Other Information: Oglethorpe
County's first courthouse is somewhat of a mystery. One source
says that soon after the county's creation, the settlement of
Philomath was designated county seat, and that here the first
courthouse was built. Another source, however, says that the
first courthouse was a log structure built on the Salem Road
near present-day Lexington, and that this building was moved
to Lexington in 1800. In 1806, the legislature designated Lexington
as county seat. What served as courthouse from 1806 to 1887 is
not known, although a volume on the history of Oglethorpe County
states that the courthouse during this period was located just
northwest of the present courthouse. In 1887, a new courthouse
was built in Lexington of local brick, granite, and timber [see
The most distinctive feature of courthouse is the clock tower
with open areas that frames the entrance to the building. The
clock in the tower reportedly weighs 1000 pounds. In preparation
for the 1993 celebration of Oglethorpe County's bicentennial,
the courthouse was remodeled in 1992-93.
Street Address and Map: Click here
County History: Oglethorpe County was created from Wilkes
County on Dec. 19, 1793 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga.
Laws 1793, p. 10). Georgia's 17th county was named for Georgia
founder James Oglethorpe, who died in England in 1785.
Portions of Oglethorpe County were used to create Madison
County (1811) and Taliaferro County (1825).
County Seat: Lexington [named for Massachusetts village
where the first battle in American Revolution was fought in 1775].
The 1793 act creating Oglethorpe County named commissioners to
select a site that would serve as county seat. The act further
authorized the judges of the inferior court to levy a tax not
exceeding 250 pounds and contract for the building of a courthouse
and jail. What happened next is unclear. One source says that
the settlement of Philomath [then known as Woodstock] was designated
county seat, and that Oglethorpe's first courthouse was built
here. However, an account of the history of Oglethorpe County
states that the first courthouse was built of logs and located
on the Salem Road, and that this structure was moved to Lexington
in 1800. The date of Lexington's original settlement is not clear.
What is known is that the General Assembly incorporated Lexington
and designated it county seat in an act approved on Nov. 24,
Size of County (Total
Area): 442.2 square miles
County Rank in Total
Area: 49th out of 159
City of Lexington
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