Main Births etc
Gainesville, Georgia, USA
—  City  —
Hall County Courthouse (Gainesville, Georgia)
Nickname(s): "Queen City of the Mountains" & "Poultry Capital of the World"
Location in Hall County and the state of Georgia

Gainesville, Georgia is located in Metro Atlanta
Gainesville in Metro Atlanta
Coordinates: 34°18′16″N 83°50′2″W / 34.30444, -83.83389Coordinates: 34°18′16″N 83°50′2″W / 34.30444, -83.83389
Country United States
State Georgia
County Hall
Gainesville 1818
 • Type Popular vote democracy
 • Mayor Ruth Bruner
 • City 29.1 sq mi (75.4 km2)
 • Land 27.1 sq mi (70.2 km2)
 • Water 2.0 sq mi (5.2 km2)
Elevation 1,250 ft (381 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 33,804
 • Density 1,145.7/sq mi (442.1/km2)
 • Metro 187,743
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 770
FIPS code 13-31908[1]
GNIS feature ID 0355972[2]

Gainesville is a city in, and the county seat of, Hall County, Georgia, United States.[3] As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 33,804.[4] Because of its large number of poultry processing plants, it is often called the "Poultry Capital of the World". Gainesville is the principal city of, and is included in, the Gainesville, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Georgia-Alabama (part) Combined Statistical Area.


Gainesville was established as Mule Camp Springs by settlers in the early 1800s. Less than three years after the creation of Hall County on December 15, 1818. Mule Camp Springs became Gainesville on April 21, 1821, and was named in honor of General Edmund P. Gaines, a hero of the War of 1812 and a noted military surveyor and road-builder. Gainesville was selected to be the county seat, and was chartered by the Georgia Legislature on November 30, 1821.

A Gold Rush that began in nearby Lumpkin County in the 1830s resulted in an increase in the number of settlers and the beginning of a business community.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, Gainesville witnessed two important events: in 1849, Gainesville was established as a resort center, and in 1851, much of Gainesville was destroyed by fire.

The period from 1870-1920 saw significant growth in Gainesville. In 1871 the Airline Railroad, later named the Georgia Southern Railroad, began to stop in Gainesville, helping to expand the population from 1,000 in 1870, to over 5,000 in 1900. By 1898, textiles became the primary driver of the economy, in part due to the railroad. In 1902, Gainesville became the first city south of Baltimore to have street lamps. On March 1, 1905, free mail delivery began in Gainesville and on August 10, 1910 the Gainesville post office was opened. December 22, 1915 marked formal opening of the City's first skyscraper, the Jackson Building, which is still standing today; and in 1919 Southern Bell made improvements to the phone system.

City services began in Gainesville on February 22, 1873 with the election of a City Marshal, followed by solid waste collection in 1874. In 1890, a bond issue to fund the waterworks was passed and the original water distribution system was developed.

In 1943, at the height of World War II, Gainesville contributed to the war effort by leasing the airport to the US government for $1.00, who used it as a Naval Air Station for training purposes. In 1947, the airport was returned to the City of Gainesville with two 4,000 ft landing strips (one of which was later lengthened to 5,500 ft).

After World War II, a businessman named Jesse Jewell started the poultry industry in Georgia, and this has since become the state's largest agricultural crop. This $1 billion a year industry has given Gainesville the title "Poultry Capital of the World."

In 1957, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed Lake Lanier which presently covers more than 38,000 acres and is the most visited Corps-created lake in the nation with an economic impact of more than $2 billion annually.

During the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Gainesville served as the venue for the rowing and kayaking medal competitions.

In the 21st century Gainesville continued its progress, with the accreditation of the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Department in 2001, became the 3rd Department in the State to be Accredited; the opening of the Lakeside Water Treatment Plant in 2002; and the introduction of new societal activities including the Spring Chicken Festival in 2003, the Art in the Square gathering in 2004. and "Dredgefest" in 2008.

2008 also saw the reopening of the Fair Street Neighborhood Center, the re-opening of the Linwood Water Reclamation Facility Grand, and the completion of the Longwood Park Fishing Pier.


Lake Lanier at River Forks Park

Gainesville is located at 34°18′16″N 83°50′2″W / 34.30444, -83.83389 (34.304490, -83.833897).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.1 square miles (75 km2), of which, 27.1 square miles (70 km2) of it is land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) of it (6.94%) is water.

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, parts of Gainesville lie along the shore of one of the nation's most popular inland water destinations, Lake Lanier. Named after Georgia author and musician Sidney Lanier, the lake was created in 1956 when The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Chattahoochee River near Buford, Georgia and flooded an Appalachian mountain valley. Although created primarily for hydro-electricity and flood-control, it also serves as a reservoir providing water to the city of Atlanta. Lake Lanier is also a very popular recreational attraction for all of North Georgia.

Much of Gainesville is heavily wooded, with both deciduous and coniferous trees being present.


Poultry Farming[]

The poultry farming industry in Gainesville began to develop in the, when Jesse Jewell, a Gainesville feed salesman began his business. The format he developed was to sell North Georgia farmers baby chicks and feed on credit. When the chicks were grown, Jewell would buy back the adult chickens (broilers) at a price that would cover his costs and guarantee farmers a profit. Once Jewell signed on enough farmers to produce broilers for him, he invested in his own processing plant and hatchery.[6]

As of 2013, poultry farming remains a significant economic driver in Gainesville representing six of the top ten employers (7,600 employees),[7] and remains the best well-known business in the area, with state-wide revenue exceeding $3 billion.

Other Industry[]

The largest employer in Gainesville is the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, with 5.200 employees. The William Wrigley Company has a large manufacturing facility in Gainesville with 700 employees.[8] The Wal-Mart Supercenter in Gainesville employs over 300 people.

The main shopping mall is Lakeshore Mall.

Top employers[]

According to Gainesville's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[9] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Northeast Georgia Health System 5,030
2 Fieldale Farms 2,400
3 Pilgrim's 1,600
4 Mar-Jac 1,250
5 Kubota 960
6 Coleman Natural 900
7 Wrigley 850
8 The Longstreet Clinic 580
9 Koch Foods 521
10 ZF 440


Gainesville has a subtropical climate with mild, yet extremely varying[10] winters and very hot summers.

Winters are generally mild, with average highs in the high 40's to mid 50's and lows in the low to mid 30's. However, temperatures can swing up and down in days, often one after another, since cold fronts and warm fronts visit frequently. It's not uncommon to see 70's for highs two days and temperatures in the teens for lows the next. Annual snowfall only yields an average of 1 inch, and accumulations for more than a day are rare. Gainesville is located in USDA Hardiness Zone 8a, enabling hardy palm trees and cacti to withstand frigid nights. The record low temperature (-14°F) was recorded in January 1985.

Spring sees highs in the 70's and 80's with lows in the 40's and 50's although March is the wettest month of the year on average.

Summer heat can be intense, but generally highs are in the mid to upper 80s. Gainesville's altitude shaves a few degrees off the summer heat. The area is extremely humid, and the heat index can reach the 100's. The record high (107°F) was recorded in June and July 1952.

Fall has temperatures similar to spring but with much less humidity, especially later in the season. In late October to November the leaves are in the midst of changing colors to brilliant reds, yellows, golden oranges and purples.

Climate data for Gainesville, Georgia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 51
Average low °F (°C) 32
Source: Weatherbase[11]

Severe Weather[]

While Gainesville does not sit in Tornado Alley, a region of the United States where severe weather is common, Supercell thunderstorms can sweep through any time between March and November, being primarily concentrated in the spring. Tornado Watches are frequent in the spring and summer, with a warning appearing at least biannually, occasionally with more than one per year.

Tornado activity in the Gainesville-area is above Georgia state average and is 108% greater than the overall U.S. average.

Gainesville was also the site of the fifth deadliest tornado in U.S. history in 1936, where Gainesville was devastated and 203 people were killed.[12] Gainesville was also the site of another deadly F4 on June 1, 1903, which killed 98 people.

Additionally, in April 1974, a category F4 tornado 22.6 miles away from the Gainesville city center killed six people and injured thirty; and in December 1973, a category F3 tornado 2.1 miles away from the city center injured twenty-one people. Both storms caused between $500,000 and $5,000,000 in property damages.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 344
1870 472 37.2%
1880 1,919 306.6%
1890 3,202 66.9%
1900 4,382 36.9%
1910 5,925 35.2%
1920 6,272 5.9%
1930 8,624 37.5%
1940 10,243 18.8%
1950 11,936 16.5%
1960 16,523 38.4%
1970 15,459 −6.4%
1980 15,280 −1.2%
1990 17,885 17.0%
2000 25,578 43.0%
2010 33,804 32.2%

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 33,804 people, 11,273 households, and 7,165 families residing in the city. The population density was 1.161.6 people per square mile (450.7/km²). There were 12,967 housing units at an average density of 445.6 per square mile (172.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 54.2% White, 15.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, 3.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 23.4% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 41.6% of the population.

There were 11,273 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.3% were married couples living together, 18.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.64% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.55.

Age distribution was 33.9% under the age of 20, 9.5% from 20 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 16.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.5 years. For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 20 and over, there were 84.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,119, and the median income for a family was $43,734. Males had a median income of $26,377 versus $20,531 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,439. About 24.9% of families and 29.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.7% of those under age 18 and 17.6% of those age 65 or over.[13] In May 2013, the unemployment rate was 6.9%, less than the overall rate in Georgia of 8.3%, the US of 7.6%[14]

Of the population aged 15 years and over, 31.0% have never been married; 50.0% are now married; 2.4% are separated; 7.7% are widowed; and 9.9% are divorced.


Amtrak's Crescent connects Gainesville with the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Greensboro, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans. The Amtrak station is situated at 116 Industrial Boulevard.

Gainesville also has a bus transit system, the Red Rabbit, that has 130 stops along three routes through Gainesville.[15] The Red Rabbit Public Transportation System began its operations in January 2001 with three buses and four mini-buses.[16]

Gainesville also has an airport, the Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport (GVL), built in 1940. GVL, with two runways (5,500 ft and 4,001 ft), supports Air Taxi Operations, Itinerant Operations, Local Operations and Military Operations. Aircraft include 116 single engine aircraft, 21 multi-engine aircraft, 2 jet engine aircraft and 1 helicopter.[17] In addition, Gainesville has three heliports, Beaver Trail, Lanier Park Hospital and Latham Creek.


Gainesville, Georgia is home to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center which houses the Ronnie Greene Heart Center. The city is also served by the Northside Hospital Forsyth in Cumming, the BJC Medical Center in Commerce and the Chestatee Regional Hospital in Dahlonega,


Of residents 25 and older, 66.2% have a high school degree or higher, 24.2% have a Bachelor's degree or higher and 8.9% have a Graduate or professional degree.

Gainesville City School District[]

The Gainesville City School District holds grades pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of five elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school.[18][19] The district has 282 full-time teachers and over 4,438 students.[20] Its lone high school, Gainesville High School boasts several notable alumni including, Cris Carpenter, Former professional baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers), Tasha Humphrey, professional basketball player, and Micah Owings, Current professional baseball player (Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres).

Hall County School District[]

The Hall County School District holds grades pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of twenty-one elementary schools, six middle schools, and seven high schools.[21] The district has 1,337 full-time teachers and over 21,730 students.[22] The high schools in this district have produced a number of notable alumni including, Connor Shaw, starting quarterback for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks football team; Casey Cagle, Lt. Governor, State of Georgia; James Mills, Georgia State Representative; A.J. Styles, professional wrestler; Mike "MoonPie" Wilson, former NFL football player;Chester Willis, former NFL football player; Jody Davis, former catcher for Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves baseball teams; Billy Greer, bass guitarist for progressive rock band Kansas; Corey Hulsey, former NFL Oakland Raiders football player; Robin Spriggs, author and actor; and Martrez Milner, American football tight end.

Private Education[]

Gainesville has three private education facilities, Riverside Military Academy which is a private, college preparatory, boarding and day school for boys in grades 7 through 12; Lakeview Academy, a private, nondenominational, college preparatory school; and Brenau Academy, a female, college preparatory, residential school for grades 9-12, which is a part of the Brenau University system.

Higher education[]

Gainesville has three institutions of higher education; University of North Georgia (formerly Gainesville State College), which was established January 8, 2013, as a result of the consolidation of North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College; Brenau University, a private, not-for-profit, undergraduate- and graduate-level higher education institution; and the Interactive College of Technology.


The Hall County Library, with an operating income of $3,078,611, offers a collection of 292,717 books; 1,355 e-books; 32,858 audio materials; 26,616 video materials; 36 local licensed databases; 146 state licensed databases; 821 print serial subscriptions; and 36 electronic serial subscriptions.[23]


The Public Defender's Office at Gainesville has been recognized as one of the best in the state of Georgia. Established in 2005, the office provides representation for persons accused of felony offenses in Hall County.[24] Attorneys from the office have been recognized for their community involvement, as well as for their acumen in the courtroom.[25] In 2008, a first-year attorney successfully challenged the Sex Offender Registration Law in the Georgia Supreme Court.[26]

Crime has decreased significantly in the past twelve years in Gainesville, with the rate of crimes per 100,000 population decreasing from a high of 728.6 in 2000, to 307.6 in 2011 (the last year for which data is available).[23]

The number of full-time law enforcement employees in 2011, including police officers, was 108, with 95 being officers. Gainesville is on par with the state of Georgia in general with 2.77 officers per 1,000 residents.[23]

Notable people[]

  • Tommy Aaron, professional golfer, 1973 Masters champion
  • Jodi Benson, Voice actress for Princess Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid
  • Casey Cagle, Lieutenant Governor of Georgia 2006–Present
  • Rod Cameron, actor
  • Cris Carpenter, former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Daniel Carver, Former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, frequent guest and member of the Wack Pack on The Howard Stern Show
  • Jason Cross, professional wrestler
  • Nathan Deal, 82nd Governor of Georgia, grew up in Millen.[27]
  • Dexter Fowler, Major League Baseball center fielder for the Colorado Rockies
  • Chan Gailey, professional and college coach
  • Brantley Gilbert, Famous Country Singer
  • Corey Hulsey, American football guard for the Detroit Lions
  • Tasha Humphrey, Washington Mystics basketball player
  • Sung Kang, actor
  • General James Longstreet, Confederate general and Gainesville postmaster
  • Micah Owings, Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Randy Pobst, professional racing driver
  • Robert Prechter, financial forecaster (1980s "Guru of the Decade")
  • A.J. Styles, professional wrestler
  • Mike Wilson (offensive lineman), former National Football League offensive lineman

Sister Cities[]

See also[]

  • Gainesville High School
  • 1936 Tupelo-Gainesville tornado outbreak


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "Gainesville (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ New Georgia Encyclopedia
  7. ^ Gainesville-Hall County Top Employers 2013
  8. ^ "Worldwide Locations". Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  9. ^ City of Gainesville CAFR
  10. ^ [1]: an example of Extreme Gainesville Weather. Accessed Wednesday, February 04, 2009 at 4:09 PM, this page specified a Hard freeze Warning, Lake Wind Advisory, and even a Fire Weather Warning, issued from the National Weather Service! Other days can see this rise to 60 Fahrenheit before plummeting once more.
  11. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Gainesville, Georgia, United States of America". Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  12. ^ NOAA Storm Prediction Center
  13. ^ American Fact Finder
  14. ^ Georgia Department of Labor
  15. ^ Red Rabbit
  16. ^ Gainesville History
  17. ^ Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport
  18. ^ Georgia Board of Education, Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  19. ^ Gainesville City School District, Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  20. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  21. ^ Georgia Board of Education, Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  22. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  23. ^ a b c [2]
  24. ^ Georgia Public Defender Standards Council - Meet the Northeastern Judicial Circuit Public Defender Office
  25. ^
  26. ^ POSTED: November 12, 2008 5:00 a.m. (November 12, 2008). "Young lawyer makes his mark". Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  27. ^ Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1999). The Almanac of American Politics 2000. National Journal Group Inc.. p. 483. 

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