Bainbridge, Georgia

Coordinates: 30°54′17″N 84°34′16″W / 30.90472°N 84.57111°W / 30.90472; -84.57111
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Bainbridge, Georgia
Bainbridge City Hall
Bainbridge City Hall
Flag of Bainbridge, Georgia
Official seal of Bainbridge, Georgia
Motto: 
"Georgia's First Inland Port"[1]
Location in Decatur County and the state of Georgia
Location in Decatur County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 30°54′17″N 84°34′16″W / 30.90472°N 84.57111°W / 30.90472; -84.57111
CountryUnited States
StateGeorgia
CountyDecatur
Government
 • MayorEdward Reynolds
Area
 • City21.00 sq mi (54.40 km2)
 • Land19.78 sq mi (51.22 km2)
 • Water1.23 sq mi (3.18 km2)
Elevation
121 ft (37 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • City14,468
 • Density731.59/sq mi (282.47/km2)
 • Metro
27,842
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
39817, 39819
Area code229
FIPS code13-04896[3]
GNIS feature ID0354431[4]
Websitebainbridgecity.com

Bainbridge is a city in Decatur County, Georgia, United States. The city is the county seat of Decatur County.[6] As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 14,468.

History[edit]

The first European settlement in what is today Bainbridge was a trading post set up by James Burges in the late 18th century. From him comes the name Burges's Bluff.[7]: 120  The town was named after U.S. Navy Commodore William Bainbridge,[8] commander of the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides"), and was incorporated on December 22, 1829.[5]

In 1824, Bainbridge was designated seat of the newly formed Decatur County.[9]

On October 10, 2018, Bainbridge fell victim to Hurricane Michael. The storm left widespread damage through the city limits, including downed trees, power lines, and structural damage. Many residents affected suffered severe damage to their homes.

Geography[edit]

Bainbridge is located in the center of Decatur County. The city is in southwestern Georgia along U.S. Routes 27 and 84, which form a bypass around the southern part of the city. U.S. Route 27 leads southeast 42 miles (68 km) to Tallahassee, Florida, and north 128 miles (206 km) to Columbus. U.S. Route 84 leads east 38 miles (61 km) to Thomasville and northwest 54 miles (87 km) to Dothan, Alabama. Other highways which run through the city include Georgia State Routes 97, 253, 309, and 311.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.1 square miles (52.0 km2), of which 18.8 square miles (48.7 km2) is land and 1.3 square miles (3.3 km2), or 6.40%, is water.[10]

Bainbridge is located on the Flint River, which flows southwest to meet the Chattahoochee. Together they form the Apalachicola River which flows to the Gulf of Mexico. At the junction of the two rivers, the Jim Woodruff Dam forms Lake Seminole. A system of locks at the dam allows barge traffic to travel between the inland port at Bainbridge and the Gulf of Mexico.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18601,869
18701,351−27.7%
18801,4366.3%
18901,66816.2%
19002,64158.3%
19104,21759.7%
19204,79213.6%
19306,14128.2%
19406,3523.4%
19507,56219.0%
196012,71468.1%
197010,887−14.4%
198010,553−3.1%
199010,7121.5%
200011,7229.4%
201012,6978.3%
202014,46813.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
Bainbridge racial makeup as of 2020[12]
Race Num. Perc.
White 5,106 35.29%
Black or African American 8,106 56.03%
Native American 31 0.21%
Asian 117 0.81%
Pacific Islander 4 0.03%
Other/Mixed 336 2.32%
Hispanic or Latino 768 5.31%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 14,468 people, 4,471 households, and 3,111 families residing in the city.

Economy[edit]

It was announced in December 2019 that Brazil-based gun manufacturer Taurus had been granted a $39 million tax-incentive package to move from the Miami, Florida area to Bainbridge in return for creating 300 jobs. The package includes $20 million for construction, $7.9 million in tax credits, $4.5 million for infrastructure, $4.3 million in property-tax abatements, and $3 million for equipment, in addition to a land lease arrangement of $1/year for 73 acres (20 hectares) of land. The subsidy totals $130,000 per job.[13]

In December 2023 it was announced that significant tax breaks for a large primate breeding operation were approved by the Bainbridge City Council despite a lack of transparency to local residents who have since expressed outrage and strong opposition to the project. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has highlighted several dangerous aspects of this project that threaten the health and well-being of local human and wildlife populations. Examples include the spread of numerous exotic diseases from animals imported from foreign countries through the international primate trade, and the disposal of millions of gallons of toxic animal waste that will be generated from the project and dumped in to the local ecosystem. PETA has also noted that officials representing the newly formed company spearheading the Bainbridge primate project were recent high-level employees of companies currently under investigation for an alleged illegal primate import scheme.

Arts and culture[edit]

Arts[edit]

  • The Firehouse Gallery Art Gallery
  • Bainbridge Little Theatre

Annual cultural events[edit]

River Town Days is held each year the second weekend of March.

The Swine Time Festival and Decatur County Fall Festival and Fair are annual events.[5]

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

The Decatur County Courthouse was constructed in 1902, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5] Also listed on the Register is the First African Missionary Baptist Church.[14]

Public library[edit]

The Decatur County Gilbert H. Gragg Library is located in Bainbridge. The library serves the population of Decatur County and acts as the headquarters for the Southwest Georgia Regional Library.[15]

Education[edit]

Decatur County School District[edit]

The Decatur County School District holds pre-school to grade 12, and consists of two primary schools, one elementary school, one middle school, and a high school.[16] The district has 384 full-time teachers and over 5,782 students.[17]

Schools include:[18]

  • Jones-Wheat Primary School (grades PreK-2)
  • West Bainbridge Primary School (grades PreK-2)
  • Hutto Elementary School (grades 3-5)
  • Bainbridge Middle School (grades 6-8)
  • Bainbridge High School (grades 9-12)

Other schools[edit]

  • Grace Christian Academy (PreK-12)
  • Spring Creek Charter Academy (PreK-9)

Parks and recreation[edit]

The Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA opened on September 15, 1986. Its building had a cost of $1,000,000.[19]

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

The city is a seaport linked to the Gulf of Mexico via Florida's Apalachicola River. Officially known as Port Bainbridge, these facilities are managed entirely by the Georgia Ports Authority.

The Decatur County Industrial Air Park, located 6 miles (10 km) northwest of the city, provides general aviation service to the community.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "City of Bainbridge website". City of Bainbridge Georgia. Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d "Bainbridge". Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Cox, Dale; Conrad, Rachael (2017). Fowltown. Neamathla, Tutakosi Talofa & the first battle of the Seminole Wars. Old Kitchen Books. ISBN 978-0692977880.
  8. ^ "Profile for Bainbridge, Georgia, GA". ePodunk. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  9. ^ Hellmann, Paul T. (May 13, 2013). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 220. ISBN 978-1135948597. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  10. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Bainbridge city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved October 20, 2015.[dead link]
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  13. ^ Polly Mosendz; Caleb Melby (December 19, 2019), "Gunmaker Gets $39 Million From Taxpayers for 300 Small-Town Jobs", Bloomberg Business
  14. ^ Steven Moffson (June 2001). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: First African Missionary Baptist Church". National Park Service. with 12 photos
  15. ^ "Homepage". Southwest Georgia Regional Library System. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  16. ^ Georgia Board of Education[permanent dead link], Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  17. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  18. ^ "Our Schools". Decatur County School District. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  19. ^ "Too small for a YMCA? … No way!". The Post Searchlight. March 21, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2021. - Author was the interim CEO of the YMCA.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]