National Register Listings in
Irwin County, Georgia

The state of Georgia has produced many notable musicians, including Ray Charles, James Brown, Otis Redding, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Irwin County, located in the southern part of Georgia, has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1818. The county was named after Governor Jared Irwin, who served as the Governor of Georgia from 1796 to 1798. Initially, the area was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Creek and Cherokee, before European settlers arrived in the late 18th century.

The county's early economy relied heavily on agriculture, with cotton being the primary crop. Plantations were established, and slavery played a significant role in the workforce. As the county grew, so did the need for infrastructure, leading to the construction of roads and the establishment of a post office.

During the American Civil War, Irwin County, like many other parts of Georgia, was deeply impacted. The area was heavily involved in the conflict, and several skirmishes took place. The war brought significant changes to the county, including the end of slavery and a shift in the agricultural economy.

In the 20th century, Irwin County continued to develop, with the establishment of schools, churches, and businesses. The construction of highways and the development of the railroad facilitated further growth and connectivity. Today, the county remains an agricultural region, with cotton, peanuts, and timber being the dominant industries. It also prides itself on its historical significance, with landmarks and museums preserving and educating visitors about its past. Overall, the history of Irwin County reflects the growth, challenges, and resilience of a rural community in Georgia.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Irwin County, Georgia.

  • 1818 - Irwin County is established by an act of the Georgia General Assembly.
  • 1820 - The county seat is established in Irwinville.
  • 1864 - Irwinville gains historical significance as Confederate President Jefferson Davis is captured here during the Civil War.
  • 1907 - The Ocilla Southern newspaper is established in Ocilla.
  • 1945 - Irwin County Hospital is opened in Ocilla.
  • 1950s - The county experiences significant growth due to the expansion of the pulp and paper industry.
  • 1981 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designates the Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Irwin County.
  • 1993 - The Ashley-Slater House in Ocilla is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2005 - The Tara Foods manufacturing plant, a major employer in the county, closes down.
  • 2019 - The case of the disappearance and murder of Tara Grinstead, a high school teacher from Ocilla, gains national attention and becomes the subject of a popular true crime podcast.