The county was named for Col. James Walker Fannin, who fought for the independence of Texas and was killed in the Goliad Massacre after the fall of the Alamo.
Prior to that time, the land belonged to the Cherokee Indians. The fate of the Cherokee in North Georgia was sealed when gold was discovered in Dahlonega in 1829. Georgia’s gold rush created more problems between the settlers and the Indians, and in 1830 The U.S. Congress passed the Cherokee Removal Act, which ultimately resulted in the tragic “Trail of Tears.” In 1860, the first Fannin County census counted 900 families or 5,139 residents. When the Civil War began in 1861, most residents were small subsistence farmers, who had little interest in the slave issue and had mixed loyalties, some for the south, some for the north.
Rural Communities and Settlements
Some of the most unique and fascinating features of Fannin County are its historic rural communities and settlements. These “hollers” or coves are often in isolated and remote areas surrounded by mountains and nestled along the banks of a picturesque stream or river.