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Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine

Celebrate History at the Historic Lake Rabun Hotel

Aug 11, 2016 07:56PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Nestled in the forests of the North Georgia mountains is the lovely Historic Lake Rabun Hotel & Restaurant. There are no televisions or telephones in any of the rooms, as they firmly believe in the "step back in time" philosophy of the hotel. The idea of coming up to the Northeast Georgia Mountains is to reconnect with loved ones, with nature, and with yourself. 

The Lake Rabun Hotel is a historical boutique hotel with 8 guest rooms and a two bedroom cottage. They are very close to finishing five additional rooms on the third floor, so there will soon be even more room for guests, which will most likely be ready within the next couple of weeks. 

Also offered is an abundance of concierge services to our guests; massages, facials, horseback riding, zip lining, fly fishing, boat rentals, wine tours, etc. Also on site is an award-winning farm to table restaurant on site that offers locally sourced farm fresh options for locals and hotel guests. 

History of the Lake Rabun Hotel

The Lake Rabun Hotel was built in 1922 by Everett Crow and was called “The Crow’s Nest”.  However, it was funded by Augustus Andreae who was also largely responsible for its architectural design and unique style.  Mr. Crow was unable to maintain his mortgage payments so the property was taken over by Mr.Andreae and his family not long after being built.

Augustus Andreae was a German immigrant and silk merchant who had come to this part of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Pennsylvania for health reasons.  He planted mulberry trees and tried to raise silk worms but was not successful so he began buying land around the Tallulah River and in the valley.  When Georgia Railroad and Power approached him about selling the land so that they could build a lake to generate electricity for North Georgia and Atlanta he exchanged it for land along the shore of the new lake.  Most of the first lake properties were sold by Mr. Andreae to wealthy Atlanta families.  Some of their homes were even built under the supervision of Mr. Andreae.  He is widely credited as being one of the founders of the village of Lakemont near Lake Rabun.

Nearby Tallulah Falls and Tallulah Gorge were booming attractions for visitors and a favorite destination for Honeymooners.   In 1905 the Tallulah Falls Railroad was bringing visitors to Lakemont.  The area was being discovered.  Once Lake Rabun was built it was an irresistible magnet for those who wanted to escape to the mountains, swim and boat in the cool green waters, and share a quality of life with their neighbors most could only dream about.  The Roaring Twenties was in Atlanta but pure fun and moonshine were at Lake Rabun. The hotel became a very popular destination point.

Today the Lake Rabun Hotel is one of the last (if not the last) surviving mountain lodges on a lake in the mountains of North Georgia.  All the others burned or just fell into complete disrepair and disappeared.  It features and illustrates mountain craftsmen from the tree trunks that support it to the custom made laurel and rhododendron furniture that Jimmy Carter once wanted to buy and take to the White House, to the old stone fireplaces inside and out that echo the centuries it’s taken these mountains to form, grow, and become home to creatures small and large, including us.  The Lake Rabun Hotel doesn’t try to be rustic, natural, or historic.  It is. 

Recently restored by a preservationist from the bottom up, it’s stood the test of time, and will be here welcoming guests and serving wonderfully prepared local foods right across the street from one of the most beautiful lakes in the heart of the Chattahoochee Forest for a long time to come.

If you are interested in making reservations or learning more about the hotel, you can visit their website

Content courtesy of Gwen North of the Lake Rabun Hotel

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