I spent a few weeks at an RV park in Cumming, GA, just about 14 miles from my daughter. With she and Mike we made a day trip to Helen, GA which is a unique town, it looks just like an Alpine village.
After the Cherokees left the area on the “Trail of Tears” the area was populated by white settlers. In 1828 gold was discovered nearby and the Great Georgia Gold Rush was begun. Thousands of miners came to the area and mined gold for over a century. Settlers left since mining operations quit at the end of the century. The next major industry was all about timber. A great sawmill was built and a railroad came up the Chattahoochee River to Helen. The sawmill operated until 1931 and again people left for other places.
According to http://www.helengeorgia.com:
By the 1960's, there was nothing left except a dreary row of concrete block structures. In 1968, local businessmen met to discuss what could be done to improve their town. They approached a nearby artist friend, who had been stationed in Germany. He sketched the buildings, added gingerbread trim, details and colors to the buildings, giving an Alpine look to the entire town. In January 1969, business owners and local carpenters began turning ideas into reality. Now all downtown stores have been renovated and many buildings and cobblestone alleyways added. Faces of buildings were painted with scenes of Bavaria and North Georgia, mirroring the migration of early settlers.
There are now over 200 shops and you may tube down the Chattahoochee River, visit an amusement park, pan for gold and gems, take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, or enjoy international dining. You may fish, swim, canoe, raft, play tennis, hike, ride motorcycles or golf.
Here is just a little bit of Helen:
Can you pronounce this:
It started raining just as we were leaving Helen. Here is part of the rainbow that stretched across the sky:
Nice experience, wonderful day with the kids!