About Newton County

Including the municipalities of Covington, Newborn, Mansfield, Oxford and Porterdale

Quality of life is high on the list of priorities in Newton County. The growing number of people who wish to come and live in the community evidences this fact. Newton combines an atmosphere of growing economy, low unemployment, new schools, thriving downtown and business districts, and just enough distance from metro Atlanta to remain rural, making all the parts click together in one picturesque place to live.

The lifestyle in this area has been historically desirable. Long before the county lines were ever drawn the area was traversed by members of the Creek Indian nation. The presence of Newton County's first residences can still be found in uncovered arrowheads and artifacts that have been discovered across the region.

An act of the Georgia Central Assembly in 1821 named Newton a certified county, in honor of Sgt. John Newton, a revolutionary War solider viewed by some as a hero. The first settlers to the area established homes in the east in a town called Winston. Today the historic Brick Store (circa 1821) stands at this site on U.S. 278 east of Covington. Winston moved a few miles west in 1822 to establish Newtonsboro since the constitution required county seats to be located in the center of the county. Newtonsboro is today the City of Covington. Growth was small until the mid-1840s as the railroad brought revival to the area, helping Covington become a thriving regional business and agricultural center.

Cotton brought the change from agriculture to development through the cotton mill. Covington soon became the cotton market for farmers across the region, showing glints of real prosperity of the small town. With cotton came the Civil War in the 1860s, bringing Covington into a crucial spotlight in history surrounded by conflict. On the evening of July 20, 1864, Union forces under the command of Brig. Gen. Kenner Garrad, following orders issued by Gen. W. T. Sherman, moved into Covington. Orders were to burn bridges over the Yellow and Alcovy Rivers and destroy the railroads between Lithonia and Alcovy. Successfully completed, this raid stopped communications between Augusta and Atlanta, thus ending all hopes that defenders of Atlanta might receive the much-needed reinforcements from the Confederacy. Despite the conflict, Sherman spared many plantations and town homes in the county during his "March to the Sea." There are several explanations as to why these structured were spared.

For centuries many have roamed on the lands now called Newton County; from the early trampling of the Creek Indian nation to the marching footsteps of General W. T. Sherman's Troops during their "March to the Sea", to the present day growing industrial sector, business and family life. Even Hollywood has left its footprints in Newton County while filming television shows, such as "In the Heat of the Night," "The Dukes of Hazzard", "The Vampire Diaries" and films, including "My Cousin Vinny", Disney's "Flash" , "The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All", and HBO's "Miss Evers' Boys".

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