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Toccoa Falls

Toccoa Falls is a waterfall with a vertical drop of 186 feet (57 m), on the campus of Toccoa Falls College in Stephens County, Georgia. Toccoa was the Cherokee word for "beautiful" and Toccoa Falls is one of the many waterfalls of North Georgia.



Some claim that Toccoa Falls is the tallest free-falling waterfall in the Eastern United States, though at least four others are taller:


Stereoscopic view of Toccoa Falls by J. A. Palmer, 1870

A sad tradition is connected with the Falls of Toccoa. A white woman, a prisoner of the Indians, it is said, was compelled by them to betray a party of the whites, who were encamped in the neighborhood. Under pretence of leading them by a secret path to a safer position, she led her unsuspecting victims, blindfold, one by one, to the brow of the precipice and suffered them to walk off the brink.

Another tradition relates how a fair, innocent boy, a child of the white race, was dashed down the precipice by an Indian, a sacrifice to the demon of revenge in his savage bosom.[1] Probably there is little truth in either tale. It is natural for men to love the embellishment of beautiful scenes with imaginative legends. [2]

Dam breakEdit

During the early morning hours of November 6, 1977, after five days of almost continual rain, the dam that impounded the waters of Kelly Barnes Lake (located above the Toccoa Falls College campus) burst, and 176 million gallons of water surged through the campus below in the space of a few minutes. Most of the college personnel who lived in the path of the flood were asleep at the time, and 39 of them were swept to their deaths in the raging waters of Toccoa Creek. The dam was not rebuilt.[3]


  1. ^ Skinner, Charles M. (2006). 'Lights and Shadows of the South: Toccoa Falls'. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. p. 139. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  2. ^ Ellet, E. F. (1840). Rambles About the Country. Boston: Marsh, Capen, Lyon, and Webb. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  3. ^ Historic U.S. Dam Failures – Archived February 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 34°35′46″N 83°21′36″W / 34.59611°N 83.36000°W / 34.59611; -83.36000