History of Sunny Side, Georgia
A town that inspired poets and generals, Sunny Side was also settled in the pre-Civil War era, around the 1840s. At one time, Sunny Side had a jail and a school, but both closed as Griffin became larger and took prisoners and students into the city limits. The town was built on either side of the railroad tracks and people who have lived in the area remember standing along the tracks to watch President Franklin Roosevelt pass on his way to Warm Springs. The track, once known as the Central of Georgia Railroad, was the route from Macon to Atlanta. It was built by N.C. Monroe Investment Co. and is now owned by Norfolk Southern Railroad Co. Originally called Fayette Station, the community was renamed "Sunny Side" by N.C. Monroe, the owner of N.C. Monroe Investment Co. He decided on the name after stopping to visit his daughter in Fayette Station and noticing the sunshine through her house windows. The name caught on with railroad employees, and soon the town had a new name.
In the early 1900s, the town had a depot, a cotton gin, five warehouses, four stores and a doctor's office. Now, many of these businesses have closed or relocated. At one time, Sunny Side children were taught at a local school in the town. The students came primarily from the surrounding farms, most of them walking to school. According to many of the older residents, when U.S. Highway 41 was built, students would have to walk under the road to get to school through constructed "underpasses." These paths were filled in after the school was closed because cars that wrecked on the road would often fall into the paths. Georgia poet Sidney Lanier, who grew up in Griffin, wrote his poem "Corn" while he was visiting Capt. John McIntosh Kell in Sunny Side. He told his friends that he sat on their porch and looked across the railroad tracks at a field of corn.