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Snellville Georgia City Hall

Est. 1885

The first settlers of the Cates District of southeast Gwinnett were two men from London, England - Thomas Snell and James Sawyer.  For a time they were partners in the Snell and Sawyer Dry Goods Store, and intended to call their place of business New London.

As early as 1882 citizens were referring to the town as Snellville, after Mr. Snell.  The the post office was established in 1885, with Mr. Sawyer as the first post master.    The business partnership was dissolved and each man owned and operated his own mercantile business.

The Snellville Baptist Church was organized August 12, 1882 with the following as charter members:  Mr. and Mrs. RufeFirst Baptist                        Church of Snellville and Snellville Cemetery Harris, W. H. Strand, and Mrs. and Mrs. T. W. Hay.  The first pastor, for 14 years, was Rev. W. L. Singleton.  The church building was erected in 1883.  Ground was broken in 1946 for a new facility, which included a 600 seat auditorium and an indoor pool.

The Snellville Methodist Church was organized in 1884 with ten members:  Alpharetta Cates, Lucinda Milles, Adeline Cates, M.L. Mahaffey, Mr. and Mrs. T.A. Pate, Mrs. Lizzie Snell, J. T. Snell, Mrs. Annie Snell and L.L. Snell  Service were held in the school house until the fall of 1886 when the church building was erected.

History of Gwinnett County, 1818-1960, Volume II, by James C. Flanigan, copyright 1959

MY NOTES:   What was left of the original businesses at the crossroads of Highway 78 and Highway 124 are no longer in existence. The old Snellville Cemetery is well maintained and overlooks Main Street (Highway 78) and the First Baptist and United Methodist Churches across the street.   South of 78 there is still some open land with a few remaining older homes.  One of the most beautifully developed land is Lenora Park at Lenora Church Road at the corner of Lee Road (this is close to the Rockdale and Walton County borders).  Acres of land, trees, and rolling hills have been preserved, and the walking trails are integrated into the landscape as it existed.  See the pictures below, taken in late spring 2008 by Pat Sabin

Lenora ParkLenora Park


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