City of Forsyth Bicentennial
Our Past Is Always Present
From its humble rural beginnings to today’s bustling small city, our history is evident everywhere. The city of Forsyth was named for the eminent statesman and minister to Spain, later the 33rd Governor of Georgia, John Forsyth. It was incorporated on December 10, 1823, by an act of the Georgia General Assembly, and it serves as the county seat for Monroe County. The land for the city of Forsyth was purchased for a sum of $700 for 202 ½ acre land lot. The town was laid off into lots of 2 ½ acres each, extending in a radius of ½ mile from the courthouse square. By 1828, the town had a population of 600, and boasted residences, business enterprises, churches, schools, and many trades and professions.
Forsyth has long been a hub for transportation, beginning with the trails of the Creek Nation, stagecoach routes, the railroad in 1838, state highways and most recently the construction of I-75 in the 1960s. No matter the era, travelers have needed a place to rest. Today, within the city limits there are 11 hotels and one KOA campground. Part of Forsyth’s charm is found in the many properties on the National Register of Historic places, both residential and commercial. The downtown commercial district around the Historic Courthouse Square has 80 alone!
Forsyth’s earliest rural roots are still a main feature of the town, despite having become more of a suburban type of community in the last 50 or so years. It maintains its small-town charm and is surrounded by countless outdoor/recreation attractions. Currently the city has approximately 4,500 residents and great amenities. Its central locale has made it a convenient location for some state offices and training centers, such as the Department of Corrections and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. In 2013, Forsyth was designated Georgia’s Public Safety Capital.
The year of 2023 marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of the City of Forsyth, commonly known as its Bicentennial year. To celebrate, the Bicentennial Committee is organizing events and activities to commemorate this milestone. Throughout the year they will host a series of activities and events such as ceremonies with elected officials, a historic photo tour displayed at the Forsyth City Hall, weekly Forsyth Facts published in the Reporter and on social media, an aviation fly-over, live music, tethered hot air balloon rides, food trucks, games, arts & crafts, fireworks, a kids’ corner, historic walking tours, and many other celebratory activities. You can even write your letter to the future!
The Bicentennial Celebration Days festival will kick off September 22nd with the Retro Music Fest, followed by two days of celebration on September 23 & 24, 2023 in downtown Forsyth!
The Bicentennial Celebrations will conclude with a birthday party and the interment of a time capsule near the Bicentennial Legacy Tree, containing letters to the future from members of the community on December 9, 2023. The Bicentennial commemoration celebrates the history of Forsyth and her people, the feeling of community and nostalgia that the celebrations inspire is beneficial to our community history and future of Forsyth and will remain long beyond 2023.
To celebrate Forsyth’s past, present and future, the Forsyth Bicentennial Committee was established. It is a volunteer committee established by the Mayor and Council. The group of thirteen have been working with innumerable individuals, agencies, businesses, and organizations, to create a series of events throughout 2023 to celebrate Forsyth’s rich heritage. Current members of the Forsyth Bicentennial Committee are: Gilda Stanbery, Kemie Childs, Debbie Menard, Steve Reece, Regina Ivie, Rebecca Stone, Richard Dumas, Katie Rowland, Winifred Berry, Glenn Watson, Annie Evans, Lois Allen, and Lloyd Strickland.