On August 14, 1920, the state legislature proposed a constitutional amendment to create Long County from Liberty County, one of the original eight Georgia counties established in 1777 from the colonial parishes. On November 2, 1920, Georgia voters ratified the proposed amendment and Long County became Georgia's 159th county. Long County was named for Crawford Long, a doctor credited with introducing ether as an anesthesia during a surgical operation at Jefferson on March 30, 1842. Located in southeast Georgia, Long County occupies 400 square miles of the Atlantic Coast Flatwoods. The county is bordered by Liberty, McIntosh, Tattnall, and Wayne counties, and its entire southwestern boundary runs along the Altamaha River.
Originally the western portion of St. John's Parish, the land along the Altamaha River (earlier spelled "Alatamaha") was an important frontier boundary protecting the Georgia colony from the Spanish and Native Americans to the south and west. General James Oglethorpe established a series of forts, including Beards Bluff Fort and Fort Barrington, along the river for protection. Paths developed by Creek Indians became the first roads, including the Old Barrington Road, which was also known as the Old Post Road because it was part of the first postal route from Savannah into Florida. Inns, including Archibald Baggs's home, the Sandiford Inn, and Timothy Barnard's trading post at Beards Creek, accommodated travelers along these paths.
The county seat of Ludowici began in the 1840s as a stop known as "Four and a Half" on the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad.
Government and Economy
Long County is managed by a traditional commission government from Ludowici, which remains the only incorporated municipality in the county. The two-story brick courthouse was completed in 1926.
Annual events held in Long County include Old South Farm Days in March, the Catfish Festival in April, and the Long County Wildlife Festival in October. Points of interest include the Ludowici Well Pavilion (1907), an important social meeting place for the county and a National Register of Historic Places site, and
The Altamaha River provides such recreational opportunities as fishing, boating, and water sports. A marble monument near the southern border of the county honors the lost Franklinia alatamaha, a flowering plant discovered by royal botanists John and William Bartram in 1765. The plant was last seen growing in the wild near the Altamaha River in 1803.
According to the 2000 U.S. census, Long County's population was 10,304, a 66 percent increase over the 1990 population and more than twice the population of the county after its first decade of existence. In 2010 the population increased again to 14,464.
Susan R. Boatright and Douglas C. Bachtel, eds., Georgia County Guide (Athens: Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, University of Georgia, annual).
Helen Williams Coxon, "An Historiette of Long County, Georgia" (Ludowici, Ga.: privately printed, 1976).
Elmer Oris Parker, A History of Jones Creek Baptist Church, Long County, Georgia, 1810-2000: 190 Years of Ministry (Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 2000).
Luciana M. Spracher, Bricks and Bones Historical Research
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