Elberton in Elbert County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Elberton Granite Bicentennial Memorial Fountain
[Column - East/West Inscription]:
1776 — 1976
May this fountain serve
as an everyday reminder
of the Elberton Granite
Industry's interest in
this community and con-
tributions to this area's
economic and civic life.
Two Centuries of Advancement
From America's founding in 1776 to its bicentennial year of 1976, the story of Elbert County is one of steady advancement and progress — in agriculture and industry, in development of natural resources, in education and cultural activities, in religious and political endeavors, and in improving the quality of life enjoyed by all its
Elbert County was a portion of the hunting and burial grounds of the Cherokee and Creek Indians. Early settlers came from North Carolina and Virginia. First settlement at Dartmouth prior to 1776. Later known as Petersburg, located at "The Point" where Broad and Savannah Rivers joined.
Revolutionary War Period
Elbert County area was part of Wilkes County. Colonial Patriots included Stephen Heard, later Governor of Georgia, Benjamin Hart, Dan Tucker, and others. Nancy Hart, a famous Revolutionary heroine, lived near Broad River and performed magnificent deeds of bravery and military feats.
Petersburg, established by Dionysius Oliver, became a major early Georgia town of 2,000 population. Site covered by waters of Clark Hill Lake in 1950s. Two of Petersburg's residents, Dr. William Wyatt Bibb and Justice Charles Tate, served simultaneously in the U.S. Senate in 1813 -- the only instance in history that two senators lived in the same town.
Elbert County Established
On December 10, 1790, Elbert County was created from Wilkes County by Act of the Georgia Legislature.
A Time of Growth
Elbert County's population increased rapidly. Lands were cleared, roads were built, and cotton replaced tobacco as the principal farm crop. Churches organized -- Van's Creek, Doves Creek and Falling Creek Baptist; Bethlehem, Coldwater, Stinchcomb, Elberton and Eliam Methodist, and others. Heardmont and Ruckersville settled. Joseph Rucker established nationally famous Bank of Ruckersville.
City of Elberton Created
Elberton was established by the Georgia General Assembly on December 10, 1803. Site selected as county seat because it was near the center of the area, located on a natural water shed, well elevated, and with a good drinking spring.
Civil War & Reconstruction
Elbert County Furnished many troops to the Confederate cause -- 189th and 202nd Georgia Militia, Fireside Guards, Bowman Volunteers, McIntosh Volunteers, and others. Over 280 of these men gave their lives in battle. Elbert was a banner county of Georgia during the Reconstruction
Railroads & Granite Beginnings
First railroad in Elbert County, from Elberton to Toccoa, completed in 1878. Another line to Atlanta and Richmond was finished in 1891, opening up new opportunities for commerce and trade. The Elberton granite industry was started with the opening of commercial quarries in 1889 followed by small finishing plants, Elberton gradually became known as "The Granite City."
Economic & Cultural Expansion
Public school system organized. Many schools built. Churches expanded. Cultural groups organized. Farming flourished. Elberton became trade center. Bowman and Middleton incorporated. World War I supported by Elbert Countians. 24 gave their lives in the service of their country. Joseph Rucker Lamar, Ruckersville native, appointed to U.S. Supreme Court in 1911.
Boom and Depression
Prices of cotton and land reached new highs, followed by new lows. Banks closed and reopened. Elberton's industrial and granite base helped to ease the Depression woes. Chamber of Commerce organized; civic clubs formed; highways built; automobiles, electricity, telephones and other conveniences became commonplace.
Elberton's booming granite industry set economic pace for area. Elberton Granite Association formed. Homes and businesses increased in number throughout the city and county. Medical facilities enlarged. World War II and subsequent conflicts claimed lives of 53 from Elbert County. Development of Savannah River hydroelectric projects begun under leadership of Congressman Paul Brown.
Granite Center, Municipal Complex, Granite Bowl, Civic Center, new school buildings, churches, banks, recreation facilities, and shopping centers built. Industry more diversified with expansions of employment opportunities. Active community-boosting organizations encourage progress for "ever-expanding" Elberton and Elbert County.
Erected 1976 by Elberton Granite Association, Inc.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1862.
Location. 34° 6.597′ N, 82° 52.067′ W. Marker is in Elberton, Georgia, in Elbert County. Marker is on South Oliver Street (State Highway 77), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Elberton GA 30635, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking Confederate Dead (within shouting distance of this marker); Elbert County (within shouting distance of this marker); In the Year 1803 (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memory (within shouting distance of this marker); Grave of General Wiley Thompson (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Post Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Elbert County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Samuel Elbert (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Seaboard Airline Depot (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Christmas Tree House (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elberton.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 8, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 708 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. submitted on May 8, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.