Pickens County is a county located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 29,431. The county seat is Jasper.  Source: GoogleMaps

The following information regarding communities in Pickens County was excerpted from the History of Pickens County by Luke E. Tate. 1935

Marble Hill

“This little village is located at the northeastern end of the marble quarry area. The mercantile enterprises were largely supported by the workers in marble. The town lies between several mountains, at the head of Long Swamp Valley–a region of great natural beauty. The first Catholic Church ever built in Pickens County was located here, when a number of marble-cutters of that faith came into the Valley to do some work for the old Piedmont marble Company. They erected and dedicated this church and worshipped in it for a time, but when their jobs were done and they returned to their former homes the church went into decay. Now it would be hard to pick out the exact spot on which it was located.”


“Old Talking Rock, now called Blaine, is a small community near Talking Rock on the Old Federal Road. It is not on the line of the railroad, and the town of Talking Rock sprang up in its present location after the railroad came through. Blaine is near the site of the old Talking Rock Cotton Factory, and the site of the old Indian village of Sanderstown.” 


“The county seat of Pickens County was named for Sergeant William Jasper, an American soldier of Revolutionary War fame, who died on Georgia soil. Before the town was incorporated in 1857, it was a small Long Swamp Valley community of pioneers. Early businesses included a lumber mill, marble plant, harness and shoe shop. Geographically, the county was unsuited for large plantations of the type that made slave labor essential, and in 1860, this area contained almost no negroes. Thus, at the outbreak of the Civil War, a good many citizens of the County were opposed to Secession, and the Union flag was allowed to float from the courthouse at Jasper for some time after Georgia seceded.”


“Widely known as the home of Georgia marble is the little town of Tate. The main quarries of The Georgia Marble Company were located here, as well as one of its large marble works. This is one of the oldest settlements in the County, and in fact was the site of the very first election and court held in the newly organized Cherokee territory in 1832. The settlement was then called Harnageville, after Ambrose Harnage, in whose house the early court was held. The post office at this place was officially known as Marble Works for a period of years; then it was re-named Harnageville; and when the railroad came through in the early 1880’s the town received its present name. A high school building here was build of Georgia marble, made possible by the interest and liberality of Colonel Sam Tate, one of the founding fathers.” 


“As the marble industry developed in the County, the need for another finishing plant caused The Georgia Marble Company to purchase the property of John Nelson, located on the railroad near the Cherokee County line, for this purpose; and the town that sprang up there logically took the former owner’s name. Mr. Nelson was a farmer and also a gunsmith of considerable note, and today there are many Nelson rifles throughout this [area] which are highly prized by their owners. Since the beginning of the marble industry at Nelson, the stone for many important buildings throughout the country, and many beautiful works of art in marble, have been finished here. Among the skilled workmen at Nelson have been a considerable number from Italy and Scotland, where they were also workers in stone, and some remained to become citizens.”

Talking Rock

“Several legendary accounts are given with regard to the naming of Talking Rock; one is the story of an unusual echo that was supposed to come from a nearby rock cliff; while another story tells about a rock with which some of the Cherokees played a trick on one another. The little town is situated on a creek of the same name. Being on the Old Federal Road, it was one of the eearliest settlements in this region, and some of the earliest churches and schools in Pickens were at or near the present site of the town. Talking Rock is also close to the site of the old Indian village, Sanderstown. One of the earliest cotton mills in Georgia was started at Talking Rock by William C Atherton, and flourished until the Civil War when it was destroyed by Sherman’s raiders. The Talking Rock neighborhood was settled by a number of Presbyterian families, most of whom came to Pickens County about the time of the Indian removal. It is located on the old L&N Railroad line.” Today Talking Rock is a quiet little village off the beaten path along the creek where Cherokees once farmed. Just a few quaint shops where the conversation is as interesting as the antiques and collectibles. A tiny Post Office. A couple of churches on the mountainside and cemeteries with markers telling stories of a lively past. It is just the setting that makes one want to abandon big city life forever — but when this sentiment was related to one of the town’s original residents, he was heard to remark, “Don’t forget to shut the gate behind you!”