Folkston is a city in and the county seat of Charlton County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,148 as of the 2010 census, up from 2,178 at the 2000 census, largely due to the extension of the city boundary to include D. Ray James Prison.
Top, left to right: Charlton County Courthouse, Folkston Funnel, Folkston Train Museum, City Hall, Downtown Folkston, Okefenokee Swamp
|Motto: "Gateway to the Okefenokee"|
Location in Charlton County and the state of Georgia
Folkston was founded on August 19, 1911. The city was named in honor of William Brandon Folks, M.D., a prominent physician and surgeon in his day. In the years 1925 - 1927, many new and commodious residences were built and several modern brick buildings were erected, including the Citizen Bank Block, the Masonic Temple building, a grammar-school building, and a courthouse. Shortly after its creation, the village of Folkston was incorporated as a town government and functioned as a town until 1911 when the area was incorporated as a city. For a number of years, Folkston was the self-proclaimed "Marriage Capital of the World;" Floridians who could not endure their state's waiting period before tying the knot would cross the state line to wed
Folkston is located near the southern boundary of Georgia at 1, 23, and 301 pass through the city as Second Street, leading south 42 miles (68 km) to Jacksonville, Florida. Route 1 and 23 lead northwest 35 miles (56 km) toWaycross, while Route 301 leads north 55 miles (89 km) to Jesup. The eastern entrance to theOkefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is 11 miles (18 km) southwest of Folkston via GA 23 and GA 121. (30.834437, -82.004829). U.S. Routes
According to the United States Census Bureau, Folkston has a total area of 4.2 square miles (10.9 km2), all of it land
With virtually all rail traffic headed to Florida passing through Folkston, the rail lines through the city have acquired the nickname "The Folkston Funnel." As many as 60 trains a day pass through Folkston heading into and out of Florida, which some years draws ten times as many railfans as people who live in the city. To provide for a safe (and advantageous) viewing situation, the town has followed the example of another high-density rail town, Rochelle, Illinois, and has built a platform for visitors, along with picnic tables, chairs, barbecue pits, restrooms, grills, and even WiFi. At night, lights shine from the platform onto the double track so if someone wanted to, he or she could watch after sunset. Trains that come from the north move south from Savannah, go through the Folkston Funnel, and arrive in Jacksonville. Trains that come from Florida do the same, in the opposite direction.
At the covered viewing platform, there is an active scanner running and visitors can listen to train engineers as they run the trains through. There is also free WiFi for visitors
The Okefenokee Festival is an annual event that occurs the second Saturday of October. The Okefenokee Festival parade usually starts at 11:00 a.m. Spectators and shoppers stroll through an arts and crafts area and sample delicious foods. They can enjoy live local entertainment all day on the back porch of the Depot, and clogging, line dancing, and karate exhibitions are held on Main Street. An annual "Railwatch" is held on the first weekend of April every year (second weekend if Easter falls on the first weekend).
The Charlton County Indians football team has made the playoffs 23 years in a row, with seven championship appearances, and four state championships (1999, 2004, 2005, and 2006).
The Charlton County School District holds grades pre-school to grade twelve. It consists of three elementary schools, a high school, and a private school. The district has 114 full-time teachers and over 2,015 students.