“The name Havilah comes from the Bible in the book of Genesis…a land just outside of the Garden of Eden where the Pison River flows into Havilah… “where there is gold and onyx”. The North Georgia Mountains has exactly that…” gold” (real gold) and “onyx” (black bear!). In fact, nearby Dahlonega, Georgia was, in 1838, a Federal Mint where gold currency was made. In 2000, Tracy & Kimberly Ward purchased 6.43 acres and began dreaming of the get-away house that might be built someday for themselves and their 4 children.

By 2003, the initial plans had been drawn up, the house location had been selected and cleared, and the long driveway was constructed including the crossing of one of the property’s streams. The estate we call ‘Havilah’ borders (along the East side) the Chattahoochee National Forest and is only 6 miles from the official Southern starting point of the Appalachian Trail. The moment one arrives at the entrance to the property, the world of pressure & stress begins to melt away as you drive up the 600’ long driveway into the center of the forest. After leaving your vehicle and walking up the large stone steps, the hectic world is washed away as you enter the mud hall and drop your bags, boots, and coat and take a deep breath. In fact, the mud hall is the comfortable back door entry. There is no traditional formal front door or foyer because this is a place for friends and family…and good friends & family always come in the back door! For the Wards, this place was a labor of love for almost a decade. Their gratitude to God, the great Architect of the universe, is summed up in the limestone cornerstone laid in 2005 engraved with words from the book of Matthew 21:42- “the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes”.”

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