Granite Capital of the World
|• Mayor||Larry Guest|
|• City Manager||Lanier Dunn|
|• Total||4.56 sq mi (11.82 km2)|
|• Land||4.53 sq mi (11.73 km2)|
|• Water||0.03 sq mi (0.09 km2)|
|Elevation||702 ft (214 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||955.63/sq mi (368.98/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0355658|
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. Like Elbert County, Elberton is named for Samuel Elbert.
Elberton is located near the center of Elbert County at  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.(34.109628, -82.865669).
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.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census 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 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 also 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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
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
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. The district has 194 full-time teachers and over 3,079 students. The school system is one of the county's largest employers.
Elberton Christian School was located on Rhodes Drive in the city, but has closed in recent years.
Colleges and universities
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.
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.
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." The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission.
Today, Elbert Memorial is a 52-bed acute care general hospital with emergency, surgical, and rehabilitation facilities, as well as a wellness center, cafeteria, and gift shop. The hospital is currently researching potential expansion opportunities, either through an extensive reworking of the current facility or by moving to a new location.
Other nearby hospitals include Cobb Memorial Hospital in Royston, Athens Regional Medical Center and St. Mary's Hospital in Athens and Anderson Area Medical Center (AnMed) in Anderson, South Carolina.
- Amos T. Akerman, U.S. Attorney General under Ulysses S. Grant, fought railroad corruption and the Ku Klux Klan
- William Wyatt Bibb, appointed first governor of Alabama, U.S. senator from 1813–1816
- Paul Brown, 14-term U.S. congressman from 1933–1961
- Clark Gaines, NFL running back for New York Jets
- George Rockingham Gilmer, two-term governor of Georgia, U.S. congressman
- Derek Harper, University of Illinois and 16-year NBA point guard
- Corra May Harris, early 20th century author, lived at Farm Hill
- Nancy Hart, Revolutionary War heroine
- Stephen Heard, governor of Georgia from 1780–1781
- William H. Heard, former slave, clergyman and U.S. ambassador to Liberia
- Joseph Rucker Lamar, former United States Supreme Court justice
- Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, lived in Elbert County
- Juanita Marsh, the third female judge in Georgia, 2020 Georgia Women of Achievement inductee
- Arnall Patz, discovered cause of blindness in premature infants and helped develop laser treatment of diabetic retinopathy
- Charles Tait, U.S. senator from 1809–1819
- Otha Thornton, White House Communications Agency J1 Director and Presidential Communications Officer (Bush and Obama Administrations), 2013 Ebony Power 100, 53rd National Parent Teacher Association President and Chairman of the Board, and 2018 State Democratic Nominee for State School Superintendent
- Wiley Thompson, U.S. congressman and Indian agent, oversaw removal of Seminoles from Florida (Second Seminole War)
- Daniel Tucker, preacher, possible subject of "Old Dan Tucker" song
- Chester Willis, former NFL halfback
- Chester Webb, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
- Mure, Japan (1983)
The program sends and receives high school students and chaperones each year. They stay in Elbert County with host families for 2 weeks. Many long term relationships have formed between the two cities. The thriving program will celebrate its 35th year in 2017.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "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.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Hellmann, Paul T. (May 13, 2013). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 229. ISBN 978-1135948597. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
- Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 71. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 116.
- "Elberton Granite Association". Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved October 6, 2007.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- 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.
- "Elberton Granite Museum & Exhibit". Explore Georgia. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
- Georgia Board of Education[permanent dead link], Retrieved June 8, 2010.
- Eads, Lena Groeger, Annie Waldman, David. "Miseducation". ProPublica. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
- History of Elbert Memorial Hospital
- EMH Facilities Proposals
- "Juanita Marsh". Georgia Women of Achievement. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- "Hall of Fame: Arnall Patz, MD". September 6, 2012. Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
- "Chester Webb Named to Georgia Sports Hall of Fame". Georgia Southern University Athletics. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
- Elberton's Sister City Program, Retrieved June 26, 2010.
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