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City of Thomaston, GA

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History of Thomaston

Thomaston was incorporated on June 11, 1825 and designated as the seat of Upson County. The town was named for General Jett Thomas, an Indian fighter in the War of 1812. Thomas is also credited with assisting in the construction of the state capitol at Milledgeville in 1805-7.

Thomaston was laid out with parallel streets running north and south, east and west, with the courthouse square in the center of town. The judges of the inferior court had the authority to sell lots to individuals on a one-third cash basis with two years to complete the payment. This money was used to build the first courthouse, which was completed in 1828. The second courthouse was completed in 1852, and the present courthouse was erected in 1908. In the southeast corner of the square is a cannonball mounted on a marble base, said to be the first fired at Fort Sumter, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. P.W. Alexander, a noted correspondent during the Civil War and a citizen of Upson County, retrieved it.

During the twentieth century, Thomaston's economy was primarily based on the manufacture of textiles and tire cord. Granted a charter in 1899, Thomaston Cotton Mills shipped textiles worldwide and served as a major source of economic stability and urban growth. B. F. Goodrich's tire cord mill at Martha Mills also contributed to the economic growth of the area.

Thomaston's mill-town era ended in 2001.

The history of Thomaston and Upson County and other information can be found at the Thomaston-Upson Archives located just off the Square on the corner of East Lee and Center Streets.

For more information on individual historic sites in the city, please take the Self-Guided Tour of Historic Thomaston.