Click on the county name below to see the county facts:
Georgia's 21st county was named for Archibald Bulloch, who presided over the Provincial Congress of July 4, 1775, before becoming Georgia's first Provincial Governor in 1776. In addition to the county's four incorporated municipalities, a number of unincorporated communities like Nevils, Stilson, and Clito provide a glimpse into the county's history. One of the most interesting community names in Georgia is the Bulloch County community of Hopeulikit, named for a famous dance hall of the big band swing era.
Statesboro, the largest city, was created in 1866 and is the only city by that name in the United States.
Georgia Southern University provides a number of resources to the community. It is the home of the Magnolia Gardens and GSU Botanical Gardens. The Lamar Q. Ball, Jr., Raptor Center and Wildlife Center provides an ecological educational center, as well as a sanctuary for bald eagles and other native birds of prey.A downtown Center for the Arts and an Agribusiness Center, featuring a multi-purpose building to seat over 1,000 for a meal and an outdoor covered arena which will seat 4,000, are being developed at this time.
Bulloch County CourthouseThe Bulloch County courthouse, located in Statesboro, was designed by Bruce & Morgan in 1894, with renovations by J. Bruyn Kops in 1914. The exterior of the Neoclassical Revival courthouse was covered with white plaster in the 1960s, much of which remains and has been painted a red brick color.
Burke County was one of Georgia's original eight counties. Originally organized as the Parish of St. George, Burke County was named for English political writer, member of the British Parliament and supporter of the colonies' interests, Edmond Burke.
Known as the "Bird Dog Capital of the World," Waynesboro was named for General Anthony "Mad Anthony" Wayne, a famous Revolutionary soldier.
Georgia Power Company's Alvin W. Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant is located in the county on the Savannah River and began operation in the late 1980s.
Burke County claims ten Georgia Governors by birth, residence, or marriage. Lyman Hall, Georgia signer of the Declaration of Independence and member of the Continental Congress, had a plantation in the county. The other nine Governors with Burke County ties are John Houston, Samuel Elbert, Edward Telfair, Jared Irwin, James Jackson, David Emanuel, William Schley, Herschel V. Johnson and Hoke Smith.Burke County is home of numerous festivals and special events. The Georgia Field Trials is one of the nation's oldest hunting dog competitions. The Redbreast Festival, celebrates the Ogeechee River's unique variety of redbreasted bream. Other events include the Cotton Country Festival, the Tour of Homes and Christmas on Liberty Square.
Burke County CourthouseThe Burke County Courthouse in Waynesboro was completed in 1857. The vernacular architectural style includes Italianate elements as well as a Victorian clock tower. The fourth courthouse in the county's history, the structure replaced one that was both built and burnt in 1856.
The 64th county formed in Georgia, was created from Henry and Monroe counties. It was named for Captain Samuel Butts, a militiaman killed fighting Creek Indians in the War of 1812. Jackson, the county seat, was named for President Andrew Jackson.
Historic sites abound in Butts County, like Indian Springs Hotel (1823), the Indian Springs Church (1855), the Butts County Courthouse (1898), the Old Flovilla School (1885-1932), and historic private homes.
Lake Jackson, one of the earliest reservoirs in Georgia, was formed in 1910 when the Central Georgia Power Company completed a dam and hydroelectric plant at Lloyd Shoals on the Ocmulgee River.
Indian Springs is the oldest state park in the United States. The Creek Indians used the springs for centuries to heal their sick and to keep the healthy well. It was also the site of the treaty that ceded the Creek Indian lands to the state of Georgia in 1825.
Robert Grier was one of Butts County's notable citizens. He was the publisher of Grier's Almanac which has been published annually since 1807. Current sales average 2.5 million copies a year.Festivals in Butts County include the Scottish Festival, the Native American Festival, and a Civil War re-enactment each November.
Butts County CourthouseThe Butts County Courthouse in Jackson was built in 1898 to replace the courthouse burned by Union general William T. Sherman on his March to the Sea in 1864. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the courthouse was designed with elements of the High Victorian Eclectic and Colonial Revival styles.
Calhoun County was created in 1854 from parts of Baker and Early counties. It was named for Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, who had resigned as Vice President of the U.S. in 1832 so that he could return to the Senate to debate Daniel Webster on state rights.
The county courthouse has burned down twice in Calhoun County, once in 1888 and again in 1920.
One site on the National Register of Historic Places is the Arlington Methodist Church, built in 1908. It was designed by Columbus architect T. Firth Lockwood, Sr., using the Romanesque style of architecture.
Morgan, the county seat, was named for General Daniel Morgan, a Revolutionary War figure.
Agriculture dominates the economy, with more than 50% of the land designated prime farmland by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Calhoun County is home to several endangered plant and animal species including the Swamp Buckhorn, the Yellow Flytrap, the Hirst Panic Grass, and the Gopher Tortoise.Calhoun County hosts many special events including the May Day Festival in Arlington, held the first Saturday in May and one of the oldest festivals in Georgia. In Edison, a Better Hometown City, the King Cotton Horse Show is held in May on Mother's Day weekend. Also, the Annual Harvest Festival in Morgan is held November around the courthouse square.
Calhoun County CourthouseBuilt in 1935, the Calhoun County Courthouse, located in Morgan, is the third in the county's history. Designed in the Colonial Revival style, the courthouse was renovated in 1972.
The county dates back to 1777 as a political entity, and was named after Charles Pratt, Earl of Camden. Pratt was an outspoken proponent of home rule for the colonies when he was the Lord Chancellor of England. Camden County was the second county organized in Georgia. Cumberland Island is the site of the ruins of Dungeness, the mansion of the family of Andrew Carnegie. Dungeness was built in the 1880s.The county includes unspoiled Cumberland Island. Largely owned by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the island is accessible only by boat or plane. Nevertheless, Cumberland Island has almost 40,000 visitors annually.
Camden County CourthouseThe Camden County courthouse in Woodbine was built in 1928 and is the only Gothic revival courthouse in Georgia.
The county was created from parts of Bulloch, Emanuel, and Tattnall counties. Georgia's 48th county was named for former Governor Allen D. Candler who spent a great deal of his retirement years compiling the state's Colonial, Revolutionary, and Confederate records.
The Candler County Courthouse, built in 1921, and the South Metter Residential Historic District, comprised of 75 late 19th and early 20th century homes on landscaped boulevards, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Local attractions include the Charles C. Harrold Nature Preserve, home of the rare gopher tortoise and the Elliotta Racemosa plant; and the George L. Smith State Park.Metter is home to Michael Guido and the Guido Evangelical Association, familiar to radio and television audiences worldwide for its "Seeds from the Sower" programs. The Guidos' prayer chapel and garden are open to the public.
Candler County CourthouseThe Candler County Courthouse, located in Metter, was built in 1921. Designed in a Neoclassical Revival style by J. J. Baldwin, the courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Georgia's 66th county was named for Charles Carroll of Maryland, at that time the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. (Carroll died in 1832 at the age of 95.)
Carrollton, the county seat, was named for Charles Carroll's Maryland plantation.
The Italian Renaissance Revival county courthouse, built in 1928 and enlarged in 1976, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
On the Chattahoochee River near Whitesburg, the county operates an unusual park known as the McIntosh Reserve. This 480-acre passive recreation site was once the plantation of Creek Indian Chief William McIntosh, who was murdered in 1825 by a group of Upper Creek Indians angry at his transfer of Creek lands to white settlers.
John Tanner State Park is a major recreational attraction of the county. This park includes nature trails, canoeing and paddle boating, fishing and camping.Festivals in the county include Mayfest in Carrollton, Goldrush Days in Villa Rica, and Founders Day in Bowdon.
Carroll County CourthouseThe Carroll County courthouse in Carrollton was built in 1928, in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, after the previous courthouse burned.
Catoosa County was created from parts of Walker and Whitfield counties. The name Catoosa is derived from the Cherokee "Gatusi," signifying a prominent hill or point on a mountain. The name is well-suited to Catoosa County's hilly landscape.
The Georgia Winery, famous for its muscadine wines, is located in Catoosa County.
Although Fort Oglethorpe is the larger of the two cities, Ringgold is the county seat. Part of Fort Oglethorpe lies in Walker County. The town originally was an Army training center during the two world wars. After the training center was closed in the late 1940s, the city of Fort Oglethorpe was incorporated in 1949.
The Chickamauga & Chattanooga Military Park, located in Catoosa County and Tennessee, is the oldest and largest military park in the United States. The park commemorates the Battle of Chickamauga fought in 1863. This was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War and marked the end of the Union's first invasion of the Confederacy.Some of the local festivals in Catoosa County include the 1890 Days Festival in May and the Fairy Tale Festival in Rock City held in August.
Catoosa County CourthouseThe Catoosa County Courthouse, built in Ringgold in 1939, is the county's second courthouse. Designed in the Colonial Revival style, the courthouse replaced an older one that survived the Civil War.
Charlton County was created in 1854 from a portion of Camden County. Georgia's 110th county was named for Robert M. Charlton of Savannah, a U.S. Senator and one of Georgia's foremost jurists.
Charlton County contains a large part of the Stephen C. Foster State Park and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness Area, which attract 350,000 visitors annually. The Okefenokee (Seminole for "Land of Quaking Earth") Swamp is roughly 20 by 40 miles in size and takes up one-third of the county's land. The impenetrable wilderness served as a sanctuary for the Seminoles and escaped slaves.
Folkston was for years the self-proclaimed "Marriage Capital of the World." Floridians who could not endure their state's waiting period before tying the knot would cross the state line to wed there.
Charlton, with over 98% of its area in woodlands, is the most timbered county in Georgia.The 90 mile band between Clay County, Florida and Charlton County contains the richest titanium reserves in the nation. More than 12,000 acres adjacent to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge was purchased by DuPont to mine this titanium. After considerable resident protests that the refuge might be harmed by the mining, Dupont's mining plan was defeated.
Charlton County Courthouse
The first courthouse in Folkston, built after the town was designated as the county seat in 1901, burned down in 1928. The current courthouse, designed in Neoclassical Revival and Georgian Revival styles, was built during the same year. An annex to the building was constructed in 1978.
Chatham County, the 3rd county formed in Georgia, was created from what had been Christ Church Parish and part of St. Phillip's Parish, dating from 1758. The county was named for one of England's most celebrated prime ministers, William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham.
Comprising the state's northernmost coastal area, at the mouth of the Savannah River, Chatham County includes the site on which General James Oglethorpe landed in 1733 to establish the Georgia Colony.
Savannah is home to a National Historic Landmark District of 2.5 square miles, and more than 1,100 architecturally significant buildings. The Victorian District is one of the nation's largest collections of that period's architecture.
Chatham County claims many notable people. James Habersham was the Secretary and Acting Governor of the Colony, and Joseph Habersham was the first Postmaster of the United States. Joseph also was the leader of a group known as the Liberty Boys who stole British ammunition and sent it to Boston at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. Juliette Gordon Lowe, the founder of the Girl Scouts, was from Savannah. Also, famous songwriter and musician Johnny Mercer hails from the county.Savannah hosts the second largest St. Patrick's Day parade and celebration in the U.S., and is the setting for the national bestseller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Chatham County CourthouseThe Chatham County courthouse, located in Savannah, was built in 1978. The six-story building is an example of Modern architecture.
Chattahoochee County was formed in 1854 from parts of Marion and Muscogee counties. It was named for the Chattahoochee River that forms the county's western boundary.
The city of Cusseta is named for one of the principal tribes of the Lower Creek Indians.
The county is home to the Fort Benning Military Reservation, the county's largest employer. Fort Benning was founded at the beginning of the first World War, and was named for General Henry Lewis Benning, a Confederate general who hailed from Columbus. It is the world's largest infantry camp, and is often called the "West Point of the South."
Two plants on Georgia's Protected Plant List can be found in the county: Croomia Pauci flora and Rhododendron Prunifolium.Fort Benning and Cusseta boast eight sites located on the National Register of Historic Places, most relating to the establishment of the fort and to Native American culture. The National Infantry Museum, constructed in 1928 as a post hospital, houses a collection of weapons, uniforms, and artifacts illustrating the role of the infantry in the nation's wars.
Chattahoochee County Courthouse
The Chattahoochee County courthouse in Cusseta has served as the center of county government since 1974.
Chattooga County was formed from parts of Floyd and Walker counties. It takes its name from the Chattooga River, one of two Georgia rivers bearing that name. The county courthouse in Summerville was built in 1909 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Much of the Armuchee Ranger District, a 65,000-acre section of the Chattahoochee National Forest, lies within the county. Taylor Ridge and Johns Mountain are two of its most prominent features. Over 6,400 acres of Johns Mountain were recently proposed as a National Scenic Area.
Some of the more popular recreational activities in the county include hiking, camping, mountain climbing and rappelling in the Lookout Mountain range, and canoeing down the Armuchee Creek. Genealogist and Civil War enthusiasts seek information from the various cemeteries and historical sites.Some of the festivals and special events held in Chattooga County include the Howard Finster Arts Festival in May, the Sum-Nelly Arts & Crafts Fair in October, "Trick or Treat" Downtown Commerce Street Halloween Walk in October, and the Antique Car Show held every June.
Chattooga County Courthouse
The Chattooga County Courthouse, located in Summerville, was built in 1909 to replace the original 1840 courthouse. This Neoclassical Revival structure was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Cherokee County was formed in 1830 from lands previously held by the Cherokee Indians. Its 6,900 square miles were subsequently divided into 24 other counties.
One interesting historical site is the Crescent Farm, named for the curve in the Etowah River that partially encircles it. A.L. Coggins, original owner of the farm, was a Georgia pioneer in the harness racing industry; the farm became famous for its world-class race horse, Abbedale. The stable, Rock Barn, has never been moved from its original site.
Canton, the county seat, was named after the city in China. Canton's founders attempted to establish silk production; the name, however, is the only thing that survived the venture.
Lake Allatoona, a 12,010-acre lake, is the center of recreational activities in Cherokee County. The lake was built in 1950 and today provides power for more than 2,000 homes in the area. It is best known for the many recreational opportunities it provides its visitors. With more than 12,000 acres of water surface available, Allatoona is large enough to accommodate a variety of activities.Some of the notable people who have called Cherokee County home include two state governors, Joseph E. Brown and Joseph M. Brown, and two Rhodes Scholars, Dean Rusk and Eugene Booth. Rusk was the Secretary of State under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and held that office for longer than any other person except Cordell Hull. The world famous golfer Bobby Jones, and singer, writer and pianist, Lee Roy Abernathy, also hail from the county.
Cherokee County Justice CenterConstruction on the current Cherokee County courthouse began in 1993 and was completed the following year. The official name of the courthouse, located in downtown Canton, is the Cherokee County Justice Center.
The city of Athens began as a tiny settlement and trading post that emerged at Cedar Shoals, where an ancient Cherokee trail crossed the Oconee River. On January 27, 1785, the Georgia General Assembly created the University of Georgia as the first chartered state-supported university in the United States. It was not until the summer of 1801, though, that five men traveled to the area to look for an appropriate site for the University. One member of the delegation, John Milledge, purchased 633 acres on the hill above Cedar Shoals and donated it to the University. He renamed the area Athens in honor of the Classical Greek center of culture. Later that year, the General Assembly carved Clarke County out of Jackson County on December 5, 1801 and named it after Revolutionary War hero Elijah Clarke.
To raise money to pay for construction of buildings for the school, lots were sold adjacent to campus. The University's first class of 10 graduated in 1804, and on December 6, 1806, the city of Athens was officially incorporated. As fine federal homes began to appear around the new campus, the role of Athens as the intellectual center of Georgia became increasingly evident: the cultured social life surrounding the college attracted prominent families of wealth and national stature. Industry developed rapidly; Athens' economy during the first half of the nineteenth century was based primarily upon cotton, brick works, textile mills, and railroad transportation. By the 1840s, when rail lines connected Athens with the rest of the region, big industry had made Athens famous as the "Manchester of the South."
Two skirmishes took place in Clarke County during the Civil War in 1864. An occupation garrison arrived in Athens on May 29 and informal federal occupation continued until early 1866. Athens was spared the fate of many of Georgia's cities, however, remaining virtually intact after hostilities had ended.
A curious by-product of the war years was the local production of a double-barreled cannon - the only one of its kind in the world. The concept was to load the cannon with two balls connected by a chain several feet in length, but a test firing proved it to be uncontrollable. The cannon was never used, but presented to the city and sits to this day on the City Hall grounds.
In the post-Civil War era, Athens became known as a center of undergraduate education for freed slaves, as three different schools offered African-Americans primary, intermediate, industrial, and nurses' training. Three black newspapers thrived in Athens when it was rare for a southern town to have even one. In the early 1900s, the corner of Washington and Lumpkin Streets downtown became known as the "Hot Corner" for the black community. The Morton Building, as well as the Samaritan Building and Union Hall, housed black lawyers, dentists, doctors and other professionals. The two-story opera house in the Morton Building hosted the likes of Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington.
In 1867, visiting naturalist John Muir described Athens as "a remarkably
beautiful and aristocratic town," where "marks of culture and
refinement" were everywhere apparent. The seat of Clarke County moved to
Athens on November 24, 1871 from Watkinsville.
Beginning in the late 1970s, the Athens music scene began to gather momentum and international recognition, eventually earning the city worldwide recognition as a hotbed for music. Bands such as R.E.M. and the B-52's became wildly popular throughout the 1980s, while scores of bands continue honing their skills in Athens’ myriad clubs to this day. In 1998, the Athens band Widespread Panic hosted a free CD release party in downtown Athens which drew 70-100,000 people.On August 7, 1990, a citizens' referendum approved the consolidation of the governments of Athens and Clarke County after three previous rejections in 1969, 1972 and 1981. The vote created Georgia's second such consolidated government and the twenty-eighth of its kind in the country. An elected Mayor (current Mayor Heidi Davison) and ten commissioners, along with an appointed manager, head the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government.
Clarke County CourthouseThe Clarke County Courthouse, located in Athens, was built in 1914 and designed by A. Ten Eyck Brown. It has elements of Italian Renaissance revival, neoclassical revival, and Beaux-Arts classicism architecture.
Clay County was created from parts of Early and Randolph counties in 1854. It was named for Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky.
Fort Gaines grew up around a fort on the Chattahoochee River established to protect settlers during the Creek Indian Wars. The town, named for the fort's builder, General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, became a shipping point for cotton planters for many miles on both sides of the Chattahoochee River, remaining a key market until about 1858 when railroads replaced river freight.
Cemocheechobee Creek is the site of a pre-historic community, consisting of a large village area surrounding three adjacent platform mounds.
The Walter F. George Lock and Dam in George T. Bagby State Park is just north of Fort Gaines on the Chattahoochee River. Under construction from 1955 until 1963, the dam stretches two and a half miles from Alabama. The lock, second highest east of the Mississippi, forms a lake called Lake Walter F. George . The lake extends 85 miles upriver.
The Fort Gaines Historic District and Frontier Village are tourist attractions. There are several reconstructed fort buildings on the site of the original Fort Gaines, and two Civil War gun emplacements. There are also the remains of an 1890s cottonseed oil mill and an early 20th century waterworks. All of these sites are on the National Register.
Elizabeth Stuart Dill who was captured and held hostage by Indians after the War of 1812, is one of the county's interesting historical figure. Forced to accompany the Indians on their raids, she was able to gather a lot of paper money that the Indians had deemed useless and save it by pinning it to her petticoats. When rescued, she returned with her loot to Fort Gaines and built the Dill House, which is now a Bed and Breakfast.
Other recreational facilities include the Meadowlinks 18-Hole Championship Golf Course.Festivals in Clay County include: Bass Fishing Tournament in May and Christmas at the Fort in November.
Clay County CourthouseThe Clay County Courthouse, located in Fort Gaines, was completed in 1873. The building, which is still in use today, features a mixture of architectural styles, including Italian Renaissance revival, neoclassical revival, and Beaux-Arts classicism.
This page was last updated 12/28/10