See Rock City

See Rock City

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cairo, Georgia

Cairo City Hall
Cairo City Hall

Cairo /ˈk.r/ is a city in Grady County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 9,607. The city is the county seat of Grady County.


Cairo was founded in 1835. It was incorporated as a town in 1870 and as a city in 1906. In 1905, Cairo was designated seat of the newly formed Grady County.

Syrup City:

Although Cairo is nicknamed the "Syrup City" it has no relationship with the Karo brand of syrup, which is pronounced like the city's name. Rather, Cairo earned its nickname by producing cane syrup from the early 1900's through the late 1990's. Of the several companies that produced cane syrup, Roddenbery's was the best known.

Reflecting this "syrup" heritage, the Cairo High School football team is nicknamed the Syrupmakers, and the school mascot is the agriculturally based sugar cane farmer/syrupmaker similar to the Cornhusker and Boilermaker. According to local tradition, this began during a rainy football game, when the players wore donated ponchos with "Roddenbery Syrup" printed on them. The most widely accepted tradition and the one with the most supportive evidence claims that a newspaper reporter referred to the Cairo Tigers in print as "the syrupmakers from Cairo."

The school's female athletic teams are named "Syrup Maids," often shortened to "Maids," while the male athletes are often dubbed "Makers." In 1986 ESPN chose "Syrupmakers" as the No. 1 nickname for a high school sports team. In 2009, ESPN's Sports Center selected the Syrupmakers as their number one mascot in the high school heritage category.

Recreation and Entertainment:

Cairo is close to great hunting, fishing, and points of historical interest. The local industrial base continues to grow with manufacturing, service, and healthcare companies anchoring a strong economy.

The area is home to several local festivals, including Calvary's Mule Day, Whigham's Rattlesnake Roundup, Cairo's own Antique Car Rally, and several competitive recreational programs. The Antique Car Rally features a wide range of cars, and includes many activities: a poker run, a parade, and even a street dance. It usually takes place on the second weekend of May. Sponsored by Mr. Chick, it is an annual event that attracts many people to the southwest corner of Georgia.


Grady County Schools serves the city. Elementary schools in Grady include Shiver School, Eastside Elementary, Northside Elementary, Southside Elementary, and Whigham School. All residents are zoned to Washington Middle School and Cairo High School. Students living further out in the county are sent to Shiver School K-8, or either Whigham School

Cairo is now the home of a South West Georgia Tech campus, main campus in Thomasville, Georgia.

Notable People:

  • Teresa Edwards, former professional basketball player and an Olympic Gold Medalist.
  • Willie Harris, a member of the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox team, current member of the Cincinnati Reds.
  • Ernest Riles, a shortstop and third baseman in Major League Baseball from 1985 through 1993.
  • Jackie Robinson, a Baseball Hall of Fame member and the first person to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball was born here.
  • Daryle Singletary, country music singer
  • Bill Stanfill, a former All-Pro National Football League defensive end.
  • Mickey Thomas, lead singer of Jefferson Starship
  • Bobby Walden, former punter for Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings
  • David Ponder, former defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys
  • Arthur L. Williams, Jr., founder of Primerica Financial Services
  • John Monds, 2010 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate for the State of Georgia
  • George Thornewell Smith, politician
  • Curley Williams, Country music singer and songwriter. Born near Cairo, Georgia in Grady County.
  • Jake Bundrick, drummer for the pop/rock band Mayday Parade.
  • J.J. Wilcox, 3rd round pick in 2013 NFL draft (80th overall), safety for the Dallas Cowboys

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