Founded as the seat of Putnam County in 1808, Eatonton’s namesake was William Eaton, a U.S. Army officer and diplomat who was first recognized for his military role in the Barbary War between the United States and Tripoli. Since the town’s inception, many notable citizens have called Eatonton home, including Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, Tuskegee Airman Hiram “Joe” Little, and writers Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker.
Alice Walker wrote in her essay “Beyond the Peacock,” that she lived for a short time less than 20 minutes away from another esteemed fiction writer, Flannery O’Connor. Walker estimates that she was eight years old and O’Connor would have been 28 at the time, so they were not contemporaries. Still, O’Connor’s family farm Andalusia is another landmark of the Lake Country’s literary heritage.
Georgia’s Lake Country consists of four separate communities: Eatonton, Milledgeville, Madison, and Greensboro. Each town has its own unique personality and assorted activities and accommodations that are easy to explore by car on a weekend trip.