In 1856, Hiawassee was designated as the county seat for the newly formed Towns County, which was taken from parts of Rabun & Union County, GA. However, settlers began moving to the area starting in the 1820's. In 1870, Hiawassee was incorporated as a town and then a city in 1916.
Before the settlers moved to the area, Hiawassee was originally inhabited by the Cherokee, which is were most of our local area names come from. The name Hiawassee comes from the word Ayuhwasi, meaning meadow. The Cherokee gave this area its name from the large, fertile valley that was located along the river. In 1942, the TVA constructed the Chatuge Dam on the Hiawassee River and flooded the valley.
Hiawassee has grown since its founding in 1856 but still holds on to its small-town values and way of life.