History of North High Shoals

The town of North High Shoals is situated on the eastern bank of the Apalachee River in Oconee County, Georgia. The area of High Shoals was originally populated by settlers in the late eighteenth century, and a fort was built on a bluff overlooking the river in or around the year 1794. At that time, the Apalachee marked the border between settlements and indigenous territory. In the early 1800s, High Shoals was a stop on the young state of Georgia’s postal and stage coach routes. Although continually populated, the area didn’t really blossom until the mid nineteenth century, when a textile mill was established on the western bank of the river. During the civil war, thread used to make Confederate soldiers’ uniforms was manufactured there.

The town of High Shoals was incorporated as a municipality in the year 1902. Municipal officers of the town circa 1920-1923 (the earliest records available) were Mayor A. E. Horne and Council Members H. J. Horne, G. W. Allen, W. A. Connell, and L. A. Moser. Disaster struck in 1928 when the New High Shoals Manufacturing Company mill, which had been the town’s lifeblood for nearly a century, was completely destroyed by fire. The population of the town – by some estimates around 3,000 at that time – dwindled as residents moved away in search of work, and the town charter for High Shoals was allowed to lapse. A new charter, this one concerning only property on the eastern / Oconee County side of the river and christened North High Shoals, was established in 1933, but was not actually acted upon until 1968. The first mayor of the Town of North High Shoals was Jack Landers, who was supported by council members Jimmy Bradberry, G. W. Eades, Joe C. Dickens, Frank Parks, William (Bill) Robison, and Herschel Lovern.

In October of 2006, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources -Historic Preservation Division certified the High Shoals Historic District. The District includes 49 contributing properties centered on State Route 186 on the north and south banks of the Apalachee River.