Hinton, Talking Rock District, Pickens County, Georgia
This is the view facing southeast. Hinton sits at the junction of Highway 53 and the 136 Connector, the first road to the right. In the 1840s, the two roads were the Ellijay-Cassville Road. Scarecorn Creek crosses Highway 53 a half-mile southeast of here. The Hinton Methodist Church and Scared Corn Campground are a half-mile up the connector, which ends in Blaine, or old Talking Rock, 2.5 miles father on. It was at old Talking Rock that the descendants of William Collins, son of Jacob and Mary Martin Collins left the Old Federal Road and settled here, in the Talking Rock District. Originally, this area was part of Gilmer County, but was incorporated as part of Pickens County when the county was formed in 1853.William Collins' son, William James Collins, owned land just southeast of here along Highway 53. The community of Ludville is 1.7 miles father southwest along Highway 53.
Scarecorn Creek, Pickens County, Georgia
This meadow, just to the right of the top photo, is a half-mile southeast of Hinton, Georgia, and is probably where the corn grew so fast it looked like it was "skeerd," said to the the source of the name of the creek. Pickens County is where the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains meets the Georgia Piedmont region. The area is beautiful in its variety, containing four mountains over 2400 feet which are visible from many vantage points all over the county, deep gorges carved by creeks such as the Scarecorn and Talking Rock, rolling hills, and many broad, fertile meadows such as the above. The Collins, like many, attempted to farm this land, and some row crops are grown there today including corn, but the land is best suited for cattle, and vast majority of the cleared land is in pasture.
Ball Creek Baptist Church, Pickens County, Georgia
Ball Creek Baptist Church, on Highway 136, 3.2 miles northwest of Blaine, Georgia, was organized on 5 August 1857. Delilia Langford Collins was a charter member. At the church, there is a memorial to the charter members. Her name is on lower right (see photo below). Delilia was the wife of Miller Collins
The principal minister involved in the formation of the church was the Rev. Robert Jordan, father of the infamous Capt. Benjamin F. Jordan, leader of the Pickens County Home Guards. I believe a raid by Jordan's Home Guards led to the Scared Corn-Ryo Murders. Ben Jordan was married to Frances Jane Brackett, whose mother was part of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, and probably related to Nancy Brackett, whose name also appears on the list of females below.
Talking Rock Creek, Pickens County, Georgia
The name is a translation of a Cherokee word "nunyu-gunwaniski," which means "rock that talks." There are two sources for the name of this creek. One is that there was an old Indian legend of a rock or cliff somewhere along the creek that had an echo . The other is that a "talking rock" was the key element in a practical joke Cherokees played on the uninitiated. Supposedly, they had carved "Turn me over!" on the rock. The rock was heavy, and required great effort to move. If the effort was successful, the victim found the following words on the bottom: "Turn me back over and let me fool somebody else!"
The Talking Rock is certainly a creek that babbles. Here it crosses Highway 136 (the Old Federal Road) in a steep and deep valley just north of Ball Creek Baptist Church. In the foreground are shoals that were probably the original creek crossing.
Hinton Methodist Church and Scared Corn Campground
The church, and the adjacent "camp meeting house" are a half-mile from Hinton, Georgia, on Highway 136 Connector. It was in the church on 27 August 1865 that Berry and Boswell Collins were killed by Elijah Nalley and Francis Graveley. This incident, and a subsequent shoot-out near Ryo, Georgia, in Gordon County, about 7 miles southwest of here along Highway 53, resulted in the death of Fielding Bell Collins, Elijah Nalley, his sister Grace Nalley, a friend of Fielding Bell's named Ben Smith, and Francis Graveley (see "The Scared-Corn Ryo Murders"). Francis was the son of Booker T. Graveley of Ludville, 1.7 miles southwest of Hinton on Highway 53. Booker Graveley and William James Collins were neighbors in the 1860 Pickens County census. Booker donated the land for the Unity Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Ludville (below) and he and his wife, and presumably his son Francis, are buried in the family cemetery a quarter-mile behind the church. Ludville was named for Thomas Ludwell Langford, son of Mary Collins and George Perry Langford. Mary was the daughter of William James Collins.
At one time, there were probably cabins behind the Hinton church, as well as spaces for wagons and tents, to accommodate those attending the annual "camp meeting," which was typically held for a week in the fall after harvest. The Hinton Cemetery, which contains several Collins graves, is across the road in front of the church.
Greely, Salacoa District, Cherokee County
Greely, which is located in the far northwest corner of Cherokee County about a mile from the Gordon County line, is not a town, but a place distinguished from the surrounding countryside only by the intersection of Salacoa Road and Collins Place, the Salacoa Baptist Church (below), a few homes, and some chicken houses. Collins Place quickly comes to a dead-end in both directions. It is in this area that Jacob Archibald Collins, Jr. and his family settled, as well as other descendants of Jacob and Mary Martin Collins. Jacob Jr. and his wife, Jane Hardin, as well as two of their sons, are buried in the Hutchinson Cemetery, located east of Greely three-tenths of a mile from Salacoa Road on the north leg of Cagle Loop.
The Goshen Baptist Church, where the annual Collins reunion has been held on the second Sunday in September for over 70 years, is located off Jersulam Church Road on Goshen Church Way, off Jersalem Church Road, 4.3 miles from its intersection with Salacoa Road a few miles east of Greely. Unfortunately, my photo of the church did not turn out, and I will have to return for another at some point in the future.
The Collins name did not endure in Cherokee County, and by 1914 there were no families with that surname in the county.
After Salacoa Creek winds it way across the rolling plateau where Jacob Archibald Collins, Jr., settled, it descends the ridge into a gorge so narrow the road had to be cut into the hillside as it winds its way from Greely to near Fairmount on Highway 411.
Pine Log Methodist Church and Campground
The Pine Log Campground, seen here to the left and behind Pine Log Methodist Church, is one of the oldest and largest campgrounds in North Georgia. The Hinton Methodist Church in Pickens County may have had such cabins at one time. Pine Log is one of the oldest settlements in Georgia. Desoto stopped at an Indian village here in 1540, and about 1785 General Washington sent Benjamin Hawkins to the Creek Nation as their Agent, and he too stopped at Pine Log. One of the signees of a treaty with the Cherokee in the 1790s was Chief Yellow Bird of Pine Log. Pine Log was also the home for a time of the Cherokee Chief John Ridge.
Pine Log is home to the historic Bradford Store, c. 1850. Nearby is the very old log house that was once the home of the esteemed Georgia writer Cora Harris which she called "In the valley." Harris lived here from about 1905 until her death in 1935, and visitors included Margaret Mitchell, Rebecca Latimer Felton, and Martha Berry. The home, which dates to the 1820s, is the oldest building in Bartow County, and once was the home of a Cherokee chief, perhaps Chief Pine Log, who governed this area at the time of the removal in 1838. The home, which has been preserved and restored, is located less than two miles north of Pine Log on Mt. Pleasant Road.
Among the earliest white settlers, in the 1830s, was A. J. Covington, a carpenter, and John Gladden had a general store about two miles east of Pine Log on the "Canton Road" (Highway 140) in 1870s. Members of the Collins family married into the Covington and Gladden families in this area, so A. J. and John are probably related by marriage.
William James Collins ran a "poor house" here in the latter half of the 19th century, and James C. Collins, son of Martin and Derinda Langford Collins, married Sallie Covington and was postmaster in Pine Log in 1891-93 and 1898-1919.
Several members of the Collins family are buried in the cemetery.
Cassville, the county seat of old Cass County, a part of which became Bartow County in 1861, is 6 miles south, and Cartersville is 13 miles farther. Fairmount is 3.5 miles north on Highway 411.
On Pine Log
On Cora Harris
Fording the creek
There are still places in Pickens and Cherokee Counties where you have to ford the creek. This is Bryant Creek on Evans Road, just off Jerusalem Church Road in Cherokee County not far from Greely. Such fords were common obstacles to travelers in the early years of these counties.