Mayor Mary Helen Lamb
8891 Fincher Rd
Waleska, GA 30183
Located in the northern portion of Cherokee County along State Routes 140 and 108 is the quaint community of Waleska. Home to almost 900 residents – the population increases to 1,250 when residential students from Reinhardt University are counted – the town has a rich history. Settled in the early 1800s primarily by the Reinhardt, Sharp, Rhyne, and Heard families, the community was thriving by 1856 when the crossroads was home to a store, cotton gin, and tobacco factory. A post office was soon to follow, and the town was incorporated in 1889. The name Waleska dates to the mid-1800s when area farmers Lewis Reinhardt and his wife named it in honor of Warluskee, the daughter of a nearby Cherokee chief, to show their sympathy for the Cherokees as they were forced to move west.
Today, the city is home to Reinhardt University, a four-year, coeducational liberal arts institution. Since its founding by A.M. Reinhardt, the school has anchored the town’s economy and added to its culture, most notably through the Funk Heritage Center, which is dedicated to the art and history of Southeastern Indians and European settlers.
Perhaps Waleska’s best asset is the people. The residents of the small, close-knit community pride themselves on caring for and protecting one another. Waleska’s city leaders are working to enhance the inviting feel of the community and to capitalize on the wonderful sense of place a visitor experiences in town. Waleska is also home to the historic Cline’s Store, which was constructed in the 1920s as a general store. Once a place where local residents could purchase all types of supplies ranging from shoes and school supplies to potatoes and horse collars, the nearly 100-year-old building reopened in 2014 as an antique store. The historic feel of Cline’s makes it a must-see for all visitors to Waleska.
- Incorporated in 1889
- Accessible via State Routes 140 and 108
- Population: 734
- Home to the 134-year-old Reinhardt University