Local city information for Conyers, GA
is the only city in Rockdale County, Georgia, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 10,689. Census estimates of 2005 indicate a population of 12,205. The city is the county seat of Rockdale County.
Before European settlement, the area which is now Conyers, along with the surrounding county of Rockdale, was occupied by mound-building Native Americans. As time progressed, the Muscogee (or Creek) Natives and the Cherokee Natives shared a common border here. This border was known as the "Great Indian Road," and is known now as the "Hightower Trail". This trail was used by white settlers following the American Revolution.
Between 1816 and 1821, the area known as Rockdale was open for settling. John Holcomb, a blacksmith, was the first settler in what is now Conyers. He settled where the current Rockdale County Courthouse is, in the middle of Conyers on Main Street.
Eventually, there was pressure for a railroad to cross Georgia. Ideally the railroad would go from Augusta, Georgia, through neighboring Covington, Georgia to Marthasville (now known as Atlanta). John Holcomb was against the railroad and refused to sell his land, and threatened to shoot anyone from the railroad who came onto his property.
Dr. W. D. Conyers, a banker from Covington, eventually talked John Holcomb into selling his land for $700. Dr. Conyers then sold the land to the Georgia Railroad. What is now Conyers began as a watering post along this line, named after Dr. Conyers. By 1845, the railroad was in full operation. By 1854, nearly 400 residents lived around the watering post, and Conyers was incorporated.
Conyers has been nearly destroyed several times by fire. It is said that it survived Sherman's March to the Sea thanks to a friend of Sherman's who lived in the area between Conyers and Covington. The story goes that the houses were spared because Sherman was uncertain where his friend lived.
In 1870, the surrounding area was incorporated into Rockdale County out of Newton County, Georgia, and Conyers became the county seat.
Over the next decade, Conyers grew into a wild town. It had twelve saloons and five brothels. The more reputable side of the town had 40 stores, Conyers College, a hotel, a carriage manufacturer and good schools.
Conyers was also home to "sidewalk churches". Along Main Street grew First Methodist, First Presbyterian, and First Baptist. It is said that at some point the congregants persuaded the brothels and saloons to close shop and leave Conyers for Covington, having persuaded them with a mob. This rose out of revivals began in 1878 with the Methodist and Presbyterian churches. First Baptist Church of Conyers moved out of downtown in late 2000, moving about two miles or three kilometers south of the Georgia International Horse Park to their current location.
Tightly connected to Conyers is Milstead
, a mill town now incorporated into Conyers. At its peak, Milstead and Conyers had a private railroad which delivered products, such as cotton, from the mill to Conyers for shipping to the textile mills. In the 1960s, the mill closed.
In 1944, a Trappist monastery, Abbey of the Holy Spirit, was established south of the city by Dom Frederic Dunne. The Protestant community of Rockdale County helped with the completing of the current structure. M. Basil Pennington, one of the founders of the Centering Prayer movement, was abbot of the monastery from 2000 to 2002.
In the 1950s, Conyers had a Coca-Cola bottling facility. In 1957, Lithonia Lighting moved from Lithonia.
In the 1960s, Interstate 20 was built through the county. Gus Barksdale, Clarence Vaughn, Roland Reagan, and Harry Downs helped establish the community for the future by pushing for business expansion.
In the 1970s, parts of the first five episodes of the Dukes of Hazzard
were filmed in the town.
In the 1980s, Conyers became known for "White Road". Resident Nancy Fowler claimed to have seen apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Conyers played host to pilgrims.
In 1996 Conyers hosted the equestrian and mountain biking events for the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta. For this, Conyers built the Georgia International Horse Park.
In October of 1999 Rockdale county, and by extension the county seat of Conyers gained substantial notoriety when the Public Broadcasting Service aired a nationwide documentary entitled The Lost Children of Rockdale County
detailing a syphilis outbreak among middle and high school aged teenagers within the county. The documentary was well received outside of Conyers, with rave reviews from such outlets as the Wall Street Journal and Entertainment Weekly.
In 2009, Cartoon Network is filming "Ben 10: Alien Force Invasion". It is about a teenage boy named Ben and his associates' organization" known as "The Plumbers," according to a letter sent to residents and business owners in Olde Town from Michael Riley, location manager with Alive & Kicking Inc. The Plumbers' mission is to protect the unknowing world from alien forces that are attempting to take over the world Conyers will portray The Plumbers' Midwestern hometown of Bellwood, Riley explained.
List your home on the MLS in Conyers, Georgia