Lilburn, GA., with it’s 11,500 population is close to everything.
Old Town Storefront during Fall Festival
Lilburn is located in the western part of Gwinnett County, in the state of Georgia. The railroad runs through the Old Town area near the City’s municipal building. Lawrenceville Highway, which is also known as Highway 29, is the main traffic corridor.
In 1823, the first church created in the area was Camp Creek Primitive Baptist Church, which remains active today. Elder James Hale and fourteen members started the church. In 1840, a group left the church and created Liberty Baptist, now known as First Baptist Lilburn. Also in 1840, the Carroll family gave land for slaves to establish their own church, Salem Baptist. Salem Baptist still thrives today with a very active and growing church membership.
In 1839, The Center Academy was founded to educate children living in the area. The exact site is not known, but the school was apparently located near the CVS Pharmacy on Lawrenceville Highway, just within the present day city limits of Lilburn.
Civil War Era
During the civil war, from 1860-1865, no major battles were fought in the area; however, there was a military engagement or skirmish at Yellow River near Five Forks Trickum Road. Union
Old Town Restaurant-Mid 2000
troops were foraging supplies for Sherman’s troops when his soldiers encountered resistance at this location and engaged the Confederates. This was the only Civil War activity in the present day Lilburn area.
A Series of Misfortunes
A disastrous fire devestated Lilburn in the early morning of November 15, 1920. Frank Garner, who lived across the street from the Lilburn Supply Company where the fire apparently originated, discovered the fire. The entire business section of town was destroyed, with the exception of two stores. Only the heroic work of the volunteer bucket brigade saved the residential area of town.
After the fire, Lilburn was rebuilt. Shortly thereafter, cotton crops were attacked by the boll weevil, which destroyed the local economy. Adult boll weevils do minor damage but lay eggs inside the unripe cotton boll. Young larvae eat their way through, damaging the boll. Cotton was king and was considered white gold. Big and small farmers relied on the cotton crop for survival. This tiny, menacing insect spread from Mexico into the United States. At the time, there was no method to help defend cotton crops against this pest. Boll weevils caused great economic devestation throughout the South during this
Holiday Season in Old Town
The Great Depression
The depression of 1929 also took a heavy toll on the area and the town gradually died. Lilburn’s government, which was organized in 1910, ceased to exist. Some claimed that Lilburnites were so quiet, well behaved, orderly, and law abiding that there was no need for government.
Lawrenceville Highway Becomes Lilburn’s Main Transportation Route
Automobiles gave people an alternative to using the railroad for transportation and the town gradually relocated along Highway 29. This reliance on Lawrenceville Highway for transportation created an Old Town area serviced by the railroad and a new business district for Lilburn. Old Lilburn retained some storefronts, which continued to operate, but most business activity was based along Highway 29.
The need for a water line in 1955 created the need to reestablish a new city government and the town began to grown again. In 1976, a new city hall was built in the Old Town area. A larger municipal building was built next to the park in the early 1990s. Along with the amenities and events located in City Park, the municipal building has helped sustain the activity Old Town boasts of today.
Early 1800s-Lower Creek Tribe & Early Settlers
Present day Lilburn was inhabited by a tribe of Native American Indians prior to 1817. They were known as the Lower Creek and lived in the southern part of what is now known as Gwinnett County. They used the area primarily for hunting and located villages south of Lilburn.
The names of qualified participants were brought to the capitol and placed in a container. Land was allocated by drawing a numbered land lot and then selecting a name from another container for the land lot that was just drawn.
1887 to 1919-The Influence of Railroads on Lilburn, Georgia
The Georgia Carolina and Northern Railroad began purchasing property and right-of-way for tracks to be installed from Baltimore, Maryland to Atlanta, Georgia in 1887.
Early 1900s-Lilburn’s First General Store
Laura Morton’s mother and father ran Moore’s grocery store, then called General Mercantile, which sold everything from groceries to horse buggies. Buggies were kept on the second floor. There were 2 large double doors on that floor through which buggies were lowered to the street level.
September 2, 1911-Trains Meet in Head-on Collision at Lilburn Saturday-Six Injured
Six persons were injured when Seaboard Air Line passenger train No. 41, crashed headlong into a construction train at the depot in Lilburn, 24 miles east of Atlanta, at 6:25 o’clock this morning.
1910 to 1919-Newspaper Articles
Betty Still, a native of Lilburn and retired school teacher, researched a series of newspaper articles published between 1910 – 1919. The source of these articles was microfilm at the Lawrenceville Branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library. The bulk of these articles deal with Lilburn, but a few discuss Gwinnett County.
November 18, 1920-Lilburn to Probe Origin of Big Fire
The News Herald, Vol. XLX-Lawrenceville, Georgia-No. 15: Lilburn was visited by a disastrous fire early Monday morning which practically wiped out the business section of the town.
1934 Obituary-Lilburn T. Myers Dies in Hospital-Richmond, Virginia
Lilburn, Georgia is named after Lilburn Trigg Myers. He was a general superintendent for the Seaboard Airline Railway.
July 2, 1976-Special Edition of The Daily News-Authored by Lilburn Bicentennial Committee
Creek Indian Territory-Whites Began Flowing in During Early 1820s