Waleska: A Gem of Georgia

When people ask me where I go to school, I tell them that I attend Reinhardt University. After explaining to them that it is a small school in Gerogia, the person asks where specifically. I say I live in Waleska, a small city here in Cherokee County, Georgia. Some say, “Wait…you go to school in Alaska?” Not exactly. It’s definitely not Alaska, but its a place like nowhere else. Waleska entails endless mountains, breathtaking sights at every turn, and some of the most beautiful views you will ever witness. Waleska may be small, but there is more than meets the eye.

The pavilion of the Funk Heritage Center
The pavilion of the Funk Heritage Center

Tucked away in the heart of this city lies the Funk Heritage Center at Reinhardt University. This heritage center appeals to people of all ages and contains precious and rich history from the Cherokee Indians and early European settlers of the Appalachian foothills. What sets this place apart from others is the incredible amount of artifacts and preserved history from that age. In fact, in 2004 The Funk Heritage Center was awarded the title of Georgia’s Official Frontier and Southeastern Indian Interpretive Center.

The main audience that this place appeals to is mainly elementary school age children, however, there are adults who enjoy attending this center as well. Recently, the Funk Heritage Center hosted an event called the “Georgia History Timeline”. Over 1,500 young students attended the event and learned about Georgia’s invigorating history. This history was told through professional re-enactors and history interpreters.

This heritage center has just a few things that the center offers that make this a hands-on experience:

  • Original 19th-century cabins to explore
  • Volunteers who act as blacksmiths who perform their work right in front of you
  • Informational guides that help explain along the way
  • History interpreters hat pose are living historical figures

These are just a few of the aspects of the center that make it worth-while to go. It also shows an award-winning film,“The Southeastern Indians,” which gives a different perspective of the native people who settled northwestern Georgia.

Of everything that Waleska has to offer, the Funk Heritage Center is definitely worth a spot on the list of places to check out the next time you visit.



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