Cumming City Hall
Gateway to Leisure Living
|Named for||William Cumming|
|• Mayor||Troy Brumbalow|
|• Total||6.1 sq mi (15.9 km2)|
|• Land||6.1 sq mi (15.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)|
|Elevation||1,217 ft (371 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||891/sq mi (344.2/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
30028, 30040, 30041
|GNIS feature ID||0331494|
Cumming is a city in Forsyth County, Georgia, United States, and the sole incorporated area in the county. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Its population was 5,430 at the 2010 census, up from 4,200 in 2000. Surrounding unincorporated areas with a Cumming mailing address have a population of approximately 100,000. Cumming is the county seat of Forsyth County.
The area, now called Cumming, was first inhabited by Cherokee tribes. They came in 1755. The Cherokee and Creek people developed disputes over hunting land. After two years of fighting, the Cherokee won the land in the Battle of Taliwa. The Creek people were forced to move south of the Chattahoochee River.
The Cherokee coexisted with white settlers until the discovery of gold in Georgia in 1828. Settlers that moved to the area to mine for gold pushed for the removal of the Cherokee. In 1835, the Treaty of New Echota was signed. The treaty stated that the Cherokee Nation must move to the Indian Territory, west of the Mississippi River. This resulted in the Trail of Tears. The Cherokee territory was then formed into Cherokee County in 1831. In 1832, the county was split into several counties including Forsyth County.
In 1833, the town of Cumming was formed from two 40-acre (16 ha) land lots that had been issued as part of a Georgia State Land Lottery in 1832. The two lots designated as Land Lot 1269 and Land Lot 1270 were purchased by a couple of Forsyth County Inferior Court justices who realized that it was necessary to have a seat of government to conduct county business. The boundaries of the two lots ended at what is now Tolbert Street on the west side, Eastern Circle on the east side, Resthaven Street on the south side, and School Street on the north side. In 1834 the post office was established and began delivering mail. The justices of the Inferior Court divided the town land into smaller lots and began selling them to people over the next several years, reserving one lot for the county courthouse. During that same year, the Georgia State Legislature incorporated the town of Cumming into the City of Cumming and made it the official government seat of Forsyth County.
The community is commonly thought to be named after Colonel William Cumming. An alternate theory proposed by a local historian posits the name honors Rev. Frederick Cumming, a professor of Jacob Scudder, a resident of the area since 1815 who owned land in present-day downtown.
During the 1830s and 1840s, Cumming benefited from the gold mining industry as many businesses were created to meet the needs of the miners. However, the California Gold Rush in 1849 put the city into an economic depression. Newly built railroads bypassed the city and took traffic from the Federal Road that ran near Cumming. The city was spared during the Civil War because William T. Sherman did not pass through the city during his March to the Sea. In 1900, the county courthouse was destroyed in a fire; it was rebuilt in 1905.
1912 racial conflict
In 1912, Governor Joseph M. Brown sent four companies of state militia to Cumming to prevent riots after several rapes of young white women allegedly by African-American men.
|“||Ellen Grice was assaulted on Wednesday, September 4, 1912. Tony Howell was charged with "Assault with intent to Rape" (Book 4 p. 391). After several adjournments, the case was "nol prossed". Howell continued to live in Forsyth County until the 1940s, when according to a neighbor he moved to Alpharetta to reside with his daughter.
|— Donna Parrish, Shadow of 1912|
The governor then declared martial law, but the effort did little to stop a month-long barrage of attacks by night riders on the African-American citizens. This led to the banishment of Blacks, and the city had virtually no black population (see sundown town).
Racial tensions were strained again in 1987 when a group of black people were assaulted while camping at a park on Lake Lanier. This was widely reported by local newspapers and in Atlanta. As a result of this a local businessman[who?] decided to hold a "Peace March" the following week. Civil rights leader, the Reverend Hosea Williams joined the local businessman in a march along Bethelview and Castleberry Road in south Forsyth County into the City of Cumming, where they were assaulted by whites. The marchers retreated and vowed to return. During the following "Brotherhood March" on January 24, 1987, another racially mixed group returned to Forsyth County to complete the march the previous group had been unable to finish. March organizers estimated the number at 20,000, while police estimates ran from 12-14,000. Hosea Williams and former senator Gary Hart were in the demonstration. A group of the National Guard kept the opposition of about 1,000 in check. Oprah Winfrey featured Cumming and Forsyth County on her Oprah Winfrey Show. She formed a town hall meeting where one audience member said:
|“||I'm afraid of [blacks] coming to Forsyth County. I was born in Atlanta, and in 1963, the first blacks were bussed to West Fulton High School. I go down there now and I see my neighborhood and my community, which was a nice community, and now it's nothing but a rat-infested slum area because they don't care.||”|
However, most of the audience members agreed that Forsyth County should integrate. Rev. Hosea Williams was excluded from Oprah's show and arrested for trespassing.
Today, the city is experiencing new growth and bears little resemblance to the small rural town it was mere decades ago. The completion of Georgia 400 has helped turn Cumming into a commuter town for metropolitan Atlanta. The city holds the Cumming Country Fair & Festival every October. The Sawnee Mountain Preserve provides views of the city from the top of Sawnee Mountain. In 1956, Buford Dam, along the Chattahoochee River, started operating. The reservoir that it created is called Lake Lanier. The lake, a popular spot for boaters, has generated income from tourists for Cumming as well as provides a source of drinking water. However, because of rapid growth of the Atlanta area, drought, and mishandling of a stream gauge, Lake Lanier has seen record-low water levels. Moreover, the lake is involved in a longstanding lawsuit between Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Because of a recent ruling, the city may not be able to withdraw its water. However, the city is looking into different sources of water such as wells and various creeks.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Cumming has a total area of 6.1 square miles (15.9 km2), of which 6.1 square miles (15.8 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.58%, is water.
Pedestrians and cycling
- Big Creek Greenway (Under construction)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,430 people, 1,893 households (of which 57.1% were families), and 1,081 families residing in the city. The population density was 787.0 people per square mile (276.6/km²). There were 2,037 housing units at an average density of 295.2 per square mile (98.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.6% White, 31.4% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 16.9% from other races, 2.9% Black, 1.7% from two or more races, 1.4% Asian and 0.5% Native American.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,118, and the median income for a family was $48,947. Full-time, year-round male workers had a median income of $35,402 versus $31,892 for similarly situated females. The per capita income for the city was $18,326. About 27.9% of families and 22.0% of the adult population were below the poverty line.
Cumming is served by Forsyth County Schools. The following schools are located in the county:
- Big Creek Elementary
- Brandywine Elementary
- Brookwood Elementary
- Chattahoochee Elementary
- Coal Mountain Elementary
- Cumming Elementary
- Daves Creek Elementary
- Haw Creek Elementary
- John's Creek Elementary
- Kelly Mill Elementary
- Mashburn Elementary
- Matt Elementary
- Midway Elementary
- Sawnee Elementary
- Settles Bridge Elementary
- Sharon Elementary
- Shiloh Point Elementary
- Silver City Elementary
- Vickery Creek Elementary
- Whitlow Elementary
- DeSana Middle
- Liberty Middle
- Little Mill Middle
- North Forsyth Middle
- Otwell Middle
- Piney Grove Middle
- South Forsyth Middle
- Vickery Creek Middle
- Riverwatch Middle
- Lakeside Middle
- Forsyth Central High School
- Lambert High School
- North Forsyth High School
- South Forsyth High School
- West Forsyth High School
- iAchieve Virtual Academy
- Alliance Academy for Innovation
- Denmark High School
- Zac Brown, leader of the Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band, was born in Cumming
- The town of Cumming (incorporated 1834) is named in honor of Col. William Cumming, distinguished officer in the War of 1812
- Ron Reis, former World Championship Wrestling wrestler also known as The Yeti, lives in Cumming
- Skyler Day, actress born in Cumming
- Kelli Giddish, actress born in Cumming
- Junior Samples, comedian on the TV show Hee Haw
- Roger L. Worsley, college administrator, formerly resided in Cumming
- Billy Magnussen, Tony Award nominated actor
- Glenn Sutko, former catcher for the Cincinnati Reds
- Hasher Jallel Taheb Muslim jihadist arrested for planning multi-faceted attack on the White House
- Gene Ray, creator of Time Cube
- Ethan Hankins, Cleveland Indians baseball player
- Pendleton Brown, famed fountain pen nibmeister
- Geoff Duncan, businessman and Lieutenant Governor of Georgia since 2019
In popular culture
- American Reunion was partially filmed in Cumming at Mary Alice Park.
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- Whitmire, Kelly (25 Jan 2019). "What's in a name? Historian talks about where road, area names originated in Cumming, Forsyth County". Forsyth News. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
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- "1912 September and October". Rootsweb.ancestry.com. Archived from the original on 2011-01-02. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
- "Memorable Guests". Oprah.com. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
- Atlanta Business Chronicle - by Dave Williams (2009-07-17). "Federal Court ruling on Lake Lanier goes against Georgia | Atlanta Business Chronicle". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
- "The Forsyth County News Archive". Forsythnews.com. 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), Cumming city, Georgia". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Skyler Day (Maggie from Gigantic) Interview!". TeenNick. November 17, 2010. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
- "Truth is cubic?", by Kate Duffy,The Phoenix, Swarthmore College, September 19, 2002. Archived by the Internet Archive, archive copy retrieved July 25, 2010.