Douglas County is the only comprehensive government in Douglas County, providing all services to its citizens, including fire and emergency services, libraries, jail facilities, E-911, transportation planning, roadway signalization, signage and marking, vanpool and express bus service, informative and interactive web site, a government access cable television channel, landfill and recycling programs, direct sponsorship and planning of events to bring our community together, and other traditional government services.
Douglas County was created on October 17, 1870 during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War, and was first named for Fredrick Douglass, the African-American abolitionist, due to the Republican/military control of the Georgia General Assembly, and later changed to honor Stephen A. Douglas, the Illinois Senator who opposed Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency, when local control of the General Assembly was re-established when Reconstruction ended. Prior to the creation of the County, the Creek and Cherokee Indian Nations called Douglas County home, and a 10-mile wide area atop Tallapoosa Ridge was "no man's land", the border between the two Nations.
W. G. Black and his bride came to the area in 1835 from North Carolina, following Indian trails, and he established a trading post in the "no man's land". The first known settlers in the County were three brothers from South Carolina - Abe, Reuben and Young Vansant - who came to the area in 1848.
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Located due west and 20 miles from Atlanta on Interstate 20, Douglas County is 200 square miles of gently rolling foothills of the Appalachian Piedmont bordered on the south by the Chattahoochee River, east by Cobb County, north by Paulding County, and west by Carroll County. The Dog River in the western portion of the County is the County's potable water source (managed by the Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority, State-chartered). Other waterways include Sweetwater Creek, Anneewakee Creek, and Gothard's Creek.
Douglas County's strategic location as the western gateway to Atlanta, and its proximity and ease of access to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, make it the enviable place to live, work and play.
Governance and Management
The County is managed by a five-member Board of Commissioners - a Chairman (full-time, four-year term)elected at large, and four District Commissioners (part-time, four-year terms). The Board of Commissioners meets in Public session on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 10:00 a.m. in Citizen's Hall of the Douglas County Courthouse, and all meetings are televised live on dctv23, the government access cable television channel on Comcast cable, and re-broadcast numerous times between meetings, and on the County web site, www.CelebrateDouglasCounty.com. Departments are managed by a full-time County Administrator (appointed).
- The Douglas County Courthouse, opened in 1998, houses most of the functions of County government, and is also the scene for events and festivities designed to bring the citizens of the County together and to maintain the County's unique identity.
- The Multi-modal Transportation Center, adjacent to and behind the Courthouse, opened in 2003, and is the headquarters for the County's outstanding Rideshare, vanpool and express bus programs.
- The only Public libraries within Douglas County are operated by the County and are a part of the West Georgia Library System: the Douglas County Library (Selman Drive, Douglasville), the Betty Hagler Library (Junior High Drive, Lithia Springs), and the Dog River Library (6100 Highway 5).
- The Douglas County Fire/EMS Department serves the complete County, including the City of Douglasville, and has 9 fire stations with personnel dual-trained in firefighting and emergency medical assistance (paramedics and EMTs). The Department also has a hazardous materials management team, and a special operations unit with jaws of life and trench rescue capability.
- The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is located at the Jail on West Church Street in Douglasville, a location that has existed since the County establishment. The Blake Gammill Memorial Building on Bankhead Highway and connected to the Jail houses the Sheriff's administrative offices. The Jail houses prisoners arrested and/or convicted in both the County and the City of Douglasville.
- The Woodie Fite Senior Center, located adjacent to the Courthouse, opened in 2005 and is the first center in Douglas County dedicated to enhancing the lives of active senior citizens, and is named after a citizen who established the first senior program in Douglas County.
- The extensive Parks and Recreation Department sponsors programs at unique park facilities throughout the County, including active recreation opportunities (baseball, football, soccer fields, etc.) at Fairplay, Bill Arp, Winston, Post Road, Deer Lick, Mt. Carmel, Lithia Springs, and Beulah. In addition, the Deer Lick Park includes a gymnasium, skateboard park, bocce court, and miniature golf course. The 500-acre Boundary Waters Recreational Complex contains the Boundary Waters Aquatic Center (8-lane, 25-yard competition pool and 25-yard therapeutic pool), and active recreational fields. The 900-acre Dog River Recreational Area is an area of natural beauty that will develop with mainly passive activities. The 200-acre Clinton Nature Preserve is an historical area with trails and cabins that date back to the 1800s.
Local Points of Interest
- Sweetwater Creek State Conservation Park is Georgia's third-most visited State Park and offers picnic shelters, fishing docks, a bait shop, boat rentals, 9 miles of walking trails, and the 215-acre Sparks Reservoir. Access to the 2,549-acre park is directed from the Georgia Highway 6 (Thornton Road) exit of Interstate 20. The ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company's cotton factory lie on the banks of Sweetwater Creek; the factory was destroyed by Union troops during the Civil War Battle of Atlanta in 1864.
- Dog River Reservoir is the impounded water source for Douglas county and offers fishing and boating activities for County residents and their guests. Its main entrance is located on Georgia Highway 166.
- Clinton Nature Preserve is a 200-acre historical preserve, located off the Post road exit of Interstate 20, that features a pre-Civil War log cabin, picnic areas, walking trails, a walking track, fishing, an outdoor amphitheatre, and a 100-percent disabled-accessible children's play garden.