Thomas and Elsie Harvey retired to Hiawassee in 1977 after raising their 3 children in Stockbridge, Ga. Thomas, a WWII Vet went to work for the CCCs after the war. He helped develop Vogel State Park in Blairsville, GA and always wanted to settle in the North Georgia Mountains and run his own campground.
He and Elsie bought an old farmhouse and some land and turned the place into Mountain View Campground. Taking advantage of the quiet neighborhood surrounding the campground and gorgeous backdrop of Swallows Creek Wildlife Reserve, the park needed few amenities. Families loved the simplicity of the space and the unbridled hospitality of Tom and Elsie.
In 1983, the couple's two grandsons, Wyatt & Matt, came to live with them. Tom and Elsie encouraged their grandsons to learn the popular mountain activity of clog-dancing and built a Music Barn on the property so the boys could entertain campers and locals with their twin fiddles and harmonies. The Music Barn also provided a gathering place for Tom & Elsie's Fish Frys and BBQs.
When Elsie passed away in October 2002, the campground was full of campers most of whom had been regular campers for years. The wonderful support of Tom's camping community was a testament to the love and respect that the couple had cultivated throughout the years. Tom continued to run Mountain View Campground until he passed away in 2013 at the age of 91.