Early History
Of Hurricane Shoals Park

1784 - April 22 - Jordan Clark and Jacob Bankston were told by a wandering band of Choctaw Indians of an old camping ground of the Creek and Cherokee Indians where it was believed The Great Spirit once lived, a place known as YAMACUTAH (Tumbling Shoals). From this Holy Ground up to Yamtrahoochee (Hurricane Shoals) the land was considered to be neutral ground for the Creek and Cherokee and no blood could be shed, not even for hunting. Conflict with the Indians began when Clark and Bankston violated the sanctity of the Holy Ground by killing a bear on the Shoals.

1784 - June 20 - Bankston, Clark, John Harris and other pioneers returned to Hurricane Shoals and began a settlement.

1788 - The first church in Jackson County was built on these Shoals. It was Baptist, made of logs and called Etoho - the Indian name for river. Dr. Henry Therrauld was the first minister, as well as first school teacher and doctor.

1790 - Smelting plant and foundry established by Union Furnace Company used iron ore mined near present-day Commerce and Dry Pond. The foundry continued in operation making cannon balls, ammunition and other war materials for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The company had over 200 acres, some of which adjoined part of a 5000 acre tract originally granted to Count D'Estaing.

1794 - Dr. Therrauld performed the first marriage in Jackson County uniting Bana Mar de Vedo (given in marriage by her adopted Indian father Umausauga) and Mr. Johnson Josiah Strong.

1796 - February 11 - Jackson County was cut from Franklin County and incorporated by the State of Georgia with 42 of the 350 population residing at Yamacutah-Yamtrahoochee.

1801 - Open hostilities with the Indians continued with the murder of little Egbert Clover and the kidnapping of Flora Clover and Susan Bingham. After seeing her son's head bashed in on a rock, Mrs. Clover shot the Indian and his skin was made into a razor strap by John Harris. For protection the church was moved downstream two miles to Flat Shoals. The white settlers eventually won out, but Dr. Therrauld was killed in the last serious conflict with the Indians. (Above material taken from The Early History of Jackson County, Georgia by G.J.N. Wilson, pages 186 - 195)

1812 - Revolutionary War soldier, Ansel Cunningham moved to Hurricane Shoals with his wife, Mary. Ansel died in August 1840 and Mary in November 1852. Both are believed to be buried at the Shoals.

1818 - Proposal by Georgia General Assembly to dig a canal from Chattahoochee River to North Oconee River and flood Shoals was defeated. Efforts by Hurricane Shoals residents to form a new County named Unicoi, after an Indian Princess who once lived near Shoals, was also struck down.

1840 - Flood destroyed most of the buildings in the settlement.

1852 - Church moved to Dry Pond Community.

1870 - Cotton gin and grist mill began operation and did so until the mid-1920's. Foundations of the grist mill can still be seen on the Jefferson side of the Park.

1882 - Contract was let for construction of the covered bridge which spanned 127 feet over the North Oconee River.

1906 - Dr. L.G. Hardman, Governor of Georgia 1927 - 1931, purchased the property. He opened a natural spring located on the northeast side of the river to the public and named it for his sister, Sally Hardman.

1925 - Hardman built an electric generating plant that would provide electricity to the booming town of Maysville. He built two turbines, but only one was operational.

1930 - Georgia Power purchased the property from Hardman and operated the plant for two years before abandoning it. A caretaker lived on the property until 1960. The chimney in Pavilion #3 is all that is left of his house.

1954 - County Extension Agent Spud Welborn unsuccessfully attempted to receive permission from Georgia Power and its caretaker to allow the County 4H Club to use one side of the Shoals.

1962 - Four industrialists: Morris Bryan, Jr. - Jefferson Mills, R.H. McEver - McEver Packing Company Commerce, Jack Makemson - Roper Pump Company and Charles McCollum - Blue Bell purchased the property from Georgia Power, seeing the Shoals' potential for a recreational facility. These men formed the Hurricane Shoals Park Association, Inc.

1972 - May 31 - Vandals burned the covered bridge.

1973 - November - Community volunteers, Dan Gunnels, Pat Bell and the 4H Club hauled off 18 dump truck loads of trash.

1976 - 18 acres were deeded to Jackson County by the Hurricane Shoals Park Association. L. G. Hardman, Jr. was appointed to chair the Bicentennial Committee and Jackson County Commission formed the Hurricane Shoals Park Commission - Edna Sell, R. H. McEver, Jr., Pittman Carter, Bill Booth, Charles Dawson, Col. Tuttle Smith, and chaired by Hardman.

1977 - The Jackson County Commission - Howard Summerour, Chairman, Tom Howington and Jimmy Johnson - made plans for developing the area (paid $1,000. per month on the project) with the assistance of the Northeast Georgia Area Planning and Development Commission (Clint Lane) and architect Bill Smith. Jackson County received a $12,500. federal matching grant through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and a pavilion, picnic shelter, sandbox, foot bridge, restrooms, picnic tables, and grills were built with the help of Rufus Pardue and many others. Hurricane Shoals Park Commission raised $15,000 through donations.

1978 - $50,000 later, Hurricane Shoals officially opened to the public as a County Park with the unveiling of a monument built by Brodus Wilbanks, slab donated by C. A. Townes and carved by Roy Nunnally. Brodus Wilbanks was the first caretaker or superintendent and helped build some of the pavilions and picnic areas, as well as doing a great deal of the rock work. Picnic tables were donated by the Jackson County 4H. The County applied the second grant of $16,200 and purchased 14.75 additional acres west of the Shoals.

1992 - TWS purchased an additional 11.5 acres for the Park (the Perry property) and leased to the County.

1994 - TWS bought the 27.87 acre Jarrett property and leased it to the County.

1995 - The County Commissioners (Jerry Waddell, Fran Thomas & Forrest Hagen) exercised their option to purchase both the Perry and Jarrett porperties.

2003 - The County Commissioners purchased the J. Z. and Nora Carter 26 acre tract across the river with Greenspace monies.

And from there it continues to grow. Through the efforts, donations, and perseverance of many volunteers Hurricane Shoals is now a beautiful park and area for all to enjoy.




Park Map

Pavilion Rental


Grist Mill

Church Rental