Fayette County - Metro Atlanta Guidebook

A Look At The History Of Fayette County Georgia

Fayette County Georgia was enacted as a result of the Land Lottery Draw of 1821. The land was ceded from the Creek Indian Nation and five new counties were created: Fayette, Henry, Houston, Dooly and Monroe. Fayette is therefore an original county (not created from other counties) and the 49th county in Georgia. At this time, the county went up to present-day Atlanta and over to the other side of Jonesboro. Four counties have been carved in part from us, Campbell (now Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Spalding).

Because some of the new settlers were Revolutionary War veterans, it is surmised that they were the ones instrumental in naming the county for Marquis de LaFayette, who fought alongside General George Washington in that war.

Fayetteville was named as the county seat in 1823 and the present-day courthouse in the town square was built in 1825. It remains the oldest courthouse in Georgia and is still in municipal use. It remained the only city until the 1900's, although there were a number of small communities that had names.

During The War Between The States, cavalry activity took place in the middle of the county. A several hundred Confederate wagon supply train was burned just two miles west of Fayetteville and one of the last cavalry skirmishes took place the next day. This activity was an indirect part of The Battle of Atlanta.

In the 1930's, Margaret Mitchell spent time in Fayette County researching facts for her GONE WITH THE WIND. Her great Grandfather, Phillip Fitzgerald, came to Fayette County in the 1830's and the Fitzgeralds were the prototypes for the O'Hara in the book. They are buried in the Fayetteville City Cemetery. The Holliday family was from Fayette County and one of "Doc" Holliday's cousins married a Fitzgerald, making the famed old west character a "kissin' cousin" of Margaret Mitchell.

Peachtree City was enacted in 1959 and is the only successful pre-planned city in the southeast. Be sure to note the water fountain in its City Plaza, a donation of all the Japanese companies who have opened companies in Peachtree City.

The oldest courthouse in Georgia, Fayette County’s courthouse was built in 1825. The "world's largest courthouse bench" is located alongside the southern walkway approach to the county courthouse in Fayetteville.

The Fayette County Historical Society is housed in the former Margaret Mitchell Library in Fayetteville and features historical collections concerning the civil war and local genealogical records. It was chartered in 1972 and meets each third Sunday, September through May. For more information, call 770-716-6020.
Fayette County Historical Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 421
Fayetteville, Georgia 30214

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