Kaolin Capital of the World
|• Mayor||James W. Andrews|
|• Total||12.99 sq mi (33.65 km2)|
|• Land||12.87 sq mi (33.34 km2)|
|• Water||0.12 sq mi (0.32 km2)|
|Elevation||446 ft (136 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||419.47/sq mi (161.96/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||478 Exchanges: 240,552,553|
|GNIS feature ID||0322445|
The city of Sandersville is the county seat of Washington County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,912 at the 2010 census. It is also a part of the Central Savannah River Area.
Sandersville is known as the "Kaolin Capital of the World" due to its abundance of kaolin.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.45 square kilometres (4.03 sq mi), of which 9.1 square miles (24 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.87%) is water. The area is along the "Fall Line" that separates the Piedmont Plateau and the Atlantic Coastal Plain and is characterized by rolling hills, red clay, pine and hardwood forest, swamplands, and sand beds. The area tapers off from North to South and becomes more flat. Heading north it becomes more hilly with higher elevations.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Black or African American||3,675||63.22%|
|Hispanic or Latino||110||1.89%|
As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 5,813 people, 2,213 households, and 1,425 families residing in the city.
As of the census of 2011, there were 6,097 people, 2,315 households, and 1,568 families residing in the city. The population density was 672.1 people per square mile (259.5/km2). There were 2,566 housing units at an average density of 283.2 per square mile (109.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 59.03% African American, 39.76% White, 0.11% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.03% from other races, and 0.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.24% of the population.
There were 2,362 households, out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% were married couples living together, 25.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 28.0% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,201, and the median income for a family was $32,462. Males had a median income of $36,089 versus $21,765 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,226. About 24.3% of families and 27.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.2% of those under age 18 and 24.1% of those age 65 or over.
Established by British settlers in Creek territory in the 18th century, shortly after the American Revolution, the town of Sandersville became the county seat of Washington County in 1796. Creek leaders had not yet ceded their territory when Sandersville was settled. According to a book on Georgia place-names, the city was named after M. Saunders, a local store owner. The settlement was located at an intersection of Native American Indian trails, and later the site of Saunders' general store.
The town appears on Anthony Finley's 1827 map of Georgia.
In 1864, during the Civil War, General William T. Sherman skirmished and then paused in Sandersville during his March to the Sea. Brief resistance to the advancing Union forces was centered on the courthouse. As they left, Sherman's troops burned both it and jail, but left the rest of the town intact. A new Washington County Courthouse was built in 1869.
The Sandersville Railroad was built in 1893 as a part of the Central of Georgia Railway, but still operates today as a private owned shortline that connects to Norfolk Southern Railway's Georgia Division Savannah District at Tennille, Georgia 4 miles to the South.
According to the U.S. National Archive, Nation of Islam leader Elijah Mohammad grew up in Sandersville in the 1890s and 1900s. He is reported to have said that, in Sandersville, he witnessed three lynchings before the age of 10.
The economy of Sandersville was based on agriculture, particularly cotton, for many years. In the 1950s, an industry developed based on the mining and processing of kaolin found in the area.
The Washington County School District holds pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of a primary and elementary school, a middle school, and a high school. The district has 220 full-time teachers and over 3,821 students.
Sandersville was home to the minor league baseball teams, the Sandersville Giants (1955-1956) and Sandersville Wacos (1953-1954). Sandersville played in the Class D Georgia State League (GSL) from 1953 to 1956 and played at Sandersville Baseball Park. Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Willie McCovey played for the Sandersville Giants in 1955. The team folded along with the Georgia State League following the 1956 season. Sandersville was an affiliate of the Milwaukee Braves (1953) and New York Giants (1955-1956).
On August 7th 2015, NS local G23, led by NS (Ex N&W) SD40-2 #1637, and NS Intermodal Train #208, led by NS Dash 9-44CW #9796 and ES44AC 8132 trailing, collided at 50 MPH near Sandersville. NS SD40-2 1637 and D9-44CW 9796 were damaged beyond repair and scrapped, while ES44AC 8132 was repaired and returned to service.
Sandersville has two newspapers: The Sandersville Progress and "The Spotlight". They both are published weekly. The Sandersville Progress began publication in 1870.