The Villages of Rabun
Rabun County has six incorporated cities that provide various municipal services to residents. Also, there are several unincorporated areas and communities such as Chechero, Lakemont, Persimmon, Pine Mountain, Rabun Gap, Satolah, Wiley, and Wolf Fork Valley. Each area has its own history, heritage and ambiance to explore and experience.
City of Clayton
Clayton is a classically beautiful mountain enclave and old rail town with a main street lined with unique shops, galleries, dining and lodging. The community has done a wonderful job of preserving its architectural heritage, balancing its older structures splendidly with its more recent development.
Clayton, the county seat, was incorporated December 13, 1823, as Claytonsville, named for Judge Augustin S. Clayton, a prominent jurist and congressman. The name was later shortened to Clayton. The Bartram Trail, a National Recreational Trail created over 200 years ago by Quaker William Bartram, is located in Clayton and draws a great number of outdoor enthusiasts every year. Another popular attraction is the Chattooga River and surrounding scenery which was made popular through the movie Deliverance.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2010), Clayton has a population of 2,152 people.
Jordan Green, Mayor
Council: Brian Panell, Roy Quilliams, Debbie Chisholm, Willie Fortson.
Cissy Henry, City Manager
Andy Strait, Police Chief
Clayton City Hall
837 Hwy 76 West, # 101
Clayton, GA 30525
Town of Tiger
Tiger, located three miles south of Clayton, was incorporated in 1904, and today is home to approximately 321 people. Although legend has it that Tiger was name after Cherokee Chief Tiger Tail, the name and that of nearby Tiger Mountain more likely came from the wildcats roaming the area many years ago. Tiger is home to the Rabun County High School, Middle School, and Elementary School, and an old fashion drive-in movie theatre, senior center, and assisted living center named Traces of Tiger.
Tiger offers a variety of outdoor recreation choices including numerous hiking trails with views of waterfalls.
Tom Ramey, Jr., Mayor
Council: Mike Carnes, Karen Lovell, Susan Rickman, Doyle Parker.
Tiger Town Hall
3010 Old 441 South
Tiger, GA 30576
City of Dillard
The City of Dillard was incorporated in 1906. John Dillard and his family moved to the area in 1794 after being awarded a land grant of 250 acres for service in the Revolutionary War. John's son, James Dillard, became Justice of the Peace for the county and was elected to the state house in 1824.
The Dillard family flourished during this time, establishing many of the early businesses in the area, including a way station for stagecoaches, a boarding house, and post office. In 1890, the postal service picked Dillard as the official name of the town's post office. By 1905, Dillard had a blacksmith shop, livery stable, cobbler, open air market, church, school, two general merchandise stores and two boarding houses. The railroad came to Dillard in 1907, connecting it to the world.
Arthur Dillard, the great-grandson of John Dillard, operated a general store and his wife, Carrie, opened a boarding house which later became The Dillard House. Today, The Dillard House is operated by Carrie's grandson, John Dillard, and is one of the South's most well known restaurants. Andrew Jackson Ritchie, who founded the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, was another direct descendant of the Dillards.
Located just south of the Georgia/North Carolina boarder, Dillard has become well known for its growing number of antique, craft, and specialty shops which make Dillard a favorite stop for mountain visitors, as well as a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, Dillard's population is estimated at 232 residents.
William Robinson, Mayor
Council: Jack Roberts, Blaine Peacock, Carron Grist, Claude Dillard, Gordon Jenkins, Terry Wilson.
Shane Watts, Police Chief
Glenda Enloe, City Clerk
Dillard City Hall
892 Franklin Street
Dillard, GA 30537
Town of Mountain City
Mountain City is a uniquely situated recreation and retirement haven. The city is located on the Blue Ridge Divide at the head of the Little Tennessee River. Just a short drive from Mountain City on Highway 28 is Black Rock Mountain State Park, the highest state park in Georgia. With its scenic forest, quaint cabins, and hiking trails, it is the recreational jewel of the area.
Rabun County's most famous publication is the nationally acclaimed Foxfire series, a collection of oral history gathered by local high school students. The Foxfire Museum houses exhibits relating to Appalachian life and documents the birth of the Foxfire Magazine and book series.
Mountain City residents and visitors enjoy antiquing, local auctions houses, and the many outdoor recreational opportunities. An estimated 803 people live in Mountain City.
Grace Watts, Mayor
Council: Ruth Fountain, Eric McCrackin, Robert Sutton, Charles Hooper.
Tom Garrison, Police Chief
Jessie Henson, City Clerk
Mountain City Town Hall
P.O. Box 493
Mountain City, GA 30562
City of Sky Valley
Georgia adopted the charter for Sky Valley in March of 1978. The resort, which originated in 1969, became the southernmost ski resort community in the U.S. Formerly a cattle ranch, the nearly 2,500-acres site consists of a valley bounded by the Georgia/North Carolina state line and by various mountains ridges, some of which reach 4,200 feet.
Sky Valley is located in the northeast corner of Georgia on State Highway 246, five miles east of Dillard and Highway 441. Sky Valley consists of privately owned single family and condominium developments, and a time share facility.
With a year round population of 269, SKy Valley triples in size during the summer to an estimated 900 people. In addition, Sky Valley's resort features golf, swimming, tennis, hiking, fishing, and beautiful waterfalls.
Hughel Goodgame, Mayor
Council: Liz Carr - Presdient, Neil Howard, Bob Larsen, Martin Greene, Milner Lively
Scott Dills, Police Chief
Linda Lapeyrouse, City Manager
Sky Valley City Hall
3444 Highway 246
Dillard, GA 30537
City of Tallulah Falls
Incorporated in 1884, the City of Tallulah Falls lies partially in Rabun County and partially in Habersham County. However, a large part of the population, about 200 people, lives in Rabun County.
One of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern United States, Tallulah Gorge, is the jewel of the city. At three miles long and almost a thousand feet deep, visitors can hike rim trails to several overlooks or can hike to the gorge floor (with free permit). A suspension bridge, located 80 feet above the rocky bottom, provides spectacular views of the river and waterfalls, and offers great photography opportunities.
Mountain Visions of One Man
The Moss House at Pine Terrace, built by Rufus Lafayette Moss, Sr., spots a clean, newly painted exterior and is the largest house in Tallulah Falls and the fourth oldest house in Rabun County.
Rufus was a Civil War Veteran who served as Colonel in General Cobb's Legion and was the son of wealthy plantation owners, John Dortch Moss and Martha Strong of Oglethorpe County. One of his many interests was the Northeast Railroad Co., bringing him to Tallulah Falls to oversee the building of the road line from Cornelia, GA to Franklin, NC. His land possessions eventually reached from Turnerville to Wolffork Valley.
Fifteen years after the Civil War Rufus built his summer home in Tallulah Falls overlooking the rail line. Pine Terrace was completed in 1880. From this move came the completion of Tallulah Falls Railroad in 1882, the Cliff House Hotel, Athens Y Camp and the completion of Georgia Power Company Dam in 1912. Also, a friend of Rufus' wife Mary Ann Lipscomb, started the Tallulah Falls School in her home next door.
The town Tallulah Falls was incorporated on Oct. 7, 1885 by the General Assembly of Georgia with Lafayette Moss, Sr., Thomas Abraham Robinson, J.M. Cartledge and William Berry as Commissioners. But the Tallulah Falls Railroad from Cornelia to Rabun Gap was completed in 1882, three years before!
Rufus Lafayette Moss, Sr. passed away on October 12, 1912 at the age of 87.
Dan and Annah Hayes are lovingly restoring "The Moss House" and have petitioned the State of Georgia for it's addition to the National Historic Register. Dan's dream is to share this historic property with the citizens of Rabun County and to recognize the visions of one man, Rufus Lafayette Moss, Sr. and contributions to our area made by four generations of the Moss families.
This was written by Dianne Bernier a volunteer at the Rabun County Welcome Center.
A more completed story can be found at The Clayton Tribune Nov 27, 2014 article, "Restoring History"
Dan Hayes, Mayor
Council: Larry Hamilton, Teri Dobbs, Bill Coldren, Deb Goatcher
Bill Goatcher, Police Chief
Marcia McKean, City Administrator
Tallulah Falls City Hall
P.O. Box 56
Tallulah Falls, GA 30573