Discovering Burton: The Haunting History Of A North Georgia Ghost Town

Burton, a small town nestled in the north Georgia mountains, is a haunting reminder of a bygone era. Once a thriving community with a bustling population of 200 people in 1917, Burton’s fate was sealed when a dam construction in 1919 caused the surrounding land to flood. As a result, the town was eventually bought by the Georgia Railway and Electric Company, leading to its eventual decline and classification as a ghost town.

Despite its abandonment, Burton’s history is still alive and well. The town is now a popular destination for tourists and history buffs alike, drawn in by its eerie beauty and the stories of the people who once called it home.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the history of Burton, uncovering the events that led to its decline and exploring the town’s current state. Through the lens of its haunting past, we will examine industry’s impact on small towns and the lasting effects of environmental disasters.

Key Takeaways

  • Burton was founded in the early 1800s due to the gold rush influx and had a population of 200 in 1917.
  • The construction of a dam caused the town’s decline, the decline in the lumber industry, and the Great Depression.
  • Burton remains historically significant and has gained a reputation for ghostly sightings, and efforts are being made to preserve its past.
  • The story of Burton emphasizes the impact of man-made structures on the environment, the need for responsible development, and the preservation of natural resources.

Location and Founding

Burton, a ghost town in north Georgia, was founded in the early 1800s due to the influx of gold rush. Early settlers came to the area for gold and established Burton as a thriving community of 200 people by 1917.

The town’s location on an old road running from Clayton to the Nachoochee Valley made it an ideal location for trade and commerce. The gold rush brought an economic boom to the area, and Burton became known for its stores and businesses.

In 1917, the town had three general stores essential for the community’s daily needs. However, the town’s prosperity was short-lived, as the Georgia Railway and Electric Company bought the town in the same year, and the construction of a dam caused the surrounding land to flood.

Today, Burton is a ghost town whose history is a haunting reminder of the area’s past.

Decline and Abandonment

The decline and abandonment of this former community can be attributed to various factors. One major factor was the construction of the Lake Burton Dam, which flooded the surrounding land and forced the residents to relocate.

The decline in the lumber industry and the Great Depression also contributed to the town’s downfall.

Despite its abandonment, Burton remains historically significant and has even gained a reputation for ghostly sightings. Many visitors have reported seeing apparitions of former residents and hearing unexplained noises in the area.

The town’s haunting history and its connection to the gold rush and lumber industry continue to draw interest from historians and tourists alike. While the physical remains of the town may have disappeared, the memories and stories of Burton’s past continue to live on.

Current Status and Tourism

Ironically, despite its abandonment and lack of physical presence, the absence of Burton has become a draw for tourists seeking to explore the area’s rich history. Today, visitors can experience the haunting remnants of the town through guided tours and historical markers.

The Burton Historical Society has also been working diligently to preserve what remains of the town’s past. Efforts have been made to restore the old Byrd-Matthews Lumber Company’s sawmill and the old power house on the lake’s shore. The society has also been working with local government officials to prevent further development around the lake, to preserve the natural beauty of the area.

The historical significance of Burton cannot be overstated. It was once a thriving community, and played an important role in the development of north Georgia. The town’s decline and eventual abandonment is a reminder of the transitory nature of human settlements, and the impact of man-made structures on the environment.

As such, the preservation of Burton is not only important for historical reasons, but also for environmental ones. The town’s story is a cautionary tale, and serves as a reminder of the need for responsible development and preservation of natural resources. It is hoped that future preservation efforts will ensure that the haunting history of Burton continues to be an important part of north Georgia’s cultural heritage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the main industry in Burton before the construction of the dam?

Pre-dam industries in Burton included gold mining and lumber production. The town was a thriving community with three general stores and a narrow gauge railroad before the dam’s construction, which had a significant economic impact on the area.

Are there any remnants of the old lumber mill in Helen?

Ironically, while exploring ruins and historical landmarks in Helen, remnants of the Byrd-Matthews Lumber Company’s mill in Burton cannot be found. The town was flooded in 1919, leaving behind only the haunting history of a ghost town.

What was the population of Burton before it became a ghost town?

Before becoming a ghost town, Burton had a population of approximately 200 people in 1917. The town had three general stores and was a hub for economic development due to its location on an old road and the presence of the Byrd-Matthews Lumber Company.

Has there been any effort to restore any of the buildings in Burton?

Efforts for restoration and preservation projects have been limited in Burton, as the town is classified as a ghost town. However, some individual property owners have attempted to restore their buildings.

Are there any local legends or ghost stories associated with the town of Burton?

Burton has local legends and ghost stories associated with it, making it a popular destination for those interested in the supernatural happenings. Some of the places in the town are believed to be haunted.

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