Union County Courthouse Museum
Type:Museum, Courthouse
Clock and bell from the original courthouse
This Clock works and bell is from the original courthouse. The present restoration effort will replace this with a lighter electronic clock and bell.
This article mentions Ann Faraby, who passed away in December, 2001. She was a friend, and we are deeply saddened

Deep inside Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains is a gem of a museum. For 100 years the red brick Union County Courthouse was the center of life for the people of Blairsville. Today that structure is home to the Union County Historical Society (page), and it is filled with the historical artifacts of the Society. While the museum is designed to chronicle life in Union County and the Blairsville area, it captures the spirit of the Georgia settlers who moved to this rugged mountain country more than 150 years ago.

The history begins as you approach the building. Our recommended route approaches the courthouse from the north and gives you an idea of the size of the building. Parking is allowed adjacent to the museum, next to the wall that encircles it. The town square has become a traffic circle, and just as in many north Georgia towns, the square houses the original courthouse.

Early rendition of the courthouse
Union County Courthouse
As you enter The Union County Courthouse Museum, you take a step back in time. Deep, rich hues of the well-worn wood floor guide us to the center of the building where we are greeted by Ann Faraby. Mr. and Mrs. Faraby have been recognized by the Georgia legislature for their work in preserving the history of the area, and deserve the award, although Ann tells us that the museum is the work of many people.

The current project when we last visited (Spring, 2000) is rebuilding the clock tower. The original clock and bell works sit in the large room at the center of the museum. The restoration will replace the original with a lightweight electronic works. Here is where we sign in and add our donation to this worthy cause.

Exhibits in the rooms are wide-ranging. One of our favorites is the display on Harlan T. Duncan, who spent 23 years as a Union County Sheriff. It includes his uniform, pictures from throughout his career, from his days as a State Patrol officer to his service as sheriff. Another exhibit covers the life of Union County poet and author Byron Herbert Reece and includes photos and personal items of the late writer. Other rooms feature similar exhibits from dolls (in a rather unusual dollhouse) to 1960's style parking meter (that's one piece of history we remember). Upstairs is the restored courthouse, now used for meetings.

So much has been donated to the Union County Historical Society that a second location a block south of the courthouse has been added. Known as The Annex, this building is full of a wide range of historical items. Also at this location is the 1860 home of John Payne, a local resident.

Location: Downtown Blairsville
Directions: From Atlanta take I-75 to I-575. This road becomes the Georgia Mountain Parkway in Tate. Continue to Blairsville. Turn right on U. S. 19 south. The courthouse museum is directly in front of you, two blocks ahead.
Additional information:
The museum is open to the public May through October (Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 am to 4 pm). Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for those under 6 years of age.
Union County Historical Society
One Town Square
PO Box 35
Blairsville, GA 30514
Date added: November 16, 2003
Last update: December 1, 2005

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