Contact: 706.672.3467

Community History

Did Meriwether County help save the world?

Many might argue “yes!” It was, after all, the mineral springs of Meriwether County, the famous Warm Springs, that nurtured Franklin Roosevelt after he contracted polio, proving so effective that the county became a strategic retreat and auxiliary command post for Roosevelt’s presidency, home of his “Little White House” during the critical years of the Great Depression and World War II.

After Roosevelt’s discovery of the springs, they were incorporated into the hydrotherapy of the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute. That treatment was considered “cutting edge” for its time, but in fact the “curative powers” of the area’s springs, both warm and cold, had been known for as far back as 12 millennia when the first Native America people left their mark. Later, the Creek tribe brought wounded warriors to heal in the warm springs, and hunted and fished along the Flint River; they named the area “Place of Peace and Healing.”

High spirits: After Native American land was ceded in 1825, Scotch-Irish settlers surged into the county and created an entirely different flow: In a hollow known as the Cove (which present-day scientists believe was carved out by a meteor), these settlers began to supplement their small farming incomes by distilling untaxed spirits.

High achievement: Against this colorful backdrop, more sober and salubrious activities also began to take shape. Named after David Meriwether, a Revolutionary War hero and accomplished Creek translator, Meriwether County became home to multiple communities, including Greenville, named as the county seat, and Manchester, which sat at the junction of three railroads and eventually became a thriving cotton center.

High society: Also, European visitors began coming to partake of the county’s waters as early as 1832, and by the end of the nineteenth century, some of the nation’s most prominent families came to summer here and enjoy the spas.  On a notable day in July 1908, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Cornelius Vanderbilt, three of the world’s wealthiest men, checked into the Meriwether Hotel.

In 1924, Franklin Roosevelt made his first pilgrimage to Warm Springs (then known as Bullochville), and would return continuously for the next two decades, until he passed away at the Little White House in Meriwether on April 12, 1945.

Today, Meriwether County isn’t in the business of saving the world. Instead, we’re doing business all over the world, as home to companies and corporations leading and succeeding in a highly demanding global marketplace. And if you’d like to make history for your company, give us a call at the Meriwether County Development Authority.



Jane Fryer, Executive Director
17234 Roosevelt Hwy, Bldg. B
Greenville, GA 30222
Phone:(706) 672-3467
Fax: (706) 672-4465
email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)