Did you know that Samhill really exists in Georgia? It has been a real place since Augustine Sams, the founder, purchased this lakefront property, this remarkable place on April 18, 1938. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Did you know? This phrase “Where in the Sam Hill?” first originated in the early 19th century America. It was considered vulgar and improper to use profanity in civilized conversation. This included the word ‘hell’. This expression was the result of altering the word ‘hell’, using ‘hill’ instead to deem it proper use in public. The use of the name ‘Sam’ is believed to have been derived from Samiel, the devil in Carl Maria von Weber’s opera Der Freishuetz, first performed in New York City in 1820. Upon pulling those two words together, listeners were able to quickly realize that the speaker was referring to hell.
I believe you will agree that the Samhill I will be sharing about here is clearly a little piece of heaven…the furthest thing from hell.
My life-long friend, Evelyn, one of Augustine Sams’ grandchildren, grew up going to Samhill every summer with her family. Evelyn and I, along with six other girlfriends first met at Fernbank Elementary and later graduated together from Druid Hills High School, Class of 1976. The eight of us have been fast friends ever since. Occasionally as we grew, we would get to join Ev’s family up on Lake Blue Ridge at Samhill during the summer seasons. In more recent years, our growing families have joined us on our trips to visit with our friends at Samhill.
The history behind this home has always intrigued me.
As the old yellow screen door closes on the 67th Samhill season and we sadly depart for home through the golden leaves of October, I am reminded that our generation, too, has reached its autumn years. The photos in Big Daddy’s first Samhill album have all turned into sepia brown tones, the sure sign of aging. Our hair is no longer the shade it was a few years back, and what is left of it no longer protects us from Samhill’s summer sun. Beneath our feet, darting here and there as we put the final touches on another season’s Close-up, are the always-busy bunch of children from Generation Number Four. They are blowing that internal bugle! But that’s what Samhill is all about. It’s about “letting it all blow out” in God’s great out-of-doors. It’s about growing up together and becoming responsible people, and making great family memories. And all of us learned that at Samhill. Aren’t we blessed to have it? Richard H. and Marion A. Sams October 2006
Mountainous and majestic Lake Blue Ridge first evolved in 1927. Samhill was purchased as a resale for the price of about $750.00, by Evelyn’s Grandfather in 1938, when Ev’s Daddy was a small five-year old boy. Augustine Sams, was looking for a place “for his boys to spend their summers in the out-of-doors”. Now, I am sure all who know about Samhill would agree that a price tag cannot be placed on this jewel of a place in the North Georgia Mountains.
According to Mamo (Ev’s Grandmother), the family headed up to check out this lakefront home that was on the market. Sharing a picnic halfway down the path to the lake where those large black stained white quartz rocks still outcrop in the warm summer sun, this family of six, with four active boys, fell in love with the place and wanted it.
Currently co-owned by the children of these four brothers, this haven continues to be a place of refuge where families come from near and far, traveling from Colorado, Florida, and other states to relish their ‘window of time’ in this home away from home. Favorite pastimes include floating in the lake, passing the day sitting on the back porch, paddle boarding, fishing, tubing and boating, and a nightly, competitive game of horseshoes. Who would have ever thought the friendship started between Mamo and Big Daddy that first took root when they were children and neighbors would lead to marriage and then the incredible legacy that is Samhill in Blue Ridge, Georgia today.
Time is forgotten when you are at Samhill.
As I shared in one of my latest post: Let’s Go On An Adventure! , Jane Ellen, Jan and I so enjoyed our adventure of another summer visit with our dear friend, EV, and her family at Samhill.
And speaking of ADVENTURE, our family of six, with our two newlywed couples, are about to embark on a trip of a lifetime!
I will return here on Monday, July sixth with some thoughts about our family excursion, a reflection about honesty among best friends, as well as other musings.
Ever since the first picture was carved into a cave wall, human beings have searched for words and symbols to express love, hate, anger, fear, happiness, grief, and every other state of the human heart. We’re still searching. Writing is, in part, an attempt to express our most passionate feelings, to give voice to what had before been voiceless. Writing can help us locate the center of our emotions, navigate the passages of our lives, and reflect on the meaning of our experience.”
Rebecca McClahan, author of Write Your Heart Out: Exploring and Expressing What Matters To You
Keeping a personal journal between the years of 1989-2012, I have always found it cathartic to put my inner thoughts down into words. I expressed some of the reasons I write in an earlier post entitled Why I Write.
Will you head to the Dollar Store or another convenient retail spot and pick up a small blank journal to record your Summer 2015 thoughts in. You could make it a goal to start on July 1, 2015. Don’t be intimidated by the blank page! Just write like you are talking to a best buddy.
I want to take this time to say thanks for all who take a few minutes twice weekly to read and contemplate my thoughts recorded in my Pages. My hope is that now and then, a quote or a thought shared here will stay in your heart aiding you in your journey. It means a lot for you to support me in my writing efforts. Thanks for sharing a post whenever you feel like it. Consider private messaging Facebook friends who you believe might enjoy reading my Pages. If they “LIKE” my blog page: Pages From Joan, my new posts will show up on their feed.
Or, as always, folks can add their email on my home page here in order to receive an email notification when I have put up my twice weekly posts.
And finally, as we draw closer to the Fourth of July, May God Bless America!
Another summer in the books at Samhill!
Facebook Post by Brooke after her annual summer visit to Samhill, as she headed back to her home in beautiful Breckenridge, CO