian home was built by local master carpenters Rusk and Cornelius Church for Dr. J. K. Burns. Upon Dr. Burns’s death in 1924, the house was inherited by his daughter, Pauline Sutton, wife of Superior Court judge and Clarkesville mayor I. H. Sutton. Later incarnations include a bed and breakfast and law office.
Washington-Jefferson Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places