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Georgia

COUNTY FACTS

Page 1

Click on the county name below to see the county facts:

APPLING
ATKINSON
BACON
BAKER
BALDWIN
BANKS
BARROW
BARTOW
BEN HILL
BERRIEN
BIBB
BLECKLEY
BRANTLEY
BROOKS
BRYAN

 

 Appling County

     Appling County Map

The county was named for Colonel Daniel Appling, who was considered Georgia's most outstanding soldier in the War of 1812. The county was created in 1818 from treaty lands obtained from the Creek Indians.

At one time, Appling County was known as the "Turpentine Capital of the World."

Incorporated in 1875, Baxley was named for Wilson Baxley. Baxley was an early settler who, like most of the early white settlers in the area, came from coastal North Carolina. He operated a general store where the town later developed.

Lake Mayer and the Altamaha River are available for boating, swimming, and fishing in the county.

The Georgia Power Company's Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Power Plant is located in the county on a 2,200-acre site on the Altamaha River. Completed in 1974, the Hatch Plant makes Georgia Power one of the county's largest employers.

Annual events in the county include the week-long Baxley Tree Fest and Ditch Water Jazz Festival in April, the Piney Bluff Festival in November, and Baxley's "Celebration of Light" Christmas Parade in early December.

The Neoclassical Revival-style Appling County courthouse was built in Baxley, the county's second seat, in

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appling County Courthouse

The Neoclassical Revival-style Appling County courthouse was built in Baxley, the county's second seat, in 1907-8.

 

Atkinson County

     Atkinson County Map

The county is named for William Yates Atkinson, who served as Governor and Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives. Willacoochee is home to McCraine's Turpentine Still, a preserved wood-burning turpentine still of 19th-century design that operated from 1936 to 1942. Atkinson County, created from Clinch and Coffee counties, has a county courthouse that was constructed in 1921. Pearson, was named to honor Benjah Pearson who served in the Indian War of 1838.

The Minnie F. Corbitt Memorial Museum was established in 1955 in the first residence built in Pearson (1873). It is dedicated to the memory of South Georgia pioneers and their way of life.

The city of Willacoochee is home of the "No Name Bar," fondly referred to by the late Lewis Grizzard in many of his columns.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Pearson was known as the "Chess Capital" of the state. The town hosted four consecutive championships, and Pearson residents made up one-fourth of the membership of the Georgia Chess Association.

Completed in 1920, the courthouse in Atkinson County is located in Pearson, the county seat.

Atkinson County Courthouse

Completed in 1920, the courthouse in Atkinson County is located in Pearson, the county seat. Built in a Neoclassical Revival style, the courthouse was renovated during the early 1980s.

 

Bacon County

     Bacon County Map.

Georgia's 149th county was named for Senator Augustus O. Bacon, a four-term U.S. Senator who died in office.

Alma's name is an acronym composed from the first letters in the names of Georgia's four state capitals: Augusta, Louisville, Milledgeville, and Atlanta. Alma is the only incorporated municipality in Bacon County.

There are three buildings on the National Register of Historic Places in Bacon County: the Bacon County Courthouse, the Alma Depot, and the Rabinowitz Building.

Alma and Bacon County share a 110-acre recreational area for team sports, swimming and picnicking. Additionally, four city-owned parks and six privately owned facilities provide many recreational opportunities.

There are two wildlife management areas in the county, the Bacon Area and the Whitehead Creek Area, both which allow hunting.

The Bacon County Courthouse, built in Alma in 1919, was placed on the National Register

Bacon County Courthouse

The Bacon County Courthouse, built in Alma in 1919, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Completed five years after the county's creation, the original courthouse is still in use today.

 

Baker County

     Baker County Map

Georgia's 61st county was named for Colonel John Baker, a Puritan and noted patriot of the Revolutionary War. Baker County was created from Early County in 1825.

The Baker County Courthouse has been damaged by floods three times, once in 1925, once in 1929, and most recently in 1994.

Newton, the county seat, was named for Sergeant John Newton of South Carolina, a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

The last battle of the Creek Indian War of 1836 was fought in Baker County at Chickasawhatchee Swamp near Red Bluff. Indian villages were first recorded in the Baker County area by Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto in 1540.

Primarily an agricultural community, Baker County produces peanuts, cotton, canola, poultry, and beef.

Baker County is home to several plantations, ranging in size from 5,000 to 28,000 acres. The largest is Ichauway Plantation, once owned by Coca-Cola magnate Robert Woodruff. The plantation now houses the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, one of the largest outdoor research centers in the world. Scientists study local vegetation, water systems, and wildlife, including 32 species of endangered plants and animals found on the plantation.

This schoolhouse, built in Newton in the 1930s, was remodeled in 2000 to serve as

Baker County Courthouse

This schoolhouse, built in Newton in the 1930s, was remodeled in 2000 to serve as the permanent courthouse for Baker County. The county's historic courthouse was damaged in 1994, when it was flooded to nearly the second floor by the Flint River.

 

Baldwin County

     Baldwin County Map

Georgia's 27th county was named for Abraham Baldwin, a member of the Continental Congress and author of the bill to create the nation's first state university, now the University of Georgia.

Milledgeville was laid out in 1803, designated as the state capital in 1804, and incorporated in 1806. The city served as state capital until that honor was transferred to Atlanta on April 20, 1868. Milledgeville, named for Governor John Milledge, is the county's only incorporated city.

The historic district of Milledgeville includes the Old State Capitol and Governor's Mansion, as well as a number of noteworthy private homes. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Milledgeville is the only surviving example of a complete "Federal Period" city. It is also the only city designed specifically to be a state capital.

With 15,330 acres of water and 417 miles of shoreline, Lake Sinclair is an important recreational resource for the county. The State of Georgia has a strong presence in the county with the Middle Georgia Correctional Institution, Central State Hospital, the Youth Development Center, and two University System units.

Notable Georgians from Baldwin County include the Honorable Carl Vinson, who served Georgia as a U.S. Congressman for 50 years; writer Flannery O'Connor; and comedian Oliver Hardy. Georgia College's Ina Dillard Russell Library is home of the Flannery O'Connor Collection and includes manuscripts by O'Connor and her personal collection of more than 700 books and journals.

Baldwin County is home to a number of festivals and events including water skiing tournaments in July, the Brown's Crossing Craftsmen Fair in October, and the Candlelight Tour of Homes in December.

The present Baldwin County courthouse, located in Milledgeville, was built in 1995-97 and was designed

Baldwin County Courthouse

The present Baldwin County courthouse, located in Milledgeville, was built in 1995-97 and was designed by the architectural firm Brittain, Thompson, Bray, and Brown.

 

Banks County

     Banks County Map

Banks County was created in 1858 from parts of Franklin and Habersham counties. It was named for Dr. Richard E. Banks, a circuit-riding physician who treated the settlers and Native Americans of northern Georgia and South Carolina.

The first county courthouse was completed in 1863. It was constructed of hand-made bricks in the Greek Revival style. It is on the National Register of Historical Places and now serves as a museum and office space.

Homer, the county's only municipality, was incorporated in 1859 and was named after Homer Jackson, a prominent settler.

The northern boundary of Banks County is the Chattahoochee National Forest and much of the county is woodlands.

Banks County is the home of the World's Largest Easter Egg Hunt (according to the Guinness Book of World Records) hosted by Garrison Farms.

For over 110 years, the Sunday School Celebration, honoring Banks County's churches, has been held each July.

The Banks County courthouse in Homer was built in 1987 to replace the county's original

Banks County Courthouse

The Banks County courthouse in Homer was built in 1987 to replace the county's original courthouse, which was constructed during the Civil War. The new courthouse stands on the block directly behind the site of the original courthouse.

 

Barrow County

     Barrow County Map

Barrow was created in 1914 as a way of settling a dispute among the citizens of the City of Winder, which at the time was located at the juncture of three counties. A new county was created from parts of Gwinnett, Jackson, and Walton counties, with Winder designated as the county seat. The new county was named for David Crenshaw "Uncle Dave" Barrow, long-time chancellor of the University of Georgia.

Winder was incorporated in 1893 when the Seaboard Air Line Railroad was built through the town. It was named after the president of the railroad, John H. Winder of North Carolina.

Before being incorporated as Winder, the town was called Brandon. Prior to that, it had been known as Jug Tavern. The city of Russell in the county was one of 187 inactive municipalities to lose their charters in 1995 as a result of a 1993 Act of the General Assembly.

Fort Yargo State Park is located in the county. The park includes the old Fort Yargo, a log fort constructed in 1792 for protection from the Creek and Cherokee Indians.

Richard B. Russell, Jr., who served as governor of Georgia and as U.S. Senator from 1933 to 1971, was from Barrow County. His father, Richard Russell, Sr., was Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court from 1922-1938 and swore in his son as governor.

On July 7, 1914, Barrow County was formed from portions of Gwinnett, Jackson, and Walton

Barrow County Courthouse

On July 7, 1914, Barrow County was formed from portions of Gwinnett, Jackson, and Walton counties. Located in Winder, the Barrow County Courthouse was built in 1920.

 

Bartow County

     Map of Bartow County

Bartow County was established in 1832. Originally called Cass County, the County was renamed to honor Francis Bartow, Confederate Colonel who was the first officer of either side to die in combat at the First Battle of Manassas in 1861. Bartow County is located in the scenic foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and is home to Allatoona Lake, Etowah Indian Mounds, Red Top Mountain State Park, Barnsley Gardens Resort, Roselawn Museum, the Booth Western Art Museum, Weinman Mineral Museum, and Euharlee Historic Area.

The county provides a habitat for one endangered plant, the Jeffersonia Diphylia (Twin Leaf), and three endangered animals: the Indian Bat, the Red Cockaded Woodpecker, and the Southern Bald Eagle. Bartow County also enjoys a strong economic base, made up of a diverse mixture of businesses and industries. Located in the metropolitan Atlanta area, Bartow County has maintained a strong sense of community and is proud to claim that it is the best place to work, live and raise a family.

Bartow County's Neoclassical Revival-style courthouse was built in 1902 and designed by Kenneth McDonald and

Bartow County Courthouse

Bartow County's Neoclassical Revival-style courthouse was built in 1902 and designed by Kenneth McDonald and J. W. Golucke. It is located in the county seat of Cartersville.

 

Ben Hill County

     Ben Hill County Map.

Ben Hill County was created in 1906, from Irwin and Wilcox counties, and was named for Benjamin Harvey Hill, U.S. Senator from Georgia, a Whig leader, and a staunch opponent of Reconstruction.

The Historic District on South Lee and South Main streets in Fitzgerald is listed on the National Register. The old railroad depot is now home to the Blue/Gray Museum.

The county has only one incorporated city, Fitzgerald, which was founded by former Union soldiers on a 50,000 acre tract owned by the non-profit American Tribune Soldiers Colony Company. The citizens of Fitzgerald, pledging unity with their former enemies, named streets after leaders of both armies. The early concentration of population in the city aided the county's industrial development. The colony also founded the first public school in Georgia to offer free books and tuition.

Fitzgerald and Ben Hill County maintain nine recreational parks and one river access park at the Ocmulgee River. These facilities offer playgrounds, team sports, natural areas, meeting and concert shelters, and public boat ramps.

Events include the Blues and Grays Festival in October, the Ebony-in-Arts Festival in the Spring, Colony City Chase in October and the Fourth of July Celebration.

Ben Hill County's first and only courthouse was built in either 1907 or 1909. Designed

Ben Hill County Courthouse

Ben Hill County's first and only courthouse was built in either 1907 or 1909. Designed by H. H. Huggins in the Neoclassical Revival style, the building originally featured a clock tower, which was removed during renovations in the 1950s.

 

Berrien County

     Berrien County map.

Berrien County was created in 1856 from Coffee, Irwin, and Lowndes counties. The county was named for John McPherson Berrien, a U.S. Senator and Andrew Jackson's Attorney General.

Berrien County had one of the state's earliest post roads, the Coffee Road. It was opened in 1823 to channel settlers' crops to Florida.

Nashville was named for General Francis Nash of North Carolina, a distinguished soldier of the Revolutionary War. Alapaha, named by Cherokee Indians who once lived there, means "smiling sunshine" or "laughing water".

The Berrien County Courthouse is located in Nashville, the county seat. Built in 1898 and

Berrien County Courthouse

The Berrien County Courthouse is located in Nashville, the county seat. Built in 1898 and still in use today, the courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Bibb County

     Bibb County map.

The county, the 54th county formed, was named for Dr. William Wyatt Bibb. Dr. Bibb lived in Elbert County, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the U.S. Senate. He was appointed governor of the Territory of Alabama in 1816 and became the first elected governor of that state.

Macon was incorporated in 1823 and named after Senator Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina - the home state of most of the early white settlers in the area. Macon's City Hall served as the temporary state capitol from November 1864 to March 1865.

Macon is home to Wesleyan College, founded in 1836 as the Georgia Female College, the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women.

In Macon there are 11 National Register Historic Districts and 2 national Historic Landmark as well as a national momument.

Macon is home to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. These two facilities play an integral role in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Macon. The Italian Renaissance Revival Mansion, the Hay House, was built in the 1850. This National Historic Landmark is over 18,000 square feet and has 24 rooms decorated with museum pieces.

Georgia's largest African American museum, Tubman African American Museum, offers fourteen exhibition galleries, a resource center and magnificent 63-foot mural depicting African-American art, history and culture. Permanent collections are accompanied by touring national and international exhibitions by well-known African American artists.

The Douglas Theatre, built in 1921 by black entrepreneur Charles Douglass, is a restored historic theatre that has hosted greats like Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ida Cox and Cab Calloway. The Douglass Theatre now pays tribute to the African American influence on film and theatre.

Two notable Georgians from Bibb County are Sidney Clopton Lanier (1842-1881), poet, author, and musician, and the late Otis Redding, the recording star whose hits included "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay".

The Italian Renaissance Revival Mansion, the Hay House, was built in the 1850. This National Historic Landmark is over 18,000 square feet and has 24 rooms decorated with museum pieces.

The most popular event in the county is the Macon International Cherry Blossom Festival held in March. The city has more Yoshino cherry trees than anywhere else in the world, and people come to the annual festival to see the trees.

Other festivals include the annual First Night Macon, Tubman Museum Pan African Festival in May, and the Georgia State Fair.

Bibb County's fourth courthouse, completed in 1924, was remodeled in 1940 as a WPA project.

Bibb County Courthouse

Bibb County's fourth courthouse, completed in 1924, was remodeled in 1940 as a WPA project. It is an example of Neoclassical Revival architecture.

 

Bleckley County

     Bleckley County Map

The 145th county formed in Georgia, was created in 1912 and was originally part of Pulaski county. The county was named for Georgia Supreme Court Justice Logan E. Bleckley, a poet and philosopher.

The Middle Georgia College Museum is housed in the 1870s Pace House, home of the first president of the college. It is said to be the oldest home in Cochran.

The county has one municipality, Cochran, the county seat. Cochran was named for Arthur E. Cochran, president of the Macon & Brunswick Railroad, who was influential in the development of the county.

The Ocmulgee River and Game Preserve offers fishing, boating, and hunting to outdoor sports enthusiasts. The Ocmulgee Wildlife Management Area, shared with Twiggs County, is another attraction.

Cochran is home to Middle Georgia College, recognized as the oldest two-year college in America. It is one of the original units of the University of Georgia System.

Festivals in Bleckley County include the Spring Hillside Bluegrass Festival and the Barksdale Blast.

The Bleckley County Courthouse, located in Cochran, was built in 1914 in a Neoclassical Revival

Bleckley County Courthouse

The Bleckley County Courthouse, located in Cochran, was built in 1914 in a Neoclassical Revival style. Renovations and several additions have been made to the building since its original construction, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

 

Brantley County

     Brantley County Map.

The county was formed in 1920 from Charlton, Pierce, and Wayne counties and was named for Benjamin D. Brantley, a member of a prominent local family, although some historians claim the name honored State Senator William Goodman Brantley of Brunswick.

Since the Okefenokee Swamp is to the south and west of the county, passage through Brantley County was essential to the railroads running from the coast through the southern part of the state.

Fort McIntosh was built in the early years of the Revolutionary War to protect the extensive herds of cattle. It was placed under siege from Tories in 1777 and eventually surrendered.

Fort Mudge was built in the county at about the same time. This fort was immortalized by Walt Kelly in the "Pogo" comic strip.

Nahunta sounds as if it has an Indian name, but in fact the name is a colloquialism derived from railroad maps and a sign, "N.A. Hunter Siding."

The 35,789-acre Dixon Memorial State Forest, shared by Brantley and Ware counties, is administered by the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Brantley County residents also have access to the Harrington Tract Wildlife Management Area (shared with Glynn County) and the Rayonier Wildlife Management Area (shared with Wayne County).

The scenic Satilla River winds its way through Brantley County, providing opportunities for boating, fishing and camping.

The Bluegrass Festival is held in the Spring and the Fall of each year. Other special events include the Hoboken Trojan Fest and the Christmas festivities held the first Saturday in December.

The Brantley County Courthouse was built in 1930 in Nahunta, which was selected in 1923

Brantley County Courthouse

The Brantley County Courthouse was built in 1930 in Nahunta, which was selected in 1923 over the town of Hoboken to be the county seat. An addition to the original building was constructed in 1978.

 

Brooks County

     Brooks County Map.

The first settlers, in what is now Brooks County, were Spanish missionaries from Florida who arrived around 1570. Brooks County was formed from parts of Lowndes and Thomas counties and was named for Preston Brooks, a member of Congress prior to the Civil War and an avid defender of state rights.

During the Civil War, the county was the main producer of food for the confederacy and became known as the "Breadbasket of the South."

The county's courthouse was constructed in 1864. Brooks County officials paid for the structure with $14,958 in Confederate money, a fortunate circumstance for the county, since this currency was soon to become useless.

The county is home to several endangered plant and animal species including the Pond Spicebush, the Wood Stork, and the Eastern Indigo snake.

The Quitman Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, contains late 19th and early 20th century brick buildings in the commercial district and mainly wood frame homes from various periods and styles in the residential area. The streets are laid out in a grid with several central parks.

In 1859 the home of Thomas Folsom in Quitman was used as Brooks County's first

Brooks County Courthouse

In 1859 the home of Thomas Folsom in Quitman was used as Brooks County's first courtroom. Later that year, work began on a permanent courthouse. The Civil War slowed the building's progress, and it was not finished until 1864. In 1892 the courthouse underwent extensive renovation.

 

Bryan County

     Bryan County

Bryan County was the 16th county formed in Georgia, from parts of Chatham county. It was named for Jonathan Bryan, a member of the King's Council who accompanied Oglethorpe and was an early critic of oppressive English rule.

Fort Argyle, established by General Oglethorpe on the Ogeechee River, was to protect Savannah from Florida's Spaniards. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Also listed on the Register is Fort McAllister, a Civil War fort with the best preserved earthwork fabrications of the Confederate period.

Fort Stewart, a large U.S. Army training facility, completely divides the northern and southern portions of the county. The northern portion of the county is served by an east-west rail line and Interstate 16 which links Atlanta, Macon and Savannah. The southern portion is crossed by Interstate 95, which follows the coast from New York to Florida.

The Civil War movie Glory, starring award winning actor, Denzel Washington, was filmed in Bryan County.

Henry Ford bought a home in Bryan County, Richmond Hill Plantation, in the 1920s. He provided health care and educational opportunities for many county residents. Also of interest to tourists are the Ford Kindergarten Building (1937), St. Anne's Church (1925), and the Henry Ford Community House.

Annual special events in the county include the Fourth of July Barbecue, Picnic and Craft show; the Labor Day and Winter Musters; and the Memorial Day Confederate Re-enactment.

The Bryan County courthouse in Pembroke was built in 1938. Its architectural style is Neoclassical

Bryan County Courthouse

The Bryan County courthouse in Pembroke was built in 1938. Its architectural style is Neoclassical Revival.

 

All information from the Georgia Encyclopedia (www.georgiaencyclopedia.org) and the Georgia government website (www.georgia.gov).

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