Fort Gaines, Georgia
Clay County Courthouse in Fort Gaines
Clay County Courthouse in Fort Gaines
"A historic past - A promising future"
Location in Clay County and the state of Georgia
Location in Clay County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 31°36′51″N 85°2′54″W / 31.61417°N 85.04833°W / 31.61417; -85.04833Coordinates: 31°36′51″N 85°2′54″W / 31.61417°N 85.04833°W / 31.61417; -85.04833
CountryUnited States
 • Total7.70 sq mi (19.94 km2)
 • Land4.78 sq mi (12.37 km2)
 • Water2.92 sq mi (7.58 km2)
226 ft (69 m)
 • Total995
 • Density208.38/sq mi (80.45/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)229
FIPS code13-30816[2]
GNIS feature ID0355877[3]

Fort Gaines is a city in Georgia, United States, with a population of 1,107 at the 2010 census.[4] The city is the county seat of Clay County.[5]


The present town of Fort Gaines was founded in 1816 as protection against the indigenous Creeks and prospered due to riverboat trade.[6] Though it was named for General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, he did not arrive there with the 4th Infantry of the United States Army until 1816.[6][7] A fort of the same name had been built in 1814 nearby on the Chattachoochee River. In 1854, Fort Gaines was designated seat of the newly formed Clay County.[8]

According to The Floridian newspaper of 1840, there were in Fort Gaines the Chattahoochee Female College and the Independent College for Young Men, boarding schools (not colleges as that word is used today). "The writer esteems that the society and location of Fort Gaines for literary purposes, so far as the education of youths is concerned, equal to that of Sparta [Georgia]."[9]


Fort Gaines is located along the western edge of Clay County at 31°36′51″N 85°2′54″W / 31.61417°N 85.04833°W / 31.61417; -85.04833 (31.614226, -85.048317).[10] Its western boundary is the Chattahoochee River, which is also the state line with Alabama. Walter F. George Lock and Dam crosses the river between the northern side of Fort Gaines and Alabama, forming Walter F. George Lake, also known as Lake Eufaula.

Georgia State Routes 37, 39, and 266 all run through the city. GA-37 runs east-west just south of the downtown area, leading east 20 mi (32 km) to Edison and west 14 mi (23 km) to Abbeville, Alabama (as Alabama State Route 10). GA-39 runs north-south through the center of town as Hancock Street, leading north 23 mi (37 km) to Georgetown and southeast 20 mi (32 km) to Blakely. GA-266 begins just north of the city and leads northeast 22 mi (35 km) to Cuthbert.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Fort Gaines has a total area of 7.7 square miles (19.9 km2), of which 4.8 square miles (12.4 km2) is land and 2.9 square miles (7.6 km2), or 37.99%, is water.[4]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

2020 census

Fort Gaines racial composition[12]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 196 19.7%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 751 75.48%
Native American 1 0.1%
Asian 5 0.5%
Other/Mixed 31 3.12%
Hispanic or Latino 11 1.11%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 995 people, 336 households, and 212 families residing in the city.

2000 census

At the 2000 census,[2] there were 1,110 people, 429 households and 287 families residing in the city. The population density was 231.6 per square mile (89.5/km2). There were 519 housing units at an average density of 108.3 per square mile (41.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 67.93% African American, 31.08% White, 0.18% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, and 0.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.44% of the population.

There were 429 households, of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.2% were married couples living together, 31.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.07.

Age distribution was 28.7% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 21.0% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 22.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 72.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 65.8 males.

The median household income was $18,30, and the median family income was $20,909. Males had a median income of $20,417 versus $14,875 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,481. About 34.7% of families and 40.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 53.2% of those under age 18 and 26.7% of those age 65 or over.


Clay County School District

The Clay County School District holds pre-school to grade nine, and consists of one elementary school, one middle school, and one ninth-grade education building.[13] The district has 27 full-time teachers and over 358 students.[14] High school aged students attend 10-12th grade in adjoining Randolph County, Georgia.

Notable person

See also


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Fort Gaines city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  6. ^ a b Morgan, Linda. "Fort Gaines". Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  7. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 129.
  8. ^ Hellmann, Paul T. (May 13, 2013). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 230. ISBN 978-1135948597. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  9. ^ Taylor, Sereno (January 18, 1840). "The Chattahoochee FemslE College and Independent School for Young Men [illegible]". The Floridian (Tallahassee, Florida).
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-19.
  13. ^ Georgia Board of Education[permanent dead link], Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  14. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 4, 2010.