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Cordele, the county seat of Crisp County, was founded in 1888. Also known as the "Watermelon Capital of the World", Cordele was named for the eldest daughter of Colonel Samuel Hawkins. Col. Hawkins was president of the Savannah, Americus and Montgomery Railroads.

In November 1864, the area that is now Cordele served as the temporary capital of Georgia. During the last days of the Confederacy, Georgia's war governor, Joseph E. Brown, used his rural farmhouse to escape Sherman's "March to the Sea". The farmhouse, called "Dooly County Place" served as the unofficial capital for only a few days. After the war, the farmhouse was sold for $3,500.

The farmhouse was replaced in 1890 by the Suwanee Hotel, which was destroyed by fire November 19, 1994. It has been rebuilt and is still located in downtown Cordele. It now houses various businesses and private apartments.

Each July, Cordele holds the annual Watermelon Festival, along with many other events. The Georgia Veteran's Memorial Museum displays the history of war and the Georgian soldiers who fought so proudly.

(note: click on county map to view County Snapshots for Crisp County.) View County Snapshots for Crisp

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