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Suwanee City

Gwinnett County, Georgia

Suwanee City Hall is located at 330 Town Center Avenue, Suwanee GA 30024.
Phone: 770‑945‑8996.


Beginnings [1]

In the beginning, Suwanee, like many cities, started as an Indian settlement, in this case for the Creek and Cherokee nations but also Shawnee Indians. The name "Suwanee" likely stems from this legacy. Land was ceded to the U.S. Government in the early 1800s, and by 1838 Suwanee was recognized as an established community with a post office.

Development of the nation's railroads in the late 1800s fueled the growth of what is now Old Town. As a passenger rail hub served by depots in Suwanee and Shadow Brook, Suwanee was a transfer point to Atlanta for many years. By 1880, the Town of Suwanee consisted of 39 homes and 216 residents, and Old Town included a hotel, department store, and other stores. By the early 1920s, Old Town had grown to include 12 stores, a cotton gin, blacksmith shops, a gristmill, and a livery. One of Old Town's primary buildings, Pierce's Corner, was built in 1910 and remains standing today.

In 1949, Suwanee's roughly 3.1 square miles were officially incorporated. Although centered around active businesses and homes concentrated in Old Town, Suwanee was still a mostly agrarian community. The Pierce family (for whom George Pierce Park is named) owned about 1,000 acres around that time and managed 200 head of cattle. In fact, the 22 acres upon which Town Center now sits was originally owned by the Pierce family and sold for $5,000 in the 1950s.

In 1960, the population in Suwanee was 214 — a loss of two people since 1880. But three events in the 1950s laid the groundwork for what we now think of as Suwanee even though it took decades to see the results. The first was the development of water service for Suwanee, which supported growth in new homes around Old Town. The second was creation of Buford Dam and Lake Lanier in 1956. Prior to the dam, the area in and around Suwanee flooded every year washing away crops and making development of the land difficult and expensive. Lastly, construction of I-85 opened up the land north of Atlanta for new development and commerce. What was once a relatively disconnected, rural community, loosely tied to Atlanta by Buford Highway and rail, was now an exit on a major highway.

  1. City of Suwanee Georgia, How it All Started, Suwanee 20/20 Vision Plan, April 2012, www.suwanee.com, accessed June, 2012.

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