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Blakely, Georgia
Early County Courthouse in Blakely
Early County Courthouse in Blakely
Peanut Capital of the Universe
Location in Early County and the state of Georgia
Location in Early County and the state of Georgia
Country United States
State Georgia
County Early
 • Total 17.66 sq mi (45.75 km2)
 • Land 17.55 sq mi (45.46 km2)
 • Water 0.11 sq mi (0.29 km2)
262 ft (80 m)
 • Total 5,371
 • Density 306.02/sq mi (118.15/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 229
FIPS code 13-08536
GNIS feature ID 0331185

Blakely is a city and the county seat of Early County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 5,068. It is located approximately halfway between Columbus and Tallahassee, Florida on U.S. Route 27.


Blakely was platted in 1825 as the county seat for Early County. It was named for Johnston Blakeley, an officer in the War of 1812.


Blakely is located at 31°22′36″N 84°56′2″W / 31.37667°N 84.93389°W / 31.37667; -84.93389 (31.376728, -84.933873). The city is located in southwestern Georgia along U.S. Route 27, Georgia State Route 62, and Georgia State Route 39. Blakely is located approximately 75 mi (121 km) south of Columbus, 48 mi (77 km) southwest of Albany, and 76 mi (122 km) northwest of Tallahassee, Florida and 24 miles northeast of Dothan, Alabama.

According to the United States Census Bureau, this town has a total area of 17.6 square miles (46 km2), of which 17.5 square miles (45 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.74%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 279
1890 441 58.1%
1900 804 82.3%
1910 1,838 128.6%
1920 1,985 8.0%
1930 2,106 6.1%
1940 2,774 31.7%
1950 3,234 16.6%
1960 3,580 10.7%
1970 5,267 47.1%
1980 5,880 11.6%
1990 5,595 −4.8%
2000 5,696 1.8%
2010 5,068 −11.0%
2020 5,371 6.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Blakely racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 1,444 26.89%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,706 69.0%
Native American 12 0.22%
Asian 32 0.6%
Other/Mixed 113 2.1%
Hispanic or Latino 64 1.19%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 5,371 people, 1,584 households, and 1,065 families residing in the city.


The Peanut Corporation of America had a factory in Blakely that produced peanut paste (which is in turn used by other manufacturers in other foods). FBI and FDA officials said the plant's officials and workers were suspected of spreading salmonella bacteria in 2007-2009 by knowingly allowing products that had tested positive to be re-tested as negatives (giving a false-negative second result) and then allowing them to be shipped out despite the fact they could have been positive. This likely contributed to numerous illnesses and at least eight deaths. As a result, the FDA and FBI became involved, leading a U.S. Justice Department criminal investigation. Several lawsuits were filed by victims' relatives, and a massive nationwide recall of many products took place. The company shut the plant and laid off all of the plant’s roughly 50 employees for the duration of the investigation, which caused economic hardship for the town during the 2009 recession.

The non-profit group Early County 2055 established its headquarters on Court Square in Blakely. Funding for the long-term development plan for the revitalization of the city and county was led by the Charles Rice Family and Foundation.

Blakely is the base of the Early County School System, which has a newly renovated football stadium and gymnasium. Blakely also opened a new sportsplex, named in memorial and honor of local coach Ray Knight. It has multiple softball, baseball, and multi-purpose fields, and is operated by the Blakely-Early County Recreation Department.


Early County School District

The Early County School District holds grades pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of one elementary school, a middle school, and a high school. The district has 156 full-time teachers and over 2,764 students.

  • Early County Elementary School
  • Early County Middle School
  • Early County High School

Alternative School

  • Learning and Opportunity Academy

See also

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