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Hernando de Soto Expedition to Georgia

The earliest recorded visit of Europeans to the Georgia and North Carolina Mountains was in 1540.  De Soto’s Conquistadors spent several summer weeks at the capital of Kvse (pronounced Kău-shĕ in Itsate-Creek, but known as Kusa in English.) Kvse means “forested mountains” in Itza Maya. Florida Indians told Pánfilo de Narváez in 1528 that the Apalachee People, who lived in the mountains many days to the north, mined and traded gold. The people, whom the Spanish called Apalache, called themselves the Palache, which is the Creek word for the Biloxi Indians. This is not general knowledge because the media has relied on commentaries about de Soto, rather than actually reading the chronicles. Just before heading north from the Florida Panhandle in 1540, de Soto was told that the capital of the Apalache province in the mountains was named Yupaha. Yupaha means “Horned Lord.” The Florida Indians stated that Yupaha had much gold. De Soto set off to find Yupaha, but his chroniclers never mentioned the town again.  Historians have traditionally assumed Yupaha to be a fable. After leaving Kusa, de Soto passed through the towns of Tali-mochase (New Tali), Itapa, and then, what the chroniclers wrote as Ubahali.  However, this would be a typical manner that Castilians would write the word, Yupaha-le, which is a Coastal Plain Itsate  word meaning “Horned Lord People.”  So Yupaha really did exist.   It probably was the Track Rock archaeological zone, because that is largest known town site in the gold-bearing section of the Georgia Mountains. Add an “s” to Itapa, and you have Itsapa.  This may or may not been the town’s real...

Native American History of Pickens County, Georgia

Pickens County located in northern Georgia. It is part of the Atlanta Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA.) Its county seat is Jasper. It is named after Colonel Andrew Pickens, who commanded Patriot units in one of the last battles of the Revolutionary War, which was fought in Pickens county. Pickens County is bordered on the north by Gilmer County and the east by Dawson County. Gordon County adjoins Pickens on its western side. Cherokee County forms its southern boundary. Bartow County forms a relatively short section of Pickens’ southwest boundary. Geology and hydrology Pickens County contains sections of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Marble Valley and Pine Log Mountains geological regions. The Blue Ridge Mountains, which run along the eastern side of the county, are characterized by underlying rock strata of igneous and metamorphicized igneous rock. The official southern terminus of both the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Trail are located in Pickens at Mt. Oglethorpe. However, during the 1950s and 1960s, several chicken houses and private real estate developments were constructed on top of the Appalachian Trail, thus negating its use for public recreation. In 1999, the marble monument marking the start of the Appalachian Trail was relocated to downtown Jasper, since it was no longer relevant. Mount Oglethorpe, at 3,288 feet above sea level, is the highest point in the county. The Marble Valley is the largest deposit of marble in the world and underlies most of Pickens County. It consists of ancient metamorphic rocks such as marble, travertine and slate that were formerly sedimentary rocks. The terrain of the remainder of the county generally consists of...

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