Lost City of Newnan

” Pike County Georgia History Newnan (town) File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by “Lynn B. Cunningham” <lcunnin1@bellsouth.net>

Lost City of Newnan

[I am sending a story that was paper clipped in the front of Pike County Deeds and Mortgages, Book A Index, 1823-1826 Microfilm Roll No. RHS 3357. ] From Pike County Deeds and Mortgages, Book A Index, 1823- 1826 Microfilm Roll No. RHS 3357 The Microfilm shows a typed page paper-clipped in the front of the book. It reads:

The Lost Town of Newnan Pike County was created by legislative enactment in the autumn of 1822. Its boundaries extended from Monroe County on the East to the Flint River on the West, and from the Northern limits of Griffin on the North to several miles below Thomaston on the South. Thus the county was more than twice as large as now. Early in 1823 the county was organized, and, after the election of officers, the first work of the Inferior Court Judges was to locate the County seat. There was much controversy over this, as those living south of Pike Mountains wanted it on their side of the mountains while those living north of the mountains wanted it on their side. The matter was finally settled by selecting the center of north and south, which was Lot No. 202, four miles south of the present town of Zebulon. This lot was bought and laid out unto town lots and was named Newnan in honor of Gen, Daniel Newnan. Soon the axe, hammer and saw were heard in this wilderness country. In a short time there were several stores, a hotel and a temporary courthouse. Dwellings were rising on various streets. From the flow of immigration it was a place of considerable trade. We are told that the Indians from Beyond the Flint River would come here by the hundreds to barter their furs, hides, etc. It soon put on city airs and had a council and a marshal. But, alas, the seeds of dissatisfaction sown in the mountain controversy began to bear fruit, resulting in the citizens south of the mountains getting from the legislature in 1824 a new county called Upson. As this county took most of the land below the mountains it threw Pike’s County seat too far from the center of the county. So in 1825, Land Lot 227, four miles further north, was selected as the County seat and called Zebulon. Soon most of the inhabitants of Newnan moved to the new County seat and gradually Pike County’s first town became one of the lost towns of Georgia. Now nothing remains there to tell of “a glory that is past” except a few old wells that couldn’t very well be moved. Handwritten below story: Deed to Lot # 227 – Page 389

First lets look at the present day Newnan.

Newnan was established as county seat of Coweta County (replacing the defunct town of (Bullsboro) in 1828 and was named for North Carolinian General Daniel Newnan. It quickly became a prosperous magnet for lawyers, doctors, other professionals, and merchants. Much of Newman’s prosperity was due to its thriving cotton industry. From Wikipedia

Before we dig deeper I just want to mention that in that the counties in Georgia looked very different. Lets look at Atlanta area for a moment. Atlanta its self was founded in 1847 and it should be noted may have been a part of Pike County as it originally was a swamp where cattle got stuck. The original land lot for Atlanta was owned by the Mitchell Family. Fulton County was not formed til 1850 named for Robert Fulton the creator of the Steamboat. Later Fulton Changed in the 1920’s adding the counties of Campbell and Milton to its area. Judge John S Heard recorded that his town off Heard’s Ferry/Sandy Springs/Upper Fulton County was at one time in Henry County. Its easy to see how some of these counties changed and moved up until the Cherokee Land Lottery that formed the counties in Northwest Georgia.


So we will not see any Fulton til 1850. A lot is missing but we do see three counties named for the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Lyman Hall, Georgia Walton and Button Cwinnett.


From the above we see the progression. We now see DeKalb county is claimed and Campbell. I am not sure what John Heard meant as his home near the Chattahoochee on Heards Ferry Road was in DeKalb County at the time. As was Atlanta. We will see Atlanta, Decatur, Fayetteville and McDonough were near one another. Still Newnan is in Coweta County and Pike is pretty close. We still don’t know the progression between 1822 and 1830.


So here we see Newnan as the County seat of Coweta in this 1839 map. Pike is down below and DeKalb is still prominent with no mention of Atlanta at this point. There is no mention of Marthasville or Terminus which is to become what we know as Atlanta. The railroad will play a major role in that later.


So here we see clearly that Newnan was in Pike County and the Courthouse was there. Just as the article mentions from Ms. Cunningham that at some point he name passes on to Coweta County as the county seat and the County Seat of Pike become Zebulon.

stage We see the stage coach travels from Newnan to Zebulon some forty miles away in 1836


So earlier in 1824 we see the courthouse in Newnan in Pike County and now in 1828 the Courthouse is being built in Newnan in Coweta County. So we can only wonder why the city moved itself to Coweta. It may have happened in 1827. We can dig a little more.


We are getting closer. Some thief has came across Thomas Sandwich’s and stole half of his note. Note Lincolnton is part of the stage ride to Newnan in Pike County.


Later in September of 1828 the post office changed.


Here we have Coweta County formed in 1826. Newnan has not moved yet .


I can always count on Krakow for filling in the blanks  http://www.kenkrakow.com/gpn/n.pdf Ken Krakow’s Georgia Place Names has a lot of details.



In 1823 the Inferior Court Justices of Pike County selected the center lot in the county near here as the site for the county seat. This land was laid out into town lots and named Newnan to honor Major General Daniel Newnan, a Revolutionary War hero. A temporary court house, a tavern, several stores and many dwellings were built. The town became a place of considerable trade, Indians coming from beyond the Flint River to barter their furs. In 1824 Upson County was cut from Pike and Crawford Counties. The territory cut off threw Newnan too far from the center of the county to continue as the county seat and a new site was chosen and called Zebulon. The justices who selected the site of Newnan were Lewis Winn, William Duke, Thomas Lewis and William Mitchell. William Myrick was Clerk of the Inferior Court. The legislature chose as the first Commissioners of the town Samuel Mitchell, William Mitchell, William Myrick, William Johnson and Hugh F. Rose, who then lived in Newnan. This marker was erected at the request of the Lamar-Lafayette Chapter U.S.D.A.R.



So there we have it. Zebulon grew out of a need to to put the county seat in the center of the county. Daniel Newnan was not forgotten and moved to the county seat of nearby Coweta County. What was once lost, grew into a booming city in the Metro Atlanta Area.