Towns County, Georgia

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Towns County, Georgia
Towns County Georgia Courthouse.jpg
Towns County courthouse in Hiawassee
Map of Georgia highlighting Towns County
Location in the state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1856
Named for George W. Towns
Seat Hiawassee
Largest city Young Harris
 • Total 172 sq mi (445 km2)
 • Land 167 sq mi (433 km2)
 • Water 5.4 sq mi (14 km2), 3.2%
 • (2010) 10,471
 • Density 63/sq mi (24/km²)
Congressional district 9th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Towns County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,471.[1] Its county seat is Hiawassee.[2] The county was created on March 6, 1856 and named for United States lawyer, legislator, and politician George W. Towns.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 172 square miles (450 km2), of which 167 square miles (430 km2) is land and 5.4 square miles (14 km2) (3.2%) is water.[3] Towns is mostly in the Hiwassee River sub-basin of the Middle Tennesee-Hiwassee basin, with a part of the county in the Tugaloo River sub-basin in the larger Savannah River basin, as well as a small portion of the county's southwestern corner in the Chattahoochee River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin), near the source of the Chattahoochee in neighboring Union County.

Towns County is located amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains, (part of the Appalachian Mountains), some of which are protected by the Chattahoochee National Forest. Brasstown Bald, the highest mountain in Georgia, rises in southwest Towns County, straddling the Union County line. The source of the Hiwassee River is located in eastern Towns County, from which it flows northward into North Carolina. Chatuge Lake, an artificial reservoir created by the completion of Chatuge Dam by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1940s, dominates the northeastern section of Towns County. State Route 515 from north of Atlanta ends here at the North Carolina state line near Young Harris. An important facet of early life in Towns County was a road built upon a Cherokee trading path running north to south through the county and passing through Unicoi Gap. It served as a line between settlers and the Cherokees until after the Indian cessions, when it fell solely into the hands of the whites. When the Cherokees were expelled from their villages, they were forced into "removal forts," one of which was located in what is now Hiawassee, the county seat.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 2,459
1870 2,780 13.1%
1880 3,261 17.3%
1890 4,064 24.6%
1900 4,748 16.8%
1910 3,932 −17.2%
1920 3,937 0.1%
1930 4,346 10.4%
1940 4,925 13.3%
1950 4,803 −2.5%
1960 4,538 −5.5%
1970 4,565 0.6%
1980 5,638 23.5%
1990 6,754 19.8%
2000 9,319 38.0%
2010 10,471 12.4%
Est. 2014 11,098 [4] 6.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 9,319 people, 3,998 households, and 2,826 families residing in the county. The population density was 56 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 6,282 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.80% White, 0.13% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.18% from other races, and 0.41% from two or more races. 0.72% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,998 households out of which 20.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.90% were married couples living together, 6.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.30% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.61.

In the county the population was spread out with 16.30% under the age of 18, 9.10% from 18 to 24, 20.50% from 25 to 44, 28.30% from 45 to 64, and 25.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females there were 89.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,950, and the median income for a family was $37,295. Males had a median income of $28,657 versus $21,813 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,221. About 8.80% of families and 11.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.60% of those under age 18 and 10.40% of those age 65 or over. Towns County is inside the Bible Belt.


Towns County's Sole Commissioner is Bill Kendall, who has served since 2005.[10]

Towns County's Sheriff, Chris Clinton, was elected in a special election in 2007. Sheriff Clinton was re-elected in the general election in 2008, where he ran unopposed after serving only four months in office.

Cities and Communities[edit]

Incorporated Cities[edit]

Unincorporated Communities[edit]

Notable natives[edit]

  • Zell Miller — former Georgia governor and U.S. senator.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 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. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ The man in the driver’s seat of Towns County, Hiawassee River Watershed Coalition

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°55′N 83°44′W / 34.92°N 83.74°W / 34.92; -83.74