Historic Scenic Loop Six
Directions: GA 16 East from Putnam County line to GA 77 to GA 15 to GA 16 in Sparta (this loop is officially part of the Scenic Byway). After entering Hancock County proceed on GA 16 through the forested scenery to the intersection with GA 77 where you will find the 200-year-old Baxter’s Mill on Shoulderbone Creek. Just behind the mill you will see the Vinson-Harris-Lovejoy house. Turn left or north on GA 77 for one of the most quietly scenic routes of the Scenic Byway. Shoulderbone Indian Mounds, listed on the National Register in 1976, is along this route and currently is restricted but there are plans to revitalize this archaeologically significant area. Turn right or south on GA 15 to Sparta. You will pass through Mt. Zion, which was once a thriving community of some 30 homes with a post office, newspaper, and boys’ school. It boasted fine homes with names such as Pleasant Valley, Rocky Hill and Cornucopia as well as the Mount Zion Academy. The school was started by Nathan S. S. Beman and his brother Carlisle P. Beman. Nathan was offered the presidency of the University of Georgia in 1818, but declined due to his wife’s ill health. Carlisle was the first president of Oglethorpe University. One of the few surviving structures is the Mount Zion Church located on your right. As you proceed down GA 15, you will notice the Hollis house on your right. This is actually three houses, circa 1786, 1812, and 1820. The original dwelling was an 18th century farm house; the main part of the house circa 1820 was moved from Powelton; the third section is the Brookins-Mullaly house circa 1812 which was moved from four miles east of Sparta.