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See Rock City

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jasper, GA

Jasper, Georgia

Jasper is a city in Pickens County, Georgia, United States. The population was 3,684 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Pickens County.

Pickens County Courthouse, Jasper, Georgia


The Old Jail
Old Pickens County Jail built in 1906--now a tourist attraction maintained by the Marble Valley Historical Society

Jasper, Georgia, 1876

In 1876 Jasper was a post village of Pickens County and the county seat. The population of Jasper was 110. The village was 38 miles to Cartersville on the Western and Atlantic railroad. The following businesses were found in the 1876-1877 Georgia State Directory.*

  • Churches, 2: Methodist, Baptist
  • Allen, JR & WA; general store
  • Davis, AE; physician
  • Howell & Simmons; general store
  • Hill, Thomas T; sewing machines
  • King & Son; blacksmiths
  • King, RA; boots and shoes

  • King, GT; boots and shoes
  • Lindsey, FJ; mason
  • Prather & Allen; general store
  • Stearns, AH; physician
  • Wilson, Miss Jane; teacher
  • Wofford, McCutchen & Co.; general store
  • Wofford, Eber; postmaster
* Georgia State Directory, Containing a Full List of Names of Persons and Firms Engaged in Business in the Cities and Towns of Georgia; A Shipper's Guide; a United States Post Office Directory; State and County Officers; a New Map of the State; A Classified Index of all Business and Professional Persons of the State; and a Business Directory of Chattanooga, Tenn. (Nashville, Tenn.: Wheeler, Marshall & Bruce, 1876), 211-212.

Some postcard views of Jasper and vicinity




CONNAHAYNEE LODGE (the lodge has since burned down)

Situated on an enormous vein of marble is the historic Tate House. Built as a personal home by Colonel Sam Tate, land/baron, philanthropist and business tycoon. Passing the north of the mansion is the “Old Federal Road” where the Cherokee Indians lived until ordered off by the “Treaty of New Echota.” In 1834, this led to the forced removal known as “The Trail of Tears.” As a result, the Tate House is now the fifth site on The Chieftain Trail, dedicated by the governor of Georgia, August 1, 1988.

The Tate House is listed as the Pink Palace in the National Register of Historic Places. In 1834, Samuel Tate purchased the land the Tate House stands on and moved his family from Lumpkin County, Georgia. His son, Stephen Tate, began the mining of marble, which eventually placed Tate, Georgia on the map. It was Stephen Tate’s son, the eldest of his 19 children known as “Colonel Sam Tate,” who consolidated the marble interests and gained control by 1917. Legends were told of a rare, bright pink marble, referred to as “Etowah” marble. 1920-21, Colonel Sam began watching the rare Etowah Pink Marble that came from the quarry just behind the house. Setting the matching pieces aside, he began construction of the Pink Marble Mansion. By 1926, Colonel Sam, his brother Luke (family attorney) and sister Florentine resided at the mansion.

Colonel Sam died in 1938 at the age of 78, only 12 years after moving into his house. Neither he, his brother Luke nor his sister Miss Flora ever married. The last of the immediate family left the house in 1955.

The house remained unoccupied and neglected until 1974, when Ms. Ann Laird of Arizona discovered it. She purchased the house and began a 10-year restoration project.

The 19,000 square foot mansion was designed by the International Architectural Firm of Walker and Weeks, Cleveland, Ohio. The marble home is an excellent example of the second renaissance revival style. It is an adaptation of Italian and English classical styles.

The interior of the house is as beautiful as the exterior. The entire first floor boasts varying types of marble floors and marble mantles on all four fireplaces. The second floor has four bedrooms, a morning kitchen and an office. Each bedroom has a fireplace. The summer kitchen has the original triple oak iceboxes and tin sink with butler’s pantry.
There are six working fountains on the estate. The gardens invite you to stroll through the centuries old oaks and black walnut trees.

In January 2001, the estate was purchased by Holbrook Properties, LP. Lois Holbrook and Marsha Mann plan to continue the restoration of the mansion and gardens.

Recently named one of the top “must see” places in Georgia by Georgia Magazine, the beautiful pink marble mansion is one of the most photographed privately owned homes in Georgia.

Picture of one of the OLD trees on the grounds at the Historic Tate House.

"The county seat of Pickens County was named for Sergeant William Jasper, an American soldier of Revolutionary War fame, who died on Georgia soil. Before the town was incorporated in 1857, it was a small Long Swamp Valley community of pioneers. Early businesses included a lumber mill, marble plant, harness and shoe shop.
Geographically, the county was unsuited for large plantations of the type that made slave labor essential, and in 1860, this area contained almost no negroes. Thus, at the outbreak of the Civil War, a good many citizens of the County were opposed to Secession, and the Union flag was allowed to float from the courthouse at Jasper for some time after Georgia seceded."
...from the History of Pickens County by Luke E. Tate -- 1935

Points of interest

Nicknamed "The First Mountain City," Jasper is located 50 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia. Several local attractions draw the interest of sightseers annually. The Tate House which was built by local marble baron Sam Tate in the 1920's, and sits adjacent to the current Tate Elementary. The Tate House and Tate Elementary are actually located in unincorporated Tate, GA which is located just south of Jasper, GA. Standing on an old Cherokee place of worship, the historic Woodbridge Inn  is famous for its menu options and its lodging. Jasper is located near several large acreage mountain neighborhoods such as Big Canoe , Bent Tree, and the Preserve at Sharp Mountain .

Notable people

  Notable residents include judge James Larry Edmondson.


Pickens County School District

The Pickens County School District holds grades pre-school to grade twelve, that consists of four elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school. The district has 248 full-time teachers and over 4,060 students.
  • Harmony Elementary School
  • Hill City Elementary School
  • Jasper Elementary School
  • Tate Elementary School
  • Jasper Middle School
  • Pickens County Middle School
  • Pickens High School (Georgia)

Higher education

54% of the graduating class went to a four-year institution.

Chattahoochee Technical College- Appalachian Campus


The Georgia Marble Festival is held on the first weekend in October every year. It is sponsored by the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce. The festivities start with the Marble Festival Road Race. The festival is held at Lee Newton park. There are several booths with vendors from across the North Georgia area. They sell handmade crafts among other things. One of the highlights is the art show. Several of the exhibits are carved marble, but there are also many paintings, photographs, and pottery. The weekends following the festival is when the Apple Festival in Ellijay, Georgia in Gilmer County is held. It has many of the same type of events.

External Links:

Marble Festival

Source: jasperpickenscountyga