Spring blooms at Georgia's historic Hardman Farm

Image 1 of 5

It’s one of the most photographed sites in the North Georgia mountains: a lovely gazebo sitting atop a Native American mound.  But few people know the story behind the Sautee Nacoochee Indian Mound or the property on which it’s located, which is why a trip to Hardman Farm might be a perfect addition to your spring travels.

Hardman Farm State Historic Site is one of the newest additions to the Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites network and covers 173 acres in Sautee Nacoochee, near Helen in White County. 

Along with the famous gazebo and mound, the site’s main attraction is the 1870 Italianate mansion, built by Captain James Nichols (whose daughter was named Anna Ruby, and for whom the nearby Anna Ruby Falls is named).  The home’s second owner was Atlanta businessman Calvin Hunnicutt, and its third occupant was former Georgia Gov. Dr. Lamartine Hardman, whose family donated the home to the state back in 1999. 

Tours of the mansion are available to the public, and the fact that much of the furniture inside dates all the way back to the Nichols-era makes it a unique experience filled with fascinating Georgia history. 

As for that famous mound located just across the street from the home, it was likely used as a Native American burial site; Captain Nichols placed the gazebo on top when he moved into the house, which experts say likely saved the mound from destruction (a fate which they say befell many surrounding mounds) over the years.

Along with the mound and the home, Hardman Farm State Historic Site features a Visitor Center, gift shop, and nature trail. The site is located at 143 Highway 17 in Sautee Nacoochee, and operating hours are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursdays through Mondays.  Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for youth ages six to 17.  

The Good Day feature team first visited Hardman Farm when the home opened to the public, but a return visit has been well past due. So, we spent the morning in lovely Sautee Nacoochee, getting a tour of the house and grounds and learning more about the site’s fascinating history. Click the video player above to check it out!