Rockdale was created from parts of Henry and Newton Counties.  It was the 133rd county created, and was incorporated October 18, 1870, additionally, it was named after the Rockdale Church, and the vein of granite running beneath the county.  Conyers is the county seat, and the only incorporated municipality.  Conyers was named for a local physician that donated the right-of-way for the first railroad and the lot in town for the railroad depot.

The history of Conyers and Rockdale County is diverse and dates back over ten thousand years. Early natives known as "The Mound Builders" were only one of the many groups who visited Rockdale's gentle hills, lakes and streams. Much later, the Creek and Cherokee Nations shared a common border, the "Great Indian Road," now known as Hightower Trail in northern Rockdale. In the early 1800's, this trail was a main route for white settlers moving inland after the American Revolution.

Georgia stretched all the way to the Mississippi River, and this Indian Road provided an irresistible magnet for European immigration. State authorities officially opened up what is now Rockdale County to settlers in 1816 and 1821. One of several settlements grew up around Costley's Mill on Big Haynes Creek. This settlement grew to include the first school, a gristmill, a sawmill, a planing mill, and eventually a cotton gin.

Salem Baptist Church, which still performs baptisms in the sparkling waters of the old millpond, was also part of this settlement. A dozen or more mills appeared quickly, including the three-story Kennedy-Baker Mill which used French burrs for grinding corn and wheat, but several were eventually burned down by Indians.  The earliest settlement occurred in the extreme northern edge of the county. The southern end of the county was settled as Scots and Scotch-Irish began moving up along the rivers and streams from what is now Henry County. These early families founded numerous churches including Smyrna Presbyterian in 1827, the oldest Calvinist Campground in the United States. 


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