The fall and holidays are highlighted by activity and there is much to see and taste with spices and aromas wafting in the air. With all you can experience, you’ve found Cave Spring is one of a kind.
Cave Spring has a rich heritage. Although settlers established the town around 1832, history speaks of the indigenous people living here long before. Fishing the creeks and hunting game in the forests and woods Native Americans, specifically, the Cherokee Nation, found it a special place to assemble for tribal gatherings and games.
The last remaining structure that attests to Cherokee living is called the Cherokee Vann Cabin, which was re-discovered in 2010. The cabin is a special find. It had almost been forgotten with all the additions and trappings attached that were disguising its whereabouts. It had served as an apartment house, a doctor’s office, an antique shop and landscaping and nursery, and more. When work began to reclaim the property, workmen uncovered the cabin finding it in surprisingly good shape. It is the oldest building in Cave Spring, recently restored, and is open daily to visitors.
With the unquestionable draw of centuries past the pure spring water that streamed through the cool, natural limestone cave, still holds interest and attraction.
The water continues to serve as an excellent drinking water source. It has been noted by the FDA as the second purest water source in the U.S. The Cave Spring pumping station produces nearly two million gallons a day, enough to quench the thirst of countless Floyd County residents. Many still come and fill their jugs and containers with genuinely pure water.
In 1864, Civil War soldiers from both armies came to Cave Spring for rest and recuperation. Larry Dolan, Executive Director of the Cave Spring Downtown Development Authority relates how fortunate it was the town was spared from Sherman’s scourge, and 32 antebellum structures are still standing today. To explore the historic homes and buildings such as the 1867 Presbyterian Church, an 1880 train depot, and 19th-century hotels and boarding houses left from those early times is a treat for history buffs. Rolater Park came to be in 1931 when the land was willed to the town by Dr. Joseph Rolater, once a student at the Cave Spring Manual Labor School, now known as the Hearn Academy. He bequeathed the 29 acres of land so named in his honor. Rolater Park has formerly been the site for educational institutions including the Georgia School for the Deaf. It is now a frequent site for showcasing entertaining events and activities.
A glimpse of Cave Spring and its beginnings must include the almost miraculous story of Chubbtown. Geographically, it is a mile outside of the county but the hearts and minds of Cave Spring claim its kinship.
The unincorporated town was founded by Henry Chubb and his eight sons who built a colony of free African Americans in 1864. They provided necessary goods and services to both white and black residents of the surrounding area. It was a thriving community in its time with a post office, school, sawmill, general store, and coffin factory. It is said that when General Sherman learned what the men of Chubbtown had accomplished, he declared their buildings to be spared from union torches. The Church, now known as the Chubb Chapel, was built in 1870 by the Chubb Family, friends, and neighbors. Destroyed by a flood in 1917, all but the chapel was lost. Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is currently the only remaining non-residential structure of the original Chubbtown.
Descendent of Henry Chubb live throughout the area, and some have received national recognition. Nick Chubb starred as a star running back at the University of Georgia from 2014-17, while his cousin Bradley was an outstanding defensive lineman for the University of North Carolina. Both went on to play professionally, Bradley for the Denver Broncos and Nick for the Cleveland Browns. Both have proud family ties to Chubbtown.
The Fairview-Brown School dates to 1924 when it was established and known as a Rosenwald School. It was so named after Julius Rosenwald, the second CEO of Sears, the largest retail store during the early 1900s. Rosenwald’s philanthropy included improving educational facilities for African American children and garnered the help of Booker
T. Washington in his endeavors.
Together they built approximately 5,000 such schools throughout the United States. Upon his retirement from Sears, he donated 62 million dollars for the perpetuation of the schools. Only 500 have survived, representing just 10% of the communities willing to preserve this historic landmark. Cave Spring is one of the few.
Larry Dolan says that the seven-member Downtown Development Authority board is challenged to promote and build Cave Spring business and industry: Awareness being the key.
“During the last decade, Cave Spring has enjoyed a new awakening. With the help of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers and leaders ready to offer support, much has been accomplished. Of course, the summer Arts Festival is always a popular hit. Because the show vendors entrants are vetted by committee, attendees can expect to see arts and crafts and products they can appreciate.
One of the successful things we have done recently has been to get attention from filmmakers. We offer a perfect setting, and during the last eight months, six films have been produced here. We were pleased that this is where they chose to shoot most of the movie Scary Fun, scheduled to premiere in October. Also, a Georgia lottery commercial, some mini- series, music videos, and documentaries are included in the mix, shot at several Cave Spring locations. We plan to continue soliciting the film industry, which not only brings us additional revenue when they are working here but also attracts the attention for other filming projects.” Dolan added that a recently created video of Cave Spring is expressly directed to appeal to film producers. It will be viewed on social media and other outlets such as YouTube.
He says that everyone is also excited to see the completed renovation of the beautiful 1810 caboose which, in its day, ran the main line between Rome and Memphis. “The train would stop over for lunch here. It is a welcomed addition to our venue.
“For a small town, we have excellent attractions. Our restaurants get rave reviews. The gift shops, the general store, and the antique stores stay busy. Especially on the weekend, this place is teeming with people.”