From its county population in 2000 of 5246 to its current population estimate of 5744, the county has experienced a growth change of 498.
Stewart County, created in 1830, was named for Daniel Stewart, an Indian fighter, and the great-grandfather of U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt.
Stewart County's citizens realized that a new industry needed to be developed. A group formed in 1965 to restore a derelict stagecoach hotel, and the restoration of the 1836 Bedingfield Inn, on Lumpkin's courthouse square, became the first small-town community preservation project in Georgia. The citizens hoped to attract tourists to the county, marking the beginning of heritage tourism in rural Georgia.
Lumpkin, the county seat, offers a stagecoach-trail driving tour of antebellum homes. Built in 1895 and rebuilt in 1923 by architect T. F. Lockwood after a fire, the county courthouse presides over the town square and business district. The Bedingfield Inn is the only remaining wooden structure on the square.
Lumpkin was named for Wilson Lumpkin, a two-term governor of Georgia, U.S. Congressman and Senator. He was a leading advocate of state rights and "Indian Removal."