Elberton, Georgia

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Elberton, Georgia
A home along Elberton's Heard Street
A home along Elberton's Heard Street
Official seal of Elberton, Georgia
Granite Capital of the World
Location in Elbert County and the state of Georgia
Location in Elbert County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 34°6′35″N 82°51′56″W / 34.10972°N 82.86556°W / 34.10972; -82.86556Coordinates: 34°6′35″N 82°51′56″W / 34.10972°N 82.86556°W / 34.10972; -82.86556
CountryUnited States
 • MayorLarry Guest
 • City ManagerLanier Dunn
 • Total4.57 sq mi (11.85 km2)
 • Land4.54 sq mi (11.76 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.09 km2)
702 ft (214 m)
 • Total4,640
 • Density1,022.03/sq mi (394.64/km2)
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code706
FIPS code13-26616[2]
GNIS feature ID0355658[3]

Elberton is the largest city in Elbert County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,653 at the 2010 census.[4] The city is the county seat of Elbert County.[5]


Settled in the 1780s, Elbert was designated seat of the newly formed Elbert County in 1790. It was incorporated as a town in 1803 and as a city in 1896.[6][7] Like Elbert County, Elberton is named for Samuel Elbert.[8]

Elberton is known as the "Granite Capital of the World".[9]


Elberton is located near the center of Elbert County at 34°6′35″N 82°51′56″W / 34.10972°N 82.86556°W / 34.10972; -82.86556 (34.109628, -82.865669).[10] State Routes 17 and 72 pass east–west through the center of town as College Avenue, while 77 crosses north–south on Oliver Street. GA 17 leads northwest 19 miles (31 km) to Royston and southeast 29 miles (47 km) to Washington, GA 72 leads east 15 miles (24 km) to the South Carolina border at Richard B. Russell Lake on the Savannah River and west 35 miles (56 km) to Athens, and GA 77 leads north 18 miles (29 km) to Hartwell and southwest 25 miles (40 km) to Lexington.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Elberton has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.4 km2), of which 4.7 square miles (12.3 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.72%, is water.[4]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

2020 census[edit]

Elberton racial composition[12]
Race Num. Perc.
White 2,244 48.36%
African American 1,860 40.09%
Native American 11 0.24%
Asian 57 1.23%
Other/mixed 148 3.19%
Hispanic or Latino 320 6.9%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 4,640 people, 1,754 households, and 997 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 4,743 people, 1,985 households, and 1,274 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,183.4 people per square mile (456.7 per km2). There were 2,265 housing units at an average density of 565.1 per square mile (218.1 per km2). The racial makeup of the city was 59.33% White, 37.99% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 1.33% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.21% of the population.

There were 1,985 households, out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.9% were married couples living together, 21.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.5% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,246, and the median income for a family was $31,154. Males had a median income of $29,277 versus $19,470 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,486. About 21.3% of families and 24.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.3% of those under age 18 and 22.0% of those age 65 or over.


Elberton operates under a council-manager form of government. In this style of government, the city manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city, the five-person elected council serves as a board of directors, and the mayor performs more ceremonial duties and presides over council meetings, although Elberton mayors have traditionally taken a more active role in running the city.

The City of Elberton operates Elberton Utilities, a comprehensive utility system which includes electric, gas, water, sewer, cable television, and internet services; Elberton Public Works, which provides solid waste and street cleaning services and operates the city's cemeteries; Main Street Elberton, which promotes development in the downtown area; and the Elbert Theatre, which reopened in 2001 after extensive renovations and now hosts numerous productions throughout the year. The city is the primary benefactor of the Development Authority of Elberton, Elbert County, and Bowman.

For over twenty years, Elberton has been the sister city of Mure, Kagawa, Japan. Students have the opportunity each year to participate in an exchange program[13] sponsored by the two cities.

Elberton was named a Georgia City of Excellence by the Georgia Municipal Association in 2002. It received commendation as a Trendsetter by Georgia Trend Magazine in 2005. The city was selected to host the Georgia Literary Festival in 2005 due to the area's contributions to literature.


The historic Elbert Theatre


Elberton claims the title "Granite Capital of the World", although there are no statistics that qualify such a claim. The city's post-Civil War history has largely revolved around the industry, following the opening of the first commercial quarry and manufacturing plant by Dr. Nathaniel Long in 1889.[14] As the industry grew in the early 1900s, so did Elberton's importance on the passenger and freight railroad lines, bringing many travelers and businessmen to the city and leading to its heyday.[citation needed]

Several granite monuments, including the now-destructed Georgia Guidestones, are located in or near Elberton.

Elberton's Granite Bowl seats 20,000 and formerly featured a retired Sanford Stadium (University of Georgia) scoreboard.

The city is home to the Elberton Granite Museum and Exhibit, with a notable exhibit being "Dutchy", a Confederate monument made of granite that was removed from the town square due to its appearance.[15]

Southeastern Power[edit]

Since 1950, Elberton has served as the headquarters of the Southeastern Power Administration, a division of the United States Department of Energy. The authority markets power generated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers across the southern United States. The authority recently moved from its downtown headquarters in the former Samuel Elbert Hotel to a new building on Athens Tech Drive on the western end of the city.

Nature's Harmony Farm[edit]

Founded in 2008, Nature's Harmony Farm mainly produces poultry, eggs, meats, and farmstead cheese. The farm has received local, national, and international praise, receiving the 2012 gold medal in the Jersey World Cheese Championships in England and the 2014 Grand Champion status in the Flavor of Georgia Competition.


Elbert County School District[edit]

The city is served by the Elbert County School District. One learning center, one primary school, one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school are located within the city.[16] The district has 194 full-time teachers and over 3,079 students.[17] The school system is one of the county's largest employers.

Private education[edit]

Elberton Christian School was located on Rhodes Drive in the city, but has closed.

Colleges and universities[edit]

Athens Technical College operates a full satellite campus on the western end of the city, near the elementary school, middle school, and high school.


Elberton is currently served by one newspaper, The Elberton Star, though several others (including the Elbert County Examiner and the Elbert Beacon, both of which merged with the Star) have covered the city over the years. The Star has been published since 1887.

The Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail publishes a daily Northeast Georgia edition which covers the Elberton area.

The city is served by four local radio stations. WSGC-AM 1400, which plays an oldies format, is one of Georgia's oldest, having been on the air since 1947. WSGC-FM 92.1 and WXKT-FM 100.1 play country music while WLVX-FM 105.1 specializes in R&B.

Elberton is in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville television market, though local cable and satellite providers also carry stations from the Atlanta market.

Transportation infrastructure[edit]

Elberton Depot


Georgia State Routes 17, 72, 77 and 77 Connector pass through the city. Heard, Oliver, Church, and McIntosh streets are the primary thoroughfares downtown while College Avenue and Elbert Street bypass the downtown area and serve as the major routes through the city.

Interstate 85 exits for Elberton include exits 160 (State Routes 51), 173 (17) and 177 (77), all 31 to 33 miles (50 to 53 km) northwest of Elberton. The city can also be reached from Interstate 20 via two exits - State Route 77 (exit 154), 53 miles (85 km) southwest of the city, and U.S. Route 78/State Route 17 (exit 172), 51 miles (82 km) to the southeast.

State Route 72 connects Elberton with Athens to the west and Greenwood, South Carolina, to the east, while State Route 77 connects to Lexington and Hartwell. State Route 17 stretches from the North Georgia mountains to the coast at Savannah. State Route 368 begins just north of the city and links Elberton to Anderson, South Carolina.

Plans for the proposed Interstate 3 have the highway passing through Elberton.


Elberton and Elbert County are served locally by the Elbert County-Patz Field Airport, located just east of the city on State Route 72.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is located 110 miles (180 km) west of Elberton, while Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport is located 75 miles (121 km) to the northeast.

Regional air transportation is available in the nearby cities of Athens, Georgia, and Anderson, South Carolina.


For many years, Elberton was an important passenger and freight stop on the main line of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. The line is now operated by CSX Transportation and remains in use for freight transportation. A spur line connects Elberton to a main line of the Norfolk Southern Railway (formerly Southern Railway).


Elbert Memorial Hospital, located at the corner of Laurel and Chestnut streets, has provided medical care to the Elberton region since 1950. Then-Governor Herman Talmadge presided over the dedication of the facility, calling it "one of the nation's finest."[18] The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Today, Elbert Memorial is a 25-bed acute care critical access hospital with emergency, surgical, and rehabilitation facilities, as well as a wellness center and cafeteria. The hospital is currently researching potential expansion opportunities, either through an extensive reworking of the current facility or by moving to a new location.[19]

Other nearby hospitals include Athens Regional Medical Center and St. Mary's Hospital in Athens and Anderson Area Medical Center (AnMed) in Anderson, South Carolina.

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Elberton has a sister city, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):[23]

The program sends and receives high school students and chaperones each year. They stay in Elbert County with host families for two weeks. Many long-term relationships have formed between the two cities. The thriving program celebrated its 35th year in 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Elberton city, Georgia". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ Hellmann, Paul T. (May 13, 2013). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 229. ISBN 978-1135948597. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  7. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 71. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.
  8. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 116.
  9. ^ "Elberton Granite Association". Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved October 6, 2007.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  13. ^ "Elberton - Mure-cho Sister City Alumni". www.elberton-mure.com. Archived from the original on September 3, 2006. Retrieved May 15, 2022.
  14. ^ Ouzts, Clay (2002). "'The Man Who Builded on a Rock Was Wise': The Genesis of Elberton's Granite Industry, 1882-1900". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 86 (4): 587. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  15. ^ "Elberton Granite Museum & Exhibit". Explore Georgia. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Georgia Board of Education[permanent dead link], Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  17. ^ Eads, Lena Groeger, Annie Waldman, David. "Miseducation". ProPublica. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  18. ^ History of Elbert Memorial Hospital
  19. ^ EMH Facilities Proposals
  20. ^ "Juanita Marsh". Georgia Women of Achievement. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  21. ^ "Hall of Fame: Arnall Patz, MD". September 6, 2012. Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  22. ^ "Chester Webb Named to Georgia Sports Hall of Fame". Georgia Southern University Athletics. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  23. ^ Elberton's Sister City Program, Retrieved June 26, 2010.

External links[edit]