Designed by Louisville native son Willis Franklin Denny, a famed architect of his time with many surviving structures in Atlanta and Augusta to his credit on the National Register of Historic Places, the current Jefferson County Courthouse was built on the site of the old state capitol.
The historic marker for the old state capitol reads: Georgia’s Capitol was on this site (1794-1807). Colonists on the coast had urged a location on higher ground “with good drinking water”. The famous constitutional convention of 1798 was held here and the document then adopted lasted for 70 years. Georgia’s Great Seal, still in use, was adopted here in 1799. Governors who served here were Jared Irwin, James Jackson, David Emanuel, Josiah Tattnall and John Milledge.
Another marker regarding the Yazoo Fraud reads: The notorious “Yazoo Fraud” act was passed and later repealed in the old state capitol that stood here 1794-1807. The 1794 Georgia legislature sold 35,000,000 acres of land along the Yazoo River in what is now Alabama and Mississippi at 1 1/2 cents per acre. James Jackson resigned as U. S. Senator to run for the Georgia legislature and urge repeal of the Yazoo act. He succeeded in 1796. The act itself and all records of it were burned on the grounds here “with fire from heaven” aided by a sunglass. The U. S. Supreme Court upheld the land sales. Congress paid Georgia $1,250,000 for the Yazoo territory (1802), then paid the land buyers $4,000,000 (1810). The land went into the new states of Alabama and Mississippi.
The small building at the court house was also used as the health dept.