Elbert County’s many assets make the county, Elberton and Bowman great communities to live, work, play and raise a family. While we can tell you what life in Elbert County is like, including education, healthcare, housing, arts, and recreation, there is nothing like experiencing it for yourself.
Established in 1790, Elbert County was Georgia’s 13th county and Elberton is one of the oldest municipalities in the state. Elbert has a rich and deep history in the granite industry dating back to the 1880s. For nearly a century, Elbert County has been known as the “Granite Capital of the World.” The Elberton Granite deposit is a mass of granite approximately 35 miles long, six miles wide and most likely two to three miles deep. More than 45 quarries help the area maintain its position as the top producer of granite for buildings, monuments and memorials.
Unincorporated Elbert County is also home to the Georgia Guide Stones, a mysterious monument that displays a 10-part message to mankind in 12 languages. Elbert County is bordered to the east by the Savannah River and two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes, making the county a prime destination for water-based recreational activities. Clarks Hill Lake is on the southern tip of the county, while just north of it is Lake Russell. Two major parks are in Elbert County: Bobby Brown Park Outdoor Recreation Area, marking the site of the old town of Petersburg, which is now under the waters of Clarks Hill Lake, and Richard B. Russell State Park on Lake Russell.
Central to Elbert County and 110 miles from Atlanta, Elberton is known for its centralized rail, airport, historic downtown, and Antebellum homes. As the county seat, Elberton is home to county government offices and other critical services. Downtown Elberton features historic Elbert County Courthouse, the Elbert Theatre and the Samuel Elbert Hotel.
Also in the city is the Elberton Granite Museum, which contains historical exhibits, artifacts, educational displays and materials depicting current and past events in the rich heritage of the Elberton Granite Industry. Elberton is a hub for community events, hosting celebrations throughout the year including First Fridays, the Elberton 12 County Fair, the Granite City BBQ Festival and the Granite City Fall Festival.
Located 30 minutes from Interstate 85, the City of Bowman in northwestern Elbert County is known for its active government, art and antiques. Named for Thomas Jefferson Bowman, the city arose with the construction of the Elberton Air Line Railroad, which connected Elberton and Toccoa. The railroad was completed in 1878 and, after nearly three decades of development, the city was incorporated in 1907.
Popular attractions in Bowman include its two annual festivals: The Big Iron Crank-Up in April and the Bowman Fall Festival in October. The Broad River Water Trail flows through the area and offers flatwater to Class II rapids for paddling enthusiasts. Bowman is also the home of Mecole Hardman, Jr., a former University of Georgia standout and NFL Champion with the Kansas City Chiefs.
With a four-year graduation rate of 90.5%, Elbert County Comprehensive High School is outpacing the state average by more than eight percentage points. Advanced academic opportunities at the high school include honors courses, AP courses and dual enrollment
The Elbert County Campus of Athens Technical College serves more than 500 credit students from Elbert, Hart and Wilkes counties, and other surrounding counties. Athens Technical College is a valuable community resource, providing technical education, career training and economic development resources such as customized training, continuing education and industry certifications.
Each year, area colleges and universities grant thousands of bachelor and graduate degrees to students across a variety of academic fields. These talented graduates are eager to make an impact in the workforce and are available to fill entry level, associate, and management roles, depending on your open positions and business type.
Great healthcare options exist within Elbert County and nearby if necessary. Elbert Memorial Hospital is a 52-bed acute care general hospital offering a full range of surgical, inpatient/outpatient, and emergency services through highly trained professionals and state-of-the-art equipment.
Elbert County also is only 35 miles from the regional medical centers in Athens, Ga. Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center is a 360-bed regional referral center with a Level 2 Trauma Center and a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. St. Mary’s Health Care System has 196 beds and provides emergency care, surgical services and extensive cardiac services, along with a host of other programs.
Elbert County is steeped in rich history, stories and heritage. Antebellum homes continue to be well maintained and greet visitors with their beauty and charm. Up and down each street, Elbert County heritage and pride are shown in centuries-old architecture. Both Bowman and Elberton have homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Beyond the historic areas, Elbert County has a mixture of housing options, including affordable ranch-style homes, large residences on countryside acreage, and waterside retreats in and around state and regional parks. With housing costs more than 70% lower than the national average, finding your dream home at a great price is possible in Elbert County.
As one of the top small-town performance venues in Northeast Georgia, the Elbert Theatre has been the site of arts, culture and community gatherings for more than 80 years. With a seating capacity of approximately 370, the fully renovated Art Deco-style performing arts facility is conveniently just off the square in downtown Elberton. The theatre shows first run movies and hosts regular community theatre performances of youth, teen, and adult troupes. Around the corner from the theatre is the Elberton Arts Center, which hosts arts classes, summer camps, board meetings, civic events and a variety of other community activities.
Elbert County is a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts. The Elbert County Recreation Department offers a variety of programs including baseball, softball, football, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, tennis, karate and baton to more than 1,000 children. Most activities are held at McWilliams Memorial Park on Mobley Hill Road, home to 3 baseball fields, 1 softball field, 3 soccer fields, 2 football fields and a tennis complex.
Elbert County is also home to Richard B. Russell State Park on Lake Russell. The state park offers some of Georgia’s best fishing, boating and camping. The park also features a swimming beach, trails, and the 18-hole Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course. The park and lake served as the Olympic rowing training center in preparation for the 1996 Olympic Games, and many college rowing teams continue to use the park for training.
Bobby Brown Park on Clarks Hill Lake offers 665 acres, with excellent boating, skiing and fishing, as well as tent, yurt and RV camping. There is also a disc golf course, and paddle boat, paddleboard and kayak rentals.