History and Today
From 1 square mile known as Forest Station/ Astor when chartered in 1908 to today's 9.3 square miles known as Forest Park the identity of this area has changed dramatically. Early settlers were primarily farming families with an influx of railroad employees as the town became an important railroad point.
Developed as a "wood and water stop" known as "Stump Town" for the Central Georgia Railroad, which may have been derived from the stumps left as trees were cut to provide fuel for the passenger and freight trains going in and out of Atlanta. The city was also the 3rd stop from Atlanta on the Macon and Western Railroad. Gradually, as other modes of commercial transportation became dominant and the frequency of trains through the area diminished, the availability of local employment began to decline. Strange as it may seem, the railroad was as surely responsible for the survival of the area as it had been for the original growth and development. The railroad began to provide a local passenger train service in approximately 1901. The small passenger train, nicknamed "the dummy", provided transportation to and from Atlanta on a daily basis where jobs were more plentiful. This passenger service was discontinued in 1931 at which time the railroad provided a local bus service for a brief period.
More modern progress, primarily over the past four decades, has resulted in Forest Park's emergence as a viable center of commerce. The major portion of the city's growth and development took place in the late 1950's through the middle 1960's.
Today, Forest Park has developed into one of the largest cities in Clayton County with a population of approximately 21,447 and operates with a council-manager form of government providing a full complement of support services to its citizens.
Its citizens have a deep appreciation for the more than 65 acres of parks and playgrounds, including ball fields, a multi-purpose community recreation center, senior center, an indoor Olympic-size pool, one outdoor pool, a football stadium seating 2,000 spectators, jogging track, picnic sheds and tennis courts.