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:: Putnam County ::

Community Profile

County Formed December 10, 1807
County Seat Eatonton
Incorporated Cities Eatonton
Total Area 360.66364 square miles


From its county population in 2000 of 18863 to its current population estimate of 21192, the county has experienced a growth change of 2329.

Putnam County was created in 1807 after being sectioned off from neighboring Baldwin County. Its name honors General Israel Putnam, a hero of the Revolutionary War (1775-83) and a veteran of the battles at Lexington and Breed's (Bunker) Hill in Massachusetts.

Eatonton became the county seat in 1808. It was incorporated in 1809 and remains the county's only incorporated town. Farmers represented the majority of the county's original settlers, and cotton quickly became the predominant crop.

The Civil War (1861-65) visited Putnam County in 1864, when Union general William T. Sherman and his army passed through the area on their March to the Sea. Putnam County experienced difficulty recovering from the war. The wealth generated by slavery had disappeared and the county spent the remaining decades of the nineteenth century trying to revive its economy. A solution came at the turn of the century when dairy production emerged as an economic force. In 1876 Benjamin Hunt brought fifteen Jersey cows to the region and created Panola Farm, an experimental dairy facility that helped to establish the dairy industry in Putnam County. By 1901 Putnam had become the third-leading dairy county in Georgia, shipping cream to Athens and butter to Atlanta.

Points of Interest

Two sites unique to the county are Rock Eagle Effigy Mound and Rock Hawk Effigy Mound, which were built by Native Americans more than 1,000 years ago and are the only two effigy mounds in the United States.

Several golf courses have been created in the area, including the Jack Nicklaus–designed Great Waters Course at Reynolds Plantation

Notable Citizens

Joel Chandler Harris, author of The Uncle Remus Tales , was born and grew up in Putnam County.

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Alice Walker,was born in Putnam County. Her novel ,The Color Purple , was later made into a hit box office movie and hit broadway musical.

Higher Education

S. Truett Cathy,the founder, chairman and CEO of Chick-fil-A, Inc., is also originally from Putnam County.

Annual Events

To celebrate the industry's importance, the Dairy Festival is held annually during the first weekend of June.

Chamber of Commerce
Additional County Info
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State of Georgia

Downtown Eatonton

Dairy cows in field

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