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:: Wilkes County ::

Community Profile

County Formed February 5, 1777
County Seat Washington
Incorporated Cities Tiggnall and Washington
Total Area 474.203814 square miles


From its county population in 2000 of 10677 to its current population estimate of 9940, the county has experienced a growth change of -737.

Wilkes County was created in 1777. The state's first county, it was originally far larger than its current 471 square miles. The area that became the original Wilkes County was called the New Purchase or Ceded Lands, referring to the land lying between the Broad River and the Savannah River, which today includes Elbert and Lincoln counties, as well as parts of Oglethorpe, Taliaferro, and Warren counties.

Wilkes County is named for John Wilkes, a colorful member of British Parliament who opposed some of the British policies that eventually led to the American Revolution (1775-83).

The eventual county seat, Washington, was settled in 1773 by Stephen Heard, a one-term governor of Georgia. He established a fort known initially as Heard's Fort and later as Fort Washington, honoring his former neighbor, George Washington, the first town in the United States named for him.

Washington is the site of the Heard House where Jefferson Davis formally dissolved the Confederacy on May 5, 1865.

Points of Interest

Wilkes County boasts twenty-nine entries in the National Register of Historic Places, including several districts within Washington. Structures range from Victorian to Greek revival in style. Among them are the courthouse, the Robert Toombs House, and the

The Callaway Plantation, northwest of Washington, is a working farm museum, and southwest of Washington is the Kettle Creek Battlefield.

Notable Citizens

Among notable citizens of Wilkes County are: Elijah Clark, a pioneer settler and hero of the Revolution; Alexander H. Stephens who was the Vice President of the Confederacy and a Georgia governor; Robert A. Toombs, a U.S. Senator and the Secretary of State for the Confederacy; and John Springer, a Minister and Educator who taught at Princeton and fought in the Revolution.

Annual Events

On the second weekend of February each year, patriotic and historical organizations from throughout the nation join with descendants of participants and the public, to celebrate the anniversary of the Revolutionary War Battle of Kettle Creek.

Snowing on the Square- Held each Friday and Saturday from Thanksgiving to Christmas on the Downtown Square

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Additional County Info
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State of Georgia

Robert Toombs House, Washington

Oil Jail, Washington

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