Buford is a city in Gwinnett and Hall counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 12,225. Most of the city is in Gwinnett County, which is part of the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area. The northern sliver of the city is in Hall County, which comprises the Gainesville, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area and is part of the larger Atlanta-Athens-Clarke-Sandy Springs Combined Statistical Area.
|• Total||17.50 sq mi (45.33 km2)|
|• Land||17.43 sq mi (45.14 km2)|
|• Water||0.07 sq mi (0.19 km2)|
|Elevation||1,184 ft (361 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||890.53/sq mi (343.84/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
30515, 30518, 30519
|Area code(s)||770, 678|
|GNIS feature ID||0312001|
The city was founded in 1872 after a railroad was built in the area connecting Charlotte, North Carolina, with Atlanta. Buford was named after Algernon Sidney Buford, who at the time was president of the Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway. The city's leather industry, led by the Bona Allen Company, as well as its location as a railway stop, caused the population to expand during the early 1900s until after the Great Depression had ended.
The city operates its own school district, the Buford City School District, and has been the birthplace and home of several musicians and athletes. Various tourist locations, including museums and community centers, the largest mall in the state of Georgia, the Mall of Georgia, and Lake Lanier Islands are in the Buford region.
Buford appears in historical records beginning in the early 19th century. The area that is now Buford was originally part of Cherokee territory. Despite the treaty in 1817 that ceded the territory to the United States and Gwinnett County's legislative establishment in 1818, the area was still largely inhabited by the Cherokee until the 1830s. The first non-Native Americans moved to the Buford area in the late 1820s or early 1830s, although the Buford area was not largely settled by them until the 1860s.
During the post-Civil War construction of the extended Richmond and Danville Railroad System in 1865, railroad stockholders Thomas Garner and Larkin Smith purchased land around the railroad's right-of-way and began developing the city of Buford. The city was named after Algernon Sidney Buford, who was president of the Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway during the railroad's construction. The town began rapidly expanding around the railway after its completion in 1871, and it was incorporated as the Town of Buford on August 24, 1872, and renamed the City of Buford in 1896.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s Buford became widely known for its leather production, becoming prominently associated with the leather industry and earning the nickname "The Leather City". Buford became a large producer of leather products, including saddles, horse collars, bridles, and shoes. Buford's leather industry began with a leatherworker named R.H. Allen opening a harness shop and tannery in 1868, three years before the completion of the railway and the founding of Buford. R.H. Allen's brother Bona Allen moved to Buford from Rome, Georgia, in 1872 and founded the Bona Allen Company the following year. The leather industry quickly became the city's largest industry despite setbacks from several fires, including a fire in 1903 that destroyed the buildings of several businesses and a fire in 1906 that destroyed a straw storehouse and nearly destroyed the city's harness and horse collar factory.
Bona Allen saddles were available through the Sears mail order catalog, and many Hollywood actors used saddles made by the Bona Allen Company, including cowboy actors Gene Autry, the cast of Bonanza, and Roy Rogers, who used a Bona Allen saddle on his horse Trigger. A statue of Roy Rogers and a Bona Allen saddle-maker saddling Trigger is located in downtown Buford. The Bona Allen Company thrived during the Great Depression in the 1930s, likely as a result of the Depression forcing farmers to choose horses over expensive tractors, thereby increasing the demand for saddles, collars, bridles, and other leather products.
The Bona Allen Company constructed Tannery Row in downtown Buford as a shoe factory in 1919. After a brief employee strike the shoe factory was closed in 1942, although it was briefly reopened by the request of the federal government during World War II to make footwear for the military. Afterwards, the factory closed in 1945. In 2003 Tannery Row became home to the Tannery Row Artist Colony, which houses galleries and studios for artists.
After the Great Depression the use of horses for farming decreased and tractors took their place, and the Bona Allen Company steadily downsized until the tannery was eventually sold to the Tandy Corporation in 1968. Buford's leather industry ended after the tannery experienced a fire in 1981, when the Tandy Corporation decided not to rebuild the tannery and closed the facility.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Buford is located in both northern Gwinnett County in northern Georgia, with a small portion extending north into Hall County. The city is a suburb within the Atlanta metropolitan area. According to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2010 the city has a total land area of 17.09 square miles (44.26 km2), of which 17.01 square miles (44.06 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.20 km2), or 0.44%, is water. The city's elevation is 1,183 feet (361 m).
Buford's city limits are 4.5 miles (7.2 km) west of the Eastern Continental Divide. Ridge Road, part of which uses Buford as a mailing address, runs along the Eastern Continental Divide, although the road itself is outside the city limits. Buford's primary water supply comes from Lake Lanier an impoundment on the Chattahoochee River.
The climate of Buford, as with most of the southeastern United States, is humid subtropical (Cfa) according to the Köppen classification, with four seasons including hot, humid summers and cool winters. July is generally the warmest month of the year with an average high of around 87 °F (31 °C). The coldest month is January which has an average high of around 50 °F (10 °C). The highest recorded temperature was 107 °F (42 °C) in 1952, while the lowest recorded temperature was −8 °F (−22 °C) in 1985.
Buford receives rainfall distributed fairly evenly throughout the year as typical of southeastern U.S. cities, with February on average having the highest average precipitation at 5.3 inches (130 mm), and April typically being the driest month with 3.7 inches (94 mm).
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of 2010 Buford had a population of 12,225. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 65.8% white, 13.8% black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 14.7% reporting some other race and 2.5% reporting two or more races. 25.5% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,016 households, out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.35.
The median age was 35.1 years, and there were 5,973 males and 6,252 females.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,546, and the median income for a family was $44,797. Males had a median income of $31,902 versus $32,218 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,905. About 18.1% of families and 23.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.2% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those aged 65 or over.
Buford, as with the rest of Gwinnett County, has a sales tax of 6%, which is a combination of the 4% state sales tax and a 2% local tax. In 2008, CNN Money ranked Buford as number 3 in its annual "100 best places to live and start a business" list.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Buford's economy was centered on both its location as a railway stop and its leather industry, until demand for leather declined and other transportation options became more readily available over the course of the 1900s, and these industries were no longer a viable part of Buford's economy by the 1980s.
According to the U.S. Census's American Community Survey 2007–2011 5-year estimate, around 65% of Buford's population that are 16 years or older are in the labor force. Of these, around 59% are employed, and 6% are unemployed. The power tool manufacturer Makita operates a factory in Buford with 400 employees. The North American division of Takeuchi Manufacturing was located in Buford from 1999 until 2006, when the company moved to a larger facility in Pendergrass, Georgia.
Parks and recreationEdit
Buford has several walking trails throughout the city; over 7 miles (11 km) of trails are accessible from both the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center and the Mall of Georgia as well as walking trails at Bogan and Buford Dam parks. Bogan Park also has several baseball fields and playgrounds as well as the Bogan Park Community Center and Family Aquatics Center. Buford Dam Park is next to Lake Lanier and has areas for swimming and other recreational activities. In addition to the parks run by Gwinnett County there are five city parks located throughout Buford, and a community center, which was completed in early 2012.
The Mall of Georgia is the largest mall in Georgia and the 36th largest in the United States, with over 200 stores and a 20 Regal Cinema and IMAX Theaters. While outside the official Buford city limits, the mall uses Buford as its mailing address.
The City of Buford is governed by a city commission government headed by a Commission Chairman. Phillip Beard has served as Buford's Commission Chairman since 1975. When the Town of Buford was incorporated in 1872, a city commission consisting of six commissioners was established to govern the town. When a new city charter was enacted in 1896 that renamed the Town of Buford to the City of Buford, the city commission was replaced with a mayor and six councilmen. The city council governed the City of Buford until a new charter was approved on December 24, 1937 that re-established the city commission government.
The area of Buford inside Gwinnett County is part of Georgia's 7th congressional district while the Hall County portions of Buford belong to Georgia's 9th congressional district. For the state government, the city is part of the Georgia State Senate's 45th and 49th districts, and the 97th, 98th, and 103rd districts for the Georgia House of Representatives.
The city of Buford operates the Buford City School District for residents that live within the city limits, while Gwinnett County Public Schools and Hall County Public Schools operate schools for residents that live outside of the city limits. The Buford City School District operates three elementary schools, Buford Academy, Buford Senior Academy, and Buford Elementary, as well as Buford Middle School and Buford High School.
Arts and cultureEdit
The Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center is a museum and cultural center completed in August 2006 and is located in Buford. The center was created to educate children about both water and environmental resources as well as Gwinnett's cultural heritage, including the county's Cherokee and Creek cultures. The Chesser-Williams House, a historic home which is believed to predate the 1850s and one of the oldest wooden-frame houses in Gwinnett county, was moved to the museum to become part of the museum's cultural exhibits.
Buford Community Center is a multi-purpose facility that was completed in 2012. Located across the street from Buford City Hall, the Buford Community Center has a museum, 290-seat stage theatre, an outdoor amphitheater, and several spaces for meetings, banquets, and weddings.
As part of the Metro Atlanta area, Buford's primary network-affiliated television stations are WXIA-TV (NBC), WGCL-TV (CBS), WSB-TV (ABC), and WAGA-TV (Fox). WGTV is the local station of the statewide Georgia Public Television network and is a PBS member station.
Buford is served by the Gwinnett Daily Post, which is the most widely distributed newspaper in Buford as well as Gwinnett county's legal organ. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Gainesville Times are also distributed in Buford. During the late 1800s, the city of Buford had a number of local newspapers including the Buford Gazette and the Buford Herald, none of which gained consistent widespread use in the city. The weekly Gwinnett Herald served Buford until 1885.
Two major interstate highways pass through Buford: Interstate 85 and Interstate 985 both travel through the city in a general northeast-southwest direction. Buford is Exit 115 on I-85 and Exit 4 on I-985. Georgia State Route 20 travels through Buford in a general northwest-southeast direction. U.S. Route 23 travels northeast into Buford before first merging with State Route 20 towards the southeast and then with I-985 towards the northeast.
As late as 1971 the Southern Railway's Piedmont made a southbound stop in Buford on a Washington-Atlanta running passenger run. Until 1967 or 1968 the Southern Railway was running an unnamed northbound successor train to its Peach Queen that made a flag stop in Buford.
The nearest airport is the Gwinnett County Airport in the city of Lawrenceville, a small public airport with a single asphalt runway 14 miles (23 km) from the Buford. The closest major airports are Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is 48 miles (77 km) from Buford and Athens Ben Epps Airport, which is 53 miles (85 km).
Buford has several clinics and family doctors, including an Emory Healthcare clinic and a Northside Hospital imaging center, but no major hospitals inside the city limits. The closest hospital is Northside Hospital-Forsyth, which is 9 miles (14 km) away in Cumming. Gwinnett Medical Center and Emory Johns Creek Hospital are both 12 miles (19 km) from Buford, in Lawrenceville and Johns Creek respectively. Northeast Georgia Health System has a hospital in Gainesville and Braselton.
Buford has been both the birthplace and hometown of a number of notable individuals, including notable athletes and musicians. Due to its proximity to the Atlanta Falcons training facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia Buford is home to several Atlanta Falcons players, who have also trained in and around Buford. Many of Buford High School's alumni have also played professional sports.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Buford (city) QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. 18 September 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-12-07. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- Morgan, Handsel Grady (1993). Historic Buford: A History of the City of Buford, Georgia Through 1990.
- "Buford". Georgia.gov. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- Krakrow, Kenneth (1975). Georgia Place-Names (PDF). Winship Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0915430000.
- "About Buford". City of Buford. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Our Beginnings". Museum of Buford. 2015-12-08. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "Historic Buford". Buford City Schools. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- "An Eloquent Object Lesson". The Atlanta Georgian. 28 January 1909.
Back in the early seventies Mr. Allen, in a humble way, began the manufacture of saddles...and gradually the business has grown, until today it is one of the most important establishments in the South, and Buford is known far and wide because of the creative ideas of this splendid builder.
- Vardeman, Johnny (22 March 2009). "Bona Allen leather works long gone, but name persists". Gainesville Times. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- "Bona Allen Tannery Buford, Georgia". ngeorgia.com. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- "Bona Allen Tannery Today". ngeorgia.com. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Flanigan, James C. (1984). History of Gwinnett County, Georgia – Volume 2. Tyler & Co.
- Gleason, M.D. (10 December 1906). "Volunteer firemen save Buford from disastrous blaze". The Atlanta Georgian.
...Buford Volunteer Fire Department saved Buford from having a very disastrous fire Saturday night, when the straw house of R. H. Allen burned to the ground.
- "History of Tannery Row & Buford, Georgia". Tannery Row Artist Colony. Archived from the original on 28 June 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- "Welcome to the Tannery Row Artist Colony". Tannery Row Artist Colony. Archived from the original on 28 June 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Buford city, Georgia". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 29, 2016.[dead link]
- "The National Map Viewer". United States Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Eastern Continental Divide in Georgia". gpsinformation.org. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Living along the Ridge". Service First Realty. 8 October 2010. Archived from the original on 24 August 2018. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Water Department". City of Buford. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Upper Chattahoochee Watershed FloodTracking". United States Geological Survey. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Average Weather for Buford, GA". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Gwinnett County Georgia Sales Tax Rates". taxrates.com. Archived from the original on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "100 best places to live and launch: 3. Buford, Ga". CNN Money. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "State and County QuickFacts: Buford city, Georgia QuickLinks". U.S. Census. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- "No limits in sight for Makita as new industry milestones lie ahead in 2015". Makita. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "Takeuchi (relocation to Buford, Georgia)". Diesel Progress North American Edition – via HighBeam (subscription required). 1 June 1999. Archived from the original on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- "Takeuchi-US Moves To New Facility In Pendergrass, Ga". Dixie Contractor – via HighBeam (subscription required). 2 October 2006. Archived from the original on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- "Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center". Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Gwinnett County, GA: Bogan Park". Gwinnett County Government. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Buford Dam Park". lakelanier.com. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "City Parks". City of Buford. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- Young, Camie (12 April 2010). "Gateway to the future: New center to bring opportunities to Buford". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- Reddy, Frank (28 July 2012). "New Buford community center impresses locals". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "Lake Sidney Lanier". US Army Corps of Engineers. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Lake Lanier Islands". Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- "Fifty Largest Shopping Malls in the United States". Esri. 2012. Archived from the original on 22 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "About Mall of Georgia". Simon Property Group. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- "Board of Commissioners". City of Buford. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- "Buford's Beard inducted into government hall of fame". Gwinnett Daily Post. 1 July 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- Acts and Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia. 1872. An act to incorporate the town of Buford. GALILEO.
- Georgia Legislative Documents – Acts and Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia. 1896. GALILEO.
- Acts and Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia 1937–1938. Buford New Charter. GALILEO.
- "City of Buford". Georgia Municipal Association. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "Georgia's 7th Congressional District". opencongress.org. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- "Georgia's 9th Congressional District". opencongress.org. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- "Buford City Schools". gwinnettcounty.com. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "GCPS Cluster Boundaries". Gwinnett County Public Schools. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Buford City Schools". Buford City School District. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Locations and Hours". Gwinnett County Public Library. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "Hall County School District". usa.com. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- Nicolow, Jim; Thomas, Chet. "The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center: Water-efficiency and stormwater management solutions for the southeast" (PDF). Georgia Tech. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- "Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center". Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- Young, Camie (28 November 2012). "Historical home moving to museum". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- Reddy, Frank (28 July 2012). "New Buford community center impresses locals". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- "Museum of Buford". Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- "About Buford Community Center". Buford Community Center. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- "Buford TV Stations and Networks List". American Towns. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- "WGTV". Georgia Public Broadcasting. 2010-05-24. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- "Gwinnett Daily Post Legal Notices" (PDF). Gwinnett Daily Post. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "About Weekly Gwinnett herald. (Lawrenceville, Ga.) 1871–1885". Library of Congress. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- "Movies Filmed Within Georgia Bringing In Big Box Office Bucks". Newnan Times-Herald. 14 May 2010. Archived from the original on 10 June 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- "Georgia Filmography". cometourgeorgia.com. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- "DOT Commissioner warns of Summer road construction". WAGA-TV. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Georgia Rideshare lot goes unused". Gainesville Times. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2016.[permanent dead link]
- "Zip Code Boundary Map (GA)". zipmap.net. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Interstate Exit Numbers". 511ga.com. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Downtown Re-Routing ROUTE 101 (GCT) – Buford to Downtown Atlanta". GRTA Xpress. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- Official Guide of the Railways, September 1971, Southern Railway section, Table 2
- Official Guide of the Railways, October 1967, Southern Railway section, Table 2
- Official Guide of the Railways, June 1968, Southern Railway section, Table 2, no more northbound stop
- "Nearest airport to Buford, Georgia". travelmath. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- Reed, Kristi. "Newest section of Ivy Creek Greenway opens". Gwinnett Daily Post.
- Woodson, Joy (2013-05-22). "Ivy Creek Greenway Extension Approved Near Mall of Georgia". Patch.
- "Emory at Buford – Primary Care". Emory Healthcare. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
- "Northside/Sugar Hill Imaging". Northside Hospital. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Major Hospitals and Medical Facilities in Gwinnett County". georgiaroofpro.com. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
- "Northside Hospital-Forsyth". Northside Hospital. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Gwinnett Medical Center". Gwinnett Medical Center. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Emory Johns Creek Hospital". Emory Healthcare. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Northeast Georgia Medical Center". North Georgia Medical Center. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Roy Carlyle Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- Reddy, Frank (13 September 2012). "Falcons surprise local firefighters with visit". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- Grillo, Jerry (June 2010). "Widespread Panic And The Business Of Making Music". Georgia Trend Magazine. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Atlanta Falcons Team Headquarters". atlantafalcons.com. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "Julio Jones works out with Falcons". ESPN. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- Hammock, Will (28 April 2015). "Buford's Christi Thomas built long basketball career in WNBA, overseas". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- "All-Decade Team: WR P.K. Sam, Buford". Gwinnett Daily Post. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2016.