Sylvania, Georgia
"The Welcome Station City"[1]
"The Azalea & Dogwood City"[2]
Location in Screven County and the state of Georgia
Location in Screven County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 32°45′1″N 81°38′23″W / 32.75028°N 81.63972°W / 32.75028; -81.63972
CountryUnited States
 • Total5.05 sq mi (13.08 km2)
 • Land4.98 sq mi (12.89 km2)
 • Water0.07 sq mi (0.19 km2)
230 ft (70 m)
 • Total2,634
 • Density529.13/sq mi (204.31/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code912
FIPS code13-75160[4]
GNIS feature ID0323862[5]
WebsiteCity of Sylvania Georgia

Sylvania is a city in and the county seat of Screven County, Georgia, United States.[6] The population was 2,634 in 2020.


The area was inhabited for thousands of years by various cultures of indigenous peoples. By the time of European encounter, it was occupied by the Yuchi peoples, but some Creeks, the Uchee's allies, moved into the area during Colonial times.[7]

The town of Sylvania was founded in 1790 by settlers migrating to the area after the American Revolutionary War. The word "Sylvania" comes from the Latin word sylvan or sylva which means "forest land" or "place in the woods."[8]

Sylvania was part of the Black Belt of Georgia, developed for cultivation after the cotton gin made it easier to handle short-fiber cotton. Cotton was the most important commodity crop until late in the 19th century. Planters imported many enslaved African Americans to cultivate the crops. By 1830 the county was filled with people. The county seat was moved from Jacksonborough to Sylvania in 1847.[9]

As part of the projects of the Works Progress Administration, federally commissioned murals were produced from 1934 to 1943 in the United States through the Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts, of the Treasury Department. In 1941, Caroline Speare Rohland painted a mural for the post office of Sylvania. The scene depicted was of a farming family and their African American farm hand. In the 1980s, complaints from the local NAACP chapter resulted in the removal of the mural. It was found in a closet of the post office in 1995 and restored. The mural is now on permanent loan from the federal government and is held by Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.[10]

Sherman's army moved through the area during the Civil War.

Sylvania calls itself the "Azalea and Dogwood City" and the "Welcome Station City."[11]


Sylvania is located at 32°45′01″N 81°38′23″W / 32.750151°N 81.639590°W / 32.750151; -81.639590.[12]

U.S. Route 301 and Georgia State Route 21 are the main routes through the city. U.S. 301 runs north-south as a western bypass of the downtown area, leading northeast 29 mi (47 km) to Allendale, South Carolina and southwest 23 mi (37 km) to Statesboro. GA-21 runs along the western bypass of the city concurrent with U.S. 301, leading southeast 34 mi (55 km) to Springfield and west 19 mi (31 km) to Millen. Additionally, Georgia State Route 73 runs through the downtown area upon splitting from U.S. 301 south of downtown, but rejoins that route north of the city.

The city is located roughly halfway between the major cities of Savannah and Augusta.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2), all land. Sylvania's elevation is 230 feet and is slightly higher than most of the land throughout Screven County.

The city's flora include pine, oak, and most notably, dogwood, thus the slogan "The Dogwood City." Although Spanish moss is not as prevalent as in nearby Savannah, it can still be seen in Sylvania and the surrounding countryside.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1850-1870[14] 1870-1880[15]
1890-1910[16] 1920-1930[17]
1940[18] 1950[19] 1960[20]
1970[21] 1980[22] 1990[23]
Sylvania racial composition as of 2020[25]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 1,254 47.61%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,175 44.61%
Native American 4 0.15%
Asian 36 1.37%
Pacific Islander 1 0.04%
Other/Mixed 98 3.72%
Hispanic or Latino 66 2.51%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,634 people, 1,092 households, and 672 families residing in the city.

Arts and culture

Annual events

Sylvania hosts an Annual Livestock Festival in April.


The Screven County School District holds grades pre-school to grade 12 and consists of one elementary school, a middle school and a high school.[26] The district has 186 full-time teachers and over 3,130 students. Dr. Jim Thompson is the superintendent.[27]

Notable people


  1. ^ "Sylvania". Georgia Gov. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "City of Sylvania Georgia". City of Sylvania Georgia. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  3. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  4. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Daniel T. Elliott and Rita Folse Elliott, "Mount Pleasant. An Eighteenth-Century Yuchi Native American Town, British Trader Outpost, and Military Garrison in Georgia", Watkinsville, GA: LAMAR Institute Publications, 1990
  8. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.
  9. ^ "Sylvania, Georgia" Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine, The New Georgia Encyclopedia], accessed 10 Jun 2020
  10. ^ Fogel, Jared A.; Stevens, Robert L. (Fall 2001). "The Canvas Mirror: Painting as Politics in the New Deal". OAH Magazine of History. Oxford, England: Organization of American Historians by Oxford University Press. 16 (1): 19–20. doi:10.1093/maghis/16.1.17. ISSN 0882-228X. JSTOR 25163482.
  11. ^ "City of Sylvania - History". Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  13. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decade". US Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "1870 Census of Population - Georgia - Population of Civil Divisions less than Counties" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1870.
  15. ^ "1880 Census of Population - Georgia - Population of Civil Divisions less than Counties" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1880.
  16. ^ "1910 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1930.
  17. ^ "1930 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1930. p. 251-256.
  18. ^ "1940 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1940.
  19. ^ "1950 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1980.
  20. ^ "1960 Census of Population - Population of County Subdivisions - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1960.
  21. ^ "1970 Census of Population - Population of County Subdivisions - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1970.
  22. ^ "1980 Census of Population - Number of Inhabitants - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1980.
  23. ^ "1990 Census of Population - Summary Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1990.
  24. ^ "2000 Census of Population - General Population Characteristics - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 2000.
  25. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 15, 2021.
  26. ^ Georgia Board of Education[permanent dead link], Retrieve June 26, 2010.
  27. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 26, 2010.

Further reading