From All Over the World They Come to Toccoa…
We often take for granted the very things that others see as most amazing. Our natural resources and abundance of history is what helps to make Toccoa beautiful. Last year alone 14,704 visitors walked through the doors of our Welcome Center, located in the historic train depot. Those visitors included residents from all 50 of the United States of America and 27 foreign countries.
We hear all kinds of interesting stories from those who enter our doors. We always ask “Where are y’all from?” And after hearing about their journey, I have often asked, ”Where are y’all headed?” More often than not, I get the response “Right here in Toccoa!” As surprising as that may seem, it’s the truth! Folks from all over the globe set out to make the trek to Toccoa, Georgia to experience the natural beauty of our mountains, lake and rivers, hiking trails and water falls and to visit our Currahee Military Museum.
Last year alone we welcomed visitors into our Welcome Center from:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, South Wales, Thailand, the United Kingdom and from every State in the U.S.A.
What’s the big draw, you might ask? The Stephens County Historical Society maintains the Currahee Military Museum located in the old train depot where soldiers arrived before they made the five-mile hike to Camp Toccoa. The Museum is the home of photos, documents and memorabilia of World War II, including one of the most popular exhibits which is a horse stable from Aldbourne, England that served as housing for 506th Infantry Regiment, American paratroopers. The stable,17x70 feet long, serves as a reminder of some of the finer living conditions during the war. More than 18,000 paratroopers trained at Camp Toccoa prior to and after D-Day. Also located in the train depot is the Stephens County History Museum full of local exhibits that tell the history of Stephens County for the past 100 years.
The Currahee Military Museum and Toccoa's annual Currahee Military Weekend, (which is the first weekend in October every year) celebrate and preserve the legacy of Camp Toccoa, which took men directly from civilian life to the battlefields of World War II as a new type of soldier called “paratrooper”.
In recent years, Camp Toccoa has become a destination for historians, tour groups, reunions, and especially veterans returning to visit their "home" during training. Currahee Mountain is part of the Piedmont province and rises sharply about 800 feet above its surroundings and is the highest peak in Stephens County Georgia. Adjacent to the Chattahoochee National Forest, Camp Toccoa has become a favorite place for camping, hiking, horseback riding, sightseeing, and to the place to run footraces following the footsteps of the soldiers run of "Three Miles up, Three Miles down" – CURRAHEE!
For more information about Camp Toccoa visit www.CampToccoaatCurrahee.com . For more specifics about the museums call the Stephens County Historical Society at 706-282-5055 or check out the Currahee Military Museum website, www.ToccoaHistory.com. Stop by for a visit, Currahee Military Museum, over 15,000square feet of history, right in our own backyard in Toccoa! See you soon!