“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Toccoa in Stephens County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

Staley Cottage

Staley Cottage Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 18, 2013
1. Staley Cottage Marker
Shortly after her move to Toccoa Falls, Sarah Staley, a retired New York City principal, began construction on a white clapboard house that she believed would become her residence. However, God had another purpose in mind for the house and for the life of Sarah A. Staley. After retirement, Sarah had moved to Asheville, North Carolina, where she lived near Richard Forrest's former college roommate William McDuffie and his wife Lillian. Richard and William had worked for Miss Staley during their days as students as The Bible Training Institute (Nyack College) in Nyack, New York. Sarah hired both young men to do house chores at her Nyack home.

When she heard Richard and Evelyn Forrest were starting a school in the foothills of northeast Georgia, Sarah's interest was stirred, and she made it clear that she wanted to return to the classroom. Her decision to join the Forrests in their endeavor proved to be God inspired. She moved to Toccoa Falls the same day the Forrests arrived in Toccoa and worked right alongside them cleaning and preparing the inn for the student that would soon arrive from Golden Valley, North Carolina. Once classes were underway, Sarah began construction on her own house on the hill overlooking Haddock Inn. The view from this knoll was and remains spectacular.

Tragery struck on May 7, 1913.
Staley Cottage Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 18, 2013
2. Staley Cottage Marker
Sarah Staley was on her way to Haddock Inn to teach a class when she noticed the inn's roof was on fire. She immediately went into shock. After gaining her composure, she hurried down the hill to warn the others, but it was too late. While everyone escaped without injury, within 45 minutes Haddock Inn lay in smoldering ruins. At the time of the fire, Rev. Forrest was in Miami, Florida, on business. When he returned home, several members of the faculty expressed serious concern about containing, but Sarah's faith was not shaken. When he asked her what they should do, Sarah looked at Richard dead in the eyes and said, "We'll go on. We can't stop. The Lord has called us to do this work. There's my house up on the hill. Use it any way you like." Richard took her up on the offer, and the Staley Cottage became the headquarters for Toccoa Falls Institute.

Sarah continued to teach at the college until her death on January 13, 1917. Before she died, Sarah Staley transferred ownership of her home to Dr. and Mrs. Forrest and to Toccoa Falls College. This is when her home became known as Forrest Cottage. It later became the home of Kelly and Alice Barnes. Sarah's grave in Atlanta, Georgia, bears this inscription: "Sarah A. Staley, October 7, 1844-January 13, 1917. Beloved Toccoa Falls College teacher and friend. She trusted God and gained the eternal victory!"

This historical marker is placed in honor of the Centennial Celebration 1907-2007. Donated in memory of Sarah Staley by Patrica McGarvey (1978).
Erected 2007.
Location. 34° 35.533′ N, 83° 21.617′ W. Marker is in Toccoa, Georgia, in Stephens County. Marker is on Forrest Drive. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Toccoa GA 30577, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Morrison Hall - Old Barn (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bandy Music Hall (about 500 feet away); Haddock Inn (about 600 feet away); Alan Todd Yearwood Memorial Garden (about 600 feet away); Bandy Cottage Alumni House (about 600 feet away); Gate Cottage (about 600 feet away); Ring Music Hall (about 800 feet away); Forrest Hall - Ball Field (about 800 feet away); Paul & Mary Williams Memorial Chapel (about 800 feet away); The Old Toccoa Falls Power Plant (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Toccoa.
Also see . . .  Sarah Staley. For years, Sarah Staley’s unmarked grave rested on a windy hillside in Westview Cemetery overlooking the very place where the Battle of Atlanta was fought. In October 2001, on what would have been her 157th birthday, college alumni and officials placed a marker on her grave. (Submitted on February 27, 2013, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
Categories. Notable Buildings
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 222 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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