Overview & History
If you could choose to live in one place on earth that has a sense of peace and at the same time progress...of preservation of its rural heritage with opportunities for growth...of great communities to raise kids with stimulating business environments...that place would be Northeast Georgia's Madison County.
Just 15 minutes from the home of the University of Georgia in Athens, and an easy drive from the metropolitan cities of Atlanta and Greenville, South Carolina, Madison County offers the quality of quiet life. Lush pastures and rolling hills, acres of natural pine and hardwood forests, peaceful streams and rocky rivers surround six small towns. There you will find tree-lined streets and old-fashioned neighborhood charm.
Madison County has an area of 285 square miles in the beautiful Piedmont Plateau of Northeast Georgia, where the average annual temperature is a mild 63 degrees.
The population of Madison County as of 2017 is 28,120 citizens.
None of the county's six cities is large enough to be classified as urban by census standards. Life in small towns and rural communities can be slow-paced and leisurely. However, the big attractions of Atlanta are just eighty miles away.
Seventeen miles south of Danielsville, the county seat, is Athens-Clarke County, home of the University of Georgia. Many Madison County residents commute there daily for jobs, shopping, or educational opportunities.
Madison County was created by the Georgia Legislature in 1811 and was formed from portions of Clarke, Elbert, Franklin, Jackson and Oglethorpe Counties. It is the 38th county in the state and was named for the nation's fourth president, James Madison. The first meeting of county government was in January 1812 at the "Strickland House" has also been used as the offices of the Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Authority.
In 1773, the Cherokee Indians conceded to the Colonial Government of Georgia a large tract of land, whose western border included what is now Madison County. Governor James Wright sold farms of 100 to 1,000 acres to settlers who came to Georgia from similar areas of Pennsylvania, Virginia and North and South Carolina.
These early residents probably were hunters, squatters, traders and cattle-raisers. Although they did not leave written records, landmarks, such as churches, trading places and cattle raising centers are known to have been in existence since 1790.