Appraisal of the Archeological Resources, Buford Reservoir in Hall, Forsyth, Dawson and Gwinnett Counties, Northern Georgia


The Corps of Engineers is constructing a large power and flood control dam on the upper Chattahoochee River in north central Georgia. The dam site is located 3 1/2 miles from the little town of Buford and about 25 miles from Gainesville. From this point the reservoir area will extend up the Chattahoochee for about 35 miles, and a lesser distance along the various tributaries, occupying parts of Hall, Forsyth, Dawson, and Gwinnett counties. The dam is expected to begin holding water in 1955. The maximum power pool elevation will be 1065 feet M.S.L.

At the request of the National Park Service the River Basin Surveys of the Smithsonian Institution undertook a survey of the reservoir area to determine whether any important archeological sites would be covered by the waters to be impounded behind the dam. The investigation was carried out from November 15, 1950 to April 7, 1951. About 60 prehistoric sites were located and a number of small test excavations were made. This represents the fifth archeological reconnaissance of threatened river valleys in Georgia.

The survey showed that the area within the Buford Reservoir had been visited by prehistoric man over a period of several thousand years and, during certain intervals, had been rather extensively occupied. Considerable important scientific information will be lost when the area is flooded. It is recommended that a small salvage program be carried out at a few localities where the archeological remains are unique or represent prehistoric cultures largely unknown, but that the majority of sites be allowed to go under without further examination.

The results of the survey are presented briefly in the following pages. The concluding sections list the specific recommendations and cost of salvage.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to Sheila Kelly Caldwell for her investigations of the historic Vann house and of the old Flowery Branch culture, the results of which were drawn upon in the formulation of this report. Midway in the season Mr. Charles E. Thompson joined in the investigation. He assisted in the test excavations and helped prepare a separate report on the Booger Bottom mound (Caldwell, Thompson, and Caldwell, 1952).

The representatives of the Corps of Engineers gave every possible assistance in the work. Especial thanks are extended to Mi. Charles Jackson, Resident Engineer, Mr. Emmett Cook, and Mr. Francis F. Guscio of the Division Office for their help. The Department of Archeology and Anthropology of the University of Georgia, under the directorship of Dr. Arthur R. Kelly, supported the project throughout the survey and subsequent laboratory analysis.

Cite this Record

Appraisal of the Archeological Resources, Buford Reservoir in Hall, Forsyth, Dawson and Gwinnett Counties, Northern Georgia. River Basin Survey, Smithsonian Institution. 1953 ( tDAR id: 428093) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8FF3W3M

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -84.023; min lat: 34.102 ; max long: -83.963; max lat: 34.154 ;


General Note: The digital materials in this collection were processed by the Veterans Curation Program (VCP), and include archival photographs, finding aid, original report, oversized material database, photographic material database, and scanned asset key. Additional digital materials held by the VCP include accession documents, additional archival photographs, additional report, appraisal documents, box labels, a burial form, container lists, correspondence, document folder listing, environmental impact statement, excavation report, initial data collection, maps, newspaper articles, notes, oversized material labels, photographic material labels, preliminary reports, records inventory sheet, records removal sheet, sketches, survey documents, and telegrams. For additional information on these materials, refer to the finding aid.

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Original-Report--Buford-Reservoir-Sites-1951-1955--0035-0099.pdf 9.91mb Apr 17, 2017 10:53:55 AM Confidential

Accessing Restricted Files

At least one of the files for this resource is restricted from public view. For more information regarding access to these files, please reference the contact information below

Contact(s): US Army Corps of Engineers Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections, St. Louis District