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The Forgotten History of North Georgia

The Forgotten History of North Georgia

Now in its third year of publication is a concise, inexpensive book for laymen and history teachers that takes the reader on a journey through time . . . from 1200 BC, when the Reinhardt Petroglyphs were probably carved to  2015.  The book is updated each winter with the discoveries made by the People of One Fire during the previous year.

The URL of the publisher’s website is:  Forgotten History   

(double-click link above)

The first part of the book is a visual journey from 1200 BC to 1776 AD. The graphics are graytone, not color, but very high resolution architectural graphics. The next chapter goes in detail to explain why the current “official” history of the Southern Highlands is so different than the real history. The final chapter is a timeline that takes the reader from 1200 BC to 1976 AD.

You will learn about information in a geology textbook that somehow has been ignored by history professors. Mine timbers in two mines in western North Carolina and one mine at the base of Fort Mountain, GA have been radiocarbon dated to respectively, 1590, 1600 and 1600. All three mine shafts contained 16th century iron tools.

Here is another one of the fascinating facts of history left out of American history books that you will read:Forgotten History of North Georgia

In 1646, Governor Benito Ruíz de Salazar of La Florida ordered the construction of a pack mule road to connect St.Augustine to the Great White Path (Nene Hatka Rakko) that ran from Smoky Mountains through in the Georgia Mountains to the mouth of the Suwannee River on the Gulf Coast. The Great White Path is now the US 129 Highway. Where the path crossed the Chattahoochee River in the Nacoochee Valley, he ordered a fortified trading post built to develop the deerskin trade with the Highland Apalache Indians. It is almost certain that he knew that gold was being mined in the Nacoochee Valley.

These facts are in Florida history textbooks, but not those of Georgia and North Carolina.

In 1641, Royalist Edward Bland and his young wife had to flee England because of the Civil War between the Royalists and Parliament. For five years, they lived in Spain and the Canary Islands, managing his family’s investments. The only way that would have been possible is for them to at least pretend to be Roman Catholics. It was illegal for Protestants and Jews to live or own businesses in Spain. In 1646, Bland suddenly traveled from Spain to Virginia. Upon arriving in Virginia, he immediately traveled 600+ miles alone or in a small party through the wilderness to the Georgia Mountains.

The archives are silent what he was doing there, but it is extremely odd that a man, who had never been to the New World, much less in the wilderness, would take such a trip. The obvious answer was that the Bland family was an investor in the Spanish trading post.

Virginia history books tell this story without any comment. North Carolina textbooks don’t mention this journey, but tell of a second journey made by Bland to Albamarle Sound in North Carolina. Georgia textbooks are completely silent.

In 1653, Royalist Richard Brigstock had to high-tail it out of Barbados because a Commonwealth fleet and military force was invading the island to arrest all Royalist officials. Barbados had remained Royalist throughout the English Civil War and initial Commonwealth period.

Brigstock spent a considerable length time as a guest of the Paracusti of the Apalache in the Georgia Mountains. He also visited with Spanish gold miners, ruby miners and a Catholic mission that has been left completely out of the history books. He eventually returned to Barbados, but after the Restoration of King Charles II and the appointment of Royalist governor William Berkeley, he moved his family to Virginia. Both the Blands and the Brigstocks became FFV’s . . . first families of Virginia.

The book in which Charles de Rochefort wrote about Brigstock’s experiences in the Appalachian Mountains is still popular in Europe, but unknown in the United States. American academicians decided that the story could not be true because De Rochefort said that the region was occupied by Apalache Indians, not Cherokees, and that they lived in great towns on the sides of mountains and along rushing rivers.

Would you believe? The Brigstock and Bland families both lived in Brigstock, England before the English Civil War. They had intermarried several times during the previous centuries. Was there a connection? You can bet your sweet bippy there was!

About 18 years ago, a team of well known Southeastern anthropology professors wrote a book about the late 1500s in the Lower Southeast. The book ends with the statement that “history is silent throughout most of the 1600s about what was happening in the interior of the Southeast.” That statement is patently false. The problem is that what history says was diametrically opposite to the version of history that they had created. They didn’t do their homework.

I think most everybody will enjoy this 144 page book. It is being updated and expanded as new discoveries are made about Georgia’s fascinating history.  Buy Now!

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    I have a story for you. I hope you will contact me about it. It’s about the town of Tallulah Falls Ga. Who founded it. And wondering why the State of a georgia refuses to recognize the man who made it what it was in its hay day. Question do you know who the man was? He was Rufus Lafayette Moss Sr. Wealthy Athens Cotton mill owner who formed a railroad from Athens Ga to Lula . Then took it to Cornelia Ga. Then to the town where his dream became reality. I am Dan A Hayes . I bought the last standing Victorian House in town. The only one on town. Rufus Moss house. Built in 1879. There is a lot to tell you I hope you will contact me and let me tell you about a man and his family that it’s ashamed time and the State of Georgia forgot or refuses to remember . Either way it’s very sad this story has not been recorded in any history books . My number is (770) 377-7557

    • Sorry, I did not see your comment until I was updating the article. This book is about the forgotten Native American history of North Georgia.


    I live right in good ole town Suwanee been on my own constant research of some huge mound I have located near my home. Believe there’s a very spiritual presence of where the creek Indians lived and died around I’m trying to obtain the site plan to show where the old confederate roadway and railroad lay. this is an obvious burial or ceremonial mound I’ve been studying this area past few weeks don’t think many folks walked on this land. I just came across the oldest looking stone pillar its gotta be a piece of this same Indian heritage its just perfect vintage state I can’t move it cause it’s to heavy. I first noticed there’s lots of signs that this is village and I very much believe might be on great hunt for another magnificent finding in great state of Georgia. after reading this article today and my findings been similar matches with too much I have a good feeling the alignment defiantly shows similar finding with couple things that show just oh so perfect. Trying create visonary of this old sacred village there’s a map drawn from quartz stones I first thought was a real grave place probably is please feel free to contact me I have seen some very divine art just in natural states with all trees and many alignments of sticks and stones I’ve noticed things point the same way as just read stones pointing west and some stones have point to sky maybe aligned with solar energy found his pillar and lots of relics. many stones I believe make a grid for the village I bet can say thatonce lived here. walked down yesterday and never seen anything like this before noticed.perfect circle of trees leaning in towards eachother perfectly creating a circular form it caught my eye how was it possible that these ten trees were leaning towards eachother in every angle and the tops of each was bending down like there’s avortex or gravity pulling the trees together and shapes a huge triangular shape and then there are these huge stones looks like maybe three towers Its probably top of a building maybe 6’x6′ each one lay exactly same height then notice a opening and a leg goes into another stone square and then it’s covered up and don’t know where it goes. another stone platform is a little distant from the closest one but not sure if same base. would like some help cause don’t want to harm anything I studied archetectual design and really think I come across something very close to the other sacred places I have read these indigenous people have created such spectacular designs. these burial mounds are big scary to think what happened and if this mound goes higher than any other point of area this is a known area for huge part of the creek Indians history I’ve found many resemblenes to I’d call em prehistoric fish and even bear and circular forms like eyes in the wood and leaves. So At top of the highest point of this mountain there lays big quartZ stone with sharp fin pointing just haven’t figured out the mythology of this science is explaining …. Hope to have some more supportive evidence and talk about how to figure out the missing key and also I’m afraid to touch such a sacred feeling place but I have seen well felt these people in this wooded area and there’s lots of signs symbolizes the practices ree tunks with deep holes even old medicine looking glass bottles there’s a strong spiritual presence I can’t deny and I feel safe around it but keep finding these faces and animal patterns and now this pillar and noticed its nice made stone area.lots of research gave me hints I was on to a creek villageand just too many rock mounds feel the presence of this being too similar to what was found in other reports. read on history of this place noted that there’s a big vulture that protects this area he’s alone and there everyday he doesn’t leave the stone he places on hell make some sounds and it’s hard to find any history on it but have found some wonderful relics last week . tripped over a beautiful kinda ornate looking pillar that was unbieliveable beauty looks like it was from long era ago figures been lost thousands years ago this is special place near not far from these famous burial mounds of otawah and think maybe this is other famous chieftain memorial its around Buford,Ga… Where the great dam was built thereafter actually a huge piece of the dam history maybe comes together with the village the stone column is priceless So maybe it’s one more pillar that hasn’t been found from same disaster u guys found in your article. Keep u guys posted with what I find today and keep study this wonderful architectal development that I have given all interests . Never seen anything like it and it’s all over this beautiful mountain top there’s alot more to conclude there’s more points of interest and for my study want to finish what we gain knowledge of being aware came a point in time for the creeks history a point left needing a hand in creating a easy and better way of life … Please feel free to ask or comment or share what know If ur knowing maybe a way to figure out how put the last pieces together.god bless and wish me luck on a discovery that will change the history it deserves

    • Suwanee is the Anglicization of the Muskogee Creek word for the Shawnee People. Saunee is also the Anglicization of the Creek word for Shawnee People. So Old Suwannee Town was obviously a Shawnee town that was associated with the Creek Confederacy.


    Sorry couple typos I have seen a few circular areas and found trees being the basic of support maybe for small shops or even teepee if had cloth also seen a large stone that looks like maybe a entrance to a room or maybe small cave not hundred percent and am not gonna bother the unknown yet


    The forgotten story of the forgotten man who owned Tallulah Gorge. Built the Tallulah Falls railroad. Founded the town of Tallulah Falls. Incorporated the town on October 7 1885. He built the Cliff house hotel and owned it. He built the train station and owned it. He sold part of the gorge to Georgia Power Company in 1909. They built the first hydro dam to generate power for Atlanta. The New Georgia Encyclopedia has installed a small section about Colonel Rufus Lafayette Moss Sr. in their section about the history of tallulah falls. it not near enough but its a start. the man desirves so much more. He was the frontiers man of northeast georgia.

    • Hey Dan,
      Great information about Tallulah Falls! I didn’t know that one man was the driving force behind it all. I see that you are an Eagle Scout. That is how I got started on my journey. My favorite merit badges were camping, hiking, canoeing, American Indian history, architecture, archaeology and history. Little did I know what would happen many moons into the future.


        Thank you for your efforts to talk about history in Georgia. Yes I’m am a Eagle class of 1974. I have own Colonel Rufus Lafayette Moss Sr. Second /summer house here in town. He was the Warren Buffet of his time.
        He owned all sort of businesses in Athens two banks two cotton mills. Athens Gas light company. Athens steam engine company.
        pioneer paper company. To name a few. The Georgia State legislature approved the northeastern railroad back in the 1850,so
        The,war broke out and stopped it. Rufus Lafayette Moss Sr was a Colonel in Howell Cobbs leagon. After the war the legislature again approved the incorporated railroad in 1870. Colonel Rufus Lafayette Moss Sr was the Superntendent of the construction of the whole railroad from Athens to Franklin NorthCarolina. He was the Tresurer of the NorthEasternRailRoad. He built the cliff house hotel on the rim of Tallulah Gorge.
        I did a title search on the land when I bought the Moss House. It shows the he owned Tallulah Gorge. He bought it in 1879. He was appointed by the legislature of the State of Georgia to incorporate the town of Tallulah Falls. He and 4 others were appointed commissioner’s to incorporate the town of Tallulah Falls. On October 7th 1885. He did it so they could hold elections and put people in office to help them make law in a lawless wilderness. When Moss got to Tallulah falls the only people were fur trapping and Indian trading post. His final act till he died in 1912 was in 1909. He sold part of his gorge to GA power . After his death his son Rufus Lafayette Moss Jr took over his fathers business. In the 1920,s Rufus Jr sold the rest of the gorge to the state if ga. So you see I am very passionate about getting the story of Moss out and hope the State,will do something to recognize all he did. Your site is a great help. The town named a street after the family. 4 generations of the Moss family owned the house for a total of 102 years .
        they sold it out of the family in 1981. My favorite things in scouting was history, geography. I really enjoyed the civil war history. I ended up with 27 merit badges.
        I am a life time member of the Eagle Scout Association. I never knew if you had told me a year and a half ago I would be restoring a 136 year old house I would gave laughed and said no way. But this is my foot print to bring the past into the present time and extend the life of the house for future generations nit even yet born.


    Sorry I didn’t know about People of One Fire sooner, but later is now. Got a copy of this today, and will try to catch up. There is so much to learn.

    Thanks, again for shining a new light on the past for folks like me!

    • Welcome aboard! There is so much that we still don’t know!

      Richard T.


    Richard is your new book on the market?



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