Habersham County, Georgia

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Habersham County, Georgia
Seal of Habersham County, Georgia
Map of Georgia highlighting Habersham County
Location in the state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1818
Named for Joseph Habersham
Seat Clarkesville
Largest city Cornelia
 • Total 279 sq mi (723 km2)
 • Land 277 sq mi (717 km2)
 • Water 2.3 sq mi (6 km2), 0.8%
 • (2010) 43,041
 • Density 156/sq mi (60/km²)
Congressional district 9th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.co.habersham.ga.us

Habersham County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,041.[1] The county seat is Clarkesville.[2] The county was created on December 15, 1818, and named for Colonel Joseph Habersham.

Habersham County comprises the Cornelia, GA Micropolitan Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 279 square miles (720 km2), of which 277 square miles (720 km2) is land and 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) (0.8%) is water.[3] The county includes part of Chattahoochee National Forest.

The highest point in the county is a 4,400-foot (1,300 m) knob less than 700 feet (210 m) southeast of the top of Tray Mountain, the seventh-highest mountain in Georgia. Habersham shares this portion of Tray Mountain, just 30 vertical feet shy of the peak's 4,430-foot summit, with White County to the west and Towns County to the north. 2.4 miles to the northeast of Tray Mountain is Young Lick (elevation 3,809 feet (1,161 m)). The Appalachian Trail runs along the top of the high ridge between Young Lick and Tray, a part of the Blue Ridge Mountain crest.

Habersham is mostly located in the Upper Chattahoochee River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin), with the northeastern corner of the county located in the Tugaloo River sub-basin in the larger Savannah River basin, and the southeastern portion located in the Broad River sub-basin of the same Savannah River basin.[4]

The Chattahoochee River rises in what used to be Habersham county, as portrayed in Sidney Lanier's poem "Song of the Chattahoochee":

Out of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again.

The county, originally comprising much of Northeast Georgia, was cut up dramatically in the latter half of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th Century. In 1857, its most western part was added to Lumpkin County, which had been created in 1832. That same year, the area east of Lumpkin and west of present-day Habersham became White County. In 1859, Banks County was carved from Habersham's southern-most territory. Finally, in 1905, Stephens County was formed from parts of Habersham and Banks.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 3,145
1830 10,671 239.3%
1840 7,961 −25.4%
1850 8,895 11.7%
1860 5,966 −32.9%
1870 6,322 6.0%
1880 8,718 37.9%
1890 11,573 32.7%
1900 13,604 17.5%
1910 10,134 −25.5%
1920 10,730 5.9%
1930 12,748 18.8%
1940 14,771 15.9%
1950 16,553 12.1%
1960 18,116 9.4%
1970 20,691 14.2%
1980 25,020 20.9%
1990 27,621 10.4%
2000 35,902 30.0%
2010 43,041 19.9%
Est. 2014 43,752 [5] 1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[10] of 2000,[dated info] there were 35,902 people, 13,259 households, and 9,851 families residing in the county. The population density was 129 people per square mile (50/km²). There were 14,634 housing units at an average density of 53 per square mile (20/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.88% White, 4.48% Black or African American, 1.89% Asian, 0.29% Native American, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 2.99% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. 7.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 13,259 households out of which 32.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.90% were married couples living together, 9.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.70% were non-families. 22.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.50% under the age of 18, 11.10% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 23.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 105.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,321, and the median income for a family was $42,235. Males had a median income of $28,803 versus $23,046 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,706. About 8.80% of families and 12.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.40% of those under age 18 and 15.00% of those age 65 or over.


As of 2012, the county is split into 14 voting precincts:[11]

Chad Henderson serves a Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. Since 2011, Habersham County has been represented in the Georgia House of Representatives by Republican member Terry Rogers. Habersham County was represented in the US House of Representatives as part of the 10th District. Representative Charlie Norwood represented the county for one month, until his death (February 13, 2007). The seat remained vacant until a special election in July 2007 which was won by Republican Athens physician Paul Broun. Broun served in the House until 2014, when he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the retiring Saxby Chambliss.

With the 2012 reapportionment, Habersham County became part of the 9th congressional district. Former Georgia House of Representatives member Doug Collins won the seat in 2012 election.


The Georgia Department of Corrections operates the Arrendale State Prison in an unincorporated area in the county, near Alto.[12]

Lee Arrendale State Prison was built in 1926 and the prison was named after Lee Arrendale, former Chairman of the Georgia Board of Corrections after he and his wife were killed in a plane crash.[citation needed] It began its existence as a TB Hospital and operated till the mid-1950s when it was turned over to the Georgia Prison system. Once acquired by the Georgia Department of Corrections, its focus then turned to using the prison to house youthful offenders from ages 18–25. Over a short amount of time, the influx of young, reckless and ruthless inmates lead Lee Arrendale to gain a bad reputation as the second most violent all-men prisons in the state. In 2005, however the Department of Corrections decided to make the prison an exclusive general purpose women's prison. As a result of the prison's past troubles and reputation for violence, the state decided to make this change to improve the prisons status in the state. In March 2006, the prison took in 350 women prisoners from Georgia's overflowing jail system to start this process.

Lee Arrendale is also home to the United States' first all-female fire department[citation needed] and the state's first inmate fire department,[citation needed] thanks to the Georgia Department of Corrections' (GDC) Fire Services Division. The GDC operates many fire departments throughout the state, staffed solely by inmates, who are supervised by GDC employees who are also trained, not only as a certified officers but also as a professional firefighter. The inmate firefighter program provides fire protection to the largely rural communities without local or volunteer fire departments near the prisons, as well as to other locations in Georgia during emergencies. Inmates are trained and certified in accordance with Georgia law and the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council, as with any regular fire department. In 2007, inmate fire squads responded to the wildfires in South Georgia near Waycross, Georgia,[citation needed] in addition to the hundreds of other alarms they received statewide.

Cities and Communities[edit]

Incorporated Cities[edit]

Unincorporated Communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Interactive Mapping Experience". Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  11. ^ Habersham delays consolidation of voting precincts, a June 19, 2012 article by Rob Moore from AccessNorthGa.com. Retrieved 2012-09-14.
  12. ^ "Arrendale State Prison." Georgia Department of Corrections. Retrieved on November 15, 2010. "ADDRESS: 2023 GAINESVILLE HWY SOUTH POST OFFICE BOX 709 ALTO, GA 30510."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°38′N 83°32′W / 34.63°N 83.53°W / 34.63; -83.53