I have gotten fairly close to the wonderful people who watch over and run Travelers Rest. Recently, it was open to the public for a small fee, and I can never resist visiting the Inn for a “step-back-in-time.” What a blessing it is to know Sandra Fisher and her team of volunteers and to meet a very special guest while I was there! I won’t forget this visit!
Travelers Rest is about 6 miles east of Toccoa, Georgia near the Tugaloo River, on Riverdale Road just north of US Hwy 123. It was built upon Cherokee land close to the former Cherokee town of Tugaloo granted to Major Jesse Walton in 1785 by the U.S. government. Walton, a Revolutionary War soldier and political leader, was killed by Indians near here in 1789. In the early 1800’s, the house was opened as an inn for travelers on the newly constructed Unicoi Turnpike.
The main building is a large and rambling two story wood frame structure, more than 90 feet long. It is built out of wide pine planking and has six chimneys. One of the fireplaces has a mantle with drawers for storage of valuables!
The main Christmas tree is simply beautiful!
Sandra is on the left. We are beginning our search for another book on Stephens County! This time this area of the Tugaloo River corridor will take up a major portion of the book.
Here’s my very special Christmas gift: a moment with Mrs. Edna Prather! For years, I have prayed to meet this lovely lady, and I can tell you that instantly I was captivated by her incredible smile and beautiful heart.
“Miss Edna,” I asked, “when you were a young girl living in this area, how would you decorate your Christmas trees?” She looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said, “with natural things from the yard like pine cones and cedar bows.” Wonderful! I thought.
I also asked her when she volunteered at the Inn, which doors she went in and out the most, and she pointed two out. So,that’s where we took this photo—in front of her doors—with her son, Jody, and her daughter-in law Diana.
A few minutes later, I walked up to the second floor and there it all was — pine cones and cedar! So, lovely and gentle. Merry Christmas!
Friends Pat and Sally enjoy a moment with an Indian scout or early pioneer from the mid-1700’s!
If you have never stepped inside Travelers Rest be sure to look for an opportunity to visit! The Inn is open on the weekends and is run by the U.S. Forestry Service.
Simple things that are simply beautiful!
And there is always music in the house whenever it is open for special occasions.
Sandra always makes sure that there are Christmas angels and snow flake designs in the wonderful old windows of this house. Even when the Inn is not open, you can visit the property. Just a short walk around the property will inspire you to think of simpler times but also of all the travelers, who once stayed at this stage coach stop as they headed north or further west to explore our newly founded country.