Every city in Gwinnett has its own unique charm, its own personality, and its own history. Every one of our cities could easily be put on a best-of list when compared to cities outside of the county.
When you look at population and demographics, and then consider the history and the businesses that are located within that city, you begin to see the little differences that make each one unique. Here are some facts that we think make each city stand-alone!
Lets all go to the lake! For many years, Berkeley Lake was primarily a summer retreat, with an assortment of fishing cottages mingling with a slowly growing number of permanent homes.
A small, but tenacious, core of residents lending their expertise and time, guarded the health of the lake. And that same spirit over the years since the city’s incorporation in 1956, has kept the areas namesake the center of this Gwinnett city’s focus. A number of ordinances continue to protect the character and tranquility of the community.
The shiny “red” caboose car parked downtown isn’t the important “red” in this town. Locals to Georgia will have heard of “Georgia Red Clay,” but did you know that this city got its name from the area’s red clay that was used to dye cloth auburn-red? It’s true! Founded in 1892, Auburn is a Gwinnett city shared with Barrow County. It has grown from a rural railroad village to a community of more than 7,000 residents. Located near four major highways, Auburn boasts an impressive new library, five parks within city limits and a new downtown overlay district.
Holy Braselton, Batman! Kim Basinger made so much money starring as Vicki Vale in the 1989 Batman film, that she decided to buy her very own town! Basinger forked over a whopping $20 million for Braselton, Georgia. She had grand plans of turning little Braselton into a popular tourist destination.
Unfortunately, five years after Batman, the movie offers had stopped coming. Basinger had no choice but to take a massive $19 million loss on the town, and ended up having to declare personal bankruptcy. But even without a Hollywood celebrity owner, the town has done just fine on its own.
The city of Braselton spans four counties (Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson and Barrow) and is one of Northeast Atlanta’s hottest residential and business communities. Incorporated in 1916, Braselton is the home of Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, Road Atlanta Raceway and the Mayfield Dairy. While maintaining small town values and atmosphere, Braselton’s prime location along I-85 makes it a dynamic economic entity.
Do you know what city has a statue of Roy Rogers in its square? That’s right, it’s Buford. Rogers’ famous horse “Trigger,” once had a saddle custom made at Bona Allen Tanners and Manufacturing, which once occupied the town.
The City of Buford has come a long way since its beginnings in 1872 as a depot on the railway line between Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina. Major domestic and international companies have established operations in Buford. The Buford Dam has become a major source of power for the state, and Lake Lanier Islands is recognized as a premier recreational development in the Southeast. Mall of Georgia’s got more shopping and entertainment under one roof than anywhere else in the Southeast – more than 2 million square feet full of excitement! A historic down town square and its own Buford City Schools, make this city one of the most popular for residents as well as old cowboys.
Take note news broadcasters and out-of-towners, the city’s name is pronounced, “duh-cue-la.” The city’s historic town might be smaller than the real estate covering the cluster of Gwinnett County Schools within the city limits, however, that continues to change as the city continues to expand with new growth from shopping centers and restaurants, which are popping up at a consistent growth rate.
Duluth could once boast three cotton gins, ten cotton buyers, several warehouses, three mule-trading barns, and three blacksmith shops! Now Duluth is home to over 2,000 businesses and a diverse population, Duluth has become a progressive city with its sight set on the future. The downtown is a community center and gathering place. It has a variety of shopping, fun, food and entertainment that you can experience at any time. The Duluth Fall festival draws a crowd of about 80,000 people every year!
Congratulations Grayson, you really can keep a secret! The signs you see as you enter the city say it all: Grayson is “Gwinnett’s Best Kept Secret!” But if you really want to know the secrets from Grayson’s history, the city has preserved much of its secrets from 1902 up until today in its one of a kind “Arts and History Center.” These days, the secret is out, and there are all sorts of events and happenings that promote Grayson’s greatness. The Grayson Day parade is just one of many events that bring thousands to the city for great family fun, superior shopping and fine dining experiences.
It was the idea of the city’s first postmaster, William Maltbie, to name the city after James Lawrence, an American naval commander who fought in the War of 1812. First incorporated by an act of the Georgia General Assembly on 15 December 1821, Lawrenceville is the second oldest city in the metropolitan Atlanta area.
Historically this is a town that attracts visitors on a regular basis. Folks enjoy The Aurora Theater, Gwinnett Georgia College, The Infinity Arena, and the Gwinnett Braves. It’s also the home of Gwinnett Medical Center, and of course the center of Government. Currently playing the city of New York in Fox’s Sleepy Hollow TV series, there is always something happening in Lawrenceville.
These are just a few things that make Lawrenceville a pretty great seat for our county!
A fire put the “burn” into “Lilburn” in the 1920s and destroyed the city. After the fire, the struggles kept on coming. Boll Weevils destroyed the cotton crops and decimated the economy. Then the great depression hit and really put the city into hard times. However, throughout its challenging history, Lilburn has always risen to meet its setbacks and has continually rebuilt itself to meet the needs of the people. A new L-shaped building is currently under construction. It will house a new Lilburn City Hall, and the Lilburn Branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library. The need for a larger infrastructure is due to rapid population growth around the city.
What can $150 bucks buy you? Well for James Harvie Logan, it bought him Land Lot No 186, now known as the first 62.5 acres of Loganville. The City of Loganville serves as a gateway between Walton and Gwinnett counties, with the city being split right down the center. With three state highways traversing the city, Loganville offers a unique business climate that includes large retail and restaurant chains combined with small and locally owned niche shopping and dining experiences.
In 1908, the “NorX” automobile was built and was about to leave the Ford “Model-T” in the dust. There was just one big marketing problem. The creator was stuck on the idea of calling it after his hometown, and no one knew that “NorX” was supposed to be pronounced “Norcross.” Long before the age of Google or even great telephone service, finding the “NorX” was so impossible for customers it quickly disappeared.
Norcross can trace its roots to 1869 when Atlanta entrepreneur J.J. Thrasher bought 250 acres, and named it for his friend, the fourth mayor of Atlanta, Jonathan Norcross. Today, Norcross is a charming, well-preserved city with a downtown that purposefully attempts to turn back the clock to simpler times. The beautiful city and its various parks and recreational spaces make it a great location for many couples taking their engagement photos near the railroad tracks, as well as the latest backdrop of a few Hollywood films.
You might think that Peachtree Corners is where every road named “Peachtree” converges, but that’s just a folk-tale. The real truth is that Peachtree Corners became the county’s newest and largest city in 2012. The city will open a brand new town center in 2017, and is already home to “The Forum.” This exclusive shopping destination includes many high-class dining as well as down-home favorite restaurants. It’s home to the well-known business office complex, Technology Park, award winning homes in neighborhoods on the Chattahoochee River, and it boasts the largest number of luxury hotels in the county. Surprisingly, not very many peaches, but we’re used to that here.
The town’s motto, “Everybody is proud to be somebody in Snellville,” remains as true as it was from the very beginning, although you may have noticed that motto recently changed from, “Where everybody is somebody.” The affluent city of Snellville has one of the coolest history stories. It was named after one of the owners of the town’s first store. They used store money and included a post office, which led everyone to call the area “Snellville.”
Now, stores line 78 Hwy and the GA-124 corridor near the major intersection where the City Hall stands. Snellville is also home to one of the county’s largest hospitals, which can be pretty convenient for the city’s thousands of residents.
Suwannee was first incorporated in 1949, with only 3.1 square miles of land. Today Suwannee is a friendly, progressive community of 10.8 square miles committed to maintaining a high quality of life for its residents. In addition to the award-winning parks and the array of nearby amenities, Suwanee offers its own quaint charm. Enjoy shopping, dining, splashing, or simply relaxing at Town Center. The town center in Suwanee is a little different than the many historic districts. It has a completely new concept. It is an updated live, work and play development that centers the city government to a community-gathering place and outdoor amphitheater.
Literally a hill, which at one time had a large supply of sugar spilled over it from a wagon that lost its wheel, is now one of the premier communities in Gwinnett County. Home to 18,522 residents and over 1000 businesses; there is over 8.7 million square feet of office, retail and industrial/flex space. The city was named one of the fastest growing cities by Forbes Magazine.
Rest Haven is the smallest of the municipalities in Gwinnett. A tiny town (0.4 miles, 150 residents) that was founded in 1938 to eliminate a rowdy roadhouse that fell within its city limits. The town is on the Gwinnett/Hall County border, and would be a part of Buford if not for its municipal charter. There’s been much debate over the future of Rest Haven and if it will one day be laid to rest permanently. But for now, Rest Haven is a town with its own charm and the home of 42 families.