History of Folkston

Charlton County was created by an act of the Georgia General Assembly on February 18, 1854. It was named for former U.S. Senator Robert M. Charlton, who died that same year. The first county seat was Traders Hill, a community located on the St. Mary's River previously known as Fort Alert.

The City of Folkston was created simply because the Savannah, Florida, and Western Railroad needed a station there. At that time, the city was known as "the station." The first train passed through Charlton County in 1881.

Most of the early settlers came from nearby Center Village. These settlers built homes and stores near the platform that was used for railroad passengers. Once the city began to grow, a city name other than "the station" was definitely needed. Thus, the settlement was named for Dr. William B. Folks of Waycross, Georgia. It was officially incorporated as a city on April 3, 1895, even though the first school was built one decade earlier in 1885.

County Seat

In 1901, Folkston replaced Traders Hill as the county seat of Charlton County. Folkston soon became the commercial center of the county. The Old Train Depot has been restored and houses the Okefenokee Chamber of Commerce and Development Authority of the City of Folkston and Charlton County. Residents and visitors alike cherish this historic landmark. Along with the train depot, we have the Folkston Funnel Train Platform bringing many visitors from all over the world to "train watch."

The oldest church in the county, Sardis Church, was organized before 1821. For more than a century now, the pulpit has been in continual use. If you look close enough, you can still see the bullet hole that was fired from the musket of a soldier who was defending the church from an American Indian attack.

Aside from the many historic landmarks and the Folkston Funnel Platform, the great Okefenokee Swamp attracts thousands of visitors each year. We have two bed and breakfasts and motels to spend the night, along with great restaurants. We also have campgrounds, a sporting clays range, and other recreation sites in the area.