History of the Wolfscratch Area

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By the time Lucille turned in the $30,000 she found some months after Steve died, the court had appointed William H. Whaley as Receiver and Special Master in the case. Attorney Hal Lindsay advised Lucille to bring the money matter to the attention of the court. It was first brought before Di…

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After Wade Worley received a call from Lucille Tate telling him that Steve had died, he went immediately to the Tate residence. He confided in Lucille about the prior evening’s conversation involving Steve’s will. Lucille said, “Please get that will from the safe right now.  I don’t know the…

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Lucille Tate was an oddity to the mountain people and they were equally unfathomable to her. She was raised a city girl, wealthy, educated and well traveled. Most of her Wolfscratch neighbors had never been more than 50 miles from their birthplace and had never known a life free from hard la…

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(In the last issue of Smoke Signals, the Steve Tate era story ended just before Steve and Lucille Tate moved from Tate to the house at Wolfscratch built by workmen under the direction of John Riis in 1916-17. Lucille had gone to New Orleans when a snowstorm delayed the move.)

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When the other potential heirs discovered that Sam Tate had deeded thousands of Wolfscratch acres to the children of Walter Emmett Tate, they were very angry. The animosity deepened when Sam Tate’s will was read and rifts quickly developed in the Tate family, isolating Walt Tate’s widow and …

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William Byrd Tate, Jr., son of Dr. William Byrd Tate and Virginia Collier Hart Tate was one of Sam Tate’s younger cousins. Young Bill Tate was a friendly, likable man who got along well with the entire Tate clan. He was engaged to marry Dorothy Brooks of Virginia who had been living in New Y…

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The depression that followed the stock market crash in 1929 began to paralyze many companies and ads in the Pickens County Progressreflected the desperate times. In the December 1931 issue, Will Richards advertised that he was paying six and a half cents a pound for cotton and three cents a …

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Scott Byess went to work for Sam Tate in 1914. He was married to Luna Benson and they had two children, Lloyd T. and Essie Mae. Lloyd, the eldest, was born March 27, 1910. When Scott and Luna and their children moved to Wolfscratch, they lived in the Peter Weaver three-room log house. On the…

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In the early 1920s, contracts poured in to The Georgia Marble Company for many large projects, including an order for 500 tons of white marble used in the Lincoln Memorial which was dedicated in 1922. Marble was also shipped for use in the New York Stock Exchange Annex, the Fulton County Cou…

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(Author’s Note: The old Wolfscratch families have been covered in Smoke Signals over the past 18 months. In future issues of Smoke Signals, beginning with this edition, we will cover a new era for Wolfscratch, an era dominated by the interesting Tate family.)

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In the 1830s several Fields families made their way from North Carolina into North Georgia.   They came on food, on horseback and in small wagons.   The trip was agonizingly slow and fraught with perils ranging from hostile Indians, wild animals, rattlesnakes and fierce storms to illness.   …

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Adolphus Gaddis married Margaret Carter, who was of Cherokee descent. A family legend recorded among papers found with the family Bible states that Margaret Carter was descended from a mixed-blood Cherokee family from Polk County, Tennessee. This written account also states that Margaret Car…

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   Several Heath brothers came to this area from North Carolina before Pickens or Dawson Counties existed.  One of their descendants was Perry Heath who bought Land Lot 59 in the 4th District, 2nd Section of Pickens County.  Half of this land lot was acquired from John R. Brooks on November …

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 The Henry Fouts family lived near Wolfscratch in the area that is today’s Faucett’s Lake located at the north end of Steve Tate Highway.  The lake, built in the early 1940s, is visible from parts of south Sanderlin Mountain.

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        Stuart Wigington, son of Ancel Roe Wigington and Rachel Russell Wigington, married Susie Wofford.  They had twelve children and Rowe, one of their sons, was stricken with polio at an early age.  Roy, another son, was born deaf and mute.  Several of the dozen children died in childhood.

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     John Henry (J.H.) Cowart, son of Benjamin Miles Cowart and Mary E. Burnett Mealor Cowart, was born May 20, 1869, almost five years after the close of the Civil War and during the difficult Reconstruction Period.  J.H. Cowart’s father, Benjamin M. Cowart, served in the Civil War and was …

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  When I was writing the book, Wolfscratch Wilderness, the Toland name caused me a lot of vexation.  Toland was a name not found on any census records in Cherokee, Pickens, Dawson, Lumpkin or Gilmer Counties.  A search of deed records also failed to reveal land ownership by anyone named Tola…

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    John Hendrix was born in Georgia in 1822.  According to family accounts, John was half Cherokee.  He married Leanna Darnell, born in 1822 in North Carolina, and the couple lived near Long Swamp Church in Pickens County during the early years of their marriage.

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   J.H. Cox was born in 1862 to Susan Cox.  The Civil War was in progress and in spite of rash predictions by some Southerners that “…we would whup them Yankees in less than six months…” there was no end in sight to the bitter conflict by the time baby J.H. Cox came into the world.

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  Both William and John Whitely and their families appeared on the 1870 Pickens County Census.  According to the record, William’s wife was Sarah H. Whitely and they had four children, the eldest being seven-year-old Silas (1863-1938).  Silas married Lade Partain (1864-1944) and they had fou…

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       Young Potts was born in Greenville District, South Carolina in 1801.  He was stricken with an explorer’s wanderlust in his teens and was one of the first to arrive at Duke’s Creek in north Georgia after gold was discovered there in 1829.  At 28, Potts was already an eccentric loner, k…

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