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Habersham County, Georgia facts for kids

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Habersham County
Fire Tower on Chenocetah Mountain.
Fire Tower on Chenocetah Mountain.
Official seal of Habersham County
Seal
Map of Georgia highlighting Habersham County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Georgia
Founded 1818; 204 years ago (1818)
Named for Joseph Habersham
Seat Clarkesville
Largest city Cornelia
Area
 • Total 279 sq mi (720 km2)
 • Land 277 sq mi (720 km2)
 • Water 2.3 sq mi (6 km2)  0.8%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2018)
45,288
 • Density 156/sq mi (60/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 9th

Habersham County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,041. The county seat is Clarkesville. The county was created on December 15, 1817, and named for Colonel Joseph Habersham of the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War.

Habersham County comprises the Cornelia, GA Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 279 square miles (720 km2), of which 277 square miles (720 km2) is land and 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) (0.8%) is water. The county includes part of Chattahoochee National Forest.

The highest point in the county is a 4,400-foot (1,300 m) knob less than 700 feet (210 m) southeast of the top of Tray Mountain, the seventh-highest mountain in Georgia. Habersham shares this portion of Tray Mountain, just 30 vertical feet shy of the peak's 4,430-foot summit, with White County to the west and Towns County to the north. 2.4 miles to the northeast of Tray Mountain is Young Lick (elevation 3,809 feet (1,161 m)). The Appalachian Trail runs along the top of the high ridge between Young Lick and Tray, a part of the Blue Ridge Mountain crest.

Habersham is mostly located in the Upper Chattahoochee River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin), with the northeastern corner of the county located in the Tugaloo River sub-basin in the larger Savannah River basin, and the southeastern portion located in the Broad River sub-basin of the same Savannah River basin.

The Chattahoochee River rises in what used to be Habersham county, as portrayed in Sidney Lanier's poem "Song of the Chattahoochee":

Out of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again.

The county, originally comprising much of Northeast Georgia, was cut up dramatically in the latter half of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th Century. In 1857, its most western part was added to Lumpkin County, which had been created in 1832. That same year, the area east of Lumpkin and west of present-day Habersham became White County. In 1859, Banks County was carved from Habersham's southern-most territory. Finally, in 1905, Stephens County was formed from parts of Habersham and Banks.

Major highways

  • US 23.svg U.S. Route 23
  • US 123.svg U.S. Route 123
  • US 441.svg U.S. Route 441
  • Business plate.svg
    US 441.svg U.S. Route 441 Business (west of Toccoa)
  • Georgia 15.svg State Route 15
  • Georgia 15 Connector.svg State Route 15 Connector
  • Georgia 15 Loop.svg State Route 15 Loop
  • Georgia 17.svg State Route 17
  • Georgia 17 Alternate.svg State Route 17 Alternate
  • Georgia 105.svg State Route 105
  • Georgia 115.svg State Route 115
  • Georgia 197.svg State Route 197
  • Georgia 197 Connector.svg State Route 197 Connector
  • Georgia 255.svg State Route 255
  • Georgia 255 Alternate.svg State Route 255 Alternate
  • Georgia 356.svg State Route 356
  • Georgia 365.svg State Route 365
  • Georgia 384.svg State Route 384
  • Georgia 385.svg State Route 385

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 3,145
1830 10,671 239.3%
1840 7,961 −25.4%
1850 8,895 11.7%
1860 5,966 −32.9%
1870 6,322 6.0%
1880 8,718 37.9%
1890 11,573 32.7%
1900 13,604 17.5%
1910 10,134 −25.5%
1920 10,730 5.9%
1930 12,748 18.8%
1940 14,771 15.9%
1950 16,553 12.1%
1960 18,116 9.4%
1970 20,691 14.2%
1980 25,020 20.9%
1990 27,621 10.4%
2000 35,902 30.0%
2010 43,041 19.9%
2018 (est.) 45,288 5.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 43,041 people, 15,472 households, and 11,307 families living in the county. The population density was 155.5 inhabitants per square mile (60.0/km2). There were 18,146 housing units at an average density of 65.6 per square mile (25.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 85.7% white, 3.4% black or African American, 2.2% Asian, 0.5% American Indian, 0.2% Pacific islander, 6.3% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 12.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 15.6% were English, 13.9% were Irish, 13.7% were American, and 9.9% were German.

Of the 15,472 households, 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.9% were non-families, and 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.08. The median age was 38.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,192 and the median income for a family was $49,182. Males had a median income of $35,974 versus $27,971 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,286. About 15.7% of families and 19.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.2% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.

2020 census

Habersham County Racial Composition
Race Num. Perc.
White 34,694 75.37%
Black or African American 1,722 3.74%
Native American 83 0.18%
Asian 990 2.15%
Pacific Islander 35 0.08%
Other/Mixed 1,627 3.53%
Hispanic or Latino 6,880 14.95%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 46,031 people, 15,139 households, and 10,440 families residing in the county.

Prison

The Georgia Department of Corrections operates the Arrendale State Prison in an unincorporated area in the county, near Alto.

Lee Arrendale State Prison was built in 1926 and the prison was named after Lee Arrendale, former Chairman of the Georgia Board of Corrections after he and his wife were killed in a plane crash. It began its existence as a TB Hospital and operated till the mid-1950s when it was turned over to the Georgia Prison system. Once acquired by the Georgia Department of Corrections, its focus then turned to using the prison to house youthful offenders from ages 18–25. Over a short amount of time, the influx of young, reckless and ruthless inmates lead Lee Arrendale to gain a bad reputation as the second most violent all-men prisons in the state. In 2005, however the Department of Corrections decided to make the prison an exclusive general purpose women's prison. As a result of the prison's past troubles and reputation for violence, the state decided to make this change to improve the prisons status in the state. In March 2006, the prison took in 350 women prisoners from Georgia's overflowing jail system to start this process.

Lee Arrendale is also home to the United States' first all-female fire department in addition to the hundreds of other alarms they received statewide.

Communities

Cities

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Education

Photograph of a classroom full of students observing a poster on a chalkboard wall, Clarkesville, Habersham County, Georgia, 1950 - DPLA - ba8ec93afeaf5eca394e0c8b9142af00-004
Photograph of a classroom full of students observing a poster on a chalkboard wall, Clarkesville, Habersham County, Georgia, 1950

Habersham county is served by the Habersham County School District. The Tallulah Falls School is located in Tallulah Falls. Piedmont University and North Georgia Technical College are also located in Habersham county.

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