Athens, GA Real Estate - Clarke County

Athens was no more than a trading settlement on the banks of the Oconee River called Cedar Shoals during the late 1700s. On January 27, 1785, the Georgia General Assembly chartered the University of Georgia as the first chartered state-supported university. The charter was drafted by Abraham Baldwin and existed only on paper for 16 years. In the summer of 1801, a delegation of five men (Baldwin, John Milledge, George Walton, John Twiggs, and Hugh Lawson) traveled to what was then Jackson County to select a site for the university and contract for its building. The delegation unanimously agreed on siting the school on property on the hill above Cedar Shoals and the Oconee River. Milledge purchased 633 acres from Daniel Easley on July 25, 1801, and donated it to the university. He named the land Athens in honor of the Greek city that was the center of culture and learning during ancient times.

Honoring Ben Franklin, the name of the university’s first building, Franklin College, was often used as the school’s unofficial moniker in early years. In order to raise money to pay for construction of buildings, lots were sold adjacent to campus. By 1803, three homes, three stores, and other buildings faced Front (later Broad) Street. Other early structures included hotels, general stores, a blacksmith, and a tailor shop. The first class from the university graduated on May 31, 1804.

Clarke County consists of 3 municipalities with Athens being the county seat. The other communities include Bogart and Winterville.

Athens is continuously recognized in national magazines and has been awarded many accolades including America's Prettiest Towns by (August 2013), The 10 Best Midsize Cities for College Graduates by My Life (July 2014), The 7 Best Cities for Organic Food by Safe Organics (November 2013), Top 10 College Towns - for Grownups by MSN Real Estate (August 28, 2013), One of The 25 Best Places to Retire in 2013 by Forbes (February 2013), One of the Coolest Small Cities in America by GQ (November 2010) and Best Place to Recapture Your Youth by Fortune in June 2006.

According to the 2010 Census, Clarke County had a population of 116,714 residents.

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