Middle Georgia Proud: The 200-year history of Sandersville


    SANDERSVILLE, Ga. -- These days, Sandersville has a population of around 6,000 people - but the city first sprung up around 200 years ago and has had an interesting history since then.

    Sandersville was actually settled in the late 1700's by Revolutionary War veterans. City officials say those veterans were given grants to Creek and Cherokee lands.

    The city was once known as White Ponds, which was later changed recognize Mark Saunders, who owned the trading post in town. Saunders also donated part of his plantation to be used for the courthouse.

    The Washington County was named after George Washington, and more than 200 years later Sandersville is home to around 6,000 people.

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    Katie Moncus, president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, is a Sandersville native. Moncus said she hopes to encourage others to return to Sandersville to live and work.

    "I've been here all of 29 years and generations before me were from here. I think it's important for us, as a rural town, to be able to have young professionals come back to Washington County. And I think by doing it myself, I can encourage others to come back and know this is a fun town to live in and work and play too," said Moncus. "You know, we're seeing a shift not only for the people who have stayed but for the people who have come back to this point. And so I do think there's a time where these people are going off but they're realizing their home roots are important so they're coming back to Washington County, which is a wonderful thing for us here at the chamber to be a part of that."

    There's also a historic dish out of Washington County that made its way to the Governor's Mansion. According to the city, it all started back in 1932 when Louise Irwin came up with the design.

    The plate was first meant to be part of the 1933 Georgia bicentennial celebration and used as a fundraiser for the Transylvania Club.

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    A company in London agreed to make the plates in blue, pink and mulberry colors. Three years later, the first set of plates were shipped back to Georgia from England.

    Ever since then, thousands of these plates have been made and sold. They were even the largest source of money for the Sandersville Public Library and the Transylvania Club.

    Fast forward a few decades to when Jimmy Carter, who was the governor at the time, signed the order to make Irwin's plate the historic plate for the state of Georgia.

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