Helen, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River, is a re-creation of an alpine village complete with cobblestone alleys and old-world towers. This Northeast Georgia has a rich history linked to the Cherokee Indians and their burial mounds as well as early settlers who arrived in the early 1900's to mine for gold and cut virgin timber for a thriving lumber industry.
Helen's evolution into an alpine village began in 1968 when a group of local business men met to discuss ways to revitalize their town. They approached a nearby artist friend, who had been stationed in Germany. He sketched the buildings, added gingerbread trim, details and colors to the buildings, giving an alpine look to the entire town. In January of 1969, business owners and local carpenters began turning ideas into reality and all downtown stores were renovated. Faces of buildings were painted with scenes of Bavaria and North Georgia, mirroring the migration of early settlers.
Helen has accomplished much; it has created a town and industry, providing jobs for more people and boosting the economy of the entire area. Helen also commemorates its historic past when the early settlers came to this remote area. A village with mountain heritage and a touch of Bavaria, Helen offers a unique experience for its visitors.
This is the story of Helen, the miracle of a small, remote mountain community that revitalized itself in various ways throughout several centuries and today hosts nearly two million visitors per year.
ALPINE HELEN GEORGIA
APRIL 22, 2017