Eatonton is a small town in Putnam County, Georgia, with a population of 6,307 people. It is named after William Eaton, who served as an officer and diplomat during the First Barbary War. The town’s name is derived from Eaton’s surname with the English suffix “ton,” meaning “town.”
The town’s history goes back to 1809 when the area was incorporated. It is still the only incorporated city in Putnam County. Early economic activity revolved around cotton mills and dairy farms. It also was home to the famous Eatonton Academy, founded by Alonzo Church, who later became the president of the University of Georgia.
The town is home to a vibrant arts and cultural scene. Visitors can enjoy the city’s quaint downtown district, which is lined with historic homes. In addition, the town’s two manmade lakes, two Native American effigies, and scenic highways provide a picturesque setting. The town is located approximately 75 miles southeast of Atlanta.
The town is home to a number of notable authors, including the famous Alice Walker. Walker was born in Eatonton in 1944, the daughter of sharecroppers, and graduated from Butler-Baker High School in 1961. When her film The Color Purple was released in 1985, a parade was held in her honor. Alice Walker has gone on to achieve many other accomplishments since her Eatonton days.