Euharlee or as it was first known, Burge’s Mill, was first named for Nathaniel Burge (1790-1849), an early settler born in Bristol Parish, Virginia. Nathaniel first came to Cass County from Gwinnett County, Georgia as early as 1837 after purchasing 800 acres along Euharlee Creek and the Etowah River. Burge built various mills along Euharlee Creek, near its confluence with the river. The name Euharlee is a Cherokee word which means, “she laughs as she runs”. Other early settlers followed and soon established the Mount Paran Church, forerunner of the current Euharlee Baptist Church.
On January 12, 1852, Burge’s Mill was incorporated as Euharleyville with Thomas W. Brandon, E. B. Presley, Leonard Morgan, Allen Dykes and B. D. Dykes as town commissioners. The year 1853 saw establishment of the Euharlee Presbyterian Church. The Mount Paran Baptist Church established the first school there in 1853, called the Mount Paran Academy. The Baptist’s built the school between both the Baptist and Presbyterian churches.
On September 16, 1870, the town was renamed and incorporated as Euharlee, the Academy being in the center, and with Dr. Franklin R. Calhoun, Elihu G. Nelson and Thomas Tumlin as commissioners. Euharlee was rechartered in 1976 with a mayor and council. Of interest is the fact that Euharleyville retained its charter with the State of Georgia up until July 1, 1995, at which time it was purged from the state rolls.
The Mount Paran Academy, renamed the Euharlee School in 1870, burned in 1891 or 1892. Classes resumed at several homes in Euharlee until in 1896, the new Euharlee Presbyterian Institute was opened at a site now occupied by the Euharlee City Hall. The new two story building with two adjacent dormitories served Euharlee’s educational needs for the next 18 years. On September 10, 1914, Bartow County took over operations of the old Institute renaming the facility the Bartow Rural High School. The old Institute building was torn down by Bartow County in 1952 and replaced with a new modern facility housing the Euharlee Consolidated School. By 1960, the new school had closed and all students assigned to other Bartow County schools.
The most prominent historical landmark in Euharlee is the old covered bridge across Euharlee Creek, built in 1886 by Horace King. This is the third wooden bridge to have spanned the creek in that spot. The first bridge collapsed on March 5, 1881 followed by a second bridge that was destroyed by flood.
Another covered bridge had been built across the Etowah River in 1859 and named for Madison Milam, a local landowner who had operated a ferry nearby. However it was burned by retreating Confederate forces in May, 1864. This bridge was not replaced until 1912 using steel construction. The skeletal remains of this second Milam Bridge can still be seen spanning the river approximately a half mile upstream from the current concrete bridge on Euharlee Road.
The foundation of the old Lowry Mill can still be seen near the north end of the Euharlee Covered Bridge. Daniel Lowry (1813-1893) came to Euharlee in 1864, purchasing large tracts of land , as did his son Dan, Jr. (1845-1902), beginning in 1870. Together they accumulated over two thousand acres. Land was used for both farming and manufacturing, which included a grist mill, flour mill and cotton gin. With the passing of time, Lowry descendents either sold or donated much of their property, some of which was acquired by the City of Euharlee. This includes two commissaries, a cow shed and general store, all dating to the early 1900’s. The City maintains each of these old buildings plus the old travelers’ well, hand dug in the early days of Euharlee’s existence; the old Militia District Courthouse, dating before the Civil War, and a calaboose or jail, all of which attest to Euharlee’s historic past and unique charm. Euharlee was rechartered in 1976, with a mayor and council type government.
Source: History of Bartow County, Georgia, Formerly Cass by Lucy Josephine Cunyus; The History of Euharlee by Euharlee History Committee.