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A guide to Hall County and its cities, including population, history and demographic data
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Gainesville is photographed from a plane window on Thursday, June 27, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele

Hall County is part of a growing region north of the metro Atlanta area. It's diverse in its economy, people and landscape. Toward the south end of the county, residential areas are growing quickly. The city of Gainesville, located near the center of the county, is a small but dynamic urban area. Much of the northern and eastern parts of Hall County are rural. The county is bordered by the expansive Lake Lanier on it western side and reaches toward the metro Atlanta area on its south end and the foothills of the Appalachians on its north end.

Hall County

Population: 204,441 (2019 census estimate)

Demographics: 60% White, 29% Hispanic, 8% Black, 2% Asian

Median household income: $62,984

History: Founded 1819, named for Dr. Lyman Hall, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, governor, minister and physician. Formed from land annexed from Franklin and Jackson counties, much of which was settled through a lottery system after the Cherokees and Creeks were forcibly removed from the area

Known for: Lake Lanier, a tourist destination drawing 12 million to its shores, which make up the western border of Hall

Gainesville 

Population: 43,232 (2019 census estimate)

Demographics: 40% Hispanic, 39% White, 15.5% Black, 2% Asian

Median household income: $51,520

History: Founded in 1821, named for Edmund P. Gaines, a general in the War of 1812. The city was devastated by tornadoes in 1901 and 1936, the latter killing more than 200 people and still one of the deadliest in U.S. history. After the city was rebuilt, President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited in 1938 to dedicate the new courthouse; Roosevelt Square now bears his name.

Known for: “Poultry Capital of the World,” marked by numerous poultry processing plants and the chicken statue at Poultry Park at Academy Street and Jesse Jewell Parkway. Also known as “the hospitality capital of the world,” so designated by NBC broadcaster Charlie Jones during the 1996 Olympic rowing and canoe/kayak competition on Lake Lanier. 

Braselton

Population: 12,961 (2019 census estimate) 

Demographics: 77% White, 12% Black, 5% Hispanic, 2% Asian

Median household income: $105,096

History: Founded 1916, named for farmer Harrison Braselton 

Known for: Road Atlanta speedway, site of the annual Petit Le Mans and other championship road races; Chateau Elan winery and resort where Hall, Jackson and Gwinnett meet.

Buford

Population: 15,522 (2019 census estimate)

Demographics: 53% White, 27% Hispanic, 15% Black, 3% Asian

Median household income: $59,855

History: Founded 1872, named for railroad owner Col. Algernon S. Buford. 

Known for: The former Bona Allen Tannery, for decades one of the nation’s largest leather tanneries for saddles, shoes and harnesses, giving Buford the nickname “Leather City.”

Flowery Branch

Population: 8,325 (2019 census estimate)

Demographics: 77% White, 8.7% Hispanic, 8% Black, 2% Asian

Median household income: $75,599

History: Founded 1874; name derived from Cherokee term “Nattagaska,” which translated to “Blossom Creek,” and later to “Flowery Branch.”

Known for: Headquarters and training camp home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons

Oakwood

Population: 4,156 (2019 census estimate) 

Demographics and median income not available for cities with a population under 5,000

History: Founded 1903. Named for use of oak wood for train fuel during the 1800s.

Known for: Home of University of North Georgia Gainesville campus

Lula

Population: 2,961 (2019 census estimate)

Demographics and median income not available for cities with a population under 5,000

History: Founded 1876, named for the daughter of railroad engineer Ferdinand Phinizy whose name was spelled “Lulah.” Merged with nearby town of Belton in 1956. 

Known for: Being a railroad hub between Athens and Atlanta, celebrated at the annual Lula Railroad Days Festival.

Clermont

Population: 1,039 (2019 census estimate)

Demographics and median income not available for cities with a population under 5,000

History: Founded 1913, originally known as “Dip” because the postmaster wanted a short name he could write on mail cancellations. The name Clermont refers to the clear view of the surrounding mountains.

Known for: The Chattahoochee School, established in 1901 following the county’s earliest known school, Concord Academy. 

Gillsville

Population: 240 (2019 census estimate) 

Demographics and median income not available for cities with a population under 5,000

History: Charted 1901, but town dates back to 1784 as Hall’s oldest settlement, originally named “Stonethrow.” Later named for postmaster Isaiah Gill in 1832.

Known for: Pottery, specifically the Hewell family’s pottery shop and annual Turnin’ and Burnin’ festival and signature crafts.


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