Hartwell is the ‘center of the world’

Photo by E.R.M. DeFeo

HARTWELL, Ga. — This north Georgia hamlet is the center of the world.

Along Georgia Highway 8, roughly three miles south of the city, lies what was once known as “Ah-Yeh-Li A-Lo-Hee.” To the Cherokee Indians, this was the center of the world.

According to a 1954 Georgia Historic Commission historical marker at the site:

To this assembly ground, from which trails radiate in many directions, they came to hold their councils, to dance and worship which were to them related functions, and to barter their hides, furs and blankets for the trade goods of the white men from Augusta and other settlements. At one time there was a move to establish here the Hart County seat. This site was also a noted roost in the days when the now extinct passenger pigeons migrated here in the autumn in such numbers that “their weight broke the tree limbs.”

In 1923, the John Benson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) dedicated a monument near the site.

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