The land where Demorest is now located was given by the State of Georgia to W. Stripling in 1829.  Stripling did little with the land and in 1840 transferred it to Dr. Paul Rossignol who built a summer home on the west side of Lake Demorest. That house became significant to the history of Demorest.  Among other things, it was one of the first building used by Piedmont College which was established in 1897.

Demorest was incorporated in 1889.  The community was founded by a group of people who moved from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio and Indiana to establish a community with high moral standards.  That group determined that anyone who was caught selling, buying or consuming alcohol, gambling or engaging in prostitution would forfeit their property.  They made this reality by forming the Demorest Home, Mining and Improvement Company and became known as one of the Temperance Towns.  They named the town “Demorest” after a great Prohibition leader of the time.  The city was advertised in the Union Signal as a “city of refuge” from the problems of urban life and offered a “private club” lifestyle of sorts of that time period.

In 1897, Demorest witnessed the assembly of a Board of Trustees, a staff and faculty, and the influx of the first group of students who would attend a newly formed college.  Piedmont College opened under the name of J.S. Green Collegiate Institute, and is still thriving in Demorest.  In 1989, Downtown Demorest was named to the National Register of Historic Places.  Although Demorest is a small city, it has notable historic landmarks such as Demorest Springs Park, the Old Demorest Train Depot, Demorest Women’s Club and the former Lake Demorest.

One of the most popular landmarks is the Johnny Mize Athletic Center and Museum.  The museum is owned by Piedmont College and is named for Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Mize.  Mize was born in Demorest and played baseball at Piedmont.  The museum houses Mize memorabilia from his time at Piedmont as well as from his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants and New York Yankees.  Mize’s childhood home is a Georgia Historical site with a private owner.

Demorest is not only rich in history but is still a small, thriving community.  The downtown area boasts a gourmet restaurant, upscale lodging, an art museum and with the support of the community and the college, the Downtown Development Authority is working on plans to support increased commercial growth.  We welcome you to visit downtown Demorest!

Suggested Links:
City of Demorest