Tucked away within the beautiful mountain valley setting of Brasstown Valley is the town of Young Harris, the second largest community in Towns County, Georgia. Quiet, charming, spiritual and educational are just a few words that epitomize the town of Young Harris. It’s one of those mountain towns that rolls-up the streets early, and is more tranquil in nature than what most people would expect from a small college town.
The town of Young Harris had its origins in the founding of Young Harris College established in 1886 as the McTyeire Institute, named after a Methodist Bishop Holland McTyeire. The school got its start when a local circuit riding Methodist minister Artemas Lester, saw the need for residents of the mountains to receive access to a more formal education. Isolated from the outer world during its formative years the college was placed in the hands of a local wealthy resident named Judge Young L.G. Harris. The judge kept the school going during the hard times of its early development. Today Young Harris College is an outstanding educational center within a stately college setting of both historic and newer constructions.
A small local community of businesses providing services to the college sprang up along the roadway next to the school once it was established. Around 1894 people started to refer to the slow growing community as the town of Young Harris with the Young Harris College as the centerpiece of the community.
Young Harris is the home of the theatrical play and the official Georgia state historic drama, “The Reach of Song,” by poet Byron Reece. The play is preformed at the college’s Clegg Fine Arts Center.
Outside of young minds being formed at the college, what draws the majority of visitors and new residents to the area is the mountain beauty and a sense of tranquility that the area has to offer.
Young Harris has history, culture, heritage, a premier resort with a championship golf course, a vineyard, excellent lodging, cultural expressions, fine dining and local eateries, as well as miles and miles of hiking trails, horseback riding and fishing. Towering above all those options are Brasstown Bald Wilderness Area, the tallest mountain in Georgia, and in the valley below the mysterious Track Rock Archeological Area, a unique Native American archeological site for history buffs and curiosity hounds.