The Beacon is owned by two families – Catharine Graham and Sharon Magee, and David, Ellen and Hannah East. We’re next-door neighbors and friends who share a love of people, travel, hospitality, and this beautiful little town of Hartwell. We’re not from here, but after years of being “weekenders” the Easts and the Graham-Magees became permanent residents of Hartwell just a few years ago. We brought with us a desire to help this community grow, and to be an integral part of it.
The story of this B&B began with donkeys. Sitting on our adjacent docks on the shores of Lake Hartwell, we could hear donkeys braying. And that made us curious – we’re on a lake … where the heck are those donkeys? Catharine and Sharon went searching and found the donkeys and this beautiful 53-acre farm perched on the shores of Lake Hartwell. They were enchanted, and soon the rest of us were too. It seemed perfect for a B&B, and well … here we are. We are delighted to welcome you to The Beacon and hope you will love it as much as we do.
The story of our name
Why are we called The Beacon? Here’s the story: Back in the 1920s, commercial airlines started delivering mail to provide faster service. It was well before radar was invented, so pilots followed giant cement arrows embedded in the ground every 25 miles. The system was installed all over the US, but Hartwell was on the path of the Atlanta-New York City route. In the 1930s, lighted towers – or “beacons” -- were added so pilots could fly at night. Hartwell’s beacon was located just down the road from our property, on Beacon Light Road.
Interestingly, it was believed that the Hartwell Beacon, Beacon #9 on the route, no longer existed. In fact, historians believed the only beacon that still existed in the state of Georgia was in Cartersville. But just recently, thanks to the diligence of our own Catharine Graham and our friend and local surveyor Aaron Blomberg, Beacon #9 was discovered very near the corner of Beacon Light Road and Old Beacon Light Road. We encourage you to go check it out while you’re here – you’re seeing a piece of aviation history! To learn more about the beacons, go here: