Hamburg State Park
Hamburg State Park is located 20 miles north of Sandersville via Hamburg State Park Road off Ga. Hwy. 102.
With modern-day facilities amidst reminders of days gone by, Hamburg State Park offers a wonderful mix of history and outdoor recreation. Anglers can enjoy great lake fishing for largemouth bass, crappie and bream, as well as boat ramps and a fishing pier. Campers find shaded campsites along the edge of quiet Hamburg Lake fed by the Little Ogeechee River.
The restored 1921 water-powered grist mill is still operational and beckons visitors to buy a bag of corn meal at the country store. Visitors who are particularly interested in the mill should call ahead to ask when it will be operating. A museum displays old agricultural tools and implements used in rural Georgia. The third Saturday in September is always the park's Hamburg Festival with crafts, mill tours, games and more.
Park Hours: 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Office Hours: 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- 741 Acres
- 225-Acre Lake
- 30 Tent, Trailer, RV Campsites ($25-$28)
- 2 Picnic Shelters ($40)
- Group Shelter (seats 50, $70)
- Pioneer Campground ($35)
- Grist Mill and Museum
- Country Store
- Hiking - 3.5 miles of trails
- Boat Rental - pedal boats, surf bikes, canoes, fishing boats, electric motors
Hamburg State Park is rich in historical and natural resources, and provides programs to school groups, scout troops, and other organizations. If you are interested in participating in a program at Hamburg State Park please call the park office at (478) 552-2393. A wide variety of programs are provide by the park staff on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Group size must be limited to 50 or less, and scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance.
Hamburg Arts and Crafts Festival is an annual event with many different sights, sounds, and smells tantalizing the senses. Guests are treated to homemade food, barbeque plates, funnel cakes, fried twinkies, cajun pork curls, and a wide variety of homemade items are sold. There are also several music groups and cloggers who provided entertainment.
Savannah River Area Girl Scouts enjoy their annual "Fun in Nature" program at Hamburg. They tour the mill and museum, then an educational nature talk is given by the park ranger and a guided nature hike along the trail.
Annual Forestry Day is sponsored by the American Forest Management Company. Students participate in a number of programs from the Georgia Forestry Commission and the staff at Hamburg State Park. Children participate in tours of the grist mill and museum. They also learn about basic tree identification, wildlife habitat, firefighting, and controlled burns.
Grist Mill History
After the close of the Revolutionary War the Warthen family moved to Washington County from North Carolina in the 1790s. They acquired this land through grants received for their part in the war. The Warthen family built the first mill in Washington County in 1825 just 75 feet upstream from the present mill site on the Little Ogeechee river. At that time the area was named "Little Shoals" to distinguish it from "Shoals" located just 4 miles away on the Ogeechee river. With much optimism he renamed his holdings after the bustling market and mill town of Hamburg, South Carolina.
At that time a now extinct town named Georgetown was located six miles downstream from Warthen's new mill. Georgetown was a major frontier trading post. Indians from as far as Alabama would travel to Georgetown to trade and barter. Georgetown was a natural outlet for the produce of the first Hamburg Mill.
The first mill at Hamburg ran until the early 1900s. T.B. Rachels and his brothers purchased the property around 1895. Later the property was acquired by Oscar Harrison and then sold to the Gilmore brothers who became a prominent Washington County family. The Gilmore brothers built the present mill, dam, and cotton gin in 1921-22. The brothers also farmed much of the surrounding area. The mill was set up to grind both flour and corn meal. The Gilmore borthers later sold the property to the Hall family whose members still live in the area. Eventually the property was sold to Tarbutton and Rawlings who deeded the property to the State of Georgia in 1968.
During the active years of ginning and milling the area of Hamburg Mill were both work and community centers, and still remains a wonderful place to socialize.
Prior to the invention of the steam engine, the only practical alternatives to muscle power were the windmill and the watermill. Horizontal water wheels were known in Greece as early as 100 B.C.
Hamburg Mill operates on a regular basis. The park staff grinds corn every other Saturday from March through October. For the most current schedule please call the park office at 478-552-2393. We can grind your own corn (minimum 100 lbs) for a small grinding fee. Grinding is open to the public.