Just before the turn of the century, the city of
Rincon sprang up around the miles and miles of railroad tracks making
their way along the eastern seaboard through the sleepy countryside of
rural Georgia. It had taken more than 150 years for residents to move
beyond the original 1751 Salzburger New Ebenezer settlement along the
Savannah River, but once the railroad came to town, a new city and a new
era had arrived.
Chief Engineer George Wadley named the newly
founded city Rincon, which was Spanish for “little spot” or “corner.”
Aptly named, Rincon began as just a small area in the county named for
Lord Effingham, a former member of the House of Lords in England.
Businesses soon began popping up, managed by area natives and created to
meet the needs of the railroad workers, followed by houses and various
churches. Successful local businesses became the order of the day.
Echoing the line-and-grid street system of
Savannah, Rincon systematically marched its way along the tracks and
settled itself in an organized, orderly fashion. Serenaded by wistful
train whistles and lulled to sleep by the steady clackety-clack of train
cars on the rails, residents of the “little spot” of Rincon found a place
they could call home.
Sawmills, cotton gins and turpentine stills dotted
the landscape, providing additional means for business opportunities.
Early landowners saw potential in the railroad and granted rights of way
for its progression. Economic growth and development resulted, and the
city of Rincon was incorporated August 3, 1927.
As a fledgling city in the late 1920s, Rincon
elected Frank Bowers as its first mayor. The new government disbanded in
1929 but reactivated in 1954 and reconstituted its city governmental
structure. The population was around 500. Although it later grew to be the
largest municipality in Effingham, Rincon’s hometown atmosphere revolved
around locally-owned businesses, strong community and civic organizations,
and family-focused activities.
Life in Rincon continued at a slow and steady pace
until the early 1980s. The city experienced a dynamic growth spurt with
the arrival of large industrial and retail companies both within and just
beyond Rincon’s city limits. Rincon had once again “arrived.”
The City of Rincon now is home to more than 4,000
people and a wide array of small local businesses, large retail outlets,
restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations. Although more commonly used
by larger cities, the council-manager form of government allows Rincon to
effectively administer the vast number of services it provides.
Public services, infrastructure and great
potential for quality residential and business development abound in what
began as a small stop along a turn-of-the-century railroad line. By
focusing on the incorporation of both hometown traditions and progressive
yet balanced growth, the City of Rincon makes its community more than just
a great place to work and live. It makes Rincon a great place to call
(Historical Sources: Springfield
Herald, 50th Anniversary Edition, October 1958; City of Rincon archives)