Irwinton in Georgia

Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee… well that’s how the song starts . There actually was an Irwinton, here’s the story…

Eufala , GA.  was originally named Irwinton until 1843 for the famous and wealthy planter General William Irwin. He is reputed to have owned 50,000 acres of land between Shorterville and Eufaula. But in 1856 the general was returning to Eufala on the steamer HS Smith when it caught fire. Irwin jumped overboard just before a plank was run ashore, and he drowned. It was said that had it not been for the $60,000 in gold in his money belt he would not have lost his life. Of course this amount of gold would have weighed over two hundred pounds, and it is unlikely he was carrying such a heavy fortune. (Willoughby) One of the largest concentrations of Antebellum homes stands in old Eufala. Both Eufala and Columbia began as cotton shipping towns.

200 riverboats served on the Chattahoochee. The Chattahoochee flowed through the richest cottonlands and depended upon the riverboats for transport to markets.

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