Our History

Effingham County is located in southeast Georgia, just south of the South Carolina border and 20 miles northwest of the historic city of Savannah.  Effingham County was established in 1777 from the colonial parishes of St. Mathew and St. Phillip as Georgia's 4th county. 

 

First settled in 1734 by protestant German speaking exiles from the Salzburg region of present day Austria, Effingham County played a role in the development of the new American nation.  The town of New Ebenezer located at the confluence of Ebenezer Creek and the Savannah River saw the development of the first saw mill in Georgia on Ebenezer Creek (1735), the first orphanage in Georgia (1737), the first rice and grist mill in Georgia (1740), organized the first Sunday School (1734), and a successful silk industry (1741). The first governor of Georgia, John Adam Treutlen, was from New Ebenezer (1777) and was the town’s first school master.

 

With approximately 53,000 residents, Effingham County is listed among the nation's top 100 fastest growing counties. Rincon is the largest city with over 4,300 residents. It is also the largest retail center and has seen record development of several new retail outlets in the past 2 years. These new retail investments have brought over 250 new jobs to the area.  Springfield is the county seat and claims approximately 2,100 residents. Steeped in history, Guyton offers a friendly small town atmosphere that personifies the historic charm of the area. Newcomers are also attracted to Effingham County's family-oriented communities because of its reputation for providing quality educational facilities and a quality education. As a result, the Effingham County School System is currently the 31st largest in Georgia out of 180 public school systems.