The land is of significant historical importance to Jackson County. In 1820 Barak Norton, one of the early pioneers to this region, settled on the picturesque property located in Whiteside Cove. Sarah Whiteside Norton, the first white child of settlers in Jackson County, was born there.
In 1934 James E. Warren purchased the 300 acres and built a chestnut log cabin there. In 1971 James’ grandson, John, and his wife Marsha moved back to the area and began restoration of the family cabin, which had been deserted for 20 years. After three years work, they made it their home. At James’ death, the 300-acre estate was left in a family trust.
John and Marsha placed 132 acres into a conservation easement with Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust (HCLT). The Warren Estate is home to Polly’s Branch, part of the headwaters of the Chattooga River, a National Wild and Scenic River. Numerous rare and endangered plant species have been identified on the land, and the surrounding forest serves as wildlife habitat for many animals, birds and fish that will remain protected in perpetuity.