The City of Forest Park is located in northern Clayton County nine miles south of the City of Atlanta. The city has an advantageous geographic location in the southern metropolitan region, having convenient access to Interstate 75 and Interstate 285 and five mile east of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The City of Forest Park also includes the Fort Gillem Military Reservation which encompasses 1,465 acres and is located in the northern section of the city.
From one square mile known as Forest Station/ Astor when chartered in 1908 to today's nine point three 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" 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. Forest Park has developed into one of the largest cities in Clayton County.
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 a population of approximately 21,447 and operates with a council-manager form of government providing a full complement of support services to it's citizens.