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Georgia

COUNTY FACTS

Page 6

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

HOUSTON
IRWIN
JACKSON
JASPER
JEFF DAVIS
JEFFERSON
JENKINS
JOHNSON
JONES
LAMAR
LANIER
LAURENS
LEE
LIBERTY
LINCOLN

 

Houston County

     Houston County Map

Houston County (pronounced House-ton), the 51st county formed in Georgia, was created in 1821. Originally part of the Creek nation's land, the county was named for John Houston, a member of the Continental Congress and Governor of Georgia from 1778 to 1784.

Perry is named in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry, the naval officer who said "We have met the enemy and they are ours," after a fleet under his command defeated the British at Lake Erie.

Both Warner Robins and Robins Air Force Base were named for Brigadier General Augustine Warner Robins.

Robins Air Force Base, the center of the Warner Robins Air Materiel Area, was built in 1941 for around $15 million. It covers 6,400 acres and is Georgia's largest single employer, providing an important economic boost to central Georgia.

Warner Robins is home to one of the top Air Museums in the country, the Museum of Aviation. This facility also includes the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame as well as the Robert L. Scott Vistascope Theater.

Some of the county's special events include the World Class Air Show and the International City Festival, in Warner Robins; and the Georgia National Fair, the Mossy Creek Barnyard Arts and Crafts Festival, and the Dogwood Festival in Perry. The Georgia National Fair is an old-fashioned, state-sponsored fair held nine days at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry.

The courthouse was built in 1948. Because of the need for a larger and more

Houston County Courthouse

The courthouse was built in 1948. Because of the need for a larger and more modern facility, Houston County voters approved a special purpose local-option sales tax to fund construction of a new courthouse in Perry. Construction of the new courthouse began in 2000.

 

Irwin County

     Irwin County Map.

Irwin County, the 45th county created, retains only a small portion of the territory given to it when it was formed from Creek Indian lands in 1818. It once encompassed all of south central Georgia, but now contains the upper reaches of the Alapaha, Willacoochee and Satilla rivers.

Irwin County was named for Governor Jared Irwin, a North Carolina native. Irwin was famous for his opposition to the Yazoo Law of 1795, by which the state of Georgia sold a vast tract of land at one and a half cents per acre to several companies, including one owned in part by a U.S. Senator. Irwin rescinded the law in 1796 during his term as governor.

During the Civil War, Irwinville to the northeast of Ocilla was the county seat, and the location where Union soldiers captured Jefferson Davis. The site is now the Jefferson Davis Park and Museum.

Ocilla is a version of an old Indian name, Osceola. The county's first courthouse was constructed in 1848-1849, and the one currently in use was built in 1905.

There are two entries on the National Register from Irwin County: the Irwin County Courthouse and the Jefferson Davis Capture Site. The state has also identified 27 archaeological sites worth exploring in the county. These are being kept secret to avoid contamination problems.

There are several endangered species found in the county, including the Florida Panther, the Peregrine Falcon and the Southern Bald Eagle.

This courthouse, built in Irwinville in 1883, was Irwin County's third official courthouse and continued

Irwinville Courthouse

This courthouse, built in Irwinville in 1883, was Irwin County's third official courthouse and continued to house county government offices after the seat was relocated to Ocilla in 1907. Pictured in 1935, the building was remodeled into apartments during the Great Depression.

 

The Irwin County Courthouse was built in Ocilla in 1910, three years after Ocilla was

Irwin County Courthouse

The Irwin County Courthouse was built in Ocilla in 1910, three years after Ocilla was designated county seat. Designed in the Neoclassical Revival style, the building was renovated in 1972.

 

Jackson County

     Jacson County Map

Jackson County, the 22nd county of Georgia, was created in 1796 from part of Franklin County. It is named for Revolutionary War General, Congressman, and Senator James Jackson.

The county seat is Jefferson, named for President Thomas Jefferson. It was originally located on the site of an Indian village, Thomocoggan.

The Jackson County Courthouse was constructed in 1879 and is a prime example of the neoclassical architecture of that time. A clock tower was added in 1906, and renovations were completed in 1978. The courthouse is one of the few examples of such architecture still in use in Georgia.

Commerce, the most populous city in the county, has become a major retail center featuring outlet malls.

State high school track and field championships are held in Jefferson, which has one of the top track facilities in the state.

Jackson is also home to the Peach State Motorspeedway.

Braselton is home of the Chateau Elan Winery, Panoz Motorsports, golf, equestrian center, resort and spa.

The Jackson County Courthouse in Jefferson, designed in the Classical Modern style, was completed in

Jackson County Courthouse

The Jackson County Courthouse in Jefferson, designed in the Classical Modern style, was completed in 2004. It is the county's fifth courthouse.

 

Jasper County

     Jasper County Map

Jasper County was created in 1807 from a part of Baldwin County. Georgia's 34th county was named for Sergeant William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero who died trying to retrieve a flag during the siege of Savannah.

Monticello, the county seat, was named for Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia, mainly due to the large number of Virginian transplants in the area.

Parts of Lake Jackson and the Oconee National Forest are located in Jasper County.

There are several homes in the county on the National Register of Historic Places including the Hitchcock-Roberts Home (circa 1817), the Jordan-Bellew House (circa 1838), and Reese Hall (circa 1820).

Two notable people are claimed by the county. Benjamin Harvey Hill was both a U.S. Congressman and U.S. Senator. He also served in the Confederate Senate and was a staunch supporter of Jefferson Davis. Monticello is also home of country music star Trisha Yearwood.

The Jasper County Courthouse, built in Monticello in 1907, was designed in the Neoclassical Revival

Jasper County Courthouse

The Jasper County Courthouse, built in Monticello in 1907, was designed in the Neoclassical Revival style. The building, constructed of brick and Georgia marble, is the county's fourth courthouse.

 

Jeff Davis

     Jeff Davis County Map

Jeff Davis County was created in 1905 from parts of Appling and Coffee counties. Georgia's 140th county was named for Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy. Davis had served as the U.S. Secretary of War prior to the Civil War.

Hazlehurst was named for Colonel George Hazlehurst, a civil engineer who surveyed the Macon & Brunswick Railroad. In August of 1995, Hazlehurst celebrated its "Censilver," 150 years of existence.

The Altamaha River is formed from the merger of the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers just northwest of Jeff Davis County. This is the largest free-flowing stream in Georgia and a haven for sports enthusiasts. Some of the largest largemouth bass in Georgia are found in these rivers. At least ten fishing tournaments are held in the county every year.

The tobacco crop was very important in the early history of Jeff Davis County, and the Hazlehurst Tobacco Market was one of Georgia's strongest.

Jeff Davis County shares the Bullard Creek Wildlife Management Area, totaling 16,000 acres, with Bacon County.

There are many festivals and special events in the county including the Pilot's Club Antique Car and Truck Show, the Annual Cotton Arts and Crafts Harvest Festival, Annual Christmas Parade and the 1890 Homestead Celebration.

The Jeff Davis County Courthouse in Hazlehurst was constructed in 1907. Renovations were completed in

Jeff Davis County Courthouse

The Jeff Davis County Courthouse in Hazlehurst was constructed in 1907. Renovations were completed in 1975 and 1995, and the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Designed in the Neoclassical Revival style, the courthouse is the county's first.

 

Jefferson County

     Jefferson County Map

Jefferson County, originally part of Burke and Warren counties, was created in 1796 and named for Thomas Jefferson.

Wadley was originally known as "Shakerag". The name was changed to Wadley in the 1870s in honor of the president of the Central of Georgia Railway. The name change coincided with the designation of Wadley as an official stop on the railroad.

Louisville, the county seat, was named in honor of King Louis XVI of France, because of the support given by France to the Colonials in the Revolution. Louisville was Georgia's third state capital, but its first "permanent" one. The Jefferson County Courthouse, built in 1904, stands on the site of Georgia's first permanent capitol, constructed in 1795.

Louisville was the site of the Constitutional Convention of 1798 in which the state's pre-Civil War constitution was adopted. Georgia's Great Seal, which is still in use today, was adopted at the same time.

The Old Market House, the county's major tourist attraction, dates to the 1790s and served as the commercial center for the region during the time that the state capital was in Louisville.

Jefferson County is the site of multiple festivals including the Hometown Fest in Wadley (August), Pig Pickin' Festival in Wrens (June), and Spier's Turnout Festival in Bartow (May).

The Jefferson County courthouse in Louisville was built in 1904 in the Neoclassical Revival style

Jefferson County Courthouse

The Jefferson County courthouse in Louisville was built in 1904 in the Neoclassical Revival style by architect W. F. Denny.

 

Jenkins County

     Jenkins County Map

Jenkins County, the 138th county formed in Georgia, was created in 1905 from territory then belonging to the counties of Bulloch, Burke, Emanuel and Screven. The county was named for Governor Charles J. Jenkins. It was originally proposed that the county be called Dixie. The Jones House, near Millen, was built as a stage coach stop in 1762. A century later, General Sherman's troops looted and set it afire on their march to the sea. Learning that the mistress of the house refused to leave her sickbed, the same troops extinguished the flames.

The Millen Big Buckhead Church, constructed in 1830, is one of the oldest structures in Georgia.

The City of Millen was originally called Seventy-Nine or Old 79 because of its distance from Savannah.

Magnolia Springs State Park is in Jenkins County. This 948-acre park is named for the crystal clear spring that puts out nine million gallons of clear, cold (64 degree) water every day.

Within the county is the site of Fort Lawton, a 42-acre stockade. This was the largest camp ever built by the Confederacy to receive prisoners-of-war. Built in 1864, it was later burnt down.

The Jenkins County courthouse in Millen was built in 1910 in the Neoclassical Revival style.

Jenkins County Courthouse

The Jenkins County courthouse in Millen was built in 1910 in the Neoclassical Revival style. The architect was L. F. Goodrich.

 

Johnson County

     Johnson County Map

Johnson County, the 129th county formed in Georgia, was created in 1858. Originally part of Emanuel, Laurens and Washington counties, Johnson County was named for Georgia governor, senator, and unsuccessful U.S. vice-presidential candidate, Hershel V. Johnson.

The county seat of Wrightsville was named for James B. Wright, a member of the committee that selected the site for the town. The other community in the county is Kite, named for Shaderick Kight who donated the land for the town. He requested the simpler spelling of his name to facilitate mail delivery.

The Johnson County Courthouse, built in 1895, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is built of masonry in the Romanesque Revival/Colonial Revival style. It was renovated in 1940 by the Works Progress Administration.

The Grice Inn, also listed on the National Register, was built in 1905 by John Grice as a family home and inn. It served as the town's social center for many years.

The Kite Museum, in the former Masonic Lodge (1890), relates the history of the Kite community. Originally the second floor was used by the Masons and the first floor was used as the community center.

Johnson County is the home of Herschel Walker, professional football player and 1982 Heisman trophy winner from The University of Georgia.

The Johnson County Courthouse, built in 1895, is the county's second courthouse. Designed in the

Johnson County Courthouse

The Johnson County Courthouse, built in 1895, is the county's second courthouse. Designed in the Romanesque Revival and Colonial Revival styles, the building was remodeled in 1938 and restored in 1996.

 

Jones County

     Jones County Map

Jones County, the 30th county formed in Georgia, was created in 1807. Originally part of Baldwin County, it was named for James Jones, an early Georgia Congressman and a member of the State Constitutional Convention of 1798.

Clinton, established in 1809, was a center for New England settlers whose influence is reflected in the architecture of the town. The houses stand close to the streets which fan out from a central square. At one time, this was the fourth largest city in the state. Clinton was one of 187 inactive municipalities to lose its charter in 1995, as a result of a 1993 Act of the General Assembly.

The town of Gray was originally known as James in honor of the man whose land it was on, James H. Blount. It was changed to Gray to honor James Madison Gray, a major financier of the Confederacy.

The Ocmulgee River, the restored Jarrell Plantation, and the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge are located in the county. Jarrell Plantation is a State Historic Site within the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge.

There are several festivals in Jones County including Old Clinton War Days, Sheep to Shawl Day, and Family Farm Day.

The courthouse, in Gray, was built in 1906 in the Romanesque Revival style. It was

Jones County Courthouse

The courthouse, in Gray, was built in 1906 in the Romanesque Revival style. It was designed by J. W. Golucke and is noted for its arched clock tower. The courthouse was rehabilitated in 1992.

 

Lamar County

     Lamar County Map.

Lamar County was created in 1920 from portions of Monroe and Pike counties and is named for Lucius Quintus Cinncinatus Lamar, a Confederate Army colonel, Secretary of the Interior under Grover Cleveland, and a Supreme Court Justice. It was the 158th county created.

The history of Barnesville includes a period in which the city was designated "Buggy Capital of the World." Around the turn of the century, Barnesville had four buggy companies.

Also of historical note are several homes and buildings in Lamar County. These include the Brown-Kennedy home (1850), Jackson G. Smith home (1870), and Gachet House (1821) which is particularly notable because it was visited by three presidents.

Since its beginnings 20 years ago, the "Barnesville Buggy Days" festival has grown to become one of Georgia's largest community festivals. Held annually the third week in September, the festival attracts more than 50,000 people and features a parade of original Barnesville Buggies and some 200 horses.

Lamar County's Neoclassical courthouse was built in Barnesville in 1931. Previously, the local Masonic Hall

Lamar County Courthouse

Lamar County's Neoclassical courthouse was built in Barnesville in 1931. Previously, the local Masonic Hall was used for court sessions.

 

Lanier County

     Lanier County Map.

Lanier County, the 155th county formed in Georgia, was created in 1920. The county was named in honor of Georgia state poet, Sidney Lanier.

Lakeland, the county seat, is Lanier County's only incorporated municipality. Originally called Mill Town, Lakeland received its current name in 1925 in honor of its proximity to several lakes including Grand Bay Lake, Lake Irma and Banks Lake.

For many years, Lakeland owned and operated its own railroad.

The county is famous for its excellent fishing in the Alapaha River, as well as in its many small lakes. Banks Lake Wildlife Refuge, which includes a 3,900-acre lake, is located in the county.

Lanier shares Moody Air Force Base with Lowndes County on its western boundary.

One festival held in the county is the Flatlanders Frolic Arts and Crafts Show. This event features bluegrass music, a road race and various other Labor Day weekend events. Also held in Lanier County is the Living Murals Celebration held in the Spring.

The Lanier County Courthouse, designed in the Modern style, was built in Lakeland in 1973

Lanier County Courthouse

The Lanier County Courthouse, designed in the Modern style, was built in Lakeland in 1973 to replace the county's first courthouse, built in 1921.

 

Laurens County

     Laurens County map.

Taken from Wilkinson County in 1807 and absorbing part of Washington County in 1811, Laurens County was named in honor of Colonel John Laurens, an aide-de-camp to General George Washington.

Dublin was named at the request of an Irishman, Jonathan Sawyer, who donated the land for the town after stipulating its name. He wanted to please his wife, who was from Dublin.

The Ocute Indian Mounds at Blackshear's Ferry date back to 1000 B.C.

In the Oconee River, on the Laurens County border, government biologists have discovered what seems to be a new species of fish.

There are several festivals in Laurens County, the biggest is the two-week long St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin. This event includes the world's biggest Irish Stew. The county also hosts the Possum Hollow Country Fair and the Dublin Antique Fair Show and Sale.

The Laurens County Courthouse in Dublin, built in 1962, is the fourth courthouse in the

Laurens County Courthouse

The Laurens County Courthouse in Dublin, built in 1962, is the fourth courthouse in the county's history.

 

Lee County

     Lee County Map

Lee County was one of the original landlot counties acquired from the Creek Indians in 1826. Georgia's 68th county, it was named for Richard Henry Lee who had proposed in the Continental Congress that the colonies declare themselves free and independent. He was noted for capturing Augusta from the British in 1781, and was the father of Robert E. Lee.

The first county courthouse in Lee County was in Starkville, but fire destroyed it in 1856. The courthouse in Leesburg, the present county seat, was also hit by fire in 1872. Smithville is now the county's only other incorporated municipality. Starkville lost its charter in 1995 when it was declared an inactive city under a law passed by the General Assembly.

Lee County was once the site of Kennard's Settlement & Cowpens, a major Creek Indian center named for Jack and William Kennard, two Lower Creek chiefs friendly to white settlers.

Lee County boasts opportunities for hunters and fishermen. Hunters can find quail, duck, and deer, with quail being most prevalent. Although public hunting land is limited, hunters can rent land seasonally on south Georgia plantations. Fishing is also popular along the Flint River and Kinchafoonee and Muckalee Creeks, which abound with bass, catfish, and bream.

Chehaw Park, a wild animal park that falls within Lee and Dougherty counties, has camping and picnic facilities as well as wildlife in simulations of their natural environments. Animals include elk, bison, zebra, and elephants.

Leesburg hosts the Southern Heritage Festival during Memorial Day weekend. The festival includes arts and crafts exhibits, food booths, live entertainment, and a talent contest. The Lee County Home and Plantation Tour showcases some of the area's most beautiful places. In October, Smithfield will host the Smithfield Chicken Pie festival.

The original Lee County courthouse was built in Starksville, the county's first seat, around 1837.

Historic Lee County Courthouse

The original Lee County courthouse was built in Starksville, the county's first seat, around 1837. The courthouse burned between 1856 and 1858, and the seat was later moved to Leesburg, a thriving railroad town, in 1872.

The current Lee County Courthouse in Leesburg was built in the Neoclassical Revival style around

Lee County Courthouse

The current Lee County Courthouse in Leesburg was built in the Neoclassical Revival style around 1917. Originally named Wooten Station, Leesburg was established as the county seat in 1872.

 

Liberty County

     Liberty County map.

Liberty County was created in 1777 from the colonial parishes of St. Andrews, St. James, and St. John. The land that made up these parishes was originally held by the Creek Indians. The county's name honors Lyman Hall and Button Gwinnett of Midway, who were Georgia's first delegates to the Continental Congress and signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Although not born in Georgia, Lyman Hall moved to present day Liberty County to serve as a physician to the settlers. Elected Governor in 1783, Hall became the first in that office to exercise strong executive leadership. An advocate of public schools, Hall helped to charter the University of Georgia.

The county's historical sites include the Midway Museum, located in a typical 18th-century house; the Dorchester Church built in 1854; and Fort Morris.

Almost half of Liberty County's usable land area is occupied by the U.S. Army installation, Fort Stewart.

Naturalist, mathematician and scholar Louis LeConte, for whom the LeConte pear was named, resided in Liberty County. His home is now the site of the LeConte Botanical Gardens.

Button Gwinnett, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was from St. Catherine's Island in Liberty County.

The Liberty County courthouse in Hinesville was built in 1926 and designed by J. J.

Liberty County Courthouse

The Liberty County courthouse in Hinesville was built in 1926 and designed by J. J. Baldwin. It is an example of Neoclassical Revival architecture.

 

Lincoln County

     Lincoln County Map

Lincoln County was created in 1796 and named for General Benjamin Lincoln, who accepted the British surrender at Yorktown bringing to an end the Revolutionary War.

There are numerous historic buildings in Lincoln County. It was the first county in Georgia to have a county-wide listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Over 160 historic buildings in Lincoln County are listed in the National Register.

Lincoln County is the site of the 447-acre Elijah Clark State Park which is located on the western shore of Clarks Hill Lake. The county borders 380 miles of lake shoreline. In addition to boating and fishing activities, a museum in the park offers colonial life demonstrations. Revolutionary War hero Elijah Clarke and his wife are buried in the park.

Price's Store in Lincolnton, established 1897, is one of the oldest authentic general stores still in operation in Georgia.

Lincoln County hosts numerous events and festivals during the year including the Lewis Family Homecoming and Bluegrass Festival, a three-day bluegrass festival in early May featuring nationally known musicians; Old Timers Day and the Town and Country Arts and Crafts Festival are both in October; and a Log Cabin Christmas at Elijah Clark State Park.

Built in 1915, the Lincoln County Courthouse is designed in the neoclassical revival style. Listed

Lincoln County Courthouse

Built in 1915, the Lincoln County Courthouse is designed in the neoclassical revival style. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the courthouse is the third to be built in Lincolnton, the county seat.

 

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

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