History of Summerville, GA
Chattooga County’s Seat
After Chattooga County was founded in 1838, John Beavers, a pioneer in the establishment of Chattooga County, realized the need for a county seat for government and policy in Georgia’s newest county. Beavers donated ninety acres of land near Willow Spring in what is present-day Summerville for the county seat. On December 31, 1839 the Georgia State Legislature voted to make the City of Selma county seat of Chattooga County.
Selma’s history was short lived, as the first United States Post Office established by the federal government in the county renamed the city Summerville. Selma officially changed its name to Summerville on March 11, 1840.
Summerville continued to grow as the economic center of Chattooga County. The first brick home was built in 1842, and by 1851 businesses began to appear throughout the county. Summerville also became the center of the thriving agricultural life of the county. The city’s present city charter was granted on December 12, 1897.
|Downtown Summerville, GA
Summerville is home to Chattooga County High School, a Georgia High School Association “AA” School. The Chattooga County Board of Education, chaired by William Anderson, oversees the high school alongside Superintendent Dr. Dwight Pullen. Chattooga High, home of the Indians, services approximately 750-800 students. Summerville is also home to Leroy Massey and Summerville Elementary Schools and Summerville Middle School, which all feed into Chattooga High. Summerville also houses the county’s alternative school. Including feeder schools from Lyerly and Menlo, Chattooga County Schools serve approximately 3,100 students.
Summerville is still the largest incorporation in Chattooga County with 4, 556 people (2000 Census), and continues to operate as the Chattooga County Seat. As the seat, Summerville houses all county-level government offices, including Commissioner Winter’s office, Tax Commissioner Brown’s office, Sheriff Everett’s office, and other governmental offices. Summerville’s city government is formed using the mayor-city manager model. Mayor Harry Harvey presides over city council meetings while City Manager Russell Thompson runs the day-to-day actions of the city.
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