Exploring Northeast Georgia – Soapstone Ridge Stone Wall – Kitty Stratton


I am drawn to the mystery of ancient stone walls.  My roots are Irish and British and I grew up climbing on stone walls as a child.  I miss the ancient history of Europe but  the Americas  also have  ancient history.  I’m just not so sure that we have our historical timelines correct.

I have visited stonewalls all over Northeast Georgia, Fort Mountain near Ellijay has a very visible stone wall around part of the summit.  There are stone walls in Habersham County and also near Toccoa in Stephens County.  These are the ones I know of and I am sure there are many more.

Native Americans did not traditionally build stone walls, but left magnificent mounds and other artifacts so we could learn more about their way of life and who they were.

Soapstone Ridge

But who built the stone walls and why?  They are usually located on top of a ridge or mountain, maybe as a lookout for strangers or enemies. 

The section of stone wall on Soapstone Ridge is in the Lake Russell Wildlife Management area and not easy to find.  Don’t expect directions or signs, it has basically been ignored by  historians probably because they aren’t able to fit it into our historical timeline. 

A section of the  stone wall on Soapstone Ridge

It is hard to believe that this line of piled rock is accidental, other photos show a distinct line of rock descending down the mountain.  The wall was hard to find and during our hike we passed the location and it was only on our return that I had a strange feeling about the pile of rocks on the side of the barely used path we had followed.  After climbing over the rocks to the edge of the ridge is when we saw a very distinct wall snaking down the mountain. 

Wall descending from the summit of Soapstone Ridge

I like to believe there was a settlement on this ancient ridge and now all we can see is the ruins of a bygone age.   Future generations would appreciate and benefit from understanding our collective ancestry.  How hard could it be to protect this site and supervise  archaeological excavations to see what we could find under this tumble down pile of stones?   We may be amazed! 

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