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Douglasville, Georgia
Douglas County Courthouse
Douglas County Courthouse
Motto(s): 
"New Growth, Old Charm, Always Home"
Location in Douglas County and the state of Georgia
Location in Douglas County and the state of Georgia
Douglasville, Georgia is located in Metro Atlanta
Douglasville, Georgia
Douglasville, Georgia
Location in Metro Atlanta
Country United States
State Georgia
County Douglas
Area
 • Total 23.04 sq mi (59.66 km2)
 • Land 22.93 sq mi (59.39 km2)
 • Water 0.11 sq mi (0.28 km2)
Elevation
1,201 ft (366 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 34,650
 • Density 1,511.19/sq mi (583.47/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
30122, 30133-30135. 30154
Area code(s) 770/678/470
FIPS code 13-23900
GNIS feature ID 0355535
USA-Georgia-Douglasville County Courthouse
Douglas County Courthouse

The city of Douglasville is the county seat of Douglas County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 30,961, up from 20,065 in 2001.

Douglasville is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Atlanta and is part of the Atlanta Metro Area. Highway access can be obtained via three interchanges along Interstate 20.

History

Located along a natural rise in the topography, Douglasville was originally known as "Skint Chestnut." The name was derived from a large tree used by Native Americans as a landmark; it was stripped of its bark so as to be more conspicuous.

Douglasville was founded in 1874 as the railroad was constructed in the area. That same year, Douglasville was designated as the county seat of the recently formed Douglas County. The community was named for Senator Stephen A. Douglas.. The town was originally named for Frederick Douglass during Reconstruction and this naming was undone by former Confederate leaders once Reconstruction was abandoned by the country.

An election was held on the first Saturday in March 1875, and a mayor, treasurer, records (secretary), and marshal were chosen.

In 1916, the Reverend Atkinson of Douglasville was a key figure in the Arc Light Controversy in Atlanta.

Natural disasters

On September 21, 2009, Douglas County was devastated by the worst flood in Georgia history. Over 18 inches (457 mm) of rain fell in one night, destroying many roads and homes. The county was later declared a disaster area, and the governor of Georgia declared a state of emergency. The flooding most affected the areas of Douglasville, Villa Rica, Austell, Lithia Springs, and Chapel Hill. The disaster killed more than eight people in the county, most of them in the Douglasville area.

Geography

Douglasville is located in north-central Douglas County at 33°44′59″N 84°43′23″W / 33.74972°N 84.72306°W / 33.74972; -84.72306 (33.749824, −84.723190). Lithia Springs is 6 miles (10 km) to the northeast along U.S. Route 78, and Villa Rica is 10 miles (16 km) to the west. Hiram is 9 miles (14 km) to the north via SR 92. Downtown Atlanta is 22 miles (35 km) to the east via Interstate 20.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Douglasville has a total area of 22.6 square miles (58.5 km2), of which 22.5 square miles (58.2 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.58%, is water.

Douglasville has an elevation of 1,209 ft (369 m) above sea level.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 286
1890 863 201.7%
1900 1,140 32.1%
1910 1,462 28.2%
1920 2,159 47.7%
1930 2,316 7.3%
1940 2,555 10.3%
1950 3,400 33.1%
1960 4,462 31.2%
1970 5,472 22.6%
1980 7,641 39.6%
1990 11,635 52.3%
2000 20,065 72.5%
2010 30,961 54.3%
2020 34,650 11.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 Census

Douglasville Racial Composition
Race Num. Perc.
White 6,962 20.09%
Black or African American 22,207 64.09%
Native American 87 0.25%
Asian 633 1.83%
Pacific Islander 23 0.07%
Other/Mixed 1,594 4.6%
Hispanic or Latino 3,144 9.07%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 34,650 people, 12,675 households, and 7,833 families residing in the city.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 30,961 people, 11,627 households, and 7,692 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,376 people per square mile (532.0/km2). There were 13,163 housing units at an average density of 585.0 per square mile (226.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 55.9% African American, 36.0% White (33.4% Non-Hispanic White), 0.2% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.3% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. 7.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,627 households, out of which 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.3% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 28.3% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $47,596, and the median income for a family was $54,375. Males had a median income of $45,933 versus $39,675 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,002. 15.9% of the population and 14.1% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 22.2% of those under the age of 18 and 15.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Arts & culture

Points of interest

Basket Creek Cemetery - White Section
Photo of the White section of the Basket Creek Cemetery, including Civil War soldiers' graves and one Native American grave (several rocks piled on top located in the back

The Central Business District (CBD) of downtown Douglasville is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district; it is an outstanding example of a turn-of-the-century southern railroad town. The majority of the buildings are one- and two-story brick structures dating from the mid-19th century into the mid-20th century. Most are of Victorian-era commercial design set flush with the sidewalk. Styles of the buildings include Romanesque, Italianate, and Queen Anne. Many of the doorways and windows have Gothic arched openings and hooded windows. The dominant landscape feature is the railroad right-of-way running east-to-west through downtown.

In the center of town is a small plaza, which was converted from a street block, known as O'Neal Plaza (named after the former O'Neal's department store, now used as the Douglasville City Hall). The plaza features a brick pyramid fountain and a small performance venue. It is home to many festivals year round. This is the site of the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Festival.

  • The Douglasville Convention & Visitors Bureau is located in the heart of downtown and serves as the city's welcome center.
  • The Douglas County Cultural Arts Center is located at Campbellton Street south of Downtown. The center holds art shows and special events throughout the year and hosts events for schools across the county. Classes are available for a variety of visual and performing arts for all ages year round.
  • The courthouse on Hospital Drive hosts the Douglasville Farmer's and Artisan's Market every Wednesday from 4 pm until 7 pm from April until November.
  • The Douglasville Downtown Conference Center is located at 6701 Church Street. The conference center hosts corporate meetings, community events, and social gatherings. Summit Church of West Georgia meets in the conference center on Sunday mornings. The 37,000-square-foot (3,400 m2) conference center with a two-level, 300-space parking deck, opened in early 2013. The new conference center has a 7,600-foot (2,300 m) ballroom space that can be divided into five rooms. It includes a 150-seat auditorium, a 15-person boardroom, a business center, three meeting rooms, two pre-function spaces, bride and groom dressing rooms, and a terrace in the back.
  • Arbor Place Mall is home to over 100 shops and restaurants. The anchor stores are Dillard's, Sears, Macy's, Belk, J.C. Penney, Old Navy and Bed Bath & Beyond. The mall sponsors many festivals, as well as Douglasville's July 4 celebrations.

Parks & recreation

  • Hunter Park is Douglasville's largest park and home to the county Boys & Girls Club. Many festivals, sports activities, and recreational activities take place here. The park features a playground, wildlife pond and trail, 7 tennis courts, 11 baseball/softball fields, including one designed for the handicapped, and an 18-hole disc golf course that opened in 2015. The small train for children that operated during the summer no longer exists. The park is named after the late 1st Lt. "Jerry" Hunter (USAF), Douglas County's first casualty of the Vietnam War.
  • Boundary Waters Park, located on GA Highway 92 North/Highway 166 East, has several pools which are open to the public. The Boundary Waters Aquatic Center center features an 8-lane, 25-yard heated competition pool and a 4-lane, heated therapeutic/teaching pool. The center is home to the Douglas County Stingrays swim team as well as local high school and special olympics swim teams. The park complex includes an array of ball fields, walking and horseriding trails, and an 18-hole disc golf course.
  • The West Pines Golf Club was purchased by the city in 2003 and is now operated as a public course.
  • The Fowler Field Soccer Complex is located in the southwest part of the city on Chapel Hill Road.
  • The Chestnut Log Soccer Complex is located on Pope Road beside Chestnut Log Middle School, about ½ mile west of SR 92 (Fairburn Road).
  • Jesse Davis Park is located north of downtown Douglasville and serves as a neighborhood park for residents of North Douglasville. The park was recently renovated, and has a playground as well as a community swimming pool.
  • Sweetwater Creek State Park is a 2,549-acre (10.32 km2) park 7 miles (11 km) east of Douglasville. The park has 9 miles (14 km) of wooded trails that follow the stream to the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill burned during the Civil War. The park has a 215-acre (0.87 km2) lake with two fishing docks, canoe and fishing boat rentals, 11 picnic shelters, playground, visitors center and museum.

Douglasville Development Authority

The primary goals of the City of Douglasville Development Authority (CDDA) are to promote the economic prosperity of that city while simultaneously increasing the existing industry and business sectors in order to raise the quality of life for the city's residents. The City Development Authority also focuses on education in order successfully promote the labor force.

In fall 2009, an area of interest for the CDDA was the reconstruction and widening of Highway 92, which runs through the heart of the city. This major roadway reconstruction was expected to have a significant impact on the city and its ability to promote economic development.

Economy

The historic Downtown hosts many shops and eateries. A vibrant business area in Douglasville is located south of the city between Chapel Hill Road and Georgia State Route 5, around the Douglas Boulevard Corridor. Arbor Place Mall is located in this area, as are many major retail stores and fast food chains.

The Fairburn Road area also hosts many shops, food stores and fast food spots. Some vacated to make way for an expansion of the highway in early 2008. Expansion is aided by the Douglasville Development Authority (described below).

In recent years, the historic downtown district and surrounding areas have become favorite backdrops for the film industry. Productions include Netflix's Stranger Things (2016), The Founder (2015), Mocking Jay Part 1 (2014), Catching Fire (2013), Finding Carter (MTV series 2014), and Kill the Messenger (2014).

Top employers

According to Douglasville's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Walmart 750
2 Kroger 487
3 American Red Cross 450
4 Benton-Georgia 300
5 Sam's Club 180
6 The Home Depot 155
7 A.L.P. Lighting Components 120
8 Medline 111
9 G & L Marble 96
10 Reflek Manufacturing 75

The Douglasville CAFR table of principal employers (p. 77) does not show public employees. The Douglas County School System currently employs over 3,550 people, including teachers, administrators, and support staff.

Education

Education in Douglasville is varied, with a large public school system and many private schools. The Douglas County School District operates 21 elementary schools, eight middle schools, and five high schools, covering grades pre-K to 12th grade.

Douglasville hosts a campus ("instructional site") of Georgia Highlands College. Nearby universities and colleges include Strayer College, West Georgia Technical College, and Mercer University.

Douglasville has numerous secular and religious private schools, including:

  • Harvester Christian Academy
  • Heirway Christian Academy
  • The International Montessori Academy
  • The Kings Way Christian School
  • Primrose School at Brookmont
  • Saint Rose Academy
  • Sunbrook Academy at Chapel Hill
  • Chapelhill Christian School

Infrastructure

Transportation

  • U.S. Highway 78 (State Route 8, Veterans' Memorial Highway) runs directly east to west through downtown Douglasville.
  • State Route 92 runs north to southeast just ¼ of a mile to the east of downtown as a truck route designed to keep large trucks from crossing an elevated railroad crossing at Campbellton Street. The city and the Georgia DOT are working on plans to reroute Highway 92 farther east of downtown on a four-lane bridge serving as a bypass.
  • State Route 5 is colocated with US 78 through downtown east to the Cobb County line and west just past Hunter Park. Highway 5 continues in a southwesterly direction through the village of Bill Arp and crosses into Carroll County near Whitesburg.
  • Interstate 20 (Ga Hwy 402) extends roughly east to west about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of downtown, with access from Exits 34, 36, and 37.

Douglasville is home to the single-runway Pinewood Airport, located 5.7 miles (9.2 km) northwest of downtown.

Healthcare

Residents of Douglasville are served by the Wellstar Douglas Hospital located at 8954 Hospital Drive.

Notable people

  • Some sources claim Kanye West, rapper and 2020 presidential candidate was born at Douglas Hospital, although most claim he was born in Atlanta.
  • George Bello, American soccer player for Atlanta United.
  • Terry Harper, former outfielder for the Atlanta Braves.
  • Brian Heidik, winner of Survivor: Thailand
  • Bill Hembree - Politician from Georgia.
  • Norma Jean, metalcore band
  • Walton Goggins, Actor best known for his role as Boyd Crowder in Justified. Though he was born in Birmingham Alabama, his family relocated to Douglasville for his formative years. He eventually graduated from Lithia Springs High School
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