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Traveler's Rest and the Tugaloo Crossroads


Dr. Robert Eldridge Bouwman



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On Georgia Highway 123, amid the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, stands Traveler’s Rest Historic Site. The house stands within two miles of the Cherokee village, Tugaloo. During the mid-eighteenth century, a wave of European-American migration filled the land east of the Appalachians, eventually settling at the southern end of the Great Wagon Road. Robert Eldridge Bouwman’s historic non-fictional work Traveler’s Rest and the Tugaloo Crossroads was named for this location and the inn that resides there.

The book compiles many accounts of the Inn at Traveler’s Rest, a site once inhabited by Native Americans—now a national landmark. Bouwman explains the development of Traveler’s Rest as a stagecoach inn/tavern into its long years as a plantation center; through Civil War and Reconstruction, the gradual decline of the families and property is taken to the present century. The historic building was owned by four significant families, and the book recounts their lives through the different eras. Traveler’s Rest becomes the physical embodiment of history transfigured into legend. The history of Traveler’s Rest is the history of a people and a heritage, reflected in the structure that developed throughout the years.

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