Established in 1790, Elbert County was carved from adjacent Wilkes County and named in honor of American patriot and former governor Samuel Elbert. Located in Northeast Georgia on the Savannah and Broad Rivers, the territory witnessed Revolutionary War fighting and the creation of Fort James, Dartmouth, and Petersburg, occurring all before 1790. Later Ruckersville, Heardmont, Bowman, and Dewy Rose were established. Elberton, chosen as county seat by former governor Stephen Heard's committee, was incorporated in 1803 and dominated county history thereafter. Nancy Hart and Stephen Heard, among others, aided the revolution; merchants William and Beverly Allen forged a business path; and preachers, including Dozier Thornton, established many county churches. In later years, Corra Harris, born at Farmhill, attended Elberton Female Academy before becoming a noted writer. In the 20th century, cotton production was overshadowed by the growth of granite quarrying and finishing, leading to Elberton becoming the "Granite Capital of the World."
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