Grovetown, Georgia

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"Grovetown" redirects here. For the settlement in New Zealand, see Grovetown, New Zealand.
Grovetown, Georgia
City
Motto: A community that cares
Location in Columbia County and the state of Georgia
Location in Columbia County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 33°26′58″N 82°11′49″W / 33.44944°N 82.19694°W / 33.44944; -82.19694Coordinates: 33°26′58″N 82°11′49″W / 33.44944°N 82.19694°W / 33.44944; -82.19694
Country United States
State Georgia
County Columbia
Area
 • Total 4.83 sq mi (12.52 km2)
 • Land 4.82 sq mi (12.49 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation 482 ft (147 m)
Population (2013)
 • Total 12,389
 • Density 2,326/sq mi (898.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 30813
Area code(s) 706
FIPS code 13-35716[1]
GNIS feature ID 0356123[2]
Website cityofgrovetown.com

Grovetown is a city in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Augusta metropolitan area and the Central Savannah River Area. In the 2013 United States Census estimates, it had a population of 12,389.[3] The mayor is George W. James III.[4]

Geography[edit]

Grovetown is located in southern Columbia County at 33°26′58″N 82°11′49″W / 33.44944°N 82.19694°W / 33.44944; -82.19694 (33.449324, -82.196972).[5] Downtown Augusta is 15 miles (24 km) east. The northern boundary of Fort Gordon is 2 miles (3 km) south.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Grovetown has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.5 km2), of which 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2), or 0.23%, is water.[6]

Transportation[edit]

Georgia State Route 223 (SR 223) is known as Robinson Avenue from just northwest of Fort Gordon's Gate 2 to the intersection with Harlem–Grovetown Road and SR 388. It is known as Wrightsboro Road past this point. At this intersection, SR 388 takes on the Wrightsboro Road name until it meets Katherine Street. At this intersection, the highway turns left onto Horizon South Parkway, while Wrightsboro Road continues toward Augusta.

There are other important highways outside the city limits. Interstate 20 (Carl Sanders Highway), which leads west to Atlanta and east to Augusta and Columbia, S.C., is 2 mi. north. US 78/US 278/SR 10, known as Gordon Highway, is located just south of the city limits west of Fort Gordon's Gate 2, and runs between Harlem and Augusta. SR 383 (Jimmie Dyess Parkway), is 5 mi. east and connects Fort Gordon's Gate 1 to Evans.

History[edit]

From the building of the Georgia Railroad which passes through town until at least the 1860s, the community was known as "Belair".[7] The city was chartered by the Georgia Legislature and officially incorporated in 1881. The name of the small village purportedly came from the old Grove Baptist Church that was founded in 1808. A poet famous in the post-Civil War era, Paul Hamilton Hayne, moved to Copse Hill in the Parham Road area in the 1860s. A man of letters, Hayne solicited the postal service to establish the Grovetown post office. The first U.S. mail service was inaugurated on September 28, 1877, with Charles Clifford as postmaster. Mr. Clifford was also the train depot agent and the owner of the corner store.

The first railroad depot was a small structure built in 1878-79. The last depot was an ornate structure built in 1891 at a cost of $5,041.74. It served the citizens of Grovetown until 1970, when passenger trains no longer ran the Augusta-Atlanta line. It was demolished in 1973.

Many wealthy and influential Augusta residents had summer homes in Grovetown, escaping the heat and disease of the city in the swampy river area. They commuted on the old "Picayune" train, relying on its frequent service. The Rosland Hotel, later known as the "Eagle", was built in the 1880s. Its huge rotunda was frequently used for church gatherings, suppers, parties, and dances. The hotel later became a boarding house and burned in the 1970s. The Church of Christ is now located on the site.

Several country stores were established on Old Wrightsboro Road near the railroad crossing. One was S. F. Poole's store, where the gazebo now stands, with a "philosophers' bench" by the door. During the early days, many famous residents lived in the Grovetown area: Hayne, the literary figure; Stewart Phinizy and James Tobin, cotton brokers; Charles Phinizy, banker and railroad president; Dr. H. H. Steiner, physician; and John Dodge, pharmacist and harness racing enthusiast. Dodge brought his stable from Ohio and built a large home and racetrack.

With the construction of Camp Gordon in 1942, Grovetown experienced rapid growth; it was no longer a small agricultural town. Many military families looked to Grovetown for housing. Gradually more and more retired military saw the benefits of living in the small town and population began to grow and stabilize.

Annexation and multi-housing construction has increased the population of the formerly quiet town. Currently, Grovetown has a population of approximately 11,000, up from the 1990 census figure of 3,596. A variety of stores, dining establishments, schools, and churches add to the town's culture. Services include recreational facilities, a public safety department, two fire stations, water and sewer services, a senior center, and museum.

Museum[edit]

Grovetown city officials were in the process of building a new city hall in 1997. The land was purchased, but a dilapidated historical home built in the late 19th century stood in the way. During a city council meeting the mayor stated that they had decided to torch the building and give the city fire department a training experience.

Rosa Lee Owens, a teacher and a city resident, asked permission to address the issue. She related that the historic building was a part of Grovetown history and the building should be preserved rather than destroyed. She proposed having the building relocated on the property and restored as a museum to preserve the past. After some discussion both pro and con the Mayor and Council decided to accept her proposal.

The city budget did not include restoration funds for the historical home to become a city museum. Consequently Mayor Dennis Trudeau was determined to move forward as he applied for and received a grant to establish the Grovetown Museum, the first museum in Columbia County. Owens contacted the Fort Gordon museum curator for advice to design floor plans for exhibits. She then contacted Harlem High School to implement a project to build exhibit cases; she paid for all necessary supplies for nine cases. Instead of purchasing locks and handles for the cases, screws were used to hold the case doors. She then bargained with Montgomery Ward to buy unfinished cases and was able to use the local police department's community servants for putting them together. By this time a number of citizens offered support. Charles Lord, a local historian, began collecting and organizing exhibits. Others volunteered their time and effort to prepare for the grand opening in March 2000. City officials organized a Grovetown Museum Board with by-laws for operating the facility. Volunteers served as weekend tour guides originally. Later the museum was included in the city budget.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 6,089 people, 2,159 households, and 1,597 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,111.9 people per square mile (816.3/km²). There were 2,473 housing units at an average density of 857.7 per square mile (331.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.95% White, 19.94% African American, 0.56% Native American, 1.56% Asian, 0.28% Pacific Islander, 3.05% from other races, and 3.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.25% of the population.

There were 2,159 households out of which 47.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 18.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 20.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the city the population was spread out with 33.6% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 36.3% from 25 to 44, 14.4% from 45 to 64, and 5.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 99.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,382, and the median income for a family was $32,546. Males had a median income of $28,432 versus $21,489 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,256. About 16.3% of families and 18.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.5% of those under age 18 and 15.9% of those age 65 or over.

Schools[edit]

Grovetown High School, Grovetown Middle School, Columbia Middle School, Grovetown Elementary School, Baker Place Elementary School, Brookwood Elementary School, Cedar Ridge Elementary School, and Euchee Creek Elementary School serve the city.[8]

Fact sheet[edit]

Grovetown fact sheet, from Georgia Cities Week:

  1. Grovetown was organized and chartered as a city in 1881 as Groveton.
  2. Dr. Joseph Hatton, Charles Clifford, Ulysses Brooks, Charner McDonald, and John Fisk were the officials who chartered the city.
  3. Four mayors—Leon Davidson, Dennis and Maryann Trudeau, and George James—lived on Williams St.
  4. Camp Gordon (now Ft. Gordon) was named for Confederate Lt. Gen. John Brown Gordon.
  5. Grovetown purchased its first fire truck in 1955.
  6. Grovetown established a sewer system in 1988.
  7. John Dodge wintered in Grovetown for 30 years. Every year he brought horses with him by train.
  8. Goodale Park is named for Vietnam Cpl. Joseph Daniel "Danny" Goodale Jr. He was only 20 when he was killed in March 1969.
  9. Born in Minnesota, Mayor Dennis Trudeau enlisted in the Canadian Army in October 1942 because his family was living in Canada when the war started. He served in the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, attached to the 6th British Airborne Div. He dropped into Normandy on June 6, 1944, was captured by the Germans and was a POW for 10 months.
  10. Grovetown has four welcome signs. They each say something different: "Come Grow With Us", "Home of Teri Gibbs", "A Friendly Little City", and "A Community that Cares".
  11. The Rosland Hotel, later called "The Eagle", had a roller skating rink on the second story mezzanine level.
  12. Euchee Creek Library opened in May 1994.
  13. James Street in Grovetown is named after the current mayor's grandfather.
  14. Five elementary schools have Grovetown addresses: Grovetown, Lewiston, Cedar Ridge, Euchee Creek, and Baker Place.
  15. There are four City Council members.
  16. There is not another Grovetown in the United States. There are three Grovetons, in Virginia, New Hampshire, and Texas, as well as a Grovertown, Indiana.
  17. The Veterans Memorial Wall is the largest monument in Grovetown.
  18. Dr. Joseph Hatton in 1882 was the first elected mayor.
  19. The Grovetown Museum opened in 2000.
  20. Charles Clifford was made the town's first postmaster on Sept 28, 1877, and served until 1934, when he died as one of the nation's oldest postmasters in tenure. He was also a Georgia Railroad Agent and a town official at incorporation. He managed a country store for a number of years, where telephone service appeared in 1905.
  21. James A. Garfield was president when the City of Grovetown was chartered.
  22. The first public water system was proposed for Grovetown during Mayor E. B. Trigg's term in 1951. It began operation the following year under Mayor R. T. Hardy, having cost $63,183.45. W. B. Dorn donated the land.
  23. For a period of approximately 33 years (1916–49), Grovetown did not have a mayor.

See also[edit]


References[edit]

External links[edit]