Effingham County, Georgia

Coordinates: 32°22′N 81°20′W / 32.37°N 81.34°W / 32.37; -81.34
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Effingham County
Effingham County Courthouse in Springfield
Effingham County Courthouse in Springfield
Map of Georgia highlighting Effingham County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 32°22′N 81°20′W / 32.37°N 81.34°W / 32.37; -81.34
Country United States
State Georgia
FoundedFebruary 5, 1777; 247 years ago (1777)
Named forThomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Effingham
SeatSpringfield
Largest cityRincon
Area
 • Total483 sq mi (1,250 km2)
 • Land478 sq mi (1,240 km2)
 • Water5.2 sq mi (13 km2)  1.1%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total64,769
 • Density136/sq mi (53/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts1st, 12th
Websitewww.effinghamcounty.org

Effingham County (/ˈɛfɪŋhæm/ EFF-ing-ham) is a county located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 64,769.[1] The seat is Springfield.[2]

Effingham County is included in the Savannah metropolitan area.

In 2008, Effingham County was ranked as the sixth-fastest-growing midsize county in the nation from 2000 to 2007 by the U.S. Census Bureau. The county had a 35.1% growth rate over that period.

History[edit]

Effingham was among the original counties of the state of Georgia, created February 5, 1777 during the American Revolution from the colonial parishes of St. Matthew and St. Phillip.[3] Its name honors Lord Effingham, an English champion of colonial rights, who resigned his commission rather than fight against the rebel colonists during the American Revolution.[4] During the war, most of the Loyalists in what is now Effingham County were first generation Scottish immigrants. After the war, notable Georgia patriots including Lyman Hall, Samuel Elbert, Edward Telfair, George Walton and Stephen Heard all made direct appeals to the Loyalists of Effingham County to "stay on" in Georgia, under the new republican form of government. In Effingham County, this effort was successful, and virtually all Loyalists in the county stayed.[5] The town of Springfield was established in 1799, and most likely was named after a plantation.[6]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 483 square miles (1,250 km2), of which 478 square miles (1,240 km2) is land and 5.2 square miles (13 km2) (1.1%) is water.[7]

The entire western edge of Effingham County, from south of Newington to east of Guyton, then south to southwest of Meldrim, is located in the Lower Ogeechee River sub-basin of the Ogeechee River basin. The bulk of the rest of the county is located in the Lower Savannah River sub-basin of the Savannah River basin. A narrow rectangular portion of south Effingham County, from south of Pineora through Meldrim, is located in the Ogeechee Coastal sub-basin of the Ogeechee River basin.[8]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost town[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
17902,424
18002,072−14.5%
18102,58624.8%
18203,01816.7%
18302,924−3.1%
18403,0755.2%
18503,86425.7%
18604,75523.1%
18704,214−11.4%
18805,97941.9%
18905,599−6.4%
19008,33448.8%
19109,97119.6%
19209,9850.1%
193010,1641.8%
19409,646−5.1%
19509,133−5.3%
196010,14411.1%
197013,63234.4%
198018,32734.4%
199025,68740.2%
200037,53546.1%
201052,25039.2%
202064,76924.0%
2023 (est.)71,541[9]10.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1880[11] 1890-1910[12]
1920-1930[13] 1930-1940[14]
1940-1950[15] 1960-1980[16]
1980-2000[17] 2010[18]
Effingham County racial composition as of 2020[19]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 48,204 74.42%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 8,747 13.5%
Native American 181 0.28%
Asian 677 1.05%
Pacific Islander 28 0.04%
Other/Mixed 3,440 5.31%
Hispanic or Latino 3,492 5.39%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 64,769 people, 21,172 households, and 15,424 families residing in the county.

Economy[edit]

In the early years of the 1900s, agriculture was the mainstay of the county economy. The chief agricultural products were Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes. The county farmers raised so many Irish potatoes in the early 1920s that they were shipped out numerous railroad boxcars, full of potatoes, during the summer months of those years.

Small businesses, such as the Effingham Canning Company and Potato Barrel manufacturing mills, became big businesses. The Effingham Canning Company did not last long. It was established in 1918 at the site of the former Savannah Atlanta Railroad Locomotive Repair Shop in Springfield. This site today would be located across the road from Georgia Highway Department Maintenance Building on Georgia Highway 21, south of Springfield. A later canning company operated in the 1940s at the old elementary school grounds in Springfield.

In the early 21st century, Effingham County has had unprecedented demand for industrial locations. Interest in industrial development has been spurred by the area's high population growth, tremendous growth at the Georgia ports and the ever-growing economy of coastal Georgia. Contributors include the military, aerospace industry and a diversified manufacturing base. The Savannah area is home to Gulfstream Aerospace and Hunter Army Airfield.

The Effingham County Industrial Park has announced several new tenants since 2005. In 2007 it became the site of EFACEC Group, a Portuguese-based transformer manufacturer for their North and Central America operations. The U.S. factory is located in Rincon, Georgia and produces both core and shell technology power transformers. Other businesses include the Flint River Services refrigerated storage, ValuePart distribution center, as well as expansions of several existing industries in the park. The site is ideally located on a four-lane divided highway only 10 miles (16 km) from Interstate 95 and within 15 miles (24 km) of the Georgia Ports, the Savannah International Airport and the historic City of Savannah.

The Effingham Industrial Development Authority acquired approximately 4,000 acres (16 km2) for development. The acquisitions include a tract of approximately 200 acres (0.81 km2) adjacent to Interstate 16 and an additional 1,550-acre (6.3 km2) tract on Interstate 16 seven miles from Interstate 95. Both tracts are within 15 miles (24 km) of the Georgia Ports Authority, and within 10 miles (16 km) of the Chatham County Mega-Site (formerly known as the DaimlerChrysler site) at the strategic intersection of Interstates 95 and 16.

A potential of 10,000,000 square feet (930,000 m2) of light manufacturing and/or Distribution Center/ Warehousing space exists at this site. Another recent acquisition is the former Research Forest Tract. Approximately 2,300 acres (9.3 km2) in size, this will be a "legacy" development to include commercial, executive office, heavy industrial, light industrial, professional service, research and recreational land uses. The site comprises three separate tracts of land six rail miles from the Georgia Ports Authority, with planned access to the Savannah River Parkway, Norfolk Southern mainline rail and CSX mainline rail. The property is being master planned. The development is planned to attract research and development, assembly operations, headquarters and other low-impact operations.

Industry in Effingham County includes paper manufacturing—Georgia Pacific (Savannah River Mill), high-precision turbine blade production—Doncasters, aluminum geodesic dome production—Temcor, concrete pipe manufacturing—Hanson, customized business jet interiors—Edward's Interiors, electrical distribution power transformer production—EFACEC PT, among many others.


Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

  • I-16, is the west-to-east interstate highway within the county. It enters Effingham County from Ellabell in Bryan County, and leaves through Bloomington in Chatham. It contains only one interchange within the county (exit 148); Old River Road, which leads to US 80/GA 26-30.
  • I-95, the major north-south highway on the Eastern Seaboard, but only has a short run through eastern Effingham County. The road runs through the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge between the bridge over Knoxboro Creek from Port Wentworth, and the bridge over the Savannah River at the South Carolina County Line and contains no interchanges whatsoever.
  • US 80 was the main west-to-east highway through Effingham County, until it was supplanted by I-16.
  • SR 17
  • SR 21
  • SR 21 Spur
  • SR 26
  • SR 30
  • SR 119
  • SR 275
  • SR 404 (unsigned designation for I-16)
  • SR 405 (unsigned designation for I-95)
  • SR 565 (Savannah River Parkway)


Railroads[edit]

Effingham County contains three major railroad lines. Two of them are owned by CSX and the other is owned by Norfolk Southern. The Norfolk Southern Savannah District and CSX Columbia Subdivision runs nearly parallel to one another before crossing the Chatham County Line towards Savannah. A third line (the Charleston Subdivision) runs northeast from Port Wentworth to the South Carolina State Line, and spends even less time in the county than Interstate 95.

Amtrak runs three trains along the two CSX lines, neither of which stop anywhere within the county. The Silver Star (Amtrak train) runs along the Columbia Subdivision. The Palmetto and Silver Meteor trains run along the Charleston Subdivision, which has no stations, and no possible location for a station.

Education[edit]

Politics[edit]

Effingham County has been a reliably Republican county from 1984 onward. After supporting Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond in 1948, it began voting Republican earlier than most Georgia counties, albeit by very narrow margins. Effingham then voted in line with most other rural Deep South counties from 1964 to 1972. The only Democratic Party candidate to win the county since 1944 was Jimmy Carter, who won it convincingly in his statewide landslide in 1976 and narrowly in 1980.

United States presidential election results for Effingham County, Georgia[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 23,361 73.98% 7,718 24.44% 500 1.58%
2016 17,874 75.73% 4,853 20.56% 876 3.71%
2012 15,596 74.79% 4,947 23.72% 311 1.49%
2008 15,230 74.87% 4,936 24.27% 175 0.86%
2004 12,503 77.26% 3,613 22.33% 66 0.41%
2000 7,326 68.79% 3,232 30.35% 92 0.86%
1996 5,022 56.76% 3,031 34.26% 795 8.99%
1992 3,814 47.90% 2,690 33.78% 1,459 18.32%
1988 3,933 67.13% 1,905 32.51% 21 0.36%
1984 4,266 67.49% 2,055 32.51% 0 0.00%
1980 2,528 47.02% 2,783 51.76% 66 1.23%
1976 1,654 36.27% 2,906 63.73% 0 0.00%
1972 3,175 86.47% 497 13.53% 0 0.00%
1968 769 19.39% 635 16.02% 2,561 64.59%
1964 2,676 79.74% 680 20.26% 0 0.00%
1960 885 50.14% 880 49.86% 0 0.00%
1956 637 51.04% 611 48.96% 0 0.00%
1952 829 50.89% 800 49.11% 0 0.00%
1948 160 12.37% 347 26.84% 786 60.79%
1944 365 45.74% 433 54.26% 0 0.00%
1940 227 26.40% 633 73.60% 0 0.00%
1936 142 18.81% 612 81.06% 1 0.13%
1932 90 14.75% 518 84.92% 2 0.33%
1928 627 79.37% 163 20.63% 0 0.00%
1924 39 9.61% 337 83.00% 30 7.39%
1920 118 13.98% 726 86.02% 0 0.00%
1916 64 12.26% 450 86.21% 8 1.53%
1912 7 1.81% 375 97.15% 4 1.04%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Effingham County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 27, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "1140". Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 115.
  5. ^ Georgia Citizens and Soldiers of the American Revolution by Robert Scott Davis, Southern Historical Press, 1979
  6. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 211. ISBN 0-915430-00-2. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 26, 2003.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Interactive Mapping Experience". Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Archived from the original on October 3, 2018. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2023". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 31, 2024.
  10. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". United States Census Bureau.
  11. ^ "1880 Census Population by Counties 1790-1800" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1880.
  12. ^ "1910 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1910.
  13. ^ "1930 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1930.
  14. ^ "1940 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1940.
  15. ^ "1950 Census of Population - Georgia -" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1950.
  16. ^ "1980 Census of Population - Number of Inhabitants - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1980.
  17. ^ "2000 Census of Population - Population and Housing Unit Counts - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 2000.
  18. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  19. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 15, 2021.
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 19, 2018.

External links[edit]

32°22′N 81°20′W / 32.37°N 81.34°W / 32.37; -81.34