City of Helen
Mayor's and Commissioners' Welcome
Welcome to the City of Helen, better known as "Georgia's Alpine Village," and what we like to think of as Bavaria in the Northeast Georgia Mountains.
If you are a regular visitor, you already know about our variety of events and places to visit as well as all the natural resources we enjoy. We are adjacent to The Chattahoochee National Forest, and there are many areas within driving distance to explore such as Unicoi State Park, Sautee-Nacoochee and the Richard Russell Highway. For a first time visitor give yourself enough time to simply enjoy all the beauty of our town and where it is located.
We are proud of our town government and employees, our local businesses, restaurants, shops and golf course. We are committed to the quality of your visit, and to your full enjoyment of what our Town and area has to offer. We hope you share our deep appreciation of our downtown beauty, the Chattahoochee River. Please take advantage of all we have to offer while at the same time respecting our natural resources.
Our website is designed to provide information to our residents, businesses and our visitors. We hope you'll explore it and let us know what you think. Please share your thoughts with us and let us know if there is more information you'd like us to include.
Please visit our Welcome Center on Brucken Strasse behind the Post Office in Helen or stop by our beautiful City Hall. We'd love to meet you.
On behalf of our entire City Commission, our employees, businesses and residents of Helen, we're glad you have chosen our community for your vacation. Have a wonderful time.
History of Helen
The history of Helen and the surrounding areas offers a fascinating variety of stories that include some of the earliest native hunters and gatherers in North America as well as some of the most advanced native chiefdoms with monumental architecture and intensive agriculture. Included are Colonial stories of the interaction of traders and militia units with Cherokee towns. Helen and its environs have seen the passage of early pioneers traveling by wagon to settle in the fertile valleys, followed by gold miners seeking their fortunes and later lumber barons seeking theirs.
In January 1969, three Helen businessmen were meeting at a local restaurant. They were wondering if there wasn't some way to spruce up the old main street and encourage the tourists to stop on their way north into the mountains. One suggested he would speak with an artist that he knew from church in Clarkesville. That artist was John Kollock, whose family had deep roots in the area. John agreed to take some photos and draw up some sketches. He was inspired by seeing the town nestled in a small mountain valley and recalled his time in service in Germany and his visits to Bavarian towns in similar mountain valleys. The resulting sketches were well received by the citizens and the merchants.
By the fall of 1969, Helen had reinvented itself and many of the old buildings had new facades. The fall leaf season brought new visitors and later new merchants as well. Over the last 40 years the town has grown dramatically adding new ventures, shops, and venues with varying amounts of success. The story of Helen's reinvention is one of local entrepreneurship and civic cooperation that changed a dying lumber town into Georgia's third most visited city.
Courtesy: Chris Brooks & David Grear, Co-Authors "Images of America — Helen" , 2012
More History about Helen can be found at,
Helen Arts and Heritage Council http://www.helenarts.org
Sautee Nacoochee Community Center http://snca.org
White County Historical Society
Helen has many wonderful things to interest all of the family all year round. From golf to tubing, arts and crafts, festivals and Oktoberfest of course.
Even if you are coming to Helen for a day or even a few weeks you can find all the information about having a fantastic time at the Helen / White County Convention & Visitor's Bureau.