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.
White County, located in the northeastern part of Georgia, has a rich and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Cherokee and Creek, who were known for their agricultural practices and hunting skills. European settlers began arriving in the late 1700s, leading to conflicts with the Native Americans as they sought to claim the land for themselves.

The county was officially established on December 22, 1857, and was named after David White, a prominent Georgia legislator. During the 19th century, White County relied heavily on agriculture, with cotton being the main cash crop. The construction of railroads in the late 1800s brought a boost to the local economy, allowing for the transportation of goods and the development of mining operations.

In the early 20th century, White County experienced a decline in its agricultural industry due to various factors, including the boll weevil infestation and the Great Depression. However, the county adapted and found new economic opportunities. It became a popular tourist destination due to the beauty of the surrounding mountains, leading to the development of resorts and the growth of the hospitality industry.

Today, White County continues to embrace its heritage while looking toward the future. Its rich history is preserved in the White County Historical Society, which works to document and protect the county's historical landmarks and artifacts. The county remains a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its scenic natural environment, outdoor recreational activities, and charming small towns. With a combination of historical significance and natural beauty, White County remains a beloved part of Georgia's history and culture.

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

  • 1857: White County is established as a county in the state of Georgia.
  • 1861-1865: White County residents participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1873: Cleveland is officially incorporated as the county seat of White County.
  • 1880s: The arrival of the railroad spurs economic growth and development in White County.
  • 1930s: The construction of the Richard B. Russell Dam creates Lake Russell, providing recreational opportunities in the area.
  • 1979: The Unicoi State Park and Lodge is opened, attracting visitors to White County for outdoor activities.
  • 1992: The Alpine village of Helen becomes a popular tourist destination, adding to White County's tourism industry.
  • 2009: A devastating tornado hits White County, causing significant damage to homes and infrastructure.