Dancing Rabbits

This image is of property owned by the Collins Family in Choestoe Valley, Union County, near Blairsville, Georgia. I met Mr. Collins while taking pictures in Choestoe Valley. He explained to me that his ancestors had settled the land in 1835 coming from Ireland. He told me about the many Cherokee who were still inhabiting the area at that time. The word Choestoe is a Cherokee word meaning dancing or hopping rabbits. When it was created, Union County was one of the most remote areas of Georgia. Its land, which was available through the Georgia land lottery system, was not thought to be very valuable and attracted only those with fairly meager financial resources. The growth of the county was slow until the 1840s, when roads and bridges were built, providing residents with access to agricultural markets. The county’s first industries were of the type that supports agricultural endeavors. Blacksmiths, gunsmiths, millwrights, tanners, and wheelwrights operated an iron foundry, distilleries, and mills of various types.

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