Bleckley County, Georgia

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map of Bleckley county.
12,000 years ago Archaeologists believe that humans have lived in Bleckley County Clovis and Folsom points, associated with the late Ice age big game hunters similar to those Western Europe. [1]
900 AD Early “advanced” indigenous towns near the Ocmulgee River. Creek Indians spoke the language known as Itsate (Hitchiti in English.) [1]
1000 BC-900 AD Early permanent villages were developed near the Etowah, Chattahoochee and Flint River Valleys were locations of some of the early settlements Crops were native squash, native sweet potato, sunflowers, Jerusalem artichoke, amaranth, sumpweed, and chenopodium.[1]
Woodland Period peoples of the region built mounds for burial. The mounds grew in size, due to generations of people piling more soil and leaves from the village over recent burials. Many looked oval in shape.[1]
100 AD Muskogean Creeks began building towns with horseshoe plazas near the Chattahoochee, Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers. Modern “Creek” Indians may represent a mix of several indigenous ethnic groups. Ancestors of the Creek Indians evolved to building permanent towns with horseshoe shaped plazas, known as the Swift Creek Culture. Swift Creek Style pottery is considered some of the most beautiful every made in North America. They built both ellipsoid shaped accretional mounds and some large pyramidal mounds for temples.[1]
1500 AD Traders carrying European diseases affected coastal populations near the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf coast. After the Hernando de Soto expedition went through Georgia, 1540, European diseases began to sicken the Native Americans. His expedition probably went near present-day Bleckley County in March of 1540. Anthropologists say the native American population dropped 95% between 1500 and 1700 AD. [1]
late 1500's After the Spanish missions were begun on the Georgia coast Creeks ancestors began growing European fruits and vegetables. The expeditions saw peaches, pears, melons growing in a village near the Ocmulgee river[1]
1600 Spanish expeditions saw peaches, pears, and melons growing in a village on the Ocmulgee River.
Muskogee and Itsati's (Hitchitis) were the most dominant members of the Creeks. They used Muskogee as the language. First British settlers on the Georgia coast noted Itsati spoken by Georgia Creeks
1729 Yuchi Indians of eastern Georgia moved to the west side of the Chattahoochee River in present day Russell County, AL, with the migration route passing through Bleckley county.[1]
Ocmulgee National Monument.
1700's early 1800's Muskogee-Creek Indians, the largest Indian tribe and several groups were in the Bleckley area along the Ocmulgee and the Little Ocmulgee River swamp system. During the early 1800's the Creek Confederacy were killed in battle, starved or were assimilated into other tribes.. They raised European livestock such as chickens and hogs to supplement their turkey flocks, owned horses to herd the cattle and hogs. Anglo-European and Muskogee Creeks had a good relationship. There was intermarriage.[1]
1780-1790's Some violence on the Upper Oconee River between other branches of the Creeks and settlers who settled on their lands.[1]
Post 1782 Revolutionary War, Creeks spread into the territory controlled by the Creek confederacy. After the American Revolution, Creek families dispersed across the vast territory now controlled by the Creek Confederacy. They lived in log cabins on farmsteads that differed little in appearance from Anglo-American farmsteads. Local histories that recall Creek village names from the 1800s are actually records of rural communities, where the farmsteads were closer together, not palisaded towns as in the pre-European days.[1]
Ocmulgee mound
The cultural influence of the regional centers such as the Ocmulgee mound complex, in Macon Georgia. Villages and towns located in Bleckley County were only 1-5 hours walk wway from the Ocmulgee National Monument. There are several probable village or town sites in Bleckley County along the Ocmulgee and Little Ocmulgee Rivers, with little archaeological investigation.. [1]
The Creeks Indians that married Caucasian or African spouses stayed in the upper Ocmulgee Basin after it became Georgia. Mixed heritage children stayed in the region, yet others lived with the Creeks. Creeks that had married African-American slaves purchased their freedom. Bleckley County families with knowledge of Creek ancestry are probably from marriages with either European or African spouses. [1]
1802-1806 - following the US forming permanent government the Creeks were pressured to cede land to Georgia. Settlers and Creeks' problems ended with the land cessions.[1]
1805- All land east of the Ocmulgee River was ceded except the 6 sq. miles near the Ocmulgee Old Fields. The Ocmulgee National Monument is now located on this reserve. [1]
1812- War of 1812 -the Indians were the allies of the British. A line of Forts were built in Twiggs, Pulaski, and Telefair county areas for defence against Indian attacks.[2]
1818 Gen. Andrew Jackson and his army marched down the historic old Milledgeville road on the way to the river crossing at Hartford. They were going to Florida to subdue the Seminole Indians. [2]
1832 Colony of Georgia was founded and the Yuchi trail was the important trade route between the Savannah River and the Chattahoochee River.[1]
Hillcrest House, Cochran, Georgia
1834 the Cain Coley home was built, an example of colonial architecture.[2]
Longstreet, has lost most of the original buildings, except the 1814 Longstreet Methodist Church. [2]
1856 The Macon and Brunswick Railroad was chartered by the Georgia legislature. Burrell Dykes lived nearby n Irvinton, and represented Wilkinson Co. in the state Senate, but knew this county area needed a railway. Mr. Cochran drafted a bill to persuade the Georgia Legislature to pass a law endorsing the M and B Railroad bonds. After the term in the State senate, Judge Cochran resumed the Superior Court Bench.[2]
1857 - The survey of the M and B Railroad was complete. Prior to the Railway reaching Dykesboro there were only a couple stores.[2]
1869 Cochran, Georgia, county seat for Bleckley County was originally named Dykesboro and was incorporated 1869. Its new name is to honor of Judge Arthur E. Cochran, the president of the Macon and Brunswick (later Southern) Railroad. One of the main streets follows an Indian path that ran from the Oconee river through the city to the Ocmulgee River.[2][3]
1886 New Ebenezer College was built. Its first year it had 100 pupils. Middle Georgia College occupies the spot where New Ebenezer College was originally.[2]
1886 - Empire began its existence when sawmill owners J Anderson and J W. Hightower named it.. At this point Empire was located at the meeting of 2 railways, the Macon and Brunswick (part of the Southern Railroad) and the Wrightsville and Tensile Railroad. [3]
Old Bleckley co. jail
pre 1891 -Macon, Dublin, and Savannah Railroad began running through Cochran, Georgia. Soon it was named Southern Railroad.[3]
In the Early days the pine forests covered a large amount of the county. As the forest was cleared, the rich soil supported an agricultural economy with row crops, such as cotton, soybeans, peanuts, fruit orchards of peaches, apples, pecans as well as livestock. [3]
1899 Cochran had a fire which burned a block of frame business stores.[2]
George Walker, III dug the first Artesian Well on his plantation at Longstreet north of Cochran.[2]
February 1901 over 6 inches of snow fell on the Southern Railroad tracks near Cochran, Georgia.[3]
1912 :Oct 1912, Georgia legislature passed another constitutional amendment to create another county from Pulaski County in central Georgia called Bleckley County. This 219 sq. mi. county was the 147th county for Georgia. It was named for state chief justice, Logan Bleckley. The act was then ratified on Nov 5, 1912. [4][3]
1920 the Miss Corliss Palmer of Macon, formerly of Cochran was judged the most beautiful girl in a competition with 50,000 other girls.America beauty contest. [2]
Middle Georgia College is in this county which is a 2 year public college. 2013 the college merged with Macon State College to become Middle Georgia State University.[4]
March 2010 Bleckley County High School was on the news stations as it allowed a same-sex couple to attend the senior prom.[4]

1914 The Bleckley County Courthouse, in Cochran, was built in a neoclassical revival style. Renovations and additions have been made to the building. [3]
Th towns and county is located on a type of terrace overlooking the fall lines of the river. It has an inner harbor create from a creek running through a swamp that originally was formed from a horseshoe bend. All is located near the Ocmulgee River in Georgia.
1929, 1958 Cochran, Georgia had two tornados. The 1929 storm killed 6 people and 16 were injured in the 1958 tornado. Newspapers described the 1958 tornado with the funnel cloud picking up a church building and dropping it onto a city street.[3]
Other towns in the county are Allentown, Georgia (first called "Crossroads"), then later as "Cool Spring" and later as "Allens", Cary, Georgia and Empire, Georgia. [3]
Bleckley County, Georgia
Middle Georgia College is a 2-year college in Cochran..[3]
When young, a correspondent, Martha Francis reported finding many pottery shards and arrowheads where BCPS is now. Found fishing Barb's and stone sinkers along the Creek that once ran through the former McVey Heights, shared with Richardson-7161 01:55, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Bleckley is home to Middle Georgia College, a two-year residential college in the University System of Georgia.
Points of interest in the county include the Ocmulgee River and Game Preserve, and Hillcrest (also known as Cedar Hall), an early-twentieth-century home in Cochran built in the Classical Revival style and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Government Offices

Bleckley County is 1 of 8 counties in Georgia that operates under a Sole Commissioner form of government, with a single county commissioner acting as the county executive and legislative branches.

Bleckley County Courthouse


Size - total area of 219 square miles (570 km2), of which 216 square miles (560 km2) is land and 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) (1.5%) is water.
Sub-basins- Eastern 1/4 of Bleckley County, on a line from west of Danville --southeast, is located in the Lower Oconee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin.
Central 1/4 of the county, between Cochran above previous line, is in the Little Ocmulgee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin.
Western 1/2 of the county, west of Cochran, is in the Lower Ocmulgee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin
Terrain - The Atlantic Coastal Plain has underlying rock strata that are relatively young sedimentary rock from the Late Cretaceous Period, when the shore of the Atlantic Ocean ran through present day Bleckley County. Here the terrain is much more moderate than in the Piedmont, varying from gently rolling hills to flat bottomlands.
Trees -pine forests covered a large amount of the county.
Soil - rich soil supported an agricultural economy with row crops, such as cotton, soybeans, peanuts, fruit orchards of peaches, apples, pecans as well as livestock.
Creeks, Rivers - Ocmulgee River is largest, flows on NW side of the county. Others are Little Ocmulgee River, Brushy Creek, Big Bend Creek, Evergreen Creek, Harrison Branch, Little Limestone Creek, Reedy Creek and Wilson Branch. The Little Ocmulgee River is essentially a band of slowly moving swamp water within Bleckley County.

Adjacent counties

  • Wilkinson County - north
Bleckley co. and adj. counties
  • Twiggs County - north
  • Laurens County - east
  • Dodge County - southeast
  • Pulaski County - southwest
  • Houston County - west

Protected areas

  • Ocmulgee River and Game Preserve
  • Hillcrest (also known as Cedar Hall


In 2000, 11,666 people with a population density of 54 people/sq. mi. The racial makeup of the county was 73.24% White, 24.59% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.93% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. 0.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. In 2010 there were 13,063 people ine population density was 60.5


HighwaysHighways Highways Highways
Interstate 16U.S. Route 23U.S. Route 23 BusinessU.S. Route 129 Alternate
Georgia State Route 26Georgia State Route 87Georgia State Route 87 BusinessGeorgia State Route 112
Georgia State Route 126Georgia StateRoute 257Georgia State Route 278Georgia State Route 404 (unsigned designation of I-16)



County Resources

  • Ocmulgee River and Game Preserve
  • Hillcrest (also known as Cedar Hall), an early-twentieth-century home in Cochran built in the Classical Revival style and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Ronald Gray - convicted spree killer
  • Amberle L. Husbands - writer of pulp-noir and science fiction short stories and novels
  • Clarence Reid, a.k.a. Blowfly - musician and songwriter
  • Ed Roberts - founder of MITS and creator of the Altair 8800 microcomputer, widely regarded as starting the microcomputer revolution
  • Austin Cook - Was the regional champion in 2016 for the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest


1920 --- 10,532 —
1930 --- 9,133 −13.3%
1940 --- 9,655 5.7%
1950 --- 9,218 −4.5%
1960 --- 9,642 4.6%
1970 --- 10,291 6.7%
1980 --- 10,767 4.6%
1990 --- 10,430 −3.1%
2000 --- 11,666 11.9%
2010 --- 13,063 12.0%
Est. 2016 --- 12,970



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