Hall County was created in 1818 from Indian treaty lands. Georgia's 44th county was named for Dr. Lyman Hall, signer of the Declaration of Independence and later governor of Georgia. The county seat is Gainesville, which may have been named for early settlers in the area, or for General Edmund P. Gaines, who arrested Aaron Burr for treason.
Gainesville's municipal power plant was built in 1899, making Gainesville the first southern city to have electric streetlights. Gainesville is often referred to as the "Poultry Capital of the World."
Hall County is split by the Chattahoochee River and Lake Lanier, the most northerly impoundment of the river. Lake Lanier is a major recreation and tourism site and served as the venue for many of the rowing and kayaking events in the 1996 Olympic Games. There are several festivals held annually in Hall County, including the Georgia Mountain Jubilee held in late April, and the Holiday Marketplace, held in mid-November.