Lyerly is a small town nestled in Northwest Georgia in Chattooga County. The 2010 census recorded the population at 540. The Town has an annual festival in September of each year called Lyerly Down Home Day, which was originally created by former council member Debbie Jones. This years Down Home Day will be held on Saturday, September 29th. Last year the Town approved package liquor sales by referendum and the first package store is now open and bringing in much needed additional revenue to the Town.
Projects that are a priority of the current Mayor & Council are rehabilitating the existing water system in the Town limits, partnering with the City of Summerville to install a 12" water line to feed water to the Lyerly Mohawk Plant, and improving and maintaining the Lyerly Park.
The Town of Lyerly has a Mayor-Council government structure. Under this structure, the Council fills the primary legislative role. The Town Council adopts ordinances and resolutions, determines Town policies, approves the budget, and sets the millage rate. The Mayor fills the executive role.
The Charter defines the Mayor as the Chief Executive Officer of the Town who is responsible for presiding at all meetings of the Town Council. The Mayor also signs deeds and contracts, cosigns checks along with the Town Clerk, keeps the Council advised of the general condition of the Town, prepares the budget, calls meetings of the Council, appoints members to committees, and sees that ordinances of the Town are executed. The Mayor does not vote on issues before the Council, except in the case of a tie.
The Mayor and Council of the Town of Lyerly are elected at-large for four-year terms. To be eligible to serve as Mayor or on the Council, one must be at least 21 years of age, have no outstanding debts to the Town, may not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude, be a qualified municipal voter and a resident of the Town for one year immediately prior to the date of an election.
6086 Highway 114
Lyerly, Ga 30730
The first communities in the area that would become Lyerly were actually Creek and Cherokee Indian villages. The entire county was originally inhabited by Creek Indians and then Cherokees; the first white men in the area were fur traders, hunters, and traveling missionaries, followed by Revolutionary War soldiers (1775-83) . The whites lived in fairly peaceful coexistence with the Indian population until 1829, when gold was discovered in north Georgia. In one of the saddest chapters in America's history, the newcomers, backed by federal and state authorities, used force to dispossess the Cherokees of their land and then distribute it to white settlers in the 1832 Cherokee land lottery. In 1838 the remaining Cherokee in Chattooga County were gathered by the Georgia Guard and housed in deplorable conditions at the Cherokee Removal Fort in LaFayette (Fort Cumming) before being moved north to Rattlesnake Springs in Tennessee. These programs, part of President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Acts, culminated in the American Government’s removal of Native Americans from the American South in what became known as "The Trail of Tears.” Cherokees joined Native Americans from the Choctaw, Seminole, Creek, and other tribes in Oklahoma. Sparsely populated by white settlers before 1832, settlers began to pour into the area after the sixth Georgia Land Lottery, mostly moving from the eastern part of Georgia.
Glenwood and Melville were the first communities established in the Lyerly area by white settlers. There is some confusion about exactly when and where Lyerly began, and what the correlation is between Glenwood, Melville, and Lyerly. All three were in the southern portion of Chattooga County, each of the three within a short distance of each other, and all three were eventually consolidated into Lyerly.
Glenwood was located approximately 1 mile northwest of what is now Lyerly around what is now the intersection of Smallen Road, Oak Hill, and Back Valley Road. We could not locate Glenwood on any historic maps. Glenwood also had the Glenwood Academy, the second school in Chattooga County.
Melville had it's beginning in the 1850's and was originally located due south of Summerville on what is now Georgia Highway 100 at the intersection of Holland Road and the old Silver Hill Road at Clark Creek (Taliaferro Creek) and appears on an 1856 map in Georgia's Virtual Vault. Some time during the 1870's the Melville post office was moved across the Chattooga River to just southeast of the present Lyerly and the rest of Melville was soon to follow. When the Chattanooga, Rome & Colombus Railway was built in 1888 it was decided to build the depot 3/4 of a mile north of Melville in what is now the center of Lyerly. When this happened Melville declined quickly as Lyerly grew. The Town of Melville went bankrupt and was sold at auction on the Summerville courthouse steps on July 2, 1889. Some would say that the Glenwood community was the beginning of Lyerly, while others might say that Melville became Lyerly. Actually neither is true. Lyerly came into being on its own because of the railroad and both those things that had originally been at Glenwood, and those things at Melville all moved to Lyerly.
On May 30th and 31st 1889 an auction was held to sell the newly formed Town of Lyerly, Georgia. Lyerly was incorporated in 1891 and is thought to be named after Tennessee bank president Charles Abner Lyerly, who had invested in real estate in the county. Lyerly developed its first school in 1889. The Post Office which had been in Melville later relocated near the Lyerly train depot. Lyerly was the first town in northwest Georgia to ship poultry to markets in other states. Lyerly's population was 322 in 1910 and one year later in 1911 A.J. Lee installed Lyerly's first water system. In 1912 Lyerly was the only town in chattooga county to have two telephone exchanges. In 1914 the old Lyerly School (built in 1889) was torn down and a modern brick school building was built in its place. In 1920 Captain Charles A. Lyerly donated a fire bell to the town and it was put up behind the Bank of Lyerly. Today the fire bell sits atop a monument erected and donated to the town by Bob Kimbell in 1988. Perhaps one of the best known landmarks of Lyerly is the Lyerly Dam. The Lyerly Dam was built by Mr. James S. Owings when he started the Chattooga River Power Company. The dam was used to generate hydroelectric power and was built in 1919 and first generated power in 1920. One month after electricity production began the dam was severely damaged by a flood but was repaired and back online in two weeks. In 1923 Mr. Owings built a concrete dam across the river of which some portions still exist and can be seen from the Lyerly Dam bridge. Well known defense attorney Bobby Lee Cook was born in Lyerly in 1927.
(This information was obtained from several online sources, and the books, "Chattooga County" by Robert S. Baker, and "The Heritage of Chattooga County, Georgia 1838-2006"
John M. Rose
John A. Gilmer
John M. Rose
Gordon A. Wheeler
Dr. B.F. Shamblin
Alfred J. Lee
Rev. James M. Smith
John M. Rose
Robert W. Bagley
Robert W. Bagley
Grover Jackson Jr.
Daniel L. Wyatt
Artis Pledger (resigned)
Jeff Coley (resigned)
Jessica Eller (resigned)
Josh Wyatt (Mayor Pro Tem)
E-Verify ID 142537 (08/06/2008)