Sautee Nacoochee Indian Mound
The legend of the Nacoochee Indian Mound states that Indian lovers from opposing tribes are buried within the mound. In reality, the Nacoochee Mound is a burial site, the graves in most probability having been placed there long before the Cherokee Tribe inhabited the area. Excavation between May & October in 1915 by a joint expedition of the Museum of the American Indian, Heyes Foundation, and the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution unearthed 75 burials. The differences in artifacts found indicate a slight change in the culture, due possibly to the influence of civilization. Fire-pits were also found throughout the Mound, showing use at varying levels. Many years later, the Cherokee Tribe used the Mound as a site for their townhouse and ceremonial rites, ignorant as to the original purpose of the artificial hill. The dwellings of the village proper (some reports state 300 houses) were erected in the surrounding flatlands near the river. The Nacoochee Mound is located in White County, Georgia, two miles south of Helen on property belonging to the L.C. Hardman Estate. Dr. Hardman was a former Governor of the State of Georgia. During the summer of 1980, Nacoochee Valley, in which the Mound is located, was placed on the National Register of Historical Places as a historical district.