Fort Mountain State Park
Fort Mountain State Park Gate
A stone fire tower in the past
A stone fire tower in the present date
A pretty lake belongs to Fort Mountain State Park
Backstory and Context
In 1832, the extreme northwestern corner of Georgia which was the former part of Cherokee County, was designated as Murray County by the Georgia General Assembly. This county was named after Mr. Thomas W. Murray, the former speaker of the Georgia House.In a short time, the population of Murray County grew up dramatically. Murray County was expanded to 342 square miles (equivalent to 886 km) of the land and based on the 2010 census, the population of Murray County was 39,628 (1). The county seat is Chatsworth (2)
Belong to Murray County, the 3,712 acre area is known as Fort Mountain State Park. This Georgia State Park located between Chatsworth and Ellijay on Fort Mountain. this is one of Murray County’s attractions that visitors consider to stop by in their journey. In 1893,Fort Mountain State Park was established on land donated by Atlanta mayor, Ivan Allen. Many facilities of this park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There are the stone fire tower, the lake, the trails and some building in Fort Mountain State Park. Thank to the successful project of the Civilian Conservation Corps as well as the support from state and federal funding, the park expanded from 1,930 acres to 3,712 acres . This is long journey of effort and responsibility to build up the characteristics of Murray County , GA.
According to Philip E. Smith, Fort Mountain State Park derived its name from an ancient 885 foot long rock wall located on the peak..And in 1956, the archaeological report had pointed out that the ancient wall structure “represents a prehistoric aboriginal construction whose precise age and nature cannot yet be safely hazarded until the whole problem, of which this is a representative, has been more fully investigated," (3) “while a modern online tourist website states that the wall was built by local Native American around 500 AD for religious purposes”(4). This ancient wall has several legends, and this becomes the mysterious place that attract many tourists come there and explore the legend of this ancient wall, and the characteristics of Murray County.