The White County History Museum is located in the old courthouse on the Cleveland square and is home to White County Historical Society. The building was completed by a local contractor using local labor and handmade bricks in 1859. It was utilized by the White County government until 1962 when a new, modern courthouse was completed just south of the square.
The museum houses artifacts that depict life in the north Georgia mountains for the past 150 years, a large collection of genealogical records, and newspapers from the late 1800's. to present. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
LOCAL HISTORICAL SITES
In addition to the old courthouse museum, White County has many other historical sites. Around the Cleveland square there are several buildings that date back to the early 1900's. A brochure available at the museum provides a history of the square and is titled “A Look at Historic Downtown Cleveland, Georgia”.
Just one block off the north side of the square the old jail houses the White County Chamber of Commerce, also on the National Register of Historic Places. To the east is Cleveland Historic Cemetery 1866 and the Telford-Kenimer historic home on the northeast side.
Other places of interest include four religious camp meeting sites, first gold discovery site, Sautee-Nacoochee Indian mound, Crescent Hill Church, Kellum Valley, Unicoi State park, Smithgall Woods historic site, Hardman farm, home of Meaders pottery site.
The old courthouse provides a room specifically for recognition of past military involvement in all wars and conflicts. The collection includes items used in the War Between the States, World War I and World War II, as well as artifacts and uniforms from the Revolutionary War to Iraq and Afghanistan.
WHITE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
White County Historical Society was chartered in 1965 with a 12 person Board of Directors. When the new courthouse was built White County leased the old building to the Society to begin a history museum. Monthly meetings with interesting programs are open to the public, as is membership in the Society. A monthly newsletter is published for members and the Society sponsors several special events throughout the year including “Pottery Comes to Town”, Recognition of Veterans, hosting reunions for employees of past manufacturing companies in White County, providing a field trip to a historic place in the county annually and participating in events hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and the Art and Soul of the Northeast Georgia Mountains.
The museum is open from 10:00am to 3:00pm, Thursday through Saturday and admission is free. Parking is available on the square, but please be careful when crossing the busy road that surrounds the building.