Although the town is mentioned in narrative records as early as the time as Hernando de Soto's expeditions in the 16th century, Alapaha did not incorporate as a town until 1881. During this era, an agricultural and industrial boom, based largely on forestry, grew the town. Businessmen praised the industry as far north as New York City.
Today, the town is known for its patented blueberries, the Alapaha blueberry. These berries are known for their excellent firmness, color, and flavor and can only legally be sold by those licensed by the Georgia Seed Development Commission.