Cornelia, Georgia

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Cornelia is a city in Habersham County, Georgia, United States. The population was 3,834 at the 2010 census. It is home to one of the world's largest apple sculptures, which is displayed on top of an obelisk shaped monument. Notably, it was the retirement home of baseball legend Ty Cobb who was born nearby, and was a base of operation for production of the 1956 Disney film The Great Locomotive Chase that was filmed along the Tallulah Falls Railway that ran from Cornelia northward along the rim of Tallulah Gorge to Franklin, NC.



Cornelia is located at 34°30′49″N 83°31′51″W / 34.51361°N 83.53083°W / 34.51361; -83.53083 (34.513716, -83.530942)[5].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.9 km²), all of it land.


(This section adapted from Cornelia, The First Hundred Years printed in 1987 by the Habersham Historical Society (uncopyrighted — public domain) in commemoration of the town’s centennial with minor chronological editorial updates)

The first white man to visit what is now Habersham County was Hernando de Soto, who came in search of gold in 1540. He came from the southeast, around Currahee Mountain, by way of Chopped Oak (which was called "Digaluyatunyib" by the Cherokee Indians). This place was the site of an ancient oak tree which was notched by the Indians after each scalping. De Soto is thought to have traveled through Nacoochee Valley[1], crossing the Soque River near Clarkesville, and continuing on his way. A small part of the southern end of the county was probably at one time held by the Creek Indians, while the Cherokee Indians inhabited the rest of the county. The old boundary line between the Cherokee and Creek nations ran below where Chenocetah Mountain and Hillcrest are located and now lies within the city limits of Cornelia. The white men soon persuaded the State of Georgia to take the lands from the Indians. The United States government held that the State could not do so; but the spirit of local self-government was still strong in Georgia, and the state defied the federal government and took the land despite the rulings of the Supreme Court. The first treaty affecting any part of what is now Habersham County was in 1804 and concerned a tract of land "four miles in width from the top of Currahee Mountain to the north ford of the Oconee River." (Stephens County was not created until 1905.) The area is now in Banks County near Wofford Shoals. Many of the old land grants to the head right lands, now largely in the government area around Nancytown Lake[2], were granted in this period. This Treaty of 1804 is called "The Four Mile Purchase Treaty" and, although the land was originally in Franklin County, the original strip now lies in Banks and Habersham Counties because of later redistribution of land in counties.

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