Tallulah Falls

Towns in Rabun County

Tallulah Falls, Georgia

Several hotels were built in Tallulah Falls in the 1870s to accommodate growing numbers of tourists to the spectacular waterfalls in nearby Tallulah Gorge. Tourism and hotel construction exploded in 1882 when the Tallulah Falls Railroad reached the town. Georgia’s first environmental battle began in 1910 when Georgia Railway and Power Company, the predecessor of Georgia Power, started building a dam on the Tallulah River on the rim of the gorge for a hydroelectric plant. The conservationists lost a court battle aimed at halting the dam’s construction; Tallulah Falls dam was completed in 1913; and the “Niagara of the South” became a shadow of its former self. As a result, tourism steadily declined. Just before Christmas of 1921, a blazing inferno destroyed the entire town. When Highway 23/441 was built in the 1960s, it bypassed Tallulah Falls, whose population dwindled further. Since 1992, the town has benefited from the creation of Tallulah Gorge State Park. Also located in the town is the Tallulah Falls School, a college preparatory school founded in 1909.

Visit our Museum

Want to learn more about Tallulah Falls and the people and events that shaped the history of Rabun County? The Society’s museum is free and open to the public.