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Conyers, Georgia
City
Olde Town Conyers
Olde Town Conyers
Nickname(s): 
C-Town
Location in Rockdale County and the state of Georgia
Location in Rockdale County and the state of Georgia
Conyers, Georgia is located in Metro Atlanta
Conyers, Georgia
Conyers, Georgia
Location in Metro Atlanta
Country United States
State Georgia
County Rockdale
Area
 • Total 11.88 sq mi (30.78 km2)
 • Land 11.76 sq mi (30.46 km2)
 • Water 0.12 sq mi (0.32 km2)
Elevation
899 ft (274 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 17,305
 • Density 1,471.51/sq mi (568.14/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
30012, 30013, 30094
Area code(s) 470/678/770
FIPS code 13-19336
GNIS feature ID 0312910

Conyers is an Atlanta suburb, the county seat of and only city in Rockdale County, Georgia, United States. The city is 24 miles (38.6 km) east of downtown Atlanta and is a part of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 15,195. The formerly separate town of Milstead is now part of Conyers.

History

Before European settlement, the area which is now Conyers, along with the surrounding county of Rockdale, was occupied by mound-building Native Americans. As time progressed, the Muscogee (or Creek) and Cherokee natives shared a common border here. This border was known as the "Great Indian Road," and is known now as the "Hightower Trail". This trail was used by white settlers following the American Revolution.

Conyers-depot-train
Conyers Depot
Dinky steam locomotive
A 1905 Rogers Steam Locomotive, named "Dinky", on display in Conyers. The engine carried freight between Conyers and Milstead until 1961.

Between 1816 and 1821, the area known as Rockdale was open for settlement. John Holcomb, a blacksmith, was the first settler in what is now Conyers. He settled where the current Rockdale County Courthouse is located, in the middle of Conyers on Main Street.

Eventually, there was pressure for a railroad to cross Georgia; the railroad was intended to run from Augusta, through neighboring Covington to Marthasville (now known as Atlanta). John Holcomb was against the railroad and refused to sell his land, and threatened to shoot anyone from the railroad who came onto his property.

Dr. W. D. Conyers, a banker from Covington, eventually persuaded John Holcomb into selling his land for $700. Dr. Conyers then sold the land to the Georgia Railroad. What is now Conyers began as a watering post along this line, named after Dr. Conyers. By 1845, the railroad was in full operation. By 1854, nearly 400 residents lived around the watering post, and Conyers was incorporated.

Conyers has been nearly destroyed several times by fire. It is said that it survived Sherman's March to the Sea thanks to a friend of Sherman's who lived in the area between Conyers and Covington. The story goes that the houses were spared because Sherman was uncertain where his friend lived.

In 1870, the surrounding area was incorporated into Rockdale County out of Newton County, Georgia, and Conyers became the county seat.

Over the next decade, Conyers grew into a wild town. It had twelve saloons. The more reputable side of the town had 40 stores, Conyers College, a hotel, a carriage manufacturer and good schools.

Rockdale-county-courthouse
Rockdale County Courthouse

The Conyers post office contains a mural, The Ploughman, painted in 1940 by Elizabeth Terrell. Murals were produced from 1934 to 1943 in the United States through the Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts, of the Treasury Department. The WPA was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing individuals to carry out public works projects.

Conyers was also home to "sidewalk churches". Along Main Street grew First Methodist, Conyers Presbyterian, and First Baptist. It is said that at some point the congregants persuaded the saloons to close and leave Conyers for Covington, having persuaded them with a mob. This rose out of revivals began in 1878 with the Methodist and Presbyterian churches. First Baptist Church of Conyers moved out of downtown in late 2000, moving about two miles or three kilometers south of the Georgia International Horse Park to their current location.

Tightly connected to Conyers is Milstead, a mill town now incorporated into Conyers. At its peak, Milstead and Conyers had a private railroad which delivered products, such as cotton, from the mill to Conyers for shipping to the textile mills. In the 1960s, the mill closed.

In 1944, a Trappist monastery (a Catholic order), Abbey of the Holy Spirit, was established south of the city by Dom Frederic Dunne. The Protestant community of Rockdale County helped with the completing of the current structure. M. Basil Pennington, one of the founders of the Centering Prayer movement, was abbot of the monastery from 2000 to 2002.

In the 1950s, Conyers had a Coca-Cola bottling facility. In 1957, Lithonia Lighting moved from Lithonia.

In the 1960s, Interstate 20 was built through the county. Gus Barksdale, Clarence Vaughn, Roland Reagan, and Harry Downs helped establish the community for the future by pushing for business expansion.

In the 1970s, parts of the first five episodes of the Dukes of Hazzard were filmed in the town.

In the 1980s, Conyers became known for "White Road", where resident Nancy Fowler claimed to have seen apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Conyers played host to pilgrims.

In the early 1990s, several scenes of In the Heat of the Night were filmed around the Conyers Depot. Alan Autry, who played the character of Captain Bubba Skinner, was seen as a regular around Conyers during the filming.

In 1996 Conyers hosted the equestrian and mountain biking events for the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta. For this, Conyers built the Georgia International Horse Park.

In October 1999 Rockdale County, and by extension the county seat of Conyers gained substantial notoriety when the Public Broadcasting Service series Frontline aired a nationwide documentary entitled The Lost Children of Rockdale County detailing a syphilis outbreak among middle and high school aged teenagers within the county. The documentary was well received outside of Conyers, with rave reviews from such outlets as the Wall Street Journal and Entertainment Weekly; Interviewed by Oprah Winfrey.

As of 2013, the CW show The Originals began filming in Conyers.

Geography

Conyers is located at 33°39′59″N 84°0′27″W / 33.66639°N 84.00750°W / 33.66639; -84.00750 (33.666360, -84.007574).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.9 square miles (31 km2), of which 11.8 square miles (31 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (1.17%) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 637
1880 1,374 115.7%
1890 1,349 −1.8%
1900 1,605 19.0%
1910 1,919 19.6%
1920 1,817 −5.3%
1930 1,495 −17.7%
1940 1,619 8.3%
1950 2,003 23.7%
1960 2,881 43.8%
1970 4,890 69.7%
1980 6,567 34.3%
1990 7,380 12.4%
2000 10,689 44.8%
2010 15,195 42.2%
2020 17,305 13.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Conyers Racial Composition
Race Num. Perc.
White 2,611 15.09%
Black or African American 12,047 69.62%
Native American 37 0.21%
Asian 183 1.06%
Pacific Islander 20 0.12%
Other/Mixed 676 3.91%
Hispanic or Latino 1,731 10.0%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 17,305 people, 6,300 households, and 3,848 families residing in the city.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, 15,195 people, 5,661 households, and 3,642 families resided in the city. The population density was 907.3 people per square mile (350.3/km2). The 4,183 housing units averaged 355.1 per square mile (137.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 24.3% White, 55.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 16.3% of the population.

Of the 3,910 households, 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, 21.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were not families. About 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city, the population was distributed as 27.3% under the age of 18, 12.6% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 17.4% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,789, and for a family was $38,255. Males had a median income of $29,991 versus $24,879 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,805. About 13.7% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.5% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.

Sports

Georgia Revolution FC is a semi-professional soccer team based in Conyers, Georgia. The team was founded in 2010 and is a member of the South Atlantic Conference of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid. Games are played in the summer months at the Rockdale Youth Soccer Association.

Education

The Rockdale County School District holds preschool to grade 12, and consists of 11 elementary schools, four middle schools, three high schools, and four non-traditional schools. The district has 889 full-time teachers and over 13,801 students.

Notable people

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