In the early 20th century, Georgia was known for its "convict leasing" system, which allowed companies to lease prisoners from the state for labor. The system was abolished in 1908 after investigations revealed widespread abuse and mistreatment of prisoners.
Elbert County, located in Georgia, has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the Native American tribes who first inhabited the area. The county was named after Samuel Elbert, a well-known Revolutionary War hero and the governor of Georgia. In the early 19th century, the discovery of granite in the region propelled Elbert County into becoming one of the nation's leading producers of this durable and versatile stone.

During the mid-1800s, the development of the Georgia Railroad and the advent of the cotton industry greatly influenced the growth of Elbert County. The influx of settlers and increased transportation led to the establishment of towns and the expansion of agriculture in the county. Eventually, Elbert County became a major supplier of cotton and other agricultural products, contributing significantly to Georgia's economy.

Throughout the Civil War, Elbert County was not witness to significant battles, but many of its men served in the Confederate Army. After the war, the county experienced a period of recovery and reconstruction. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century further stimulated trade and industrialization in Elbert County, reinforcing its position as an important economic center in North Georgia.

In the 20th century, Elbert County continued to prosper through the granite industry, with numerous quarries and processing plants established. Today, Elbert County remains renowned for its high-quality granite, which has been used in various construction projects, including the iconic Elberton Granite Finishing Company, known for supplying granite for the Georgia Guidestones, a mysterious monument erected in 1980.

Overall, Elbert County's history is characterized by its resilience, economic growth, and contribution to Georgia's heritage. From its early Native American settlements to its prominent role in the granite industry, Elbert County's past has shaped its identity and continues to influence its present-day reality.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Elbert County, Georgia.

  • 1770s - The area that is now Elbert County is inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee and Creek.
  • 1776 - The Elbert County region becomes part of Wilkes County, which is named after the political leader John Wilkes.
  • 1790 - Elbert County is officially established as a separate county from Wilkes County and named after Samuel Elbert, a Revolutionary War general.
  • 1800s - Elbert County becomes a significant agricultural region, known for its production of cotton, tobacco, and grains.
  • 1861-1865 - Elbert County residents actively participate in the American Civil War, with many serving in the Confederate Army.
  • Late 1800s to early 1900s - Elbert County experiences economic growth with the establishment of industries such as granite quarrying and the railroad.
  • 1920s - Elbert County faces economic hardships during the Great Depression, leading to the closure of many businesses and farms.
  • 1937 - Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake are completed, providing hydroelectric power and recreational opportunities for Elbert County.
  • 1950s to 1960s - Elbert County experiences civil rights struggles and racial tensions during the height of the civil rights movement.
  • 2000s - Elbert County focuses on diversifying its economy, investing in industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism.