History

Oconee County is comprised of five different cities: Watkinsville (the county seat), Bishop, Bogart, North High Shoals, and Farmington

Watkinsville

(Population 2,097) In 1802, Watkinsville, originally known as the “Big Springs” community, was a village located on the dangerous western frontier of the new United States between Creek and Cherokee territories. The Eagle Tavern, believed to stand on the site of the old Fort Edward, opened in 1801 and today serves as a museum commemorating the era of wagon and stage travel. Watkinsville first appeared in Clarke County records in 1791, only fifty-eight years after James Edward Oglethorpe founded the colony of Georgia. In 1802, John Cobb gave up eight lots of his plantation to create the city. On November 24, 1806 the city became the incorporated town of Watkinsville. It then became the county seat for Clarke County and remained so until 1872, when Athens took over that role due to being the home of the University of Georgia. Soon after, locals voted to create a new county, named after the Oconee River on its eastern border, and Watkinsville became the county seat on February 25, 1875.

Bishop

(Population 146) Bishop was charted as a town in 1890. It is located in south central Oconee County on U.S. Hwy 441 and also on the Central of Georgia railroad. In the early 1900’s, it was a bustling town with a depot, post office, several stores, blacksmith, and a cotton gin.

Bogart

(Population 1,049) The incorporated area of Bogart lies in the northeasterly corner of Oconee County and the northwesterly corner of Clarke County, City Hall is located in Oconee County. Bogart was originally known as “Osceola”, named after a Seminole Indian Chief in Florida. It probably came into being between 1825 and 1850. In the 1880’s, Seaboard railroad built tracks and a depot in Osceola. Since there was already a town named Osceola on the train route, the town was changed to Bogart, the name of the railroad President. The town was incorporated officially by Charter of 1905.

North High Shoals

(Population 439) The town is located on the Apalachee River in western Oconee County at the junction of the boundaries of Walton and Morgan County. Originally it was part of High Shoals which was chartered in 1901. It was changed to include only the Oconee County side by Charter of 1966. High Shoals in one of the more picturesque location in Georgia with its untouched old south feel.

Farmington

An inactive chartered municipality serving as the nucleus for a large farming area in south Oconee County along the Central of Georgia Railroad. It has a historic depot, some old homes and store buildings. The soft drink “Budwine” was reportedly first made in Farmington.