According to the papers of Walter McElreath, Lost Mountain resident and one of the founders of the Atlanta History Center, Lost Mountain got its name from an old Cherokee legend.

In the tale, the beloved daughter of a Cherokee chief eloped with a member of an enemy tribe the night before she was to be married to a Cherokee man her father chose for her.

Racked with sorrow, the chief spent the rest of his days staring at the mountain to which his daughter escaped, muttering “Lost, lost.”

In a different version of the story, published in the Jan. 29, 1869, edition of the Marietta Journal, the chief kills the suitor and chases his daughter onto the mountain. When he does not return, others form a search party and discover that the father and daughter died together under an oak tree after becoming lost on the mountain.

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