City of Suwanee Historic Timeline

Pre-1700s Shawnee Indians live along Suwanee Creek near the Chattahoochee River. By the late 1700s, Cherokee and Creek Indians also inhabit the village.
1817 Cherokee Indians relinquish Suwanee Old Town area.
1818 “Suwannee old town” mentioned as part of a treaty document with Creek Indians.
1837 City of Suwanee is founded with establishment of a U.S. post office. This marks the first time that the Town of Suwanee is recognized by the U.S. government. James Brown is Suwanee’s first postmaster.
1871 Georgia Air Line Railroad line from Charlotte to Atlanta is built through Suwanee.
1880 Rhodes House is constructed. In the early 20th century, the house served as a hotel for railroad passengers, traveling salesmen, doctors, and teachers.

Earliest known date for Suwanee High School, a one-room schoolhouse with students ages 4-16 located at King and Davis streets.

Population is 216.
1881 Fire destroys all stores on Main Street, save one.

Richmond & Danville Railroad completes a narrow gauge railroad line from Suwanee to Lawrenceville.
1883 John Brogdon begins rebuilding what will become the largest store between Atlanta and Gainesville.
1900 Population is 246.
1910 The building most recently known as Pierce’s Corner is constructed. The building has served as a general store, cotton gin, silent movie theater, dentist’s office, and antique store.
1920 Population is 241.
1921 Armed robbers hold up the Bank of Suwanee, located on Main Street.
1923 Sanborne company creates a map of Suwanee that depicts every structure in town.
1933-36 Georgia Highway 23 (Buford Highway) is paved through the Works Progress Administration program.
Late 1930s Farming declines.
1949 City of Suwanee is incorporated on February 25.
1953 Many improvements are made throughout the post-World War II town of about 350 as part of the Better Hometown/ Hometown Champion contest.
1953-54 A City water tank is constructed and Suwanee’s water system is installed.
Mid 1950s Highway 317 (Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road) is paved.
1958 North Gwinnett High School opens.
1960 I-85 is extended to Suwanee, where it ends.
1960s Suwanee Creek frequently runs black due to processing waste dumped by the Bona Allen Tannery in Buford.
Early 1960s City Hall on Highway 23 opens.
1965 Police Chief James Knick is killed in the line of duty.Suwanee Lake, Suwanee's first subdivision, is constructed.
Mid 1960s Everett Brothers begin Saturday night bluegrass concerts, beginning a 40-year tradition.
1969 Annandale Village opens.
1970 The Suwanee Police Department is alleged to operate a speed trap, according to local newspaper articles.

Population is 615.
Mid 1970s Several stores in Old Town are closed.
1978 Atlanta Falcons open state-of-the-art training camp.
1980 Gwinnett County takes over Suwanee's volunteer fire department.

Population is 1,250.
1981 Voters on April 4 pass a referendum making Suwanee the first Gwinnett County city to legalize alcoholic beverage sales by the drink.
1984 First Suwanee Day festival.

George Pierce Park is constructed.
1985 First traffic signal within the City limits is installed at Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.
1986 Groundbreaking for Suwanee Elementary School on Smithtown Road.
1990 Suwanee is designated a Tree City USA for the first time.

Suwanee Day is moved from a May celebration to September.

Population is 2,412.
1991 Gwinnett County extends sewer lines into Suwanee.
Early 1990s Red caboose is obtained and placed in Old Town.Richard Trice Trail is constructed.
1994 First Caboose Lighting event is held in Old Town.
1996 Suwanee Day festival moves from property adjacent to City Hall to Old Town.
1997 New City Hall, on the south side of fire station on Highway 23, opens.

First City Administrator, Hardin Watkins, is hired.
1998 City website,, goes live.
1999 Suwanee Business Alliance is established.

Main Street Park opens; Burnette-Rogers Pavilion is dedicated in December.
2000 Suwanee Police Department earns statewide certification from the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.

Suwanee 2020 Comprehensive Plan is adopted.

Atlanta Falcons fly the coop for Flowery Branch.

Brogdon Place, the first new building to be constructed in historic Old Town in 50 years, opens.

Town of Suwanee, Georgia: Early History, by resident Richard Plumer, is published.

Population is 8,725.
2001 Downtown Development Authority is established.

On Nov. 6, residents vote overwhelmingly in support of a $17.7 million bond referendum for open space, parks, and trails.
2002 Old Town Master Plan is adopted.

City's first annual report is published.
2003 Suwanee is named a City of Excellence by the Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Trend Magazine.

First Suwanee-Duluth Farmers Market held on Saturdays throughout the summer.
2004 Suwanee opens four parks within a 10-month period: Suwanee Creek Greenway 3-mile extension, PlayTown Suwanee, Suwanee Creek Park, and Town Center Park (which opened in December 2003).

More than 1,200 community volunteers build PlayTown Suwanee, a super playground, in just 5 days, June 9-13.

Shawn Mullins highlights grand opening concert at Town Center Park on August 14.

Suwanee Day moves to Town Center Park.

Suwanee Branch of Gwinnett County Public Library opens in October.
2005 New water tank is installed as part of water system enhancements.

Suwanee DDA purchases Pierce's Corner Antiques in historic Old Town.
2006 The first Town Center businesses open in April.

The June 17 grand opening for the Big Splash interactive fountain also serves as a fundraiser for Suwanee's Hurricane Katrina-struck adopted sister city of Long Beach, Mississippi.

BRPH is selected through a competition to create the design for Suwanee's new City Hall.
2007 First residents move into and first restaurants open at Town Center.

"Old Sweet Song," a mural created by Dixie Letterheads at a 2006 Suwanee gathering is installed on the back of the stage at Town Center Park.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, presented by People's Bank & Trust, performs at Town Center Park.

Money Magazine ranks Suwanee #10 on its list of best places (small cities) to live.

A bridge and boardwalk path connecting Town Center and the Suwanee Creek Greenway opens.
2008 120 bicyclists participating in Stage 5 of the Tour de Georgia take off from Town Center.

Suwanee adopts its 2030 Comprehensive Plan/Community Agenda.

The Public Arts Commission is created and tasked with enhancing Suwanee's quality of life through public art.

Sims Lake Park opens.
2009 A new railroad underpass and HAWK signal provide enhanced pedestrian accessibility and safety between Old Town and Town Center.

Festivities (on March 28 and 29) celebrating the grand opening of Suwanee's new City Hall at Town Center include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, 200-pound cake, open house, and human/aerial community photo.

The City of Suwanee enters the world of social networking by establishing Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Suwanee is named to Money Magazine's list of best places to live – again.

Suwanee Municipal Court goes paperless.
2010 "Shimmering Echoes," a suspended, kinetic sculpture by Koryn Rolstad, is installed in the City Hall lobby.

When Harvest Farm at White Street Park opens with 76 plots, it is Georgia's largest organic community garden.

Suwanee's City Hall is the first in the state to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Certified by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police since 2000, the Suwanee Police Department earns national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

Suwanee's oversized mascot, Parker – the Dog, is unleashed at Suwanee Day.

Using pine and oak trees removed for White Street Park, Suwanee's public works department builds an au naturale educational amphitheater at the park.
2011 In the aftermath of a snow-ice winter storm that closed schools for a week, the City of Suwanee is recognized as one of the metro communities that dealt most effectively with dangerous road conditions.

Released 2010 Census data puts Suwanee's population at 15,355.

A walkable public art encounter, the first Suwanee SculpTour opens with 15 sculptures in and around Town Center.

Suwanee commemorates the 10th anniversary of September 11 terrorist attacks by unveiling a 1,638-pound artifact from the World Trade Center.
2012 The Downtown Development Authority enters into a lease-purchase agreement with Demming LLC for the Pierce's Corner property.

Suwanee receives a $3.3 million Livable Centers Initiative grant to reconstruct Buford Highway as a context sensitive roadway. Plans call for the road to remain two lanes with the addition of sidewalks, multiuse trails, landscaped medians, and streetscaping. ranks Suwanee third among best places to raise children.

After more than four years of negotiations and litigation, Gwinnett County and its 15 cities reach a seven-year agreement on a Service Delivery Strategy.

The City adopts the 20/20 Vision strategic plan, which offers seven guiding principles, 33 goals, and 140 potential strategies. The 12-month strategic plan process engaged about 800 people.

A new police training facility/substation opens in the Suwanee Gateway.
2013 As part of long-term efforts to improve the Suwanee Gateway, the City purchases (and demolishes) a former hotel.

The City temporarily exhibits a 12-foot-tall section of the Berlin Wall while it awaits auction.

Much of the information above for years prior to 1920 came from Richard Plumer’s Town of Suwanee Georgia: Early History.