The Little River Marina – Cherokee Mills – Historical Connections

Many people who know of Little River Marina on Lake Allatoona in Cherokee County, Georgia have no idea about the amazing history of that very spot and the region around it.

To most it looks like an everyday section along the shores of Lake Allatoona. Who would suspect that they are standing on a spot where a Civil War skirmish took place, or that Cherokee crossed the Little River here on their way along the Trail of Tears, or that ancient Indians lived here before it became part of the Cherokee Nation?

Would one know that one of the earliest mills in the area, one that provided flour for the gold miners up the road at Sixes and Cherokee Mines, was located just a few hundred feet down river from the present bridge? McConnell’s Mill, later called Cherokee Mills, was located just beyond the docks behind Little River Grill.

There is so much history to be discovered in this area. Get details and stories here.


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Trail of Tears: The Cherokee Removal

The Trail of Tears and the Removal of the Cherokee is a thread that is tightly woven throughout much of the history of Georgia. Northwest Georgia was formed directly from the lands of the original Cherokee Nation.

The term, “Trail of Tears”, has come to have several meanings. Most specifically, the Trail could be defined as the actual routes that displaced Native Americans traveled in order to get to the new reservations in Oklahoma. This is the definition we will be addressing in this post.

The term has also been used to include the whole series of events that led up to and culminated with the forced displacement of the Native American tribes of the southeastern United States during the 1830’s. We will use the term “Removal” when addressing this broader view of this historical period.

The sad details, events, and politics leading up to and surrounding the Removal have been subjects of much writing and debate.  Few people, then or now, believe that this chapter of our history was handled well. It was a most confusing, heartbreaking time and perhaps one of the darkest periods of American history.

We invite anyone unfamiliar with the Removal to spend some time reading about it and forming one’s own opinions about what happened and how it happened. Spend time viewing the events and elements of the Removal from each viewpoint, that of the Native American and that of the European American.

As much of our research and documentation centers in this area of the country, the subject of the Trail of Tears comes up often. There is an effort to designate the actual Trail and place historical markers along the way.

Where did the Trail start?

Technically it could be said to have started at the doorstep of each displaced person or family. It started in May of 1838, when small and large groups were forcibly gathered and led along existing roads and trails to centralized locations which were the Removal forts or encampments, set up to act as collection and departure points. Each fort or encampment had provision packets of blankets and food for those who were not otherwise prepared for the journey west to the “new” lands.

In Cherokee County, Georgia, the research for two of our books: The Hidden History of Lake Allatoona and The Curious Disappearance or Fort Buffington turned up some interesting information concerning the Trail. There were two Removal camps here: Fort Buffington, and the encampment or cantonment at Sixes. Removal camps were set up to be responsible for approximately a ten mile radius from each fort. There were relatively few roads and trails in the area at that time.

While we do not yet know the exact location of either camp, we can narrow their locations to within a mile or less and we do have maps and court records that indicate where the roads ran. With these sources at hand we can trace the routes that were available at that time.

By dautzenleining (connecting the dots) we can use the roads, fords, ferries, maps, and documentation to locate convergences and divergences of these elements and determine areas of high probability for routes and locations.

We know the locations of the ferries used to transport the Cherokee and soldiers across the main rivers here in Cherokee County. These ferries and the roads funneling to them could then be viewed as starting points in common for many along the Trail of the Tears.


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New e-Book Release from Dautzenlein Publications!


Dautzenlein Publications has just released the ebook: The Hidden History of Lake Allatoona: The Sixes, Cherokee Mills, Little River Area.

It is available from Amazon at:

“Today, looking out across the broad expanse of the Lake Allatoona reservoir, most people just see a big lake. One might have difficulty imagining how this area looked before the dam was built, with the Little River flowing down to join the larger Etowah River at their confluence.

 * A confluence is the spot where two rivers meet and flow together.

 Lake Allatoona is formed by the dammed up waters of these two ancient, winding rivers.


Looking down the Little River, from behind the Little River Grill, toward the Etowah River where an old Indian Village once stood. Just out a short distance from the ends of the docks is the former location of historic Cherokee Mills and its dam, and on June 16, 1864, a Civil War skirmish took place just a few yards from here.

 The primary focus of this book covers a radius of about two miles from the central point where the two rivers still flow together, deep below the surface of Lake Allatoona.  This is considered the “Sixes “ area, named for a Cherokee village once located here.

 The confluence is an unusual spot, surrounded by an incredible amount of rich history. It is a small epicenter or focal point of Dautzenleins spanning out and touching almost every aspect of North Georgia and its people – past, present, and future.

 As you will soon find out, places like Sixes, Cherokee Mills, and Little River are keys to understanding the history of this area.”


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Introduction to Upcoming Book: “The Hidden History of Lake Allatoona, Cherokee County , Georgia” from Dautzenlein Publications

Our new book looks at one of the most history-rich spots in Northwest Georgia. The “Dots and Lines” of history found here, when connected, were found to span 10,000 years and connect all the way to California!

Some of the “Dots and Lines” are: Sixes, Cherokee Mills, McConnell’s Mill, Woodstock Culture, Gold Rush, Civil War, Little River, Etowah River, Lake Allatoona, Cherokee, Trail of Tears, Removal, Civil War skirmish.


 Dautzenlein Publications™:

Look at something around you.  Whatever you see, there’s more to it than what first meets the eye.  There are “hidden” connections waiting to be discovered. 

Dautzenleins are these connections, the vehicles to unlock the doors of discovery and understanding.

Dautzenleins {pronounced   “dots -‘n- lines” ) are the connections of people, places, dates, and events.

Dautzenlein books are invitations to look and see “what else” is around you; to discover the “dots and lines” that connect everything.

 Discovery makes life exciting!

Whether one discovers a new person, place, or idea; or discovers another way to look at something, it leads to understanding. All of life and history is a continuing discovery of the Dautzenleins around us.

*Dautzenleins – pronounced   “dots -‘n- lines” – are the connections of people, places, dates, and events.

Addendum at back of book:

The “Dots and Lines” of History.

We’ve all played the game “Connect the Dots” where a piece of paper has a large, random, group of numbered dots on it and when lines are drawn connecting the dots … a picture emerges. The simple “Rule” of that game is: Draw lines connecting the dots, in numerical order, starting with #1.

Had we been given the piece of paper and not known the “rule”, we might have carefully examine each dot on the page, individually, without connecting them with lines, without searching for the next dot to connect, and then wondered … what good is this?

History (and all of life) is like that piece of paper with many random dots on it… only the dots aren’t numbered! 

“NOT NUMBERED!!! How can we play the game and connect the dots if the dots aren’t numbered?”  Well, that’s a good question!

 We’ve heard the term “connecting the dots” which means to observe the elements of a situation or event, investigate their inter-connections, and discover the “real story” or the motivations surrounding the event so we can get the “big picture”.

History is the record and documentation of the people, places, and events of the past and how they relate to each other and to us. Some of these relationships are easy to see, while others often go unseen, even though they are very relevant and intriguing pieces of the picture.

If we view people, places, and artifacts as “Dots”, and view the rivers, roads, ideas, communications, and commerce as “Lines”, we can connect the “Dots” and “Lines” and discover some amazing and interesting aspects of history!

Our “Rule”: No dot exists without, at least, one line connected to it and no line exists without dots connected to it.

These connections serve as the “missing” numbers for each dot by connecting the dot to the next numberless dot.

Discover any connections… and more dots and lines will begin to fall into place from there… just start connecting!

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