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About Arnoldsville, GA

Arnoldsville is located in Oglethorpe County, in northeast Georgia. It is the state's seventeenth county and comprises 441 square miles. Creek and Cherokee Indians lived there when the first white people arrived, but they lost their land through treaties signed in 1773. Fur trappers and traders traversed the area before the first non-Indians established permanent settlements. A few trappers established a temporary community known as Kennedy's Gate, but it was no longer extant by the time of the American Revolution(1775-83).

The first permanent white settlers, led by Revolutionary War veteran Colonel George Mathews to Georgia after the war, were a group of wealthy tobacco planters from Virginia. At first the area was all part of Wilkes County, but Oglethorpe County, named for Georgia's founder James Oglethorpe, was carved from Wilkes in 1793 to accommodate population growth. Over the years Oglethorpe County has gained land from surrounding counties, sometimes in exchange for parts of itself.

Arnoldsville was settled in the early 1800s by Virginians who established tobacco, cotton, and silkworm plantations, was not incorporated until 1969. In earlier days the site's proximity to a Cherokee trail linking Virginia to the Mississippi River made it a popular point for meetings and trading. Colonial governors established a settlement there in the 1770s to regulate Indian trade. The settlement was called Cherokee Corner until 1894, when a local store owner, Edwin Shaw, became postmaster and renamed the town Edwin, after himself. Shaw's store (and postal service rights) were later bought by N. D. Arnold, a wealthy landowner, and the town adopted his name in 1896. Arnold divided 5,000 acres of his land into small farms and sold them "on liberal terms" to encourage settlement of the area.

For more historical information about Oglethorpe County, Arnoldsville and the surrounding communities of Crawford, Maxeys, Lexington, Stephens and Smithsonia please visit the Georgia Encyclopedia entry for Oglethorpe County.

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