Metter, Georgia was incorporated in 1903, and at the time was a small community in western Bulloch County. Legend has it that the city's name honors a railroad official's wife, named such because he was thankful that he'd "met her" in the town. In 1906, Dr. Wallace Kennedy spearheaded a movement to create a new county and make Metter the county seat. Dr. Kennedy was aided by Eugenia Candler, wife of former Governor Allen Daniel Candler, and a group of citizens who wanted to establish Metter as a leading community in Southeast Georgia. The dream became a reality in 1914, and Candler County, named in honor of the former governor, was carved from portions of Bulloch, Emanuel and Tattnall counties, becoming Georgia’s 150th county.
Metter experienced slow but steady growth for several decades after its founding, and gained a reputation as one of Georgia’s friendliest communities. Thousands of visitors have experienced Metter’s hospitality thanks to its location on I-16, the interstate that serves as a gateway to Savannah, Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina. Metter is a convenient and busy rest stop for travelers along the highway.
Metter’s growth was planned and orderly. That attention to detail was officially noted in 1988 when the area from Hiawatha to Vertia Streets and College to Lewis Streets – the South Metter Residential Historic District – was added to the National Register of Historic Places. This 67-acre neighborhood with divided avenues is reminiscent of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the homes in the district are distinguished by architectural style, landscaping features and an original grid-shaped layout.
The current Candler County courthouse was originally built in 1921 and was placed on the National Register in 2002. The old Metter High School was built in 1910; the Candler County Historical Society now operates the school as a museum and community center. The century-old downtown Metter railroad depot in was restored in the early 1990s and is the focus of many community activities and family gatherings. Recently added to the National Registry of Historic Places, Metter’s entire downtown central business area is a great place for new development and historic preservation.