Award-winning Suwanee is a friendly, progressive community committed to maintaining a high-quality of life for its approximately 16,000 residents. We're proud of the numerous awards our community's efforts have garnered over the past several years. And we're delighted to have been recognized by Money Magazine as one of the country's best small communities in which to live in 2007. Most of all, though, we're gratified that our residents and business owners are proud to call Suwanee "home."
Located about 30 miles north of Atlanta, Suwanee is well-known around the region for its distinctive parks, crowd-pleasing events, and high-quality mixed-use developments. Like many Gwinnett County communities, Suwanee began as a small agricultural town with strong ties to the railroad. Today, the City works hard to retain its charm and sense of neighborliness and to manage growth in smart, innovative ways.
Our quality of life is outstanding. Suwanee offers a variety of housing options that fit an array of lifestyles. Our youngest citizens are served by the Gwinnett County Schools System, the largest public school system in Georgia and largely regarded as the finest.
We have more than 500 acres of parkland and miles of walking and biking trails, much of which was preserved and created by the City of Suwanee through a voter-approved, award-winning open space initiative. Our emerging Town Center is an attractive community "front yard" where our residents and others from throughout the metro area gather for events, to shop and eat, or simply to relax and play.
Whether you're passing through, spending a few days, or thinking about moving in, welcome to Suwanee, Georgia - a community where you can play hard...live well...and smile more.
Suwanee began as an Indian village about 3 miles southwest of the current downtown area along the banks where Suwanee Creek runs into the Chattahoochee River. For hundreds of years prior to the beginning of the Town of Suwanee, a large Indian village flourished on both sides of the river. The village was originally settled by Shawnee Indians, but later, according to U.S. government documents, both Cherokee and Creek Indians came to the area they referred to as Suwanee Old Town. The village/town is shown on maps indicating land ceded to the U.S. government by the Cherokees in 1817 and the Creeks in 1818.
There are various accounts regarding the naming of the City of Suwanee. One suggests that Suwanee is an Indian word meaning “echo” while another maintains that it is the Creek word for Shawnee. Another account credits the name to the early white settlers’ way of pronouncing the word “Shawnee.” Either way, the name Suwanee appears to be closely tied to the City’s Native American heritage.
The federal government recognized Suwanee as a town when the Suwanee Post Office was established in 1838. As is the case with many communities throughout the South, Suwanee’s growth is tied to the evolution of transportation. As transportation evolved, so did the community of Suwanee.
In 1880 the Town of Suwanee consisted of 39 dwelling units and 216 people. A hotel, department store, and other commercial establishments existed in the town. A 1923 Sandborn Map Company detailed map of the town showed 12 stores in operation, cotton gin house, feed mill, two auto repair garages, two blacksmith shops, coffin factory, gristmill, planing mill, and livery stable. Pierce's Corner, built in 1910, remains standing today and currently is owned by the Suwanee Downtown Development Authority. Cotton served as the town’s economic foundation. Until 1830 the majority of Suwanee area farmers grew cotton. The first cotton gin house was built between 1872 and 1875 on the northeast corner of Jackson and Scales Street.
Suwanee was incorporated in 1949, but remained a small agricultural-based community into the 1970s. Then with the growth of the highway system, including I-85, in the 1970s, more development occurred along the interstate and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. While growth and new development have occurred throughout the City of Suwanee over the past several decades, the historic downtown area has remained much the same as it must have appeared in the early part of the 20th century.
At the time of its incorporation in 1949, Suwanee was about 3.1 square miles. Today, Suwanee incorporates nearly 7,000 acres, about 10.8 square miles. And the City’s 1970 population of 615 has mushroomed to more than 16,000.