Times change. And certainly in many ways Oglethorpe County has evolved right along with them. But the heart and spirit of Oglethorpe County hasn’t changed at all. This is still a community where the land and values are passed down through generations, where neighbors help neighbors and friendships last a lifetime, where self-reliance is a principle of living and where calluses on your hands are a genuine source of pride.
The sun still rises over the tree line, bringing us another day to work the good ground . . . honoring those that came before us and protecting our way of life for the generations that will follow. The cattle still graze in the pastures, the roosters still crow in the morning, and the dirt roads still wander through the meadows and the woodlands. The rivers are still filled with fish. The forests are filled with game and families bond while hunting. Churches are full on Sundays. And, every time you go out, you’re still almost certain to run into somebody you know.
This is a place where community still matters. Where it’s easy to get involved and, for that matter, hard not to. Where volunteers are the soul of the community serving as coaches, boosters, firemen and youth group leaders. Where somebody in county government who can make things happen is just a phone call away, or maybe even right at the next table when you stop in at Sandy Cross for lunch. This is a place where your voice can still be heard as a community leader. And where, at the end of a long day, it’s quiet enough to hear your own thoughts, too.
This is a place where businesses attuned to the authenticity and deeper roots of rural living find fertile ground. Where small ventures like niche farming thrive but large commercial farms produce the chicken, beef, pork, and dairy that supply a hungry urban economy with food. Here granite quarries and timberlands contribute responsibly to the County’s economic growth, and a historic working farm like Smithonia can be re-imagined as a premier event venue that takes full advantage of its agricultural heritage.
In Oglethorpe County, the same good ground that yields food to feed the world also nurtures the interests of our retirees from teaching grandkids how to plow a row or catch a fish to feeling the earth beneath their feet and under their fingernails . . . all within easy commuting distance of Athens and UGA.
Oglethorpe County is not the place for everyone. But it is the perfect place for those who appreciate a richer, more down-to-earth life. For those who value our good ground and the opportunity to put down some real roots. People don’t come here to change us, but because they appreciate who we already are, quickly become part of the larger community and find their own roads to success. Roads that are sometimes paved –and sometimes not. Because all of us here in Oglethorpe County, whether we’re newcomers, fourth-generation farmers, or somewhere in between, share the same determination to continue a way of life that’s always been worth the effort required to cultivate it. And always will be.