As he explored Georgia, Hernando de Soto passed through what is now known as Abbeville, crossing the Ocmulgee River and the present day eastern boundary line of the city limits. A historical marker on the courthouse grounds commemorates his visit. The Wilcox County courthouse itself, built in 1903, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Abbeville, famous for its large population of wild hogs, is often nicknamed "Wild Hog Capital of Georgia". The Ocmulgee Wild Hog Festival is held annually in May with food, arts and crafts, live music and various contests.