We spent Thanksgiving at one of my son-in-law’s grandparents’ house just outside of Wadley in Jefferson County, Georgia. Jefferson County is mostly rural farmland. I really didn’t expect Jefferson County to be too interesting history-wise but I was pretty wrong on that. Take a look at this:
“Jefferson County, originally part of Burke and Warren counties, was created in 1796 and named for Thomas Jefferson. Wadley was originally known as "Shakerag". The name was changed to Wadley in the 1870s in honor of the president of the Central of Georgia Railway. The name change coincided with the designation of Wadley as an official stop on the railroad.
Louisville, the county seat, was named in honor of King Louis XVI of France, because of the support given by France to the Colonials in the Revolution. Louisville was Georgia's third state capital, but its first "permanent" one. The Jefferson County Courthouse, built in 1904, stands on the site of Georgia's first permanent capitol, constructed in 1795.
Louisville was the site of the Constitutional Convention of 1798 in which the state's pre-Civil War constitution was adopted. Georgia's Great Seal, which is still in use today, was adopted at the same time.
The Old Market House, the county's major tourist attraction, dates to the 1790s and served as the commercial center for the region during the time that the state capital was in Louisville.
Jefferson County is the site of multiple festivals including the Buzzard Blast in Louisville in (April), Hometown Fest in Wadley (August), Pig Pickin' Festival in Wrens (June), and Spier's Turnout Festival in Bartow (May).” 1
I was tipped off that there might be an interesting story when I noticed that the Louisville water tower had “Georgia’s First Capital” written on it. Being the curious historian that I am I got on the internet as soon as I got home to check it out. Of course you know that I will just have to go to the Buzzard Blast next April.
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis