HistoryCohutta Springs History
During the mid-1800’s, Cohutta Springs was known locally for its medicinal powers. There are seven mineral springs flowing from the heart of the mountains. People would come from all around to fill their jugs with the special healing water. It is said that Alexander Stephen, a Confederacy vice president, visited the springs.
Sometime between 1916 and 1920, Ed Coffey built a resort hotel with ten rooms over the Cohutta East Branch Creek. He constructed a wooden reservoir on the side of the mountain and water was piped down for usage from the motel and cabins. The cabins each had stone chimneys and were enclosed with stone retaining walls. Mr. Coffey was a salesman for Delco batteries and generators so he provided electricity to the buildings. A stone dam was built to create a lake for a swimming area and a fishing spot. A Grist Mill was added for grinding grain and on the second floor was a dance hall where square dances took place Saturday nights. The Coffey Brothers played the music.
Following World War II, Cohutta Springs had fewer and fewer visitors. Many thought that Cohutta Springs was a thing of the past, until 1977 when the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists purchased the original North Cohutta Springs property consisting of approximately 550 acres. Two years later, ground-breaking ceremonies were held for a $5 million dollar convention center project.
The initial phase of Cohutta Springs Conference Center was completed in 1983 and featured an auditorium, one motel unit, cabins, a cafeteria, and gymnasium. A dam was built and a 55-acre lake was created for boating, swimming, and fishing. Horses were brought in for horseback riding and hiking trails were forged. The legacy of beautiful Cohutta Springs had taken on new roots.
Over the years the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists purchased additional tracts of land and built up the complex. Today, Cohutta Springs consists of 750 acres along with a 55-acre lake. The conference center has a “new and improved” auditorium, dining hall, and three motel units which were renovated in 2002. The camp side originally designed for summer youth camp had 9 of 12 cabins renovated in 2007 and in 2008 the camp cafeteria was expanded. The RV Park located near the entrance is also the gateway to the Ropes Challenge course which offers a variety of elements that develop team building skills. In 2009 the conference center lodge received a new roof, paint inside and out, carpet, and decor. Through the years the facility has grown, and so has the number of guests, coming from all over the world. Cohutta averages 30,000-35,000 guests annually.
Unfortunately, the old buildings from the past are no longer with us. However, the history remains alive through the springs that bring healing, cool water, feeding the lake that surrounds Cohutta. New cabins and motels have replaced the old but the quiet relaxation is present and fellowship of today continues the tradition of long ago.