History & Heritage

The first inhabitants of Treutlen County were the Creek Indians, who left the land in the 1770s and 80s.  Revolutionary War veterans came to the region following the war’s end and quickly began acquiring land through a lottery system and set up farms with livestock.  Eventually the residents turned to the lush pine forests for its raw materials of yellow pine and turpentine.  Agriculture immediately became in industry of choice.

Treutlen County was named for Georgia’s 1st State Governor following adoption of the state Constitution of 1777, Governor John A. Treutlen.  Another governor with ties to the community lies in Troup’s Tomb at Rosemont Plantation near the Lothair community.  Governor M. George Troup, the state’s 1st governor elected via the popular vote (during his second term) returned home to neighboring Laurens County after leaving the state house.  While visiting Rosemont Plantation, Governor Troup fell ill and died.  Troup’s Tomb remains a stop on many historians route, and it remains a popular stop for the regional history buffs.

Home of the Million Pines – Local farmer, James Fowler, was one of the first to plant pine trees as a crop and thus came his aptly named Million Pines Plantation.  Working with a Savannah scientist, Fowler’s pine trees were used to create the first printed newsprint from yellow pine.  The local weekly, The Soperton News, was first printed in 1933.  A copy of the first edition can be found today in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.  And hence the founding of the annual Million Pines Festival, held annually the first weekend in November since 1972.

The county seat, Soperton, is named for businessman Benjamin Franklin Soper (1856-1907).  Soper founded the Southern Railway Mine and Milling Company and was instrumental in construction of the railroad.  The Treutlen County Courthouse (1919), located in Soperton, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in September of 1980.  Its neoclassical architecture continues to bring visitors as it is remains the center of county business today.