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:: Athens-Clarke County ::

Community Profile

County Formed December 5, 1801
County Seat Athens
Incorporated Cities Athens and Winterville
Total Area 121.027397 square miles


From its county population in 2000 of 101711 to its current population estimate of 120938, the county has experienced a growth change of 19227.

Clarke County was created by the state legislature in 1801 from part of Jackson County. It was named in honor of Elijah Clarke, a general during the American Revolution and member of the state assembly.

Watkinsville served as the county seat until 1871, when the state legislature made Athens the new seat. The town of Watkinsville evolved slowly, while Athens, with a rail terminus, grew quickly; after the University of Georgia (UGA) was established in Athens in 1785, the town became the county's center of commerce and education

Fifty-two sites in Clarke County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Lucy Cobb Institute and the Morton Theatre. The county is also home to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the Georgia Museum of Art, the official state art museum.

Athens was spared Sherman's "March to the Sea," leaving a variety of antebellum structures, some of which are recognized today by 33 landmarks and 13 neighborhoods listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Points of Interest

The 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.

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is a "living laboratory" serving teaching, research, public service, and outreach missions for the University of Georgia and the citizens of Georgia.

The Georgia Museum of Art, on the campus of the University of Georgia, in Athens, is both an academic museum and the official art museum of the state of Georgia.

The Morton Theater, completed in 1910, is the only remaining vaudeville theater on the National Register of Historic Places that was built, owned, and operated by an African-American, Monroe "Pink" Morton. In its heyday, the Morton featured headliners such as Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Blind Willie McTell, and Duke Ellington. The landmark building and community cultural center also housed black professionals' offices, where doctors, dentists, pharmacists, jewelers, barbers, and insurance companies served the black community throughout the first half of the 20th century.

Notable Citizens

Hall Johnson, a native Athenian who incorporated jazz and blues techniques, established the Hall Johnson Chorale, and is considered one of America's most distinguished black musicians (National Music Council's Landmark of American Music). Many notable people are associated with the area, including Henry Woodfin Grady, a journalist and spokesman for the "New South" following the Civil War. Dr. William Lorenzo Moss taught at both Harvard and Yale Universities before coming to the University of Georgia's School of Public Health Medicine. He developed the Moss System of classifying blood. Joseph Henry Lumpkin was the first Chief Justice of the state, and Ben T. Epps was Georgia's pioneer aviator. He designed, built, and flew the first plane in Georgia and then ran a flying service from 1917 to 1937.

Higher Education

The University of Georgia, Athens Technical College, and US Navy Supply Corps School

Annual Events

Hands on Athens is an annual event bringing residnets of the area to assist low-income homeowners in historic neighborhoods to maintain, repair, and restore their properties as part of neighborhood revitalization.

Taste of Athens is an annual event that features food from local restaurants and caterers. It also hosts a silent auction to benefit the Community Connection for Northeast Georgia.

Chamber of Commerce
Additional County Info
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State of Georgia

Athens City Hall

Morton Theater, Athens

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