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Georgia

COUNTY FACTS

Page 8

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

MUSCOGEE
NEWTON
OCONEE
OGLETHORPE
PAULDING
PEACH
PICKENS
PIERCE
PIKE
POLK
PULASKI
PUTNAM
QUITMAN
RABUN
RANDOLPH

 

Muscogee County

     Muscogee County Map

Muscogee County was acquired from Creek Indian territory in 1826 and was the 69th county established. The county is named for the Muscogee Indians, whose family included the Creek and Seminoles.

Columbus-Muscogee County was Georgia's first consolidated city-county government.

The last land battle of the Civil War was fought at Columbus, one week after General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

Fort Benning Military Reservation encompasses the southeastern part of the county. The base is one of the area's largest employers.

Noteworthy historical sites in the county include: the Springer Opera House, built in 1871, which is now the State Theater of Georgia; the Columbus Museum; the Confederate Naval Museum; and the Columbus Historical District which includes the Columbus Ironworks, built in 1853.

The newest point of interest in Columbus is the South Commons Complex, a collection of sports facilities in one location. The centerpiece of the complex is the Columbus Civic Center. Opened in 1996, this 10,000 seat venue is a true multi-purpose facility. It is home to the Columbus Cottonmouths hockey team.

Robert Winship Woodruff, a noted industrialist and philanthropist from Muscogee County, became the president of the Coca-Cola Company at the age of 33. Dr. John Pemberton, the inventor of the Coke formula, also lived in Columbus.

The three major events that are hosted by Columbus-Muscogee are the Riverfest in April, Uptown Jam in October and the Festival of Holidays that begins in late November.

The Muscogee County courthouse in Columbus was constructed in the early 1970s, after the Columbus

Muscogee County Courthouse

The Muscogee County courthouse in Columbus was constructed in the early 1970s, after the Columbus and Muscogee governments merged to form a consolidated government.

 

Newton County

     Newton County Map

Newton County was created in 1821 from parts of Henry, Jasper and Walton counties. Georgia's 53rd county is named for Revolutionary War hero, John Newton.

Covington has been known as the Hollywood of the South due to the number of movies and television shows filmed there. In the Heat of the Night, a long running television show, spent its eight years in Covington while filming. The Dukes of Hazards was another prime time show that began its television series in the county.

Covington is the seat of Newton County. The Second Empire-style courthouse, built in 1884, was

Newton County Courthouse

Covington is the seat of Newton County. The Second Empire-style courthouse, built in 1884, was designed by the architectural firm Bruce and Morgan.

 

Oconee County

     Oconee County map.

Oconee County, the 135th county formed in Georgia, was created in 1875. Originally part of Clarke County, Oconee County takes its name from the Oconee River.

The Eagle Tavern State Historical Site is located in the county. Originally built as Fort Edward in 1789, the building had become a tavern by 1801. Some other interesting sites in the county are Happy Valley Pottery and the William Daniell House.

The cotton monoculture prior to the 1930s badly damaged the soils of Oconee County. Today, only about 19% of the land is identified as prime farm land. About 56% of the land is forest.

Jeanette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, kept her summer home in Oconee County. She was elected to represent Montana before many states even allowed women to vote. Rankin was a pacifist and was the only representative to vote against the U.S.'s entry into war against Japan.

Some of the special events in Oconee County include the Annual Oconee Fall Festival and the Christmas Parade.

Located in downtown Watkinsville, the Oconee County Courthouse was completed in 1939. Designed in the

Oconee County Courthouse

Located in downtown Watkinsville, the Oconee County Courthouse was completed in 1939. Designed in the Stripped Classical style, the building was constructed by the Works Progress Administration.

 

Oglethorpe County

     Oglethorpe County Map

Oglethorpe County was created in 1793. Georgia's 19th county is named for the state's founder, General James E. Oglethorpe.

Lexington, the county seat, is named in honor of the Revolutionary War battle. The largest city is Crawford, named for William H. Crawford, former Governor, U.S. Senator, Secretary of the Treasury and Minister to France.

The site known as Cherokee Corner was once an angle in the boundary between Creek and Cherokee lands. At one time, the site was important to surveying in the region.

Other important sites are the home of Governor Gilmer and Watson Mill Bridge State Park, which is shared with Madison County. The bridge, which is located on the South Fork Broad River, is the largest in Georgia, and was in the past the site of a grist mill and power generation plant.

Bartram Buffalo Lick, located in Philomath, is an iron-bearing clay pit of about 1.5 acres. This site was often visited by buffalo, deer and cattle, although it has no saline properties. It was a meeting place for the area's Indians.

The Oglethorpe County Courthouse in Lexington, designed in the Romanesque Revival style, was built in

Oglethorpe County Courthouse

The Oglethorpe County Courthouse in Lexington, designed in the Romanesque Revival style, was built in 1887. Lexington was established in 1774 by settlers from North Carolina and incorporated in 1806.

 

Paulding County

     Paulding County Map

Paulding County, the 87th county created in the state, was formed from part of Cherokee County. It was named after John Paulding, a soldier in the Revolutionary War who helped capture Major Andre, an accomplice in Benedict Arnold's plot to overthrow the nation.

The county courthouse, built in 1892, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Another historic site is Pickett's Mill, a very well preserved Civil War battlefield. In the Atlanta Campaign, Sherman's forces clashed with Confederates here prior to heading to Kennesaw.

The Silver Comet Trail, a walking, biking, and skating path with approximately twenty miles of pavement in Paulding County is eventually planned to go from Atlanta to Anniston, Alabama.

Paulding County is a popular destination for history buffs because of its well-preserved Civil War memorials. New Hope Church is the site of the 1864 battle between General Sherman and Confederate General Johnston. A monument and memorial park stand at New Hope Church, describing events of this well-known battle.

Along with the civil war reenactments at Pickett's Mill, the county hosts several other large events including the Paulding Meadows Arts and Crafts Festival, annual July Fireworks event at Taylor Farm Park, the Raccoon Creek Music Festival and the Halloween Trick or Treat Village.

The Paulding County Courthouse, located in Dallas, was built in 1892 and is designed in

Paulding County Courthouse

The Paulding County Courthouse, located in Dallas, was built in 1892 and is designed in the Queen Anne style. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and a three-story annex was added in 1990. It is the county's third courthouse.

 

Peach County

     Peach County Map

Peach County was the last county formed in Georgia. Created from Houston and Macon counties, it is named after the area's most famous crop.

Byron was named for the English writer and poet, Lord Byron. It was the site of the South's largest "pop festival" held on the Fourth of July weekend in 1970.

Some interesting historical sites include the McArthur-Saxon House (1850), the Thweat-Brown Home (1863), and the Everett-Culpepper-Grady Home (1834).

Fort Valley is home to Fort Valley State University, a member of the University System of Georgia. It is a historically black college and a land-grant institution.

There are several special events in Peach County including the Camellia Festival, the Georgia Peach Festival, the Festival of Trees, and the Jail House Alley Art Show.

The Peach County Courthouse, built in 1936, was designed in the colonial revival style. The

Peach County Courthouse

The Peach County Courthouse, built in 1936, was designed in the colonial revival style. The courthouse, located in Fort Valley, was expanded in 1970 and again in the 1990s.

 

Pickens County

     Pickens County Map

Pickens County was created in 1853 from parts of Cherokee and Gilmer counties. Georgia's 100th county was named for General Andrew Pickens, a Revolutionary War soldier.

A railroad line built in 1883 from Atlanta, through the valleys and mountain passes of Pickens County to Tate and Nelson, made possible the development of large marble quarries. One of the largest marble veins in the world is in Pickens County, running at least four miles long. It is a half-mile deep and almost that wide in places. Over 60 percent of the monuments in Washington, D.C. are made from Pickens County marble.

The Old Federal Road, the earliest vehicular route through northwest Georgia, crossed northern Pickens County at Talking Rock Creek.

Several special events take place in Pickens County. Two of the biggest festivals are held in October: the Marble Festival and Heritage Days Festival in Talking Rock.

The Pickens County Courthouse in Jasper was constructed in 1949 with marble quarried in nearby

Pickens County Courthouse

The Pickens County Courthouse in Jasper was constructed in 1949 with marble quarried in nearby Tate. This courthouse, designed in a stripped Classical style, is the third in the county's history.

 

Pierce County

     Pierce County Map.

Pierce County was created from parts of Appling and Ware counties. Georgia's 119th county was named for Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States.

Blackshear was named for General David Blackshear, who supervised construction of the Blackshear Road. Patterson was named for William Patterson who resettled in the county from New York. He ran a sawmill in the area.

The Pierce County courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There have been preliminary efforts to have the old Blackshear Jail and its hanging tower listed on the National Register.

A Confederate prison camp in Pierce County held about 5,000 Union prisoners of war during the last months of the Civil War. Prisoners were transferred to Pierce County from Millen, and possibly Andersonville, so that Sherman's troops would not be able to free them on their march south.

The Marion Anderson Library Black Heritage Collection in Blackshear contains about 300 volumes and oil paintings addressing African-American heritage. This is the largest publicly accessible collection of this type in the region.

Pierce County shares the Little Satilla Wildlife Management Area with Wayne County to the east.

There are two main festivals in Pierce County: the Harvest Fest in October and the Pecan Festival in November.

The Pierce County Courthouse, located in Blackshear, was constructed in 1902 and remodeled in 1970.

Pierce County Courthouse

The Pierce County Courthouse, located in Blackshear, was constructed in 1902 and remodeled in 1970. Designed in the neoclassical revival style, the courthouse is the county's third. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

 

Pike County

     Pike County Map

Pike County was created from part of Monroe County in 1822. Georgia's 57th county and its county seat, Zebulon, were named for Zebulon Montgomery Pike. An expedition led by Pike in 1805 attempted (and failed) to trace the Mississippi River to its source. He discovered Pike's Peak on the same expedition.

The Pike County Courthouse, built in 1895, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Agriculture and forestry are still the main industries in Pike County, though the county is feeling the effects of Atlanta's growth. The county is one of Georgia's major peach producers.

Pike County has been the site for the filming of several motion pictures, including Murder In Coweta County, Cold Sassy Tree, and Tank.

The Pike County Courthouse, designed in the Romanesque revival and colonial revival styles, was built

Pike County Courthouse

The Pike County Courthouse, designed in the Romanesque revival and colonial revival styles, was built in Zebulon in 1895. It is the county's third courthouse.

 

Polk County

     Polk County Map

Created from parts of Floyd and Paulding counties, Polk County was named for President James K. Polk.

Cedartown carries the same name as a Creek Indian town previously found in the area. The name comes from the many Red Cedar trees around the county.

Rockmart is at the end of a state-owned abandoned railroad line to Atlanta. Polk County has over a 15 mile paved section of the Silver Comet Trail. The first section of the trail starts in Paulding County and heads west to Polk County. The second part of the trail runs from Coot's Lake Road to historical Downtown Rockmart. The important part of the trail, located in Cedartown, is not paved and still has railroad tracks on the trail. This part of the Silver Comet Trail connects Georgia to the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama.

Cedartown's Big Spring is the largest natural limestone spring in the South.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places is the downtown district of Cedartown, an example of 1890s architecture. Also included is the Hawkes Children's Library, built in 1921. It is now a museum.

The Polk County Courthouse, designed in the Stripped Classical style, was built in Cedartown in

Polk County Courthouse

The Polk County Courthouse, designed in the Stripped Classical style, was built in Cedartown in 1951. It is the county's third courthouse.

 

Pulaski County

     Pulaski County Map

Pulaski County was created in 1808 from what was then Laurens County. Georgia's 36th county was named for Polish Count Casimir Pulaski who died in Savannah of wounds suffered in the Revolutionary War. The Pulaski area was the capital of the Creek Indian Confederacy.

The city of Hawkinsville was named for Colonel Benjamin Hawkins, a Revolutionary War hero and the federal Indian Agent for the four Southeastern tribes. He lived in Crawford County from 1794 until 1816.

Hawkinsville is home to one of the largest harness racing training facilities in the country.

There are three entries on the National Register of Historic Places from Pulaski County: the Hawkinsville Opera House, the Pulaski County Courthouse, and Taylor Hall.

The Ocmulgee River runs through the county.

Several notable people have ties to Pulaski County. Butler Brown, an artist, has had his work displayed in the White House; Mary Culler White was a missionary in China for most of her life; and "Salty Sol" Fleischman, a respected sportscaster in the Tampa Bay area, was born in the county.

The town has had a long history of horse racing, and celebrates the Hawkinsville Harness Festival every spring.

The Pulaski County Courthouse, built in 1874, is the county's third courthouse. A three-story annex

Pulaski County Courthouse

The Pulaski County Courthouse, built in 1874, is the county's third courthouse. A three-story annex was added to the courthouse in 1910, and the original building was restored in 1936. Designed in the Neoclassical Revival style, the courthouse is located in Hawkinsville, which became the county seat in 1836.

 

Putnam County

     Map Image

Putnam County was created in 1807 from a portion of Baldwin County. Georgia's 33rd county was named to honor General Israel Putnam of Connecticut one of the Patriot commanders at Breeds Hill, in the engagement misnamed the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Eatonton is home to the Uncle Remus Museum, as well as a Brer Rabbit Statue standing on the courthouse square.

Rock Eagle State 4-H Club Center and the Oconee National Forest are located in the county. Rock Eagle is an eagle-shaped mound of white quartz boulders created by the early Indians. Portions of Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair are in the county, providing an impetus for growth and development.

Joel Chandler Harris, author of The Uncle Remus Tales, was born and grew up in Putnam County. Contemporary writer, Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, is also from Putnam County.

The two main special events in Putnam County are the Dairy Festival and the Christmas Celebration. The Dairy Festival is held every June to celebrate the importance of the dairy industry to Putnam County. The county claims the title of "Dairy Capital of Georgia," although there are several other contenders to that title.

The Putnam County Courthouse in Eatonton was first constructed in 1824, and extensive renovations were

Putnam County Courthouse

The Putnam County Courthouse in Eatonton was first constructed in 1824, and extensive renovations were completed in 1906 and 1994. The building, designed in the Neoclassical Revival style, is situated on one of the largest town squares in the state.

 

Quitman County

     Quitman County Map

Quitman County was created from parts of Randolph and Stewart counties in 1858. The county was named for General John A. Quitman, a leader in the Mexican War, once Governor of Mississippi, and an avid spokesman for states rights.

The county's only incorporated municipality is Georgetown, the county seat. It was named for the area in Washington, D.C. It was originally called Tobanana after a nearby creek.

An earlier fortified settlement, believed to have been built by prehistoric Indians, was located where Cool Branch flows into the Chattahoochee River. Much of that area--indeed all of Quitman's western border--is now beneath the waters of Lake Walter F. George, an impoundment on the Chattahoochee River.

Quitman County shares the Lake Walter F. George Wildlife Management Area with Clay County to the south.

The Quitman County Jail is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Harrison-Guerry-Brannon-Crawford Family Cemetery has many distinguished Georgians buried in it.

The Quitman County Courthouse in Georgetown was built in 1939. Designed in the Stripped Classical

Quitman County Courthouse

The Quitman County Courthouse in Georgetown was built in 1939. Designed in the Stripped Classical style, the structure also features Colonial Revival elements.  Other Information: At some point soon after creation of Quitman County, a wooden two-story courthouse was built in Georgetown. That structure burned in 1920. A rented warehouse was used as a temporary courthouse until a new one could be built. Apparently county revenues were insufficient to fund construction of a new courthouse -- a problem compounded with arrival of the Depression. Quitman County took advantage of federal relief funds to build the one-story brick courthouse in 1939.

 

Rabun County

     Rabun County map.

Rabun County was created in 1819 from the cession of Cherokee Indian territory. Georgia's 47th county was named for Governor William Rabun, the state's 11th governor.

The county seat of Clayton was named for Judge Augustin S. Clayton, a prominent jurist and congressman.

According to Indian legend, Rabun Bald Mountain is inhabited by fire-breathing demon people. Campers and other visitors often report hearing strange sounds throughout the night.

Tallulah Gorge is located in Rabun County and is 1,000 feet deep. The river feeding its waterfall was diverted through a tunnel in the 1930s, when a power plant was built there. The waterfall was recently reactivated, and is the highest in the state.

Rabun County is bounded on the west by the mountain ridges of the Appalachian Trail. The Tallulah River, which flows through Lakes Burton, Seed and Rabun to join the Tugaloo River, forms a central pass through the mountains. This, and surrounding areas, were ruled by Chief Attakullakulla, "Little Carpenter," who mediated early conflicts between the Cherokee Indians and the white settlers.

Sky Valley, now incorporated, was formerly a resort development. To get to this city, visitors must first drive to North Carolina and enter from the north.

The current Rabun County Courthouse in Clayton was built in 1967. Among the renovations completed

Rabun County Courthouse

The current Rabun County Courthouse in Clayton was built in 1967. Among the renovations completed since that time are the additions of a second floor and cupola, as well as a new entrance.

 

Randolph County

     Randolph County Map

Randolph County, in southwest Georgia, was created from Lee County by an act of the state legislature on December 20, 1828. Georgia's seventy-fifth county was named for Virginia congressman John Randolph (1773-1833) of Roanoke, one of the more controversial statesmen of the early federal period. The land lottery of 1827 had opened the southwest Georgia lands to settlers, who continued to have troubles with the Native Americans until the Creek Indian War of 1836, part of which was fought on Randolph County soil.

Lumpkin served as the county seat until 1830, when it became the county seat for Stewart County, which was formed from Randolph. Cuthbert was named Randolph's county seat by an act of the legislature in 1831.

Agriculture became the mainstay of the region. By 1850 the population of Randolph County totaled 12,868. During this decade two colleges, Baptist Female College (1852) and the United Methodist–affiliated Andrew Female College (1854), later as Andrew College, were established. By 1859 the railroad had come to Randolph County, opening the doors for better transportation and quicker trade.

Some minor skirmishes occurred in Randolph County during the Civil War (1861-65), but the region was spared much military action. Many refugees came to the area for protection. Both of the colleges were used as hospitals during the war years.

After the Civil War, Randolph County continued its educational reputation when Howard Normal School, established by the American Missionary Association, opened its doors to area African Americans in 1867. Richard R. Wright became the first black headmaster in 1876. During his four-year tenure, he organized the Georgia State Teacher's Association and edited the Weekly Journal of Progress. Fletcher Hamilton Henderson Sr. became the headmaster in 1880 and remained until 1942.

Henderson's son, bandleader Fletcher Henderson, was one of Cuthbert's most famous citizens. He received his education at Howard Normal School and eventually went to New York, where he signed with W. C. Handy's music firm. The band Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra served as the principal model for the Big Band style. The Fletcher Henderson Jazz Festival, held every April in Cuthbert, celebrates this innovative band leader and his legacy.

In the twentieth century Randolph County has been the home of two Georgia Supreme Court justices, Charles William Worrill and Jesse Groover Bowles Jr., as well as one U.S. congressman, Bryant T. Castellow. The county also produced two internationally known athletes—Roosevelt Grier, known as one of the "Fearsome Foursome" of the Los Angeles Rams football team in the 1960s, and Larry Holmes, who has held the World Boxing Council heavyweight title.

U.S. Highways 82 and 27 traverse Cuthbert, which is one of the few municipalities in the country with a water tower in the middle of a federal highway (U.S. 82). The Cuthbert Historic District boasts architectural styles spanning most of the county's history.

Randolph County, encompassing 429 square miles, has seen a decline in population since 1980, with 7,791 people (38.9 percent white, 59.5 percent black, and 1.2 percent Hispanic) according to the 2000 U.S. census. It is still a rural county, and the 2003 Farm Gate Value report shows that Randolph is the number-one wheat grower in the state, as well as the number-one sorghum grower. Peanuts, cotton, soybeans, and corn are also important crops for Randolph.

Andrew College

Randolph County Courthouse

The Randolph County Courthouse, located in Cuthbert, was built in 1886 and was designed by the architectural firm Kimball, Wheeler, and Parkins. The courthouse is an example of Queen Anne architecture.

 

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

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