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:: Pierce County ::

Community Profile

County Formed December 18, 1857
County Seat Blackshear
Incorporated Cities Blackshear and Patterson
Total Area 343.454491 square miles


From its county population in 2000 of 15720 to its current population estimate of 18991, the county has experienced a growth change of 3271.

Pierce County was named for Franklin Pierce, the fourteenth president of the United States and an anti-abolitionist from New Hampshire.  The county seat is Blackshear, which was named by the state legislature before the town was created. In 1858 those responsible for choosing a site decided to build the community around a depot constructed in 1857 by the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad.

The Civil War (1861-65) began soon after Pierce County was formed, with the result that many of its healthy young men went to war before they could join in the formation of communities. The few townspeople who remained in the county's 333 households found themselves hosts to a temporary  Confederate prisoner-of-war camp from November 1864 through January 1865.

Nearly 5,000 Union captives were brought to Blackshear to prevent their release by Union general William T. Sherman as he marched through the state; the prisoners were subsequently sent on to Savannah for the same reason.

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.

Points of Interest

The Brantley Brick Warehouse, dating from around 1900, is one of the oldest brick tobacco warehouses in Georgia and has been converted into retail and office space.

 The Pierce County Jail, built in 1894, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Used until the 1920s and garnering the nickname "Hanging Jail" because of its high tower, it was the third of the county's five jails.

The Heritage Museum, located in the Blackshear Depot, mounts displays pertaining to the lives of the early settlers in the county, with exhibitions on agriculture, church histories, and the Civil War. It also has a large photograph and document collection as well as a genealogical library. 

Additional County Info
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State of Georgia

Downtown Blackshear


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