Starting at the Chamber of Commerce (388 Hwy 64 Business) turn right from the parking area and proceed around the circle. As you follow around the circle you can see the “Best L’il Corner Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor” and their popular antique museum. The first right is “Yellow Jacket Drive” which takes you to the Clay County Schools seen on your leftl. (It used to be known as the Hayesville Men and Women College (1891-1898), students boarded in small cottages on the outskirts of the campus.)
Going half way around the circle will take you towards our town square and on your left you will see the Old Jail Museum, built in 1912. The Clay County Historical and Arts Council operates the museum from Spring to Autumn. The museum features the Dr. Killian exhibit, old jail cells, am extensive collection of photographs taken in Clay County in the 1920’s and 1930’s and much more. Be sure to venture down the exterior stairway to the Cherokee Homestead Outdoor Exhibit. More information at www. clayhistoryarts.org
The Historic Courthouse Square is located one block from the museum at the stop sign. The Historic Clay County Courthouse, built in 1888, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Turn right onto Hiawassee Street and proceed left around the Square. (One way traffic). The Square is the site for several community events throughout the year including the Festival on the Square, Trick-or-Treat on the Square, Car-B-Que, Hayesville Evening Market, Summer Concerts and Saturday Farmers Market. More information at www.ncmtnchamber.com Just off the Square,on Anderson Street, next to the Post Office is the Hayesville Centennial Exhibit where you can spend hours reading about our County’s history and look at a large selection of old pictures. You can also go down Church street and follow signs to visit the Peacock Performing Arts Center (one of our 2 Theaters in Hayesville, the other is the Licklog Theater on Creekside Circle off Hwy 69). Exiting the Square, turn right on Main Street. Down the hill at the stop sign (Tusquittee Rd.) the Moss Memorial Library will be on your right. Turn left on Tusquittee Street and about .5 miles is the Tom Day Bridge over the Hiwassee River. Clay county is in the Hiawassee River Watershed, meaning that all the water flows off the mountains and into the Hiawassee (or Hiwassee). This is a Cherokee word meaning savannah.
Over the bridge on the right at the corner of Jarrett Rd & Tusquittee Street is the site of the Peavine Railroad that linked Hayesville with the town of Andrews in Cherokee County. The railroad was completed in 1920, and saw declining use until 1951, when the rails were removed and sold.
From here, continue to TUSQUITTEE LOOP