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Statesboro
City
Statesboro, Georgia
From top to bottom left to right: The Bulloch County Courthouse and Averitt Center for the Arts, Splash in the Boro Water Park, Campus Georgia Southern University, the Emma Kelly Theater
From top to bottom left to right: The Bulloch County Courthouse and Averitt Center for the Arts, Splash in the Boro Water Park, Campus Georgia Southern University, the Emma Kelly Theater
Official seal of Statesboro
Seal
Nickname(s): The Boro
Location in Bulloch County and the state of Georgia
Location in Bulloch County and the state of Georgia
Country United States
State Georgia
County Bulloch
Area
 • City 13.9 sq mi (35.9 km2)
 • Land 13.5 sq mi (35.0 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.9 km2)
Elevation 253 ft (77 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 28,422
 • Estimate (2014) 30,367
 • Density 2,105/sq mi (812.9/km2)
 • Metro 71,214 (US: 95th)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 30458-30461
Area code(s) 912
FIPS code 13-73256
GNIS feature ID 0323541

Statesboro is the largest city and county seat of Bulloch County, Georgia, United States, located in Southeast Georgia. A college town, Statesboro is best known as the home of Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral-Research University.

As of 2015, the Statesboro Micropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of Bulloch County, had an estimated population of 72,651. The City itself had a population of 28,422 in the 2010 census. The City had an estimated 2015 population of 30,721.

The city was chartered in 1803, starting as a small trading community providing the basic essentials for surrounding cotton plantations. This drove the economy through the 19th century, both before and after the American Civil War.

In 1906, Statesboro and area leaders joined together to bid for and win the First District A&M School, a land grant college that eventually developed as Georgia Southern University in 1990. In 1908 Statesboro sold more cotton bales than did Savannah, Georgia, but the boll weevil infestation of the 1930s required a shift to tobacco as a crop. Statesboro inspired the blues song "Statesboro Blues", written by Blind Willie McTell in the 1920s, and covered in a well-known version by The Allman Brothers Band.

History

Statesborocityhall
Statesboro City Hall, located downtown in the renovated Jaeckel Hotel building

In 1801, George Sibbald of Augusta donated a 9,301-acre (37.64 km2) tract for a centrally located county seat for the growing agricultural community of Bulloch County. The area was developed by white planters largely for cotton plantations, worked by slave labor. In December 1803, the Georgia legislature created the town of Statesborough. In 1866 the state legislature granted a permanent charter to the city, changing the spelling of its name to the present "Statesboro."

During the Civil War and General William T. Sherman's famous March to the Sea through Georgia, a Union officer asked a saloon proprietor for directions to Statesboro. The proprietor replied, "You are standing in the middle of town," indicating its small size. The soldiers destroyed the courthouse, a crude log structure that doubled as a barn when court was not in session. After the Civil War, the small town began to grow, and Statesboro has developed as a major town in southeastern Georgia. Many freedmen stayed in the area, working on plantations as sharecroppers and tenant farmers.

Following the Reconstruction era, racial violence of whites against blacks increased. In the era from 1880 to 1930, Georgia had the highest rate of lynchings of any state in the nation.

To escape the oppression, many blacks left Statesboro and Bulloch County altogether, causing local businessmen to be worried about labor shortages for the cotton and turpentine industries. African Americans made a Great Migration from the rural South to northern cities in the first half of the 20th century. Local effects can be seen in the drop in Statesboro population growth from 1910 to 1930 on the census tables below in the "Demographics" section.

Around the turn of the century, new businesses in Statesboro included stores and banks built along the town's four major streets, each named Main. In 1908 Statesboro led the world in sales of long-staple Sea Island Cotton, a specialty of the Low Country. Sales of cotton bales in Statesboro outnumbered those sold in Savannah by a 10:1 ratio.

Mechanization of agriculture decreased the need for some farm labor. After the boll weevil decimated the cotton crop in the 1930s, farmers shifted to tobacco. The insect had invaded the South from the west, disrupting cotton cultivation throughout the region. But by 1953, more than 20 million pounds of tobacco passed through warehouses in Statesboro, then the largest market of the "Bright Tobacco Belt" spanning Georgia and Florida.

The 1906 First District Agricultural & Mechanical School at Statesboro was developed as a land grant college, initiated by federal legislation to support education. Its mission shifted in the 1920s to teacher training; and in 1924 it was renamed as the Georgia Normal School. With expansion of the curriculum to a 4-year program, it was renamed as the South Georgia Teachers College in 1929. Other name changes were to Georgia Teachers College in 1939, and Georgia Southern College in 1959. After this period, it became racially integrated and with development of graduate programs and research in numerous fields, since 1990 it has had university status as Georgia Southern University.

During the Cold War, the Statesboro Bomb Plot was reported at the 12th RBS Squadron, a Strategic Air Command radar station for Radar Bomb Scoring.

Geography

Statesboro is located at 32°26′43″N 81°46′45″W / 32.44528°N 81.77917°W / 32.44528; -81.77917 (32.445147, -81.779234). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.9 square miles (35.9 km2), of which 13.5 square miles (35.0 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.9 km2), or 2.60%, is water. The city is in the coastal plain region, or Low Country, of Georgia, so it is mainly flat with a few small hills. With an elevation of 250 feet (76 m), the downtown area is one of the highest places in Bulloch County. Pine, oak, magnolia, dogwood, palm, sweetgum, and a variety of other trees can be found in the area.

Climate

Statesboro has a humid subtropical climate according to the Köppen classification. The city experiences very hot and humid summers with average July highs of about 91 degrees and lows around 70. Afternoon thunderstorms associated with the summer heat and humidity can spawn from time to time. Winters are mild with average January highs of 58 degrees and lows of 36 degrees. Winter storms are rare, but they can happen on occasion, the most recent being an ice storm that hit in January 2014. About 2 inches of snow fell on the city during the evening of February 12, 2010.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 33
1880 29 −12.1%
1890 425 1,365.5%
1900 1,197 181.6%
1910 2,529 111.3%
1920 3,807 50.5%
1930 3,996 5.0%
1940 5,028 25.8%
1950 6,097 21.3%
1960 8,356 37.1%
1970 14,616 74.9%
1980 14,866 1.7%
1990 15,854 6.6%
2000 22,698 43.2%
2010 28,422 25.2%
Est. 2015 30,721 8.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 28,422 people, 8,560 households, and 3,304 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,812.9 people per square mile (700.0/km²). There were 9,235 housing units at an average density of 737.6 per square mile (284.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 53% White, 39.4% African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.8% Asian,1.6% from other races, and 3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.

There were 8,560 households out of which 17.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 21.9% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 61.4% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city, the population was spread out with 14.3% under the age of 18, 48.7% from 18 to 24, 16.6% from 25 to 44, 11.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $19,016, and the median income for a family was $35,391. Males had a median income of $29,132 versus $20,718 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,585. About 20.5% of families and 42.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.9% of those under age 18 and 21.4% of those age 65 or over.

Culture

Emma Kelly Theater Statesboro, Georgia
The Emma Kelly Theater
Statesboroaverittartcenter
The Averitt Center for the Arts, downtown Statesboro
Statesboro georgia regional library
The Statesboro Regional Library, part of the PINES library network of the state

The culture of Statesboro reflects a blend of both its southern heritage and college town identity.

The city has developed a unique culture, common in many college towns, that coexists with the university students in creating an art scene, music scene and intellectual environment. Statesboro is home to numerous restaurants, bars, live music venues, bookstores and coffee shops that cater to its creative college town climate.

Statesboro's downtown was named one of eight "Renaissance Cities" by Georgia Trend magazine. The downtown area is currently undergoing a revitalization. The Old Bank of Statesboro and Georgia Theater have been adapted with renovation for the David H. Averitt Center for the Arts. It houses the Emma Kelly Theater, named after the local singer, known as the "Lady of 6,000 Songs". The center also contains art studios, conference rooms and an exhibition area. Downtown Statesboro has been featured in several motion pictures including Now and Then (1995) as well as 1969. Georgia Southern offers a variety of cultural options available both for the university and the wider community: the Georgia Southern Symphony, the Georgia Southern Planetarium, Georgia Southern Museum, and the Botanical Gardens at Bland Cottage. Touring groups appear at the Performing Arts Center, and also featured are shows put on by Georgia Southern students and faculty.

Mill Creek Regional Park is a large outdoor recreational facility with athletic fields and a water park, Splash in the Boro.

Points of interest

  • Georgia Southern Botanical Garden
  • Georgia Southern University
  • J. I. Clements Stadium
  • Mill Creek Recreational Park
  • Paulson Stadium
  • Performing Arts Center
  • Splash in the Boro

Eagle Creek Brewing Company

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